KETUPAT- Malaysia Zongzi


Ketupat (Zongzi) is a traditional Southeast Asian food. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and other Malay nationalities, people celebrated the food commonly found on Islamic Haram, and it is one of the main symbols of Eid al-Fitr.

Ketupat is made from rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch and boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed. This method of cooking gives the ketupat its characteristic form and texture of a rice dumpling.

Some local stories passed down through the generations have attributed the creation of this style of rice preparation to the seafarers’ need to keep cooked rice from spoiling during long sea voyages. The coco leaves used in wrapping the rice are always shaped into a triangular or diamond form and stored hanging in bunches in the open air. The shape of the package facilitates moisture to drip away from the cooked rice while the coco leaves allow the rice to be aerated and at the same time prevent flies and insects from touching it.


  • Young coconut or pandan leaves (as green as possible without brown edges)
  • Coconut milk
  • 1 ½ kg of rice or glutinous rice
  • 2-3 tbsp salt (optional)
  • Water


  1. Make the ketupat casing by using the leaves, using the tutorial video below.
  2. Rinse the rice thoroughly with 2-3 changes of water until the water runs clear, drain, then set aside to dry.
  3. Boil the rice with coconut milk to a half-cooked state.
  4. Fill up each ketupat casing with rice with about 40% full where there are two short parts of the coconut leaves jutting out.
  5. Seal the opening by tucking the jutting leaves.
  6. When all ketupat are filled and sealed, tie them together in packages of 10 to cook.
  7. Bring a large pot of water and add 3 tbsps of salt with ketupats to a boil. Make sure that all the ketupat is fully submerged. Cook ketupat for 3 to 4 hours over medium heat.
  8. Add water as needed to avoid burning the pot base.
  9. Once ketupat are cooked, remove from pot, hang dry.

Recipe Credit: Mariam