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Cooking rice in bamboo; Raman style

Bamboo used for cooking rice and meat

There are many ways to cook using bamboo. Raman’s wife prepares rice for lunch using bamboo and some leaves from the jungle carefully for our group that visited the orchard that day. Though I missed it, Meun (my better half) manages to capture part of the process in cooking hill rice in bamboo.


Bamboo, being is one of the fastest growing plants on earth and luckily it is quite readily available in the surrounding jungles where Raman lives. Before the group arrives, Raman was out it the bush early collecting bamboo for the group’s use. To use it for cooking, the bamboo is firstly cut and then washed thoroughly to remove any dirt or particles inside the bamboo.

Raman’s wife cuts bamboo carefully using a sharp parang

The cut bamboos are then clean and wash thoroughly

Raman brought some hill rice. Something that the indigenous communities treasure very much, probably because its aromatic smell which reminds them of the good old days. The rice are carefully laid in small batches and folded in Bemban leaves. A particular leaf from a Bemban plant that has stalks that looks a bit like bamboo. The leaves are wide and safe to use for cooking food. The rice is not wrapped tightly, in fact, it is wrapped rather ‘loose’ to allow the space for the rice to expand when cooked. Once wrapped, the small packets are then slowly lowered into the bamboo.

Raman’s daughter wrapping rice in Bemban leaves for cooking in bamboo

Raman prepares food using bamboo and other jungle materials

Rice in bamboo and skewered meat slowly cooks on fire

I brought some wild boar meat this time around and the ‘chefs’ decided to cook some in bamboo and the other half skewered to bamboo to cook slowly over fire. The sweet potatoes on the other hand go straight into the fire. Nothing beats simple way of cooking food I reckon.

The potatoes cooked over fire

No lunch is ever complete without some spicy dipping. Raman’s daughter prepared for us some mango sambal. She used a coconut shell and a stout piece of wood to mix these two incredible ingredients (mango & hot kampong chilies). It was really hot but eaten with rice and the meat…it is simply heavenly.

The yellowish mixture is really good!

As usual, when it comes to eating time, eating is the only thing in everyone’s mind. We enjoyed lunch so much we forgot totally to take pictures of the food served. But be rest assured, the food cooked in bamboo over fire by Raman’s wife is simply delicious. And we are lucky cause we will be doing this every now and then!

2 comments to Cooking rice in bamboo; Raman style

  • ida

    Hi,keong.

    I want to find out more about what raman does and whether he would be interested in some jungle survival trips , hikes or homestays.

    I spoke to him recently and i understd his tranport prob.

    Am wondering whether u could help arrange a visit to his Kebun in Gombak and give us an idea of his survival school.

    Am meeting next mon, 11 nov with some hiking friends to discuss these events. Wonder if u would be free to join us and perhaps, show us around his place?

    ida :)

  • Keong

    Hi Ida…just sent you an email. Thanks!

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