Buzz your way through last-minute Hari Raya prep
Want to know what's the fastest way to prepare your Hari Raya Puasa meal?
Take it from these two sisters who have been shoppers with personal concierge and delivery service honestbee for almost a year.
Also known as shopper bees, Madam Nur Haffidah and Madam Nur Shahidah Abdul Shukor shared some of their tips and tricks with The New Paper.
To minimise food preparation time, Madam Haffidah, 23, suggested to use pre-mixed ingredients such as pineapple filling to make tarts.
She said: "For a stronger burst of flavour, you can add pineapple juice to the pre-mixed filling."
Another shortcut would be to reduce shopping time by ordering online and having the ingredients delivered to your doorstep, she added.
While it is challenging to work out a Hari Raya menu at the last minute, it is manageable with some planning.
Madam Shahidah, 30, said she splits the workload with her sister, who takes charge of the desserts, while she makes traditional dishes such as rendang, satay goreng (fried satay) and sambal goreng pengantin (a dish with fried tofu, beef, beef lung, beef liver and prawns).
She said: "For sambal goreng pengantin, the dish takes one to two days to cook but we would break up the process.
"I would boil the innards the night before to reduce the time spent waiting for it to be ready the next day."
Madam Haffidah also advised families to stock up on ingredients commonly found in Hari Raya dishes such as onions, ginger and brown sugar.
The sisters also learnt to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
This year, Madam Shahidah said they are encouraging their mother not to make lontong (a dish of vegetable stew in coconut curry with compressed rice cakes).
The mother of two said: "It is a festive dish that every household will prepare, but after working as a shopper after some time, we realised it was high in cholesterol because of the amount of coconut milk we use.
"We wanted a healthier Hari Raya so we will be preparing butter rice using unsalted and low-fat butter."
Sodas and cordial drinks also make up a huge part of the occasion, and she said one can try adding fresh fruits for the natural sweetness instead of syrup.
Madam Haffidah said shoppers can pick the freshest ingredients through these methods.
"For leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce and spring onions, choose those that are crisp in colour and not wilted.
"A popular Hari Raya dish is kuah lemak, which uses cabbage. For a lighter taste, pick cabbage grown in Cameron Highlands. Choose cabbage that is free from blemishes and does not have dry or yellow leaves.
"For meat, keep a look out for its texture and graininess. It should be soft with its grain in its natural state without looking as though it has been out in room temperature or the heat," she said.
Lastly, when choosing eggs, look out for the Julian number, a three-digit code printed on the packaging.
The number refers to the date when the eggs are packed. For example, 001 represents Jan 1 and 365 stands for Dec 31.
Always go for the highest Julian number because it is fresher, added Madam Haffidah.