Ketupat is a type of dumpling from Singapore Malay Community, made from rice that has been wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch which is then boiled. As the rice cooks, the grains begin to expand to fill the pouch and the rice becomes compressed.

A rice dumpling wrapped in a tiny basket of banana leaves, makes up the basic ketupat dish. The veritable “tamales” of Malaysia, a serving often comes in groups of three or four, tied together at the top and perhaps filled with meat and/or vegetables. You’re as likely to find ketupat on KL street corners as in a fancy restaurant, though you might get more beautiful weave designs the higher-end you buy. While you can find versions of ketupat throughout Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, the Malaysian take on this classic is pretty exceptional.