Singapore is good at promoting foreign food or “hipterising” local food favourites such as nasi lemak’s conversion into a McD burger for National Day. At their Ramadan bazaars, I kept seeing a Katira drink that was a big hit. The crazy Chinese seller who looked like Batman’s Joker, assured me it is halal and showed me the MUIS logo which is similar in mileage to our JAKIM logo.
I thought he was a PRC (local racist and discriminatory slang word for workers from People’s Republic of China) but he is local since he kept using Hokkien (Fujian) expletives when I pushed him for an explanation of the unusual green drink.
What is Katira? It is Tragacanth gum from a shrub mostly found in Iran, Iraq and Western Asia. It is considered a herb and good for detoxing in the Middle East. I didn’t feel like trying after he called it “kapo nerg” or frog’s eggs or tadpoles. Thanks for your honesty, Sir. Wonderful Basil seed drink suffers the same. Finally, I saw one solitary stall selling it from a corner at TTDI’s bazaar this year. The Singapore stall was at Geylang Serai and local Malays loved Air Katira and Jus Katira.
#singapore #food #katira #ramadan #geylangserai