Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rojak and Cendol... a match made in food haven...

Rojak and cendol must be one of the best Malaysian food combinations there is.  Who can resist a bowl of cendol with shaved ice and a plate of rojak mee, especially on a hot day, eaten by the road on a dusty and hot day?  I cannot.... that's for sure!!

Here's my bowl of cendol with sweet corn and kidney beans.
Too bad all the shaved ice has melted.

And here's cendol's partner-in-crime, the rojak.
I love my rojak with mee in it. Lovely!!

My fave rojak stall is the one located at Suntex Garden,
Batu 9, Jalan Cheras, Kajang.
They used to operate under a huge tree and the tree provided
nice shade but sadly, the tree was cut down recently.
So now there are only huge umbrellas. 
Ambience dah kurang oomph..
But anyway, their rojak and cendol remain the same.

 The rojak guy busy preparing the orders..

 And this is the cendol guy.

 Mamak, dua cendol kurang manis, please!!

 The sambal sotong (spicy squid) which
goes very well with my rojak mee. ENAK!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The making of patin tempoyak...

Patin fish cooked with tempoyak (fermented durian) is one dish that you either love or hate. 
My version of ikan patin with tempoyak...

Two main reasons why many people do not like this dish :
1) Patin fish is a fresh water fish. So it has that fishy smell that some people can't stand.
2) Tempoyak is not on everyone's fave food list.

So when patin and tempoyak are cooked together, to some people it's really a big NO-NO.  But to me, it's a match made in patin heaven!

This is the patin fish - sold at the wet market...

 And these are (barely) alive patin fishes
sold by the roadside in Temerloh, Pahang.

One of the stalls selling fresh patin fish...

Patin fish reared in cages along the Sungai Pahang... 
the longest river in Peninsular Malaysia.
Sebab bela dalam air sungai, baunya tak lah 
begitu buat like those reared in ponds.

 And make sure you buy the ORI's one.
Original ones, that is...

Anyway, back to our 'the making of...'

First of all, the patin fish needs to be cleaned properly
to get rid of its fishy smell. My mom's way is to soak the fish
with lime/lemon and/or tamarind slices. 
Leave for about 30 - 60 minutes.Then wash thoroughly.
In fact you can use this method to clean any types of fish.

The 'sambal' ingredients are onions, garlic, ginger, fresh tumeric 
(if not available, powdered tumeric can be used instead) 
and fresh chillies.  If you like it hot, add in more chillies.

Blend them up into a paste.

I like cucumbers in my gulai.

 And of course the very aromatic 'daun kesum'.
I think daun kesum is one of the most aromatic herbs 
and one of my faves. Enak banget tu baunya...

 And of course, here is the other aromatic ingredient.
The TEMPOYAK!!! (fermented durian)

Saute the blended ingredients for a few minutes.
Then add in the tempoyak.

 Here's how it looks like now. Add in a few cups of water.
Very yellow because of the tumeric and tempoyak.
Cook it for another couple of minutes.

Then add in the cucumbers.
Cucumbers go in first coz they take longer to cook.

 Then the fish goes in.

Put in more water if needed.

In goes the daun kesum.
Cook for another few minutes.

 All done now.  Add in salt to taste.

On a hindsight, I think my paste is blended way too fine. It makes the gravy a bit starchy (must be the onions).  So I feel it's better to blend the ingredients roughly.  And lagi bagus kalau ditumbuk. Tapi malas ni nak menumbuk lak... huhu.

Will try again and hopefully the result will be better....
tapi yang ini pun sedap.. but could be better, of course..  :))))


Friday, January 27, 2012

my panen... around the house...

Orang melayu kata 'berbudi pada tanah, membawa tuah yang melimpah.  Literally it means 'when you plant fruit trees or veges or anything, you will definitely benefit from them'.  Something like that la... :)))

My mom is one person who loves planting trees, vegetables and the likes.   She's always doing gardening around the house.   So, we have plenty of fruit trees at home.  Durian, rambutan, mangosteen, mangoes, guava, petai, jering, daun pandan, and many more.

This picture was taken many years ago
during one of our bountiful harvests.
The fruits came in full force.
This is when my mom is still up and about.
Now, she's not strong enough to do any more gardening
and her daughter (yours truly) is not a farmer at heart. huhu...
Too sad, actually. Mesti mula berbakti pada tanah semula ni.

Anyway, here are some of our fruits of labor (what's left of it, actually).


Jantung pisang

And the bananas 
 A close-up of the petai...

 Everyone's fave fruit - the durians!
Not musang king though but durian kampung
which trees are as 'young' as me... ahaks!
Not all can be eaten though....huhu...

Coconuts - on the ground...

...and on the trees...
Our cempedak...green ones...

...and ripe and rotten ones...

 Monkey checking out our cempedak.

Guava - the least eaten fruit.. huhu.. sian dia...

 My neighbor on our duku langsat tree...

Duku langsat...
The kampung kids having fun with the duku langsat...
With so many trees around the house,
it's only natural we have visitor of the slithery kind such as this.

Our slithery friend having a feast on the neighborhood froggy.

 This is circle of life, I guess.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nasi Briyani Hameediyah and Chowrasta...

The first time I had Nasi Briyani Hameediyah was like six or seven years ago.  Masa tu memang rasa sedaaappppp sangatlah and have been telling meself that I'd go there again if I were ever in Penang.  So, when I was there last weekend, naturally Restaurant Hameediyah was on my must-visit list.

This is my nasi briyani ayam goreng paha.

 'The best nasi briyani in Penang?!!'
mmm ... maybe in Penanglah kot...
 I guess my taste bud has since 'evolved' and 
I don't find their nasi briyani as oompphyyy as before. 
It's still nice but it doesn't really leave an impact as it did before.

Pae's theory : dolu2 I've not yet tasted the 'goodness' of mandy rice
so nasi briyani Hameediyah to me was like THE rice.
mm.. maybe there's some gospel truth it Pae's theory...

But their fish curry is yummilicious.
Memang sedap menjilat jari.
Check out the awesomeness in that oily gravy.. huhu..

 Their dhal gravy is on okay-okay affair.

 Okay, here's the restaurant.
Not hard to miss, actually.
It's smacked between some pre-war shophouses.
The best landmark would be the Chowrasta.
It's just a block away from Chowrasta.

Here's their murtabak maker.
I guess he's as ancient as the restaurant itself
but he's very efficient.
An epitome of a competent and dedicated staff. 
 Tu dia murtabak tengah masak.
If you want to eat murtabak, be prepared to wait.
It's gonna take a while before you get your makanan.
 Chestnut  (buah berangan) seller at Chowrasta.

Original. SUPER. Premium lagi tu.
 This uncle is very the jovial.
So we bought a few kgs of berangan from him.
The (in)famous Chowrasta.
It's chaotic, dusty, hot, humid, crowded.
I guess those are the attractions of Chowrasta :D
Mesti pergi sini kalau mai Penang.