A tribute to my grandmother.
My grandmother, Jamiah, (she was known as Miah) was a renaissance woman. She baked, sewed, cooked and also ballroom danced. I remember her as a vibrant, who-took-no-crap-kind-of-woman and yet gentle, loving who ran a well-known nasi lemak restaurant in a little town of Kuala Pilah of Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia. She cooked at home for the family and cooked some more for the restaurant. She was always cooking.
This first post is a tribute to my grandmother, a Minangkabau, hence the first two dishes that we tried are Minang dishes.
Salt & pepper to taste
1 large onion (we used red)
the following items to blend together:
10 dried chilies (cut and soak in hot water) Dendeng Balado Telur
Boil the eggs and peel off the shell. Score the eggs so it’ll prevent from oil splatter. Heat some oil. Once heated, add the eggs in the pan. Fry it until the eggs are textured and “crispy”. Remove the eggs and set aside. Blend the onion, tomatoes & chilies together. Add more oil and add the blended mix of tomatoes, chilies and onion. Saute until cooked through and the mixture has thickened a bit. Add the fried hard boiled eggs into the mixture. Mix well and cook until it has thickened some more. Plate and serve.
Ikan Tauco Padang (Fish in salted soy bean sauce)
1 pompeo fish or tuna
1 small can of coconut milk
1 lb long beans
1 bottle tauco
Salt Ikan Tauco Padang
the following to blend together
10 green chili
3 Indian bay leaves (may substitute with curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves)
6 small shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
1 inch galangal
Clean and get rid of the inerts of the fish. Once cleaned, rub with tumeric and salt. Heat up cooking oil. Fry the fish until brown and crispy. We cheated a bit. We had the supermarket to fry the fish for us. It was a service that they provided for their patrons. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute the blended mixture until aromatic. Add the tauco and long beans. Once the long beans are cooked, add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add back the fish and tamarind. Mix well. Remove, plate and serve.
We served both dishes with hot steamed rice and lychee & rambutan drink.
Lychee & Rambutan drink
1 can of lychee + 1 can of rambutan. Add water according to how sweet you desire. Serve chilled.
I’ve been very intimidated to cook Malay dishes as I thought it was a tedious process with hard-to-find ingredients. However, after this first try I am confident that I am able to do this without the help of my Singapore BFF. I am very grateful that she was willing to ‘hold my hand’ through these dishes. Thank you, Elly!
With an open heart and empty stomach, silakan makan!
Nor + Elly
I made the dendeng balodo telur. The process was fairly easy but it took a while for the sauce to thicken. Altough I like spicy foods, my tongue can’t stand the fire. So, this dish is spicy. If you prefer it less spicy, you may want to decrease the chili or perhaps increase the tomatoes. I do like the addition of the tomatoes which gave it a more ’rounded’ flavor to what I am used to without any tomatoes. The tomatoes also gave a sweet-sour background to the dish.
As for the ikan tauco, it is also quite spicy to my taste, however, the sauce was very well-balanced and complimented the fish. I’m sure it will go well with chicken.
I made the Ikan Tauco Padang. Having been cooking malay dishes since I was ‘not even born’, cooking padang food is a little foreign to me. But my quick verdict would be this…
Different but sedap (deliciious!) and mampat (loaded)!!! It is loaded with antioxidants like the lengkuas, shallots, garlic, ginger, chillies and galangal. Again, I forgot that the green chillies here are kamikaze style…super hot. So it was a little too spicey for the weak non spicey eaters
The salty tauco and the galangal to me compliment each other very nicely. Add rice…nuff said!
Knowing the tastes of malay/indonesian food, I’d say that this dish was a success.