Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gulai Daging Kampung

Gulai daging isn't kari daging. they dont taste the same although they nearly look the same. probably because gulai daging is the malay version of curry, without the curry leaves, the cinnamon, the cloves, the star anise and the cardamom. gulai daging is usually served at feasts, usually at kampung feasts when they serve it with white rice instead of the usual and nasi minyakkurma daging.

i remember i asked my mother to cook for me once, a long time ago, but hers was rich and spicy, nothing like the light but flavourful gulai daging kampung. since then, i ve wondered how they cook the gulai, and wished to learn it.

i made the gulai today. and it tasted the same like the ones that i like! actually the recipe is written at the packet of spice mix powder. i bought the rose brand spice mix powder, which is commonly used for making gulai. i'm not going to refer to the packet now, but i will tell you what is involved in making gulai.

1kg chicken meat or beef, sliced

to be blended
10 shallots
5 cloves garlic
a slice of galangal
a slice of ginger

(to be mixed with the shallot mixture)
1 tablespoon rempah masak powder
1 tablespoon rempah gulai powder

some tamarind pulp, diluted with some water
2 tablespoon cili boh
2 bowls of coconut milk (should not be thick, it should be diluted)

first, fry the cili boh in some oil. then add the spice mixture. fry for awhile, until the spice is cooked. if it's drying up, add in some water. after 10 -15 minutes, add in the meat. then add in the coconut milk and tamarind. cook until the meat is tender or until the oil surfaces (which, according to my mother, denotes a beautiful kari or gulai)

Ramadhan delights

"you're staying alone, and you cook?" these are the questions posed by my colleagues during the fasting month.

yup. unlike other working people who don't have time to cook, i take cooking as a therapeutic and creative session. a few years back, i would not even be interested to cook malay main meals, as i was only interested in baking and western dishes.

but things have changed now. i've evolved. while i still love the international cuisines like the tex-mex or italian or indian, i've very much gone back to my roots this year, that is to cook the malay dishes.

those who read my main blog, which is the happy red poppies, will come across the article i wrote about making nasi kerabu. while my mother would have told me that i still need to learn and havent really passed the test, i think the kerabu tasted okay except that it was a tad sweet.

since i've a lot of ulam left, i decided to make laksa terengganu yesterday. there are 2 types of laksa terengganu - one with spicy red gravy, and the other is a milder white gravy, some sort like the gravy you eat with laksam. i prefer the white gravy, and after a phonecall to my mother, i set off to the kitchen. actually, the gravy is simple to make: just boil some selayang fish, then debone them and grind them with some shallots and black pepper, and cook them with coconut milk. sauteeing isnt necessary. the laksa is eaten with the ulam of daun kesum, and cucumber as well as some other fragrant herbs, and with condiments of belacan, cili boh and salt.

today, i decided to make bubur gandum or wheat porridge, which used to be a teatime treat every Sunday when i was a student at Seri Puteri. i bought a packet of wheat whole grains which can be found in any grocery store. it is usually called "terigu". like making soya bean milk from soya beans, the wheat grains have to be soaked for a few hours. then, i started boiling them with water, then i added the coconut milk and sugar. and of course, before you turn off the fire, add in a knot of pandan leaf, as it will emit that wonderful fragrant smell.