Sunday, 18 July 2010


King of tropical fruits

Durian, king of fruits

If durian is king then I am its eating queen! LOL. Durian tells its own story. Some Mat Salleh say it stinks like the WC while the Malays gobble every bit of the fleshy yellow pericarp. We are worlds apart when it comes to durian. I love durian as it smells of magnolia but durian is edible. If the Mat Salleh thinks magnolia is queen of flowers, I must say durian is both king & queen of flowers and fruits! Even durian flowers are said to be edible but I have not tried it.

Which durian is best? Depends on your taste-buds and nostrils and the connection between the two. If you are checking out durian, then I would suggest use your sense of smell and shut your eyes.

The durian aroma comes from many chemical substances - I don't know them all.

The heatiness of durian comes from an active ingredient, tyramine. Check it out on Wikipedia!

More on tyramine


Malay style fish sauce

Budu with green chilies and durian
Budu with chilies, diced shallots and durian

Budu - some like it, some don't. Some must have it, some can't bear to smell it. Have it your way then. This is the weird story of budu. The first time I heard about budu was in California during my undergraduate days when a group of young Malay kampung boys came to eat at our apartment. I almost cried laughing (LOL) as budu is almost phonetically similar to bodoh (stupid). I was intrigued by the similarity and the differences in meaning. I watched the boys ate rice with budu.... It appeared that the boys loved budu so much and needed budu to eat their rice (second and third helpings). I was thiilled by the discovery that Malay boys enjoyed budu with rice. From that point onward I decided to research on budu... and that has occurred for the last 30 years!!!! I'm still researching. This is what I can tell you about budu - budu is not synonymous with bodoh. The boys who ate budu all performed better in their studies and became foremost physicists! What say you?

In Malay cuisine, budu is served with rice, some serve it for lunch and others for dinner. There are many ways to serve budu. Budu can be served with/without the following:

diced shallots
lime juice
limau kasturi juice
buah kerdas
What else? All fresh vegetables:-
boiled ladies fingers
boiled cabbage
boiled long beans
boiled brinjals (aubergine, terung)
cashew shoots (pucuk ketereh)
sambung nyawa
kangkung Jepun
tapioca shoots (pucuk ubi kayu)

What's in budu? Depends on brand.

Budu Selera Kampung (320ml)

Budu Selera Kampung (320 ml) contains:
ikan bilis (anchovies)
garam (salt)
gula (sugar)
asam jawa (tamarind juice)
tanpa pewarna (no colorants)

Budu Pati Ikan Bilis (100ml)

Budu Pati Ikan Bilis (100 ml) contains:
ikan bilis
asam jawa
100g budu supplies ~54 kcal energy from protein - it is a high-protein food (11.4g protein/100g budu).

Next time someone offers you budu, just say "yes, please" and smile, it's budu magic! Have I done justice to budu? Bon appetite!

Cara buat budu:

Kuah cili

Malay style chili sauce

If nobody has ever taught you how to make this Malay style chili sauce, then I'm going to teach you and you will learn just that here.

Fresh chili in soy sauce
Red chilies
Green chilies
Orange chilies
Yellow chilies
White chilies
Soy sauce (salty variety)

Sort out the good chilies from the spoiled ones.
Wash chilies thoroughly and repeat washing 3X.
Rinse once more with clean running water.
Rinse in cooled boiled water.
Toss in colander to dry.
Keep in refirigerator if you don't have time now.
Come back later.

Cut chilies into bead-sized pieces with a sharp paring knife.
Avoid chili juices splashing in your eyes
Don't rub your eyes if you are cutting chilies or you will regret the agony!

Place cut chilies in a small glass/porcelain bowl.
Pour soy sauce to cover chilies (dunk them).
You can add salt, sugar and vinegar to taste if you wish.
Serve with rice.
Bon appetite!


Ladies finger (my late Chinese grandma called it bendi)

Boiled ladies finger with soy dip

The first time I was taught 'ladies finger' I almost died laughing in my Standard One class. I was 7 years old and could not wait to go home to tell my mum of the new word I had learnt in class. It took me quite some time to understand why this vegetable-fruit was called such. I don't have long thin fingers and that was why it was difficult understanding ladies fingers! Not all ladies have slender fingers anyway! Some men I know have really slender fingers! LOL Check yours? I still don't like the English name and I prefer to call it bendih. As kids, my sibs really enjoyed joking about bendi vs bendeh (the Melaka accent). Another variation is bendae as in sundae.

Ladies finger is useful as a source of fibre and as a laxative. Three small-medium ladies fingers are sufficient for one person at either lunch or dinner. Do not eat too many ladies finger as you will get diarrhoea and you will see intact seeds in the WC! LOL

Ladies finger is also good for dissolving kidney stones (renal stones), especially small ones which are just forming. There is a prescribed method for using ladies fingers to clear renal stones - wash and soak a ladies finger in a glass of water overnight. Drink all the water the following morning. No update on how long to keep doing this.

Kuah Kopes

Homestyle Kuah Kopes
Kota Bharu kuah kpoes is very sweet and visitors from outside KB may not be able to eat sweet kerutuk. I make my own kuah kopes as I too cannot eat sweet kuah kopes Kelantan style. This is my recipe for kuah kopes.

Kuah kopes (kari kerutuk)

(This recipe is for 1/3 chicken.)
2 shallots (2 bawang merah)
4 cloves garlic (4 ulas bawang putih)
2 slices lengkuas
1 stick lemon grass (serai)
1 tumeric leaf (daun kunyit)
6 stalks of cardamom leaves (tangkai daun ketumbar)
10 cherry tomatoes (can use more/less, suit to taste)
1 biji limau kasturi
2 tablespoonful (sudu makan) Adabi kerutuk powder
2 tablespoonful Adabi Briyani powder
1 packet Adabi Rendang paste
1/4 coconut palm sugar (gula Melaka)
1 tablespoonful salt (adjust to taste)
5 tablespoonful cooking oil
hot water

Use a wooden spoon

Heat wok/kuali/pot and add cooking oil.
Fry onions, lengkuas, serai, daun kunyit till onions are brown.
Add Adabi kerutuk powder, briyani powder, and rendang paste.
Add water and stir to mix.
Add more water to avoid sticking.
Stir and let boil a little.
Add chicken, water and tomatoes.
Stir and leave to cook. Add water as necessary.
Add salt, limau kasturi and gula Melaka.
Do not make kuah kopes too salty.
When chicken is cooked, add potatoes.
Stir potatoes and let cook.
Switch off fire after 10 minutes and cover.
Let potatoes cook in heat to hold shape.
Bon appetite!