Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tradition lives on in their dishes


Tradition lives on in their dishes
By : Zainuddin Muhammad

Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar comforting Sina Awang at Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan yesterday.

KUALA TERENGGANU: When Che Ku Rosalina Che Ku Rani was growing up in Kampung Kepong near here, ubi kayu nagasari was a popular dish among locals.

The 34-year-old housewife, who still lives in the neighbourhood, said the steamed sweetened grated tapioca wrapped around peeled bananas could hardly be found any more, except when she decided to prepare some for her family.

"It's one of the many forgotten traditional dishes and I guess that is because tapioca is not that easy to find these days," said Che Ku Roslina, who entered her favourite dessert in a traditional cooking contest at Primula Beach Resort in Batu Buruk on Sunday.

Her effort paid off when she and her cooking partner, Tengku Zayah Tengku Awang, 55, were announced runners-up in the competition for non-professional cooks organised by the resort, in cooperation with Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority and Nestle.

First place went to Padang Midin resident Rosmawati Othman, 45, and her 18-year-old daughter, Shazmin Mohd Afandi, who impressed the judges with their creation of kampung chicken curry and kuih buah nangka.

"Ours are also traditional dishes but fortunately, they are not about to disappear yet as they are widely available from roadside stalls to fancy restaurants," said the electrical store owner, adding that the recipe for her kuih buah nangka had come from her great-grandmother.

Another tapioca dessert prepared by Safiah Mohamad, 49, and Fatimah Ismail, 43, of Kampung Durian Guling in Marang, also made the honour list by finishing third.

They said their ubi kayu puli was rare these days as the steamed grated tapioca mixed with coconut and brown sugar could hardly be found on sale.

The resort's general manager, Mazuki Husin, said the contest would become an annual event as it was a good way of promoting the traditional cuisine of Terengganu.

"We have to keep tradition alive and it is important for the new generation to know how to cook traditional food like ubi kayu nagasari, ubi kayu puli, sira labu (pumpkin coated with melted sugar), keli salai (smoked catfish), ayam percik (grilled chicken glazed with coconut milk based sauce) and others."

- NST -

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