I love ‘pulok’ or pulut (glutinous rice) and so do my siblings. Among my favourite pulok dishes are ‘pulok gao nyo‘, ‘ttupak sutong‘ and ‘pulok lepa‘.
‘Pulok gao nyo‘ is glutinous rice balls coated with shredded coconut. I like to eat my ‘pulok gao nyo‘ with ‘ikang panggang‘ (grilled fish). In my hometown Kulala Terengganu, ‘pulok gao nyo‘ is also served/sold with ‘ikang kering goreng‘ (fried salted fish). Anyway I like to eat my ‘pulok gao nyo‘ with ‘ikang panggang‘ especially with ‘ikang tegiri (tenggiri) panggang‘ for I don’t have to deal with fine fish bones. Even though (in Terengganu) ‘pulok gao nyo‘ is usually served for breakfast, mum normally serves it for lunch or dinner for we find it too heavy to be eaten as a breakfast!
Unlike ‘pulok gao nyo‘ which is easy to be prepared, preparing ‘ttupak sutong‘ is rather tedious. First mum has to clean the cuttlefish or squid. Then the glutinous rice has to be cooked with coconut milk. Next, the cooked glutinous rice has to be stuffed into the squids. This process looks really fun and I always wanted to try stuffing the squids… only that mum never let me try because if this is not done properly, the ‘pulok‘ will spill out when the squids are cooked in coconut milk. ‘Ttupak sutong‘ is very, very delicious and mum has to cook a lot of ‘ttupak sutong‘ because it is everybody’s favourite. Nenek (my grandmother) serves ‘ttupak sutong‘ for tea but we prefer to have them for either lunch or dinner (better still to have it for both).
‘Pulok lepa‘ is glutinous rice stuffed with a fish based filling called ‘iti‘ in Trengganuspeak (or inti in standard speak). It will then be wrapped in banana leaf and grilled. According to nenek the process of wrapping is very important to ensure that the ‘pulok lepa‘ will be nicely intact when unwrapped. If not, it will ‘rela‘ and I don’t think anybody would fancy eating a ‘pulok lepa hok rela‘. Since mum do not make ‘pulok lepa‘, we have to count on nenek to bring them from Kuala Terengganu. I like the ones with generous amounts of fillings or in Trengganuspeak we say ‘hok iti banyok‘. Mum said that she likes to eat them with black coffee or ‘kopi ‘o’ in Trengganuspeak.
There are lots of other tasty dishes using ‘pulok‘ in Terengganu cuisine such as ‘nasik kunyit‘, ‘nasik dagang‘,’ ttupak daung palah‘ and ‘lemang‘. Glutinous rice is also used in dessert such as ‘tok aji srebang‘, ‘asang gupa‘, ‘bronok‘ and ‘pulok duriang‘. Some people believe that eating too much ‘pulok‘ will make us lazy and sleepy but that do not stop me from enjoying my ‘pulok‘ dishes!
Note: Spelling ‘pulok‘ is very tricky.The ‘o’ in ‘pulok‘ should sounds like ‘o’ in ‘okay‘. If the ‘o’ in ‘pulok‘ sounds as the ‘o’ in ‘on’, ‘pulok‘ will means something else and got nothing to do with food at all. Confusing isn’t it? So if somebody says, ‘Pulok doh‘ with the ‘o’ in pulok sounds as the ‘o’ in ‘on’, he is not refering to food at all.