Two days ago my family and I went to the ‘Zoo Negara’ or the National Zoo. We were so excited especially my little brother, Ahmad Ali and my little sister, Anisah Afifah as it was their first visit to the zoo.
We arrived there at about 9:40 a.m. and headed straight for the ticket counter. The tickets cost RM15 for adults and RM6 for children. As we were crossing the bridge near the main entrance we saw tall giraffes – my siblings and I screamed with excitement. We rushed there and were welcome by a flock of milky storks. What an awesome sight it was to see the beautiful birds flocking all around the lake. Next we were welcomed by elephants, Pademelons kangaroos and ostriches.
At the bird aviary we saw birds of all sizes and colours. I just love the colourful ‘burung nuri’ or alouette in French and we started to sing our favourite song- Alouette. Next we saw deers, lions, tigers, buffaloes, camels and many more. It was nice to see the orangutans clinging to the pillars while sleeping in their ‘tree house’. Anyway some parts of the zoo were closed for repairs.
At the Savannah Walk, we saw another group of giraffes eating their food, zebras, antelopes and rhinos. We also saw a gigantic turtle that could be around two hundred years old. Next, we saw mousedeers, goats and a tapir. At the end of the Savannah Walk is the bear complex. There are Brown Bears, Malaysian Sun Bears, Asiatic Black Bears and Sloth Bears. Most of them are sleeping. Now I know why Winnie The Pooh is so lazy!
On the way to the Multi-Animal Show, we saw monkeys and lessers in big cages swinging from branch to branch, fishes and humboldt penguins. The show started four minutes late and the performers were three colourful macaws and two sea lions.
After the show, we headed towards the Children’s World which is something like a Petting Zoo. Among others there are birds, ponies, scorpions, chickens and porcupines. At the reptile and amphibian house we saw snakes, crocodiles, frog, terrapins, turtle and tortoise. We saw leopards and pumas but there was no jaguar- my little brother Ahmad Ali wanted to see a baby jaguar as in his favourite TV show ‘Go Diego Go’. Before heading home mum bought us delicious creamy ice-cream; I guess ice-cream to zoo is just like pop-corn to movies.
We had a wonderful time at the zoo and learn a lot of things too. Anyway I feel very sad to see run down buildings in the zoo complex. The government is proud of KLIA, the Petronas Twin Towers, The Sepang Curcuit etc but look at our National Zoo- what a shame. I hope our government will see the importance of getting the zoo in good shape for it is a very educational place to visit especially for kids like me. Not everybody can afford to pay the entrance fees to places like the KLCC Aquaria and other expensive places to learn about animals so the government has to take actions towards saving and upgrading the National Zoo for it is one of a few affordable places for family outing in KL. Furthermore the place is so beautiful especially the grand old trees, the lake and the streams.
As you can see I have changed my header. My new header shows a landscape of the Batu Buruk Beach, a beautiful beach near my nenek’s house. The photo was taken in December during the monsoon season in the East Coast of West Malaysia. Each year the monsoon brings heavy rain, very strong wind and big waves as shown in photo. Anyway, because of the strong under current it is not advisable to swim at this beach.
We love Thai food. Even though there are a lot of restaurants and stalls that serves Thai food in KL, it is not easy to find one that serves a really tasty original Thai cuisine.
Early this week, we had our lunch at our favourite restaurant in Subang Jaya (USJ actually). We do not live on that side of the city but the restaurant serves such an authentic and delicious Thai cuisine plus tasty drinks that makes it worth for us to drive all the way to Subang Jaya for a nice Thai meal.
Their tomyam is marvelous, I prefer the chicken tomyam while my parents prefer the prawn tomyam so we always have both. Mum love their fresh and tasty seafood; her favourite dish is the seafood salad that come in a generous portion of seafood and cashew nuts. We also love their chicken dishes such as cashew nut chicken and sweet and sour chicken.
cashew nut chicken] ->
I really enjoy their lovely drinks; they serves tasty yogurt drinks plus a lot of very delicious specialty coffee. Their ice-cream are nice too but I’m usually too full for any ice-cream after a nice meal over there!
Well, as people says – only Terengganu folks can cook an authentic ikang singgang; so only Thais can prepare an authentic tomyam!
Yesterday mum cooked us a very delicious moringa curry (refer to ‘Moringa Oleifera – A Miracle Tree’). I really enjoyed the soft and tasty moringa that I eat nothing else but the moringa curry and rice! Wish that I can share them with other moringa lovers.
After enjoying the delicious and spicy curry, we had some really sweet duku brought from Terengganu by Pak Cik Hisham (refer to ‘Lakse Kuoh Masok’). Terengganu folks are really proud of their duku and my dear nenek would always try her best to make sure that we have enough supply of Trengganu duku every duku season.
This exotic fruit tastes best when plucked after it had ripe. Anyway since ripe duku can only last for a few days; only the unripe duku are sent to KL while the ripe fruit are sold locally in Terengganu. So to get the real sweet and tasty duku one has to buy them in Terengganu especially the duku that comes from the orchards in Pulau Manis and Telemong.
Anyway, eating duku can be quite tricky for young kids because it’s tiny seeds are really bitter when bitten.So mum has to take out the seeds before my little brother Ahmad Ali can enjoy them. As duku can only last for a few days, I guess I better eat them before they turn bad and can’t be eaten anymore.
Wow! The fruit season is back! I just love this time of the year when I can enjoy all kinds of fruits; some of which are not available through out the year. And what an awesome sight it is to see fruits of different shapes and colours being sold all around Kuala Lumpur – mangosteen, durian, rambutan, duku, dokong … just name it!
I really love the mangosteen! Although its name is MANGOsteen, it has no relation to mango. This exotic fruit is also known as ‘The Queen of Tropical Fruits’. It was believed that mangosteen was originated from the Sunda Island and the Moluccas and later on was brought to Thailand and Burma before being planted in other parts of the world.
The exocarp (the outermost layer of the fruit) of juvenile mangosteen first appear very pale green or almost white before its colour changes to a darker shade of green and upon ripening the colour changes to reddish purple and finally to dark purple. One can tell precisely the number of segments of the white edible endocarp (the part that wraps the seed) inside the mangosteen even before opening the fruit. At the bottom end of the fruit, there is a type of flower shaped scar which number of petals is similar to the number of segments (of the white flesh) inside the mangosteen.
The white flesh of mangosteen is very tasty and can be described as sweet, tasty and citrusy with peach flavour and texture. Mangosteen is not only tasty but is also full of vitamins and minerals. Mangosteen is very rich in anti-oxidant which can lower the risk of human diseases. It is also rich in vitamin C, B1, B2, B6, potassium, iron and calcium. Test tube studies proved that mangosteen contains xonthones (anti-cancer effects), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic. The rind of mangosteen can help to stop diarrhea, bladder infections, gonorrhea, skin rashes and cooling effects.
This exotic fruit is very expensive when available outside its tropics. Nowadays we can have mangosteen juice, mangosteen jam, frozen mangosteen and canned mangosteen apart from the fresh fruit. I’ve never heard of mangosteen juice until Sept 2006 when we saw a huge billboard advertising the juice in Kalamazoo. And when mum pointed at the billboard I was speechless… What? Mangosteen juice? In America?
Anyway I just realised that I’ve never tried mangosteen picking… Mum said that atuk has some mangosteen trees in his orchard but I’ve never been there yet. May be one day I should make a visit to the orchard and try mangosteen picking.
I always love moringa curry; but I never imagine that the tree is so ‘special’ until highlighted by Dr. Azahar. According to Dr. Azahar moringa, murunggai, merunggai, kelo, or ‘mmungga’ (in Trengganuspeak) is rich in anti-oxidant and contains 7 times the vitamin C in orange, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 2 times the protein in milk and 3 times the potassium in bananas.
Impressed by the information, I did some reading on moringa. Moringa is a miracle tree and is one of the world most nutritious crops. It grows throughout the tropics and thrive in impossible places; even in bad soil. Not only it is a great source of nutrition for both human and animals, it can also be used for medicine (such as in fighting HIV and diabetes), dye water purification and biofuel.
The leaves contain complete protein which is rare for a plant. The growing tips and young leaves are tasty and very rich in iron. It is also good for sanctuary animal feed and livestock forage . The flowers are said to be effective in fighting cold and can be cooked as well as for making tea. They are also good for bee keepers. The pods and roots are edible too. The seeds can used to purify water by settling out sediment and organisms. Unlike Jatropha oil, the oil from moringa seeds is beneficial not only for making biofuel but also for human. The seeds are also effective against skin infection as they contain antibiotic.
[Moringa tree & fruit – courtesy of the respective sites]
This extremely fast growing tree can be planted from direct seeding, transplanting or using hard stem cutting. Anyway there are claims that moringa ‘attracts’ certain caterpillars that can cause allergic reaction to skin; if come in contact.
So now I have more good reasons to enjoy mum’s moringa curry. Imagine, eating the soft and tasty seeds and chewing on the skin at the end of the meal… plus all the vitamins, minerals and much more. Anyway sad to say that mum was down with flu last weekend, so no moringa curry for me this week! How I wish that I could give mum some moringa tea. I have not tried the moringa leaves but nenek(my grandma) used to fry them with eggs for omelets. And the Indians cook them in so many ways. The Sri Lankan love them too.
Note: I can’t recall if my Sri Lankan friend Aishah Salihue has a moringa tree among many other trees in her beautiful backyard in California. Her mum cooks wonderful vegetable dishes and I’m sure that her moringa dishes are delicious too!