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Archive for the ‘Eid’ Category


Throughout the last day of Ramadhan, our small kitchen was cramped with food and all of us were suddenly upgraded into ‘chefs of the day’. My little sister Aeshah baked trays of lovely cupcakes. At the other end of the kitchen, while singing at the top of her voice, Anisah helped my mother who was cooking rendang and kuah kacang, driving my mom quite mad. Even little Ali sat cross-legged on his chair, weaving kelongsong ketupat nasi for me to fill in with rice later. Usually, I would be preparing the ketupat nasi and weave most of the kelongsongs; but this Eid was special. For the first time, I made the true Terengganu ‘ttupak pulok’ instead!

Ketupat

Ttupak pulok‘, which is also known as  ‘ketupat daun palas’ in standard Malay, is a type of glutinous rice delicacy, steamed with coconut milk and wrapped in a special leaf named ‘daun palas’ before it is fried to perfection. Since it is so easy to get them in Kuala Terengganu where my parents came from, neither my mother nor my grandmothers know how to prepare them. To quote what my great grandmother told my mom when asked for the recipe, “Bakpe nok belajor sangak. Buak nyussoh je. Ppasor blambok, beli je senang.” “Why bother? You can buy loads of them from the market.”

However, living in Kuala Lumpur, we do not have the luxury of having those authentic Terengganu’s ‘ttupak pulok’ sold in markets or farmer’s markets around our place. It is not that nobody sells ketupat palas here, but the tasty, rich and firm textured Terengganu’s ‘ttupak pulok’ is none to be seen. And since we are unable to return to Terengganu for Eid due to my father’s tight schedule, my mother announced that she’ll be making her own ‘ttupak pulok’, which happens to be one of her favourite foods.

And imagine my mother’s delight a few weeks before Eid, when she caught the sight of daun palas being sold at the Pasar Tani (or the farmer’s market)!

Daun Palas

Daun Palas

“But mama, you said that you have never weaved a ‘ttupak pulok’ before,” I reminded her.

“No problem. We can always surf the internet for instructions later!” she exclaimed, her eyes sparkling with excitement.

So we spent the afternoon in front of our computer, our oily hands fragrant with coconut milk and sticky with glutinous rice as we tried again and again for a decent wrap. We had a great time and good laughs, mom squeezed most of her rice out of the wrap while I tore almost all of my leaves into half! It seems that while weaving a ketupat nasi looks harder than it actually is, it is the total opposite for ‘ttupak pulok” at least until one masters the technique. It took us a while to get to the hang of it but it was definitely worth it. In the end, we managed to come up with a batch of handsomely wrapped ‘ttupak puloks’. To speed up the process, while my mother was busy in the kitchen, I made a few ‘monster-sized’ ‘ttupak pulok’, which earned a stern warning from my mom, “That is a monster, not a ttupak, never, ever do that again”.

My mom took the ketupat to the kitchen and fried them to perfection. And the taste? They were so delicious, they tasted exactly like the good ol’ Terengganu’s ‘ttupak pulok’ which my mother missed so much. In fact, they tasted even better than some of those that we bought in Kuala Terengganu. Even my father was so impressed with the result that he suggested that we make should make ‘ttupak pulok’ to share with our close relatives and friends who happens to miss the delicious delicacy as much as we do for the Eid.

Ttupak pulok

It’s funny and ironic when you think of how modern technology is able to preserve the traditional cooking methods and recipes despite it also influences a lot of people to leave their traditional and healthier way of cooking and eating. With the invention of instant ‘plastic ketupat’, almost all of my parent’s friends prepare their ketupats the easier way, despite the hazard it poses to their health. However without the help of the world wide web, neither my mom nor I would be able to enjoy the true Terengganu ‘ttupak pulok’ made from scratch in our own kitchen in Kuala Lumpur!

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I came back to Kuala Lumpur last Tuesday after a two weeks Eid holidays in Kuala Terengganu. I had a wonderful holiday, doing lots of interesting and even ‘adventurous’ activities; among which were ‘Bedil Huntings‘.

On the 5th day of Syawal, my father drove my mum, sisters (Aeshah and Anisah) and brother (Ahmad Ali) to Bukit Pak Apil. All of us were provided with a camera each to try and snap the best bedil photos.

We arrived at the site rather early and since the view from the top of the hill was breathtaking, I spend the time snapping beautiful photos of it. After a while a ‘bedil’ contractor staff arrived accompanied by a policeman. Since ‘bedil’ is explosive, a policeman is needed to escort the contractor and to supervise the operation of ‘bedil’ shooting.

The contractor staff walking up to the site with a policeman escorting him.

The kind policeman told us about the safety procedures during ‘bedil’ shootings and then directed us to the safe site (just in case the ‘bedil’ did not shoot high up in the air as it was supposed to be; but instead explodes on the ground). He also told us that if that happens the flying debris from the explosion could reach as far as 100m away. There were a few unfortunate accidents in the ‘bedil’ shooting history in Kuala Terengganu. So we went to the ‘safe site’ and waited there excitedly.

The contractor staff walking up to the 'bedil shooting base'.

A few minutes to Maghrib, all of us were busy focusing our cameras towards the blue sky, trying to guess the right location of the ‘bedil’. We were really excited. Then, there was a thunderous ‘explosion’ as the bedil shot up to the sky. It was an amazing sight of a beautiful fiery light shooting up in the dusk sky. I managed to snap a photo of it and so did Aeshah.

The beautiful fiery light shot up in the dusk sky

The fire shot up so high up and went directly above our heads as it exploded into a huge firework display like a gigantic colourful umbrella stretching above us, with an amazing display of colourul lights ‘raining’ down as it faded and vanished into the darkening sky. I was too amazed by its size and beauty and was taken by surprise that I forgot to click on the shutter release. So I missed the shot of the climax! It was just like a dream; it all happened as fast as it ended and left us glaring into the sky speechlessly.

Although I missed the shot of the climax, I managed to get this: the smoky remain

We went back to the Bukit Pak Apil for the next two days until the 7th day of Eid which mark the last bedil shooting of this Shawal. On the second day, the only shot I managed to get was a cloud of smoke after the fireworks display ended and on the last day, I managed to snap a photo of the fireworks before it fully expanded. Anyway, during those ‘bedil’ huntings my dad and my little brother managed to snap beautiful photos of blooming fireworks at its peak.

It was an exciting and adventurous experience for all of us. It was something that when the accuracy of the location and timing is vitally important. Just a split seconds makes the whole difference; we may ended up missing the action and snapping photos of fading smoke in the darkening sky instead of an amazing colourful display of lights in the evening sky!

It was a nice experience to go bedil hunting and I hope that we could go back up there again next year to hunt for more bedil photos.

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EID MUBARAK…

…to all muslims and may Allah bless us always.


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Traveling back to Kuala Lumpur after our Eid holidays in Kuala Terengganu last year, we made a stop in Kemaman to visit our dearest Aunty Moon.

They own a beautiful and charming house with a huge fish pond inside the house. My wonderful Aunty Moon served us delicious chicken rice (nasi ayam) and rojak petis for lunch which she brought from a restaurant just a stone throw away from her house. Since then, we always drop by at the restaurant on our way to Kuala Terengganu or to KL if we happen to be there at around lunch time.

There is nothing special neither about the outlook nor the interior of this small restaurant. Moreover it is situated far away from the main road which connects Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu. Anyway their chicken rice and rojak petis are really delicious and worth the journey away from the main road.

The ‘Zainun Nasi Ayam Satu’ restaurant is located in Kampung Mak Cili in Kemaman. Among others it serves chicken rice, chicken porridge, rojak petis, rojak ayam and laksa.  So far we’ve only tried their delicious chicken rice and rojak petis. Generous in the   serving of both rice and chicken, their chicken rice is tastier than those served at those very popular chicken rice restaurants in Kuala Lumpur; and at a fraction of the price too! Even the rice itself is well flavoured and tasty.zainunnasiayam

Their service is also very good and their staffs are really nice and friendly especially the gentleman whom I think is closely related to the owner. So now we do not have to face the headache of wondering where to stop for lunch on our way to Kuala Terengganu or   Kuala Lumpur anymore. Our thanks to Aunty Moon and Uncle Kamil for solving this problem; especially now that we have to travel home to Kuala Terengganu more often.

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Eid Mubarak


Eid Mubarak to all muslim readers and

may Allah bless us all. Amin.

Please click here to send the e-card!

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Jiddah was my paternal grandmother. She had a major stroke on Wednesday November 12, 2008 and passed away 3 days later. She was such a loving and beautiful lady  whom was loved by most people who knew her.

I have lots of warm memories of the times shared with Jiddah. I can still remember the time when Jiddah playfully chased me on a ‘toy train’ at the Mines Wonderland. I was only about three years old at the time and I was screaming for the train to go faster for I feared that Jiddah could run faster than the train that I rode on. My mum’s family was also with us on that day.  We also went on a boat ride down the lake. We even visited the National Zoo but I wonder if either Jiddah or Nenek saw much of the animals at the zoo as they were too  busy talking to each other. They were such close friends and always shared never ending stories whenever they met.

We often took Jiddah out whenever she came to Kuala Lumpur or when we were back in Kuala Terengganu. Jiddah enjoyed eating out, visiting friends and relatives and also shopping. Last 2 months during the last week of  Ramadhan, we spent a lot of our time in Kuala Terengganu with Jiddah. We broke our fast together at Nenek’s house everyday until the last 2 days of Ramadhan when we broke our fast at Jiddah’s house instead after Jiddah’s other children were back from Kuala Lumpur. As usual, we were the first to be back in Kuala Terengganu for Eid and the last to travel back to Kuala Lumpur.

On the first day of Eid  Jiddah would give presents to everybody in our family. Jiddah told mum that she had something very special for me and my sisters. It was indeed a very special gifts for the 3 of us. We each got a very beautiful bracelet and what is even more special about the bracelets are that they are the last gifts from Jiddah.

During the Eid celebration we took Jiddah out to visit our relatives and friends. We  also took Jiddah out for lunch on most of the days and I still remember how she enjoyed the food we ate at Kedai Lempeng in Rusila. She really ate a lot that day and that was one of the last meals I shared with Jiddah.  And on the night before we traveled  back to Kuala Lumpur, she cooked us a delicious ikang singgang that we all ate at Nenek’s house.

I do miss Jiddah very much. However, I am glad that we had  shared lots of wonderful times together. I am sad that I did not have the chance to get to know Jaddi (my paternal grandfather). Jaddi passed away when I was just about one year old. Even though I spent a lot of time with him during the last few days of his life during which he was admitted at the Ampang Putri Specialist Hospital, I was too young that I can’t remember anything about it. Jaddi was one of Atuk’s best friend and I’m very glad that my grandparents are such good friends until the end of Jiddah’s and Jaddi’s life.

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I spent the last weekend attending a lot of Eid open houses. It was tiring but fun since I got to meet relatives and friends. Among the open houses we attended were Uncle Ali’s (Abah’s former SS classmate), Uncle Khairul’s (Abah’s friend), Atuk Zakaria’s (Nenek’s Yunan cousin), Tok Mok (Jaddi’s [Abah’s father] younger sister) and Uncle Zaini’s (Abah’s friend).

I also attended YM Pak Engku Raja Ahmad Aminullah’s open house at the R A Fine Arts Gallery in Jalan Damai where I had the chance to speak to Aunty Siti Zainon Ismail. Renowned artist Tuan Syed Ahmad Jamal was also at her table. Aunty Siti Zainon’s 15th solo exhibition, ‘Angin Si Pauh Janggi’ will be held at Wisma Kebudayaan Soka Gakkai Malaysia in Jalan Bukit Bintang until November 2nd 2008.

On Tuesday, I went to the ‘Preview Day’ of the Metrojaya Anniversary Sale at the Metrojaya in Jalan Bukit Bintang. Anyway there were not many customers at the store that morning; and even by 10 am the free breakfast prepared by Metrojaya for its card members was still aplenty. By the way, the fruit tarts and cream puffs served for breakfast were really delicious. The sale will go on until November 9, 2008.

The October 22nd 2008 was the first day of MPH Warehouse Sale. We reached the warehouse at about 10.00 am and spent over 4 hours at the warehouse sale. I really enjoyed myself that I almost didn’t feel tired at all even though I was standing for such a long time. It was a hot and sunny day and I was sweating; but honestly I could have spent the whole day looking at those beautiful books. I just love books and so do my siblings and my parents and we really enjoyed our almost half a day at the MPH Warehouse Sale. Even my little 5 years old blogging brother Ahmad Ali didn’t complain even though he was really tired after standing for hours. He read lots of books while waiting for mum and dad shopping for books. He wrote about the MPH Warehouse Sale in his blog. (Please click here to read his post on MPH Warehouse Sale.)

My parents bought us lots of books on Geography, Science, Arts, History, and of course storybooks. I was allowed to choose my own storybooks and I ended up with classic stories by renowned authors like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and Frances Hodgson Burnett. And I’m so proud that I only chose one Enid Blyton even though they had quite a huge collection of Enid Blyton’s books.

On a table, we saw a collection of ‘Herge’s Adventure of Tintin’ series. Mum was really excited as she used to read them when she was about my age. She has been looking for the books for sometimes and so was I, because I’ve been wondering what was so special about them. Well, mum had been telling me all about Tintin for years. They were rather expensive even during the warehouse sale; as what mum always told me. Mum bought us two books and said that once I read them, I’ll be asking for more… And she was right- not only that I want more but I wish that I can have the whole set! Now I understand why mum was so excited when she saw them and whenever she talked about Tintin.

And with all the books that dad bought us at the MPH sale; my siblings and I were kept busy reading. The books are so wonderful that it was hard to put them down. And that was one of the reasons why I did not update my blog for such a long time… Only my little brother was so disciplined and kept on updating his blog! He is such a good boy and I want to be a good girl; so I need to put down my books and write more often as I did before.

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