Yummy!!! Chili Con Carne!!!

Can you guess what did I have for dinner last night? CHILI CON CARNE! And how I love the taste and the aroma of Chili Con Carne eaten with French loaf and butter… especially when it was about a month since mum last cooked Chili Con Carne.

Mum's scrumptious original Texan chili (Too tasty for words!) ;)

Mum's scrumptious original Texan chili (Too tasty for words!) 😉

Chili Con Carne is a Texan-Mexican food and it is very popular among the Texan as well as the Mexican. In fact both the Texan and Mexican claim that this scrumptious food originated from their native lands!

Chili Con Carne can be eaten with French loaf, tortilla, plain crackers or add it to your hot dog and it’ll turn your plain hot dog to a Chili dog! Anyway, the Chili in the Malaysian A&W Chili dog does not taste like Texan Chili at all.

We ate our chili with French loaf and unsalted Lurpak butter (Mmmm....)

We ate our chili with French loaf and unsalted Lurpak butter (Mmmm....)

Chili Con Carne is also delicious with baked potato but one of the most popular ways of eating Chili Con Carne is to eat it with tortilla chips, melted cheese, sour cream and jalapeño peppers. The Mexican named this ‘finger licking good’ recipe nachos! The Mexicans also eat Chili Con Carne with corn bread or steam rice.

Chili Con Carne is also delicious that we can enjoy it in so many ways. My mom tried dipping some left over banana fritters (or in Malay we can eat ‘pisang goreng’) in her Chili Con Carne and she said that it tasted good! In fact maybe we can even enjoy Chili Con Carne with naan, prata or even chapatti ;).

Ahmad Ali (and everyone else too) loooooooooooooves Chili Con Carne!

Ahmad Ali (and everyone else too) loooooooooooooves Chili Con Carne!

As our late American friend Professor Muhammad Al-Mahdi (the founder of Khalifah Institute) said it is almost impossible t buy the original Texan or Mexican Chili Con Carne in Malaysia. In fact my mum learnt how to cook Chili Con Carne after learning how much Professor Muhammad Al- Mahdi missed his favourite food; something that he had not eaten for more than twenty years since he became a Muslim. Used to live in Texas, Professor Muhammad Al-Mahdi used to tell us that the only thing he missed about America is the taste of original Texan Chili Con Carne. How good is mum’s Chili Con Carne? Well, Professor Muhammad Al Mahdi rated my mum’s Chili Con Carne as the second or third best in Texas and the best outside America! And when somebody else him Chili Con Carne he always knows that it was not cooked my mum! 🙂

Cicoh (part 2)

In Trengganu, we like to ‘cicoh’ (dip) when eating; we ‘cicoh’ our food in our drinks, curries, gravies, soups, dipping sauces and whatever that could further enhance the taste of our food. In my last post; ‘Cicoh Part 1‘, among others I wrote about ‘buoh ulu cicoh Milo’ (a Trengganu sweet cake dipped in Milo) and what will happen when ‘cicoh’ (dip) turned to ‘celok’ (over dipped/ dunk).

We normally eat our curries, gravies and soups with rice but we do not ‘cicoh’ our rice in kuoh (curry/gravy/soup) because it will take forever to finish eating if one tries ‘cicoh’ each grain of rice in kuoh. However, we ‘cicoh roti bata‘ (white bread) or ‘roti paung’ (buns) in ‘kuoh’. We have special breads such as ‘roti canai‘, ‘chapati‘, ‘putu mayam‘, ‘roti jala’ dan ‘roti ppayang’ (naan) that are tasty when eaten ‘cicoh’ curry or ‘gula’ (Terengganu curry).

Grilled fish is normally eaten ‘cicoh budu’ (a special dipping sauce – please refer to ‘ikang singgang’) and we ‘cicoh’ our ‘ulang’ (Malaysian salad) in ‘samba belacang’ (dipping sauce from red hot chili, shrimp paste and sugar pounded in a mortar until smooth; then squeeze enough lime juice).

We also have ‘air lade’ – a dipping sauce for ‘khepok leko‘, ‘khepok keping’ (fish cracker) and also for ‘ikang’ and ‘sutong goreng celok ttepung’ (fish and squid dipped in a special batter then deep-fry until golden brown). Mom said that when she was young they used to ‘cicoh pisang goreng celuk ttepung’ (banana dipped in batter then deep-fry just like ‘ikang celuk ttepung‘) in ‘air lada’ and it tasted good. Anyway the ‘air lada’ from Terengganu is much tastier than the ones in KL.

If in Western countries people dip their fruits in melted chocolate; in Trengganu we dipped them in ‘ccolek‘. ‘Ccolek’ is usually freshly made by pounding red hot chilies, palm sugar, shrimp paste and may be a bit of tamarind paste in a mortar until smooth. The tricky part is to get the right balance of the ingredients for a perfect ‘ccolek‘. Traditionally we eat ‘buoh ppelang putik’ (unripe mango), ‘jambu air’ (water apple), jambu buteir banyok’ (guava) and other local sour fruits dipped in ‘ccolek’ but I also like to dip Granny Smith apples in ‘ccolek’ when ‘buoh ppelang’ is not in season. Who knows, may be strawberries ‘cicoh ccolek’ taste better than dipped in chocolate; at least for ‘orang Tranung’ (Trengganufolks).

We also cicoh a variety of food in grated young coconut (cicoh nyor). Boiled tapioca, ‘apang’ (a type of steamed cake), ‘kusu’ and a number of other ‘kueh’ (traditional cakes) are also eaten ‘cicoh nyor‘. Condensed milk (susu manih) is also used for dipping and so is sugar. ‘Roti cana’ (a Malaysian Indian flat bread) which is usually eaten ‘cicoh kari’ (dipped in kari) is also tasty when ‘cicoh susu manih’ or ‘gule’ (sugar) especially for the children who can’t take the spicy curry.

When it is fine to over dipped or dunk (celok) one’s food in drinks, please do not celok (dunk) your fish in ‘budu’ for your fish will be ‘maseng ppekkok’ (very, very salty) nor your ‘ulang’ (salad) in ‘samba blacang’ and ‘buoh’ (fruits) in ‘ccolek’ because it will then be ‘pedah ddesik’ (very, very hot) and you will end up ‘minung air sapa nok pecoh perok‘ (drinking endless glasses of water).