Ttupak Pulok (ketupat pulut)

The tasty ttupak pulok

The tasty ttupak pulok

The other day mum asked if I want to eat rendang… Rendang reminds me of ttupak pulok and no ttupak pulok  tastes as good as the ones from Kuala Terengganu. Ttupak pulok is a type of glutinous rice delicacy, steamed with coconut milk and wrapped in a special leaf before it is fried to perfection.

I’ve tried the ones sold in KL but none can match the tasty ttupak pulok of Kuala Terengganu. As I always wrote in my blog, the Terengganu folks love to eat fish and we eat fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well, we do not use fish to make ttupak pulok but we eat ttupak pulok with grilled fish. Ttupak pulok is also tasty when eaten with rending ( a spicy beef / chicken dish) or samba ayang or daging/serunding in standardspeak (chicken or beef floss – another meat recipe). In fact ‘ttupak pulok’ is even tasty on its own especially when eaten fresh from the wok.

To make ‘ttupak pulok’ we first steam the rice. Half way through, add the thick coconut milk and salt. Next, continue steaming the rice until cooked. Then comes the tricky part – to wrap the steamed glutinous rice in special leaves. Too bad I do not master the art of wrapping the ttupak pulok neither did mum nor nenek. If the wrapping process is not done properly, the ttupak will be too soft and maybe too oily after it is fried. The final step is the easiest – fry the wrapped ttupak in hot oil and the ttupak is ready to be served with grilled fish, rendang or ‘samba daging’. How I wish that I can have them… But it always took me much longer than mum to unwrap the ttupak! Not only do we need a lot of practise to enable us to wrap the ttupak pulok, but we also need to learn how to unwrap it before eating the tasty ttupak pulok. But once you try them….you won’t mind the hassle of unwrapping them.

Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru

Bubur lambuk is a special kind of Malay porridge prepared especially for iftar/ futur (the break of fast) during the fasting month of Ramadhan. In Malaysia we have various versions of bubur lambuk which tastes differently from one another.

Yesterday we had  ‘bubur lambuk Kg Baru’ for iftar. My siblings and I really love the bubur lambuk. It is light but filling and also very, very tasty. The most famous bubur lambuk in KL (and one of the tastiest) are the ones prepared by the Kampung Baru Mosque known as ‘Bubur Lambuk Kambung Baru’.

Bubur Lambuk Kak Sham

You will not miss it – Bubur Lambuk Aunty Sham – just across the main gate of Masjid Kg Baru and a clear bunting!

What makes bubur lambuk Kampung Baru so delicious? I guess it must be the aromatic spices used in preparing this delicious porridge, it’s special recipe and also the expertise of the cooks. Somehow it is real hard to enjoy the original bubur lambuk that was given away by the Kampung Baru Mosque every Ramadhan; for the queue is always very, very long. I heard that people came from all over KL for the bubur lambuk. I had tried it and it was very, very delicious!

Auntie Sham

Smiling Aunty Sham

Nowadays there are lots of stalls selling bubur lambuk around the mosque but I think the tastiest is ‘Bubur Lambuk Kak Sham” in Jalan Raja Alang. We got to know the wonderful Aunty Sham years ago . At that time she ran her nasi lemak business next to Kampung Baru Medical Centre. Aunty Sham and her brothers used to be a part of the team that prepares the bubur lambuk at the Kampung Baru Mosque. Hence her bubur lambuk is as good as the original bubur lambuk Kampung Baru. So, one can enjoy the ‘real’ bubur lambuk Kampung Baru without having to queue for the ones given away by the mosque.

The aroma brewing ...

The aroma brewing ……

Imagine enjoying a hot bowl of the delicious bubur lambuk with it’s mouth watering aroma for iftar… When I was eight, I once had to break my fast at about 2 pm for the aroma of the bubur lambuk in the car makes me too hungry. Since then, I never follow dad to Kampung Baru to buy the bubur lambuk until I was much older. Even now the mouth watering aroma still can make me hungry!

... pots and pots of bubur lambuk ... [about 200 of RM2.00-pack per pot!!!]

… pots and pots of bubur lambuk … about 200 of RM2.00-pack per pot!!!

It must be Aunty Sham’s secret recipe that makes her bubur lambuk a hit among bubur lambuk lovers. I’ve tried others but they were not as tasty as the ones prepared by Aunty Sham. No wonder she cooks pots and pots (huge pots) of bubur lambuk everyday…  Since bubur lambuk is only sold during the fasting month , I always look forward to enjoy this delicious dish every Ramadhan.

Since bubur lambuk is only sold during the month of Ramadhan; Aunty Sham  would be selling her very delicious ‘Nasi Lemak Kak Sham’ for breakfast in Jalan Raja Uda during other time of the year. We have to reach her stall early in the morning to buy her nasi lemak because like her bubur lambuk, her nasi lemak would be sold out very fast!

UPDATE (Ramadhan 2012): Please click here for the latest post with a guide to Aunty Sham’s bubur lambuk stall

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).