Special Ramadhan treats from Terengganu


The tasty Jala Mas. BTW the yellow colour comes 100% from the egg yolks. NO artificial colouring added.

The tasty Jala Mas. BTW the yellow colour comes 100% from the egg yolks. NO artificial colouring added.

Reading Awang Goneng’s post ‘The Sound of Heavy Metal’, reminds me of fasting and iftar in Kuala Terengganu. So it seems like Uncle Awang Goneng misses the ‘bubur lambuk’, ‘blede kerah’ and ‘akok’.

Iftar and imsak in Kuala Terengganu is marked by the sound of the ‘bede’(cannon shot) The best part is there will be two ‘bede’ for imsak. The first is a warning – to remind us to drink our last glass of ‘air nyo’ (young coconut drink) or to take the last bite of ‘akok’ (a type of sweet cake) before the sound of the final ‘bede’ that tells us to stop drinking and eating.

Ramadhan in Terengganu means an annual “Traditional Terengganu Food Fest”. This is the time of the year when I can see and taste the unfamiliar or hard to get ‘kueh’ (sweet/savoury traditional cakes) and dishes. The good part is, most of the traditonal Terengganu ‘kueh’ are free from artificial colouring, flavouring and also trans fat (refer to ‘Food Facts’). The main ingredients in our exotic sweet cakes such as ‘jala mas’ (jala mah), ’emas sejemput’ (mah jjeput), ‘pauh dilayang’ (pauh llayang), ‘bunga tanjong’, ‘akok’, ‘nganang’, ‘nekbak’,’ taik itek’, ‘skaye’, ‘puding telor’, and ‘tok aji serbang’ are eggs and sugar.

The delicious tok aji serbang.

The sweet and creamy Tok Aji Serbang. The brown colour came solely from palm sugar and contains NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURING

As in other parts of West Malaysia, the most special food in Ramadhan is the ‘bubur lambuk’. But unlike the ‘bubur lambuk’ in Kuala Lumpur (please refer to ‘Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru’) the main ingredients in our ‘Terengganu Bubur Lambuk’ are fish, herbs, sweet potato, special local vegetables, crushed black pepper and of course ‘budu’ (please refer to ‘Ikang Singgang’). In fact, our ‘bubur lambuk’ does not tasted or even looked like ‘Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru’ at all – their only similarity is that- both are special Ramadhan porridge sharing the same name.

Unlike ‘Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru’ which uses a lot of aromatic spices such as cloves, star anise, cinnamon, etc… the only spice used in our ‘Terengganu Bubur Lambuk’ is crushed black pepper. Nowadays prawn, squid and other seafood are added but fish is a must (use more fish for a tastier ‘bubur lambuk’). But sad to say, I do not really enjoy the rather ‘strong’ taste of our ‘Terengganu Bubur Lambuk’; instead I prefer the ‘Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru’.

Another special treat is the finger licking good ‘ayam golek’. For this tasty dish, the chicken is barbequed using a special creamy sauce that gives the ‘ayam golek’ its delicious taste and the mouth watering aroma. Next come ‘pulut lepa’, ‘sata’ and mum’s favourite ‘paih ikang’. Anyway the size of the fish or ‘ikang’ in the ‘paih’ is too small for me to enjoy them. Nenek and mum used to say that the size of the fish seems to be getting smaller and smaller year after year. Any way I can’t remember mum telling me about eating ‘Ceranang Mok Mek’ in Ramadhan… ‘Ceranang’ is a very tasty Terengganu salad and ‘ceranang Mok Mek’ was said to be the most popular ‘ceranang eatery’ in Kuala Terengganu and according to luckganu (please refer to luckganu’s comment). ‘Mok Mek’ also sells tasty ‘kerepok leko ikang yu’.

Fish is the important ingredient in most of Terengganu savoury ‘kueh’ as in ‘Pulok lepe’, ‘bekang kuoh puteh’, ‘sata’, ‘paong goreng’, ‘karipak ikang’ etc. ‘Orang Tranung berahi makang ikang, dok?’ (Guess the Terengganu folks love to eat fish). And by the way, two days ago we had ‘pulok gao nyo’ with grilled fish (refer to ‘Delicious pulok’) for iftar…’sedak sungguh’ (so delicious).

The yummy mah jjeput.

The yummy mah jjeput. Like the jala mas, it contains NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURING

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Delicious Pulok


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.