Saturday, October 03, 2009

sha: the fragrant lemongrass

Originally uploaded by Reel Nomad
Since ibu was not feeling well, I had to prepare for the worst.When I woke up in the morning for Hari Mantai (a preparation day before raya), ibu gave me some instructions - to prepare the chillies, spices and coconut milk. I prepared everything before she said:

"Ambil serai 20 tangkai."

I gasped. Raya would be the time that my hands would blister because of the lemongrass bushes. Normally my mum will ask me to take two to five stalks.But she was asking for twenty for raya.

I changed the tv channel to 707 - Discovery Travel and Living. Jamie Oliver was pulling rhubabs from the ground. His joyous face showed how proud he was with his garden.

"Alaaaaa...serai nieh lagi best," I told him. As if he was in front of me.

Merrilees Parker, the journalist who came to Malaysia for Planet Food was impressed by the lemongrass. I bet Jamie will feel the same way if he sees the lemongrass here. It's fat and juicy...and fragrant:)

As a typical Negeri Sembilan lady, fresh ingredients are important (please watch Buli,that chicken part was true). I used to think that the idea was messy. Ever since I was small, I used to wonder why my wan pounded the chillies and tumeric before she cooked the gulai. Why couldn't she use the blender or something else easier. Ibu was even worse. She will use her fingers to pluck the freshest chillies from its tree, get the freshest lemongrass and grate the coconut using "kukur" before extracting the coconut milk.

Now that I've learned the differences, I don't mind the extra task.I am becoming a particular person myself:P

So, that day I carefully followed ibu's instruction while she was lying down and being sick.

I poured the mixture of ingredients in a big wok and started to slice the onions and garlic. I saw Jamie Oliver slicing the same ingredients. He put a chilli in the food processor and spices which looked exactly like the ones I put in my rendang.

"This chilli will make it spicy..."
(yeah, one big red chilly might effect you Jamie, but not me...hihi)

I started the fire and mix the ingredient with the water buffalo meat. Jamie poured the ingredient he prepared into a wok of pork. While he was tending his greens, I was tending turmeric leaves in mine:P

Our actions were almost the same. And I was thinking:

"Jamie is cooking pork almost-like-rendang dish. Except he didn't have lemongrass like I did."

I continued cooking. And when the rendang dried up, I smelled a very nice smell.
It was the smell of lemongrass.

I bet Jamie's rendang won't smell as good as mine (perasan!). Because he didn't put any lemongrass.

He didn't call it rendang, by the way. He called it something else. But as a Malay, I definitely summarised his recipe as non-halal rendang.

It didn't bother me that much. A recipe may vary according to people's taste. I might love lemongrass in my recipes, but you might not.

But it doesn't give me all the rights to criticise. Cooking is an art and not all artiste produce the same results.

Ibu told me a story of a cook who has been condemned in front of his lovely wife because he put the lemongrass in Nasi Goreng Kerabu today. As far as I remember, there was lemongrass in Nasi Goreng Kerabu that I ate in Thai restaurant. Why did the person complained?

So, while we are enjoying the food at the open houses, please remember that everyone prepare their food according to THEIR own recipe.

It might be extra lemongrass in kuah kacang.
It might me a pinch of coriander in mee kari.
It might be belacan bakar in sambal.

Who knows?

Let's just be thankful and enjoy the food:)


Anonymous said...

Agree.. don't complain too much! orang dah masak penat2 kadang2 ade je suara sumbang kt belaang.hehe

~♥ cik intan® said...

.kak sha jahat laaaa
.apsal post entry pasal makanan
.kite tgh lapo gile neh
.mama+abah+kakak sume g kL
.balik lewat malam
.nk masak x reti
.megi dah jemu T__T


ashie023 said...

alamak! sudah jadi jamie oliver kah???ahaha..
Jamie penah ke masak rendang?
aku ske beno kalu JAmie Oliver pegi kebun dier pahtu kutip je sayur2, pahtu masak ..

i bet rendang dier x best jugak...ahaha

sI tEDI said...

he he he he... lain dgn kita masak lah omputeh tu...

selain serai.. aku suka bunga kantan!!
bau harummmmm jek kalau buat masak.

imHepPie said...

huuuu lapo lak..x kira sis kene blanje gak wuuu

manje said...

aishhh sis...
now that it's raya keberapa dah,i don't get rendang anymore
n it seems like my tongue wants to taste some more!
huaaaa...nak tunggu mom masak raya tahun depan la nampaknye
heheh =)

manje said...

aishhh sis...
now that it's raya keberapa dah,i don't get rendang anymore
n it seems like my tongue wants to taste some more!
huaaaa...nak tunggu mom masak raya tahun depan la nampaknye
heheh =)

manje said...

aishhh sis...
now that it's raya keberapa dah,i don't get rendang anymore
n it seems like my tongue wants to taste some more!
huaaaa...nak tunggu mom masak raya tahun depan la nampaknye
heheh =)

Ayu said...

waa.. jadik x rendang tu?? bkn lemongrass je resepi dia kan.. me blaja wat rendang ngan arwah mak.. sampai skang masih ingat lagik ramuan dia.. but till now.. x brani nk buat sbb mesti sedih teringat mak.. sob..sob..sob..

out of topic -- >> yg date tu abaikan saja la sha.. sbb itu mmg template blog.. xreti nk tuka dah.. hehe..

Tie said...

Waa.... kak tie tau !!

Entry ni sengaja nak beritahu semua orang yang Sha dah pandai masak rendang !!! Betul tak ?? hi hi...

Sha tau... semenjak kak tie kahwin dengan hubby, barulah keluarga mentua pandai makan ketupat dengan rendang masa raya. Sebelum ni mereka makan ketupat daun palas dengan air gula (melaka) je...

Ilmu memasak ni takkan habis. Banyak lagi yang kita tak tahu... jauh perjalanan luas pengalaman.

Zyma Saad said...

Sha pandai masak ekkkkk? Mesti best.....
Bak sini sikit. Nak makan....huhuh.

Princess Liyana said...

HAHA yana yakin akak masakk jauhh lg sedap dr jamie tu..hihi..tula kan istimewanya org n9 bab2 msk ni..i likeee! :)

iza~de~bintang said...

Hurmm sedapnya rendang orang Nogori. Menangis si Jamie tu kalau dia dapat merasa. Frust tertonggeng sbb org lain lagi terrer masak dari dia.
Ada lagi tak, mintak sikit Sha hehe...

Pocket said...

Pocket tau!!
entry ni nak perli semua orang yg dok komen cara kita tak betul walhal sebenarnya tiada cara yg betul pon!! its just varieties in making something our own separate way jer.

Btul tak?
(Tiru cara kak tie membuka komen nya)

ker pocket jer yg over reading between the line and it does meant that u just simply like serai dat much n jamie is rugi for buying american lemongrass instead of our home-grown here in malaysia?

Ries Lee said...

ganti jamie oliver dgn cheryna la...
bley tgk resipi versi halal...

et said...

wah3..sambil masak sambil nonton..hebat~ ^^

Kujie said...

wah, hebatnya skill memasak.... mcm tgh ch 703 le pula

LotsOfLove-Pearls said...

Semakin pandai memasak..

Jamie pun dah boleh dikalahkan..

Kalau pandai masak, boleh masak sesuka hati dan makan sesuka hati..

kakpah said...

Wear long sleeves shirt with plastic gloves stuck up to the elbows whenever you get your hands into the lemongrass bushes. Surely you wont get all those cuts. Or just buy them at the nearby pasar segar.
Anyway, I give you a salute for having the rendang done all by yourself (hik..hik)

Cooking is actually an art. There is no specific rules to it. We can just add a little bit of this a little bit of that just like adding in colors. and the results varies.

Cik Qemm said...

sha pandai masak rendang.cemburu :P

Adila said...

malaysian style punya cooking mmg the best... EVER!
nothing can beat it :)

p/s: i want rendang!!! with ketupat!! :(