Hey, don't get me wrong. I know the title of my posting is a bit obscene for you but I'm not trying to use any foul language here. I'm just trying to ask you a question:
What is pucuk tetek?
I don't know what it is. Seriously! I was surfing about Sambal Tempoyak Daun Kayu - a Negeri Sembilan signature dish. And I found this:
"The original recipe would contain more than 40 types of leaves and plants, including some rare species such as the Pucuk Lidah Kerbau, Sulur Keladi Birah, Pucuk Tetek, Pucuk Pelanduk and Pucuk Sekentut."
See? I told you there is something called pucuk tetek!
Actually, I had this regret of not asking my late nenek about it. This was her specialty. Nenek was very good in herbs. When I was small, she brought me to this green area behind Buluh Perindu. There were lots of herbs there and she showed me all the herbs and taught me about it. I was so naive, I didn't write it down. That was very stupid of me, I wasted a heritage. Arrrgggghhhh...(this makes me tense up!)
I googled, I checked flickr and I tried to find in my books - I couldn't find it. I tried to use google images too. They showed me the picture of boobs. Yes, I know. I shouldn't do that. I mean, I didn't feel anything though. God has given me that too. So, my IP should be clean for investigation. And I'm straight - I can assure that:p
I need to ask my wan. I hope she knows because her son doesn't know. I found the article about this dish and I read pucuk tetek out loud. My parents laughed aloud. Hehehe. Dirty minded. Just like their daughter:P
Okay...enough of double meaning talks over here. I hope by posting this, someone from Negeri Sembilan will read this and tell me about the 40 types of leaves and plants. The reason being is because I want to master in cooking this with ALL ingredients from the original recipe. As someone who is originated from Negeri Sembilan, I must know this. Most people thought that Masak Lemak Lado Api is our main dish - but this is also one of the state's specialties. I saw this program in RTM - Tunku Jawahir, one of Negeri Sembilan's princess cooked this but did not specify on the names of the leaves and plants. I could only see it in glance.
If we don't have the complete ingredient, can we cook this dish?
Of course! We can settle down with the basic ingredients which include Pucuk Ubi, Daun Kunyit, Pucuk Labu, Daun Kaduk and Petai. But this dish is an art. I remember the first time I helped ibu to prepare the classic dish. Her voice raised like Luciano Pavarotti! I was young and was only expert in using a pen to write. So, when ibu asked me to hold a knife and julienne the leaves, I went absurd. Ibu got a bit angry, she told me,
"Masak ni ada seni. Kalau macam ni tak ada seni. Kasar betul ni! Siapa nak datang meminang kalau buat kasar-kasar macam ni?!"
Yes, we have to shred it and make it look like bunga rampai. That is the art. I've seen lots of picture for this dish but several were a bit artless. The painstakingly process has its own reason, I suppose. Over the past 15 years, I have been learning on how to use a knife to shred the leaves based on nenek and ibu's requirement. I remember serving this for a kenduri at Buluh Perindu. My cousins did it with me. Our mothers watched with their sharp eyes. This year, it looks a bit okay. Maybe it's time for me to get married;P
How does it taste? Well, I think it's better for you to cook it before eating it. That way, you'll have more thrill in eating it. The dish - if based on basic ingredients, is very easy to make even though it requires shredding. I'm not putting the recipe here, but if you google, you'll finds some blogs and fotopages which are focusing on this. The best I could find and the closest to the original recipe is at this site.
I am missing my late nenek. She always had the answer for things like this because she was the best teacher I've ever had. It's November which means she has left me for nine lonely years. Life has never been the same without her. I have been eating this since I was small. She plucked the leaves, she julienned it, and she cooked it for me. She teased me, she laughed at me. Yesterday, when I was doing everything by myself in the rain, I felt very lonely. I think ibu felt it too. She was my grandmother. But she was ibu's mother.
Now...tell me, what is pucuk tetek?
It supposed to turn me on.
* I was not kidding about my nenek's part. Just that one.