funny thing, these rice dishes ya? they’re just plain beads of white rice that transformed magically into awesome fragrant, delicious dishes – using just a few herbs and spices. i think it’s not exaggerating to say that our beloved malay cuisine is not complete without these little fellas.
i mean, hundreds of years ago, tanah melayu had been a herb-hub so to speak – a center for spice traders from all over the globe. since then herb and spices have become a strong component in our daily dishes, desserts and even drinks!
they give the extra ummph, brings out the aroma and heightens the taste. some even have therapeutic values!
can you name them?
in bahasa malaysia, along with their english name :
- kulit kayu manis – cinnamon
- halba – fenugreek
- bunga cengkih – clove
- lada hitam – black pepper
- lada putih – white pepper
- bunga lawang – star anise
- buah keras – candlenut
- jintan manis – fennel
- jintan putih – cumin
- buah pala – nutmeg (ke ketumbar? – coriander)
- biji sawi – black mustard seeds
- buah pelaga – green cardamon
can anyone confirm number 10?
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anyway, tomorrow i’m going to my sister’s house for berbuka. she’s cooking the lauk, and wants me to make the nasi minyak.
i’m not a fantastic cook who can whip up a fancy dish at a touch of the periuk. but i’m lucky that i had the chance to at least learn how to make one type of rice from my mak – that’s the nasi minyak. and i’ll be needing some spices – few pieces of cinnamon, clove, star anise, and black pepper.
some people might not be able to recognize which is which, especially since nowadays they can easily be bought all-grounded, all-powdery – ready to be used in their cookings. even i can’t really name half of the stuff up there in the picture – i googled, okay! so again, i’m lucky that i have this one rice dish that i ‘inherited’ from my mak, along with the knowledge of the actual spices needed to make it tastier!
ok, now show me the kitchen!