Malayan cooking

In Brighton – along with the books on how to fish and Hüsker Dü I picked up a book on Malaysian cooking. My eye was caught by the cover as we walked by the shop and I was obliged to go in, have a look and then buy it. £5.00 for the Persatuan Wanita Keristian Di-Malaya The Young Women’s Christian Association of Malaya International Cookery Book (Ninth Edition 1962).

Somewhat disappointedly  there is not much Malayan cooking. It was edited by a Mrs A.E. Llewellyn and the first chapter is entitled The Importance of Diet in Child Healt and it goes on from there. But there is a small section on Malayan fish including pictutes of the alarming looking Parang Dorab.

Some of the recipes are fairly alarming too including one for something called mince in batter which is just what it says. Mince mixed with batter and then baked until set.

There are small sections at the end of the book on Indonesian and Malayan cooking and there I found a recipe for Rendang Këring.

The recipe starts with ‘one katty of meat’ and goes on with very few concessions to someone trying to trace the ingredients in Birkenhead calling for such wonders as Jintan Manis, Lengkuas and 30 seeds of Halba. There is a glossary in the book which may help but in the meantime I have a recipe for Chicken Rendang in a book of Indonesian cooking and we are eating that tonight with rice, prawn crackers and a cucumber salad.

It is straight-foward to make as all you do is cook coconut milk with various herbs and spices (turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, galangal,coriander seeds and lemon grass) until the coconut milk has started to thicken. This takes about an hour. You can then add chopped up pieces of chicken (or aubergine and chick-peas for the veg alternative) and let all that cook through. The idea is to cook it so that the coconut milk has all but disappeared and the chicken is left to fry off in the oil at the bottom of the pan.


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