By: RaY KinZoKu

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Monday, 1-Oct-2007 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
KELANTAN & RAMADHAN : The Art of Sweet-toothing

The Art of Sweet-toothing

is when the urge for something sweet exceeds any other normal month.

Though popular belief states that Kelantanese are very fond of sugar,
and there is indeed an element of truth in it, I am never a fan nor fond of it.
In fact, I often despise it though I would sometimes tolerate a modest amount in my daily intake.

But whenever Ramadhan sets in, I found myself powerless against the lure of Disaccharides. As a sign of surrender, I hereby dedicated this entry to the Sugar Ambassador of Kelantan - the local kuih(s) !

Here are what I found in my kitchen at the time I got this posted.

Introducing, the art of sweet-toothing, the Kelantanese way .... :

Clockwise from top ( 12 o'clock ) :

Pauh Llayae ( at a glance, looks like a slice of bread immersed in syrup - so far, I only know one who could prepare it - Nik Yae ), Piyana ( muffin-like, light brown in colour ), Akok Nnissae ( wrinkled, brownish figure ), Akok Pandae ( wrinkled, greenish figure ), Buwoh Tanjung ( teardrop shape ), and Jalor Mah ( yellowish "golden" strands ). The white blob in the middle is Putih Telur or famously known as Tahi Itik.

( Front ) Akok Bungo :
Comes in two variations like the normal wrinkled Akok, the Nnissae or Palm Sugar flavored ( right ) and Pandae or Pandanus flavored ( left ). Despite the name, Akok Bungo tastes more like " Kuih Bingka " than the real Akok should taste like.

( Back ) Gerghodok :
A pudding like pastry. Made from eggs and palm sugar ( nnissae ).

Che Mek :
Don't get confused with that normal Che Mek sold throughout Kelantan ( the one made from mashed sweet potato, shaped like a rugby ball, with syruppy sugar filling ).

This Che Mek is unique and so far, I only know one who could make it, Nik Yae.
By principal, it is somewhat similar to another Kelantanese pastry by the name Nekbat ( which unfortunately not my favorite ). Similar to Nekbat in terms of preparation and end result but not the ingredients, which made this Che Mek more sturdier in texture and tastes much creamier and better !

These kuihs are examples of many others, highly demanded in Kelantan each time Ramadhan sets in. Stalls through out the state will spread their handyworks, few got the recipe and taste right or close to perfection, while most only managed to get the appearance deceiving to the eyes.

What I found interesting about Kelantanese kuihs compared to those from other Malaysian states, other than the well known creativeness and innovativeness, is that the use of eggs and sugar in local pastries are much more generous. To an extent that some are more of eggs and sugar than any other ingredients.

I noticed that the Malays in other parts of the Peninsular are more fond of glutinous rice and flour ( of wheat, rice and cassava ) as main ingredients to their creation resulting various " pulut " and " cekodok " spreads at their kuih stalls. When I was studying in Bangi some years ago, I was rather surprised and amazed with what I found at the famous night market of Bandar Baru Bangi :

" Balik balik pulut, balik balik cekodok jer nih, biar betul derang nih ? ".

* grin *
Excuse me for the remark.
No offense to those from outside Kelantan.
It was just an encounter with something that I was not used to.
You see, the Kelantanese are too detailed and fussy with what their eat, the reason why the morning breakfast in Kelantan, could easily surpass lunch in variety and volume !
Ha ha ha ha ha

Correct me if I am wrong
but judging from the above observation,

I think I just found another addition to my Distinctively Kelantanese list !

Related Past Entry :




Speaking about " king-sized " !

Meet the " Mutabak Ghajo " ( Murtabak Raja aka Royal Murtabak ).
Initially made for the dining table of the royalty, it is now available to the masses.
Not just big and thick ( about an inch ), it is also delicious and worth the RM 11 a piece !

There are several " chefs " in Kota Bharu, currently involved in this business, preparing and selling the murtabak from their own kitchens, from Jalan Pintu Geng, Jalan Merbau, Jalan Kelochor to Kampung Tikat at Jalan PCB. They are all related i.e a family business, catering to local customers and those outside Kelantan as well.

* Look alone can be deceiving.
Have a bite and you will surely be enlightened !

* Good and nice packaging brings in good " catch ".
Kelantan has many goods worth introducing to the national and even international market, but lack of good quality control and presentation ( packaging ) are pinning them down at where they belong.

In the news :

* From The New Straits Times Online - Local News ; Wednesday September 26, 2007
( click image for the original source )

* From The Star Online - Nation ; Wednesday September 26, 2007
( click image for the original source )

From Me To You :

But remember, Ramadhan is not about eating or " feasting ".

It is about fasting and good deeds.

The further Ramadhan goes, the closer Lailatul Qadar comes.
Those who work for Lailatul Qadar will be rewarded with all the bounties it offers.
Let's brace ourselves and may all your effort be blessed.


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