Have you seen this programme?
I did not watch it on the Nat Geo Channel, but I was lucky to watch the video with a group of Nyonyas and Babas at the house of Nada Rajan, a Peranakan Chitty in Melaka.
I was glad to have my daughter Sarah to accompany me down to Melaka for the Heritage Makan Peranakan Chitty Melaka Cuisine organised by the Malaysia Heritage and History Club. We left KL around 7.30am and it was a smooth drive down. We parked the car and realised that we have to buy parking tickets.
Asked a gentleman who showed us that we can get our parking tickets from this shop.
What a treasure trove of tidbits ad snacks, of course we could not resistance the temptation and bought a few of our favourites preserves... bright red-coloured ginger, sweet citrusy lemon peels, black sourish plums and...snowny white rabbit sweets.
favourite childhood biscuits
and more to choose from.It was a short walk towards the Kampong Chitty.
the Kampong Chitty Museum...
Briefly: The word "Chitty" mean traders and accordingly to Wiki: they are a distinctive group of Tamil people that came from India and settled around Malacca and Singapore known as Indian Peranakan. These Tamil traders came from India over 500 years ago. They married the local Malays, Chinese or Javanese. While becoming Malay speaking and incorporating Malay cuisine into their culture, they still carry on with their Hindu religion at the same time also observe ancestor worship like the Chinese as well.
the imposing lintel leading to Kampong Chitty @ Gajah Berang
Statues of the Ganesha diety can also be seen adorning the doors of many of the houses in the village.
the 190 years old Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in the village.
The host's residence
Stone mills; mortars and pestles and batu giling- for grinding chillies
various artefacts and jewellery
What a happy surprise, when I saw Ms. Debbie Teoh, the famous Nyonya chef.
Ms Debbie Teoh with her son, who is a very talented young artist!
Ms Debbie is a Peranakan Nyonya (her father a Baba from Melaka and her mother a Nyonya from Penang) and a well known Chef and authors numerous cookbooks besides contributing to the Flavours Magazine as well. She is Nyonya Food Consultant for Tourism Malaysia too.
Stealing some cooking tips from the famous chef.
They are cutting the vegetables for the Lauk Haram Jadah.
The veggies were later blanched before cooking with the chili paste and santan and its very sedap (tasty, delicious)
Ms Debbie and Ms Wenilla, wife of Mr. Nada Rajan with the bit pot of marinated Ikan Selar Cili Garam.
Testing the temperature of the oil
Perfectly fried fish, crispy and golden brown yet still moist and not dry
the other chefs for the day
Photo taken from Flavours Magazine, featuring Nasi Lemak the Chitty's famous dish with 13 side accompaniments and all cooked without tasting as this is the food to be offered for prayers.
Lunch is ready....
Mr. Nada Rajan explaining the dishes...
Happy chefs = delicious food.. agree?
Timur Cili Cuka
Peeled sliced cucumbers tossed with dried prawns and cili and lime juice
This is Berimis Belacan
Berimis is a type of edible weed that can be found alongside the drains but is full of nutrients. Its tasted something like watercress with a slightly bitter after taste, if you like bitter gourd, you will like this veggie.
Fried Ikan Selar..
the infamous Lauk Haram Jadah
Lauk Keledek Masak Lemak
Sweet Potatoes cooked in santan, shrimps and onion/garlic paste. Kangkung (water spinach) is then added and finish with thick santan... sedapnya.
After the delicious meal, we all sat down to view the video.
Mr. Martin playing some Kristang music leading to impromptu joget session lead by Mr. Nada Rajan and his lovely wife
"Let's join in everybody"..
The finale was a Dondang Sayang session- singing Rasa Sayang with pantuns (malay poetry)
It was a very joyous gathering and the warmth and generosity, I felt from Mr. Nada Rajan and his wife,sharing their house, their food and their hopes with us. Yes, he hope that more people (especially the younger generation) will be aware of the heritage places/buildings and cultures and give their voices to protect them as well.
Sarah bought me this cute tote bag .. the classic Peranakan tiles designs.