CLASSIC dishes like rendang, ketupat, serunding and dodol are staples for the festive Raya table, but why not shake things up a little with some new additions? This year, try cooking some traditional dishes that were once served exclusively in the homes of the Terengganu royal family.
Among the many scrumptious dishes served in the homes of the Terengganu royal family, nasi telur is a dish that stands out. The traditional recipe calls for dried roe from the terubok fish as a garnish which nowadays is only available if imported from Sarawak. To’ Puan Rosita Abdullah, an avid documenter of history and recipes, believes that the dish is not served in other royal households in the country. Rosita first learned about the dish from Tengku Halifah Tengku Su Adbul Rahman, the granddaughter of Tengku Ngah Aishah. Tengku Ngah Aishah was the daughter of Sultan Zainal Abidin III and Hajjah Kelsom, his fourth wife.
Traditionally, the dish was served by members of the Terengganu royal family during family gatherings and grand occasions such as Majlis Besar, but not during weddings. Today, the younger generation serve variations of the dish, adapted to their preferences, but it is always served with a rich curry of Kerutub Ayam and/or Ayam Masak Korma Merah, and a salad – usually a cabbage salad. Although it may be easier to use ready-mixed commercial Kerutub spices for the recipe, Rosita believes that freshly ground spices always make for best results.
In addition to the family recipes for Nasi Telur, Rosita also shares recipes for Koleh Lemak and Koleh Kacang, desserts that are popular in Terengganu. “Koleh” means “to stir,” so do take note that these recipes will require a lot of stirring!
Rosita has compiled a list of delicious recipes that aren’t just popular in Terengganu, but they also have a lot of history to go along with them in her book, Kulit Manis: A Taste of Terengganu’s Heritage. Here Rosita shares 8 recipes:
1. Nasi Telur.
5. Kerutub Ayam.
7. Koleh Lemak.
8. Sambal Ikan.
These recipes were first published in Flavours magazine.