Monday, April 29, 2019

Kerinci delicacy | Masak Lemak Umbut Pisang

I have always been interested in culture and heritage, hence being invited to attend Eat. Travel. Write covering on 3 ethnicities ie Minangkabau, Kerinci and Mandaling definitely excites me. My focus will be Kerinci and Mandailing. Why not Minang you might ask? Well, being born in Minang family (my dad being orang nogori and mom, 1st generation born in Malaysia. And both my maternal grandparents are from Padang, Sumatera)... I figure I should just interview my mom’s family and write about them instead (eksen giler… hahhahahha).

Kerinci is a regency/kabupaten in Jambi province, in the island of Sumatera, Indonesia. It was once known for its cattle, cinnamon and gold mining. Due to the rich natural and agriculture resources, this province was colonized by the Dutch in early 1900 of which eventually it led to migration to Tanah Melayu (now known as Malaysia).

Aside from the colonization, migration of those in Jambi and Sumatera at large is because of the pilgrimage to the holy land of Mecca to perform the hajj where they travel overland in Sumatera and continued to Tanah Melayu before continuing to Mecca. The long journey might have led to some staying back in Tanah Melayu to earn enough money to further their journey to Mecca and others, made Tanah Melayu their home. Those that have decided to stay permanently in Tanah Melayu are the founder of Kampung Kerinci in Kuala Lumpur. It is learnt that different groups were alloted different sites to establish their settlements or perkampungan, hence Sungai Gahal and Sungai Lui were apportion to the people of Kerinchi. Where else some live Hulu Langat, Kuala Kubu and other parts in Malaysia.

I was rather surprise that despite us knowing Kerinci people is close to us (after all, we have Kampung Kerinci in KL) just like the Javanese and Minangs, we strangely don’t much about them; let it be culture, heritage or even delicacy. Hence, I exremely ecstatic when I got to know that we will be learning and sampling few of Kerinci dishes. And it tastes GREAT!

Masak Lemak Umbut Pisang dengan Ayam
This is abit technical as I too need to google… and break it down for you guys.

Umbut = Edible soft shoot of a tree stem (banana tree, palm tree, coconut, areca-nut and etc.)
Pisang = Banana
Ayam = Chicken
Masak Lemak = Coconut milk gravy with turmeric and bird’s eye chili

How is it being cooked, just like any other masak lemak dish but with umbut pisang and chicken, the kick is the spiciness and thick gravy and of course – the umbut!

Sambal Tempoyak Ikan Bilis
Unlike the usual masak lemak tempoyak that I know (and love, despite the fact that I don’t eat durian), this particular dish needs to be tumis (stir-fry) first with the standard shallots and garlic, add the anchovies and then the tempoyak. Cook in low heat till the sambal/chili is cooked (naik minyak)

Tempoyak = Malay condiment made from fermented durian

Ikan Bilis = Anchovies

Sambal (Belacan) Kerinci
This is also unique as this Kerinci dish doesn’t use belacan but daun Palembang (daun ketumbar Jawa) or cilantro instead. They also add ikan tenggiri or mackerel fish of which they’ll fry and then flossed/pulled it before adding into the sambal.

Belacan = Fermented shrimp paste condiment

My favourite?

Will Travel For Food 8 - Eat Travel Write Selangor 2019 Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri (UPEN) Selangor and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel Magazine as media coordinator.

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