19 August 2007

nasi lemak on sundays

Sunday is when people oversleep and miss a lot. For one, the sounds on a Sunday morning - they are quite different from any other day. There is a peculiar mood too - perhaps because you don't have to rush out to work and you have the time to eat. You'd rather stay indoors and enjoy the stillness and 'mindchew' what you are gonna have for breakfast.

The family's favourite is the ubiquitous nasi lemak. The nasi lemak is part of the Malay psyche as ingrained as the adobo of the Filipinos and the curries of the Indians. It has some variations too. It can come with a choice of chicken, beef or fish cooked in curry or soya sauce or simply fried (pre-marinated by turmeric, chillies and salt). It can be accompanied by the exuberant egg, peanuts and pieces of cool cucumbers. I like mine unadorned so you would see me take out the cucumbers and the half mooned egg.

The omnipresent bilis or anchovy gives the nasi lemak its crowning glory. Whose pantry does not include this magnificent silvery fish with the big taste? A nasi lemak with just the anchovies and the sambal can proudly stand on its own. The fiery sambal and the nutty taste of the fragrant rice which is cooked with the "all food" coconut milk combined with the lovely pandan taste gives the nasi lemak its definitive place in the hall of fame of Malay cuisine.

My aunt who is a compulsive chicken eater and who bases her writings on the "chicken and egg" cycle would love this paper (or leaf) -wrapped thing of a food accompanied by her favourite fried chicken. What inspiration might she have gotten!

No comments: