In one of his numerous text messages to me recently he told me that he was coming to London to do a cooking demonstration at a local university. I have been to numerous occasions where Wan had food demonstrations and to me he is not just entertaining but also informative. Full of anecdotes, family history and asides which can leave you in stitches.
So during this last meeting with Wan, I was unwittingly roped in to help him with the preparation in the vast kitchen area of the university. The scene, I can assure you was not unlike that of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. For someone who prefers to work alone in the kitchen, I think I coped well with two other helpers and Wan himself shouting out the orders. I was, ehem, the kerisik chef, the kupas kulit udang chef, and the kupas bawang chef, shouting out ‘Kerisik ready chef!”, "bawang goreng ready, chef!” and feeling quite important actually.
The demonstration itself went very well. Local chefs and catering students present were very impressed with his cooking and stories that go with Malaysian cooking. He does it with taste, smell and humour. They were treated to the horrendous smell of belacan and petai, and the sweet smelling aroma of the bunga kantan. He told them of the world pharmacy which is the Malaysian jungle full of herbs that can cure any illnesses and pain.
Anyway, one of the dishes that he cooked then was the Rendang Ayam Pedas. I have tried this and it is Simply Sedap so much so that I didnt have time to snap any photos. But I will try this recipe again for this hari raya which I will have with pulut. Now, pulut is another unknown and uncharted territory. Someone please help.
Wan has given me permission to reproduce this recipe here. Give it a try!
RENDANG AYAM PEDAS
3 cloves garlic
6 stalks of lemon grass, slice
½ cm fresh ginger
½ cm galangal
½ cm fresh tumeric
5 chilli burung
8 candel nuts
10 fresh red chillies
2 lime leaves
Blend the above ingredients to make a paste.
½ cup desiccated coconut for kerisik.
1 ½ kg whole chicken cut into small pieces
3 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 tumeric leaf – sliced thinly
salt and sugar to taste.
1. To make the kerisik, toast the desiccated coconut in the oven or fry until it is brown.
2. Grind or pound the coconut until it becomes a smooth paste.
3. Mix the chicken pieces with the ground ingredients – (not the kerisik) add coconut milk and simmer for about thirty minutes until the chicken is almost dry.
4. Reduce the heat and add the kerisik, salt and sugar.
5. Add the finely sliced tumeric leaf , give a final stir and turn off the heat.
a Happy New Year!
UPDATE on Missing My Sayang Mama:
Here's the story in Bernama