Thursday, 20 September 2007
Special Rice Dishes For Ramadhan
I don't know about other people but for me I usually get bored with eating rice during the Ramadhan fasting season but this year the boredom or muak in Malay has come early. Thus usually at this time I keep a look out for special rice dishes that usually make their special appearance only at this time that may excite my tastebuds. Even the ubiquitous nasi kerabu or salad rice reverts to their original form at this time if you are lucky enough to find it, and it will be really tinged blue with the Telang Flower and with real sliced herbs and not the usually white rice with fried grated coconut that and only one or two sliced vegetables that usually masquerade as such that is usually offered. You can taste the difference even with their accompaniments like my personal favourite the grilled beef that will be prepared the traditional way and not just plainly grilled over a fire, and these part time vendors are also not stingy with their budu and chili sauce.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to get good nasi ulam or herbed rice that is a more potent version of nasi kerabu. Unlike nasi kerabu where it is in a mixed and match manner nowadays, nasi ulam is still sold in pre-mixed version where the grated coconut, fish floss, sauces and as many types of sliced ulams or herbs are mixed together in the rice, resulting in rice that may look like fried rice at a glance but actually mixed raw. But if you can find some for Ramadhan a point for you to note is that since it is prepared raw, if not kept well until breaking fast time it may get spoilt. The version I got yesterday gave off some heat from an identified source, because even if it had any chili padi or bird's eye chili in it, the slices has been really blended in well that its was indistigushable. Anyway I have only found nasi ulam being offered twice in the time I lived in KL, and I have yet to find the 'ultimate' nasi ulam called nasi seratus or nasi 100 supposedly made with 100 different herbs.
Another rare rice dish that I managed to locate once in Bandar Tun Razak was nasi dhal. Similar to a biryani, the difference was it was cooked together with the chickpeas or dhal giving it a different and unique taste. Another special rice dish that I can get here is nasi jagung or corn rice that is similar like nasi dalcha but has corn instead. Gives diversity to the biryani type rices eh. Well this some of the special rice variety that I can remember off hand but there is still some that I have seen but have not tried yet like the nasi ambang and the nasi hujan panas or 'hot rain' rice. These rice are new to me so I guess I do not have the guts yet to try it, just in case the taste does not agree with me and it become a waste. But if there is nothing else that interest me in the ramadhan market and these are available, well then I will surely give em the chance to tickle my tastebuds. Until then!