Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Monday, 18 February 2008

The Last Stall In KL selling authentic old recipe Malay Kuehs.

Well I know the title of this post is a mouthful but let me guarantee you that in the event you are lucky enough to patronise this simple stall selling old recipe Malay kuehs, you do get a mouthful of pleasure biting into the kueh. Notice that I said old recipe and not old style kuehs as to me even though there are still other stalls selling old style Malay kuehs, the recipes they are made to are no longer authentic as compared to the taste that you would be getting say even twenty years ago. And this is all in the name of economy and profit margins where taste becomes secondary as long as the kuehs sell.Located in front of Kampong Pandan Dalam mosque, this unassuming stall still displays its old sign that just says curry puffs and kuehs stall in Malay, the same as when I was initially recommended their curry puffs by my colleague way back in 1992. Only on closer look will you notice the more modern small banner now advertising that this is Auntie Ina’s curry puffs stall together with their price list.

The special here is definitely their Bull curry puffs, a giant of a curry puff that is actually closer to a Malay style meat pie as the filling is pure beef that will make even the Granny from Wendy’s Burger not ask where the beef is. It used to have a more saucier filling like a steak and onion meat pie, but I guess Auntie Ina has changed the recipe to a more Malay palatable dry black paper minced meat filling, tasting a bit like murtabak filling. Nonetheless it is still utterly delicious and one piece should fill you up as a light snack as you bite into the aromatic curry puff. Now I ask you when was the last time you actually bite into an aromatic curry puff purchased from a stall in KL. Such curry puffs are now rare creatures, now only residing in more high priced residences like bakeries. Another thing that has changed about the bull curry puff is the price, from fifty cents to eighty cents a year ago and the current price of one ringgit each. But considering that the price has only doubled in the space of fifteen years, it is still value for money in my book as you get a full quota of meat instead of smallish bits of meat flavouring the starch mix that you usually get as ‘beef’ curry puffs. Besides this meat filled pies they have the more traditional potato filling and sardine filling curry puffs but frankly I am more enamoured with the rarer Bull version, so I rarely buy the other types of curry puffs here.

Why should I when I have a choice of other fully authentic kuehs to choose from. If you look at the shot of curry puffs being fried in the kuali (wok), you should notice the tray containing undistinguished green triangles. Well here is a case of being fooled by one’s looks as this is actually kueh lopes, still wrapped in their banana leaves in order to ensure their freshness. No green colouring is used here and you can taste it in the kueh, especially if you opt to only mix the lopes with the requisite coconut gratings when you are ready to eat it, as the stall is quite happy to supply you the gratings to take back. And again I need to say that this is no milk ejected leftovers that most kueh sellers are now wont to use, but pure fresh grated coconut. And when you pour the brown sugar over it, you can be assured that you will be eating something as good as home cooked, that is if you still can ask your mother to make it. The same brown sugar is supplied with their lompat tikam, the best I have tasted since I acquired a taste of it after buying some from the Ramadhan Bazar East Coast stallkeepers. I believe this is the Pahang version, as it does not have the red glob of glutinous rice, but just the coconut milk topping and flour custard that is good enough as it is. Another old recipe kueh that is a favourite with my kids is the kueh keria, glazed with sugar syrup as it should be and not with the little sugar dusting that is normal now, making such a traditional kueh more like a sweet potato tasting doughnut and not sweet potato flour rounds as it should be as you can get here.

Since I was a little bit early at the stall when I took the photos, their other kuehs like kueh kosui, masalodeh, kueh lapis and kampong style fried noodles or vermicelli were not ready yet to be displayed. Yes that is another reason why the kuehs here are so good, they are prepared on site. You can even see them preparing the curry puffs with a hand cranked curry puff making machine like you can see in the photo. As it is, I can only buy a small selection of kueh on each visit, as otherwise there would be a bit too much to consume. Imagine if I took a sample of each type of what was available today, there would be fourteen types of kuehs to take back home, way too much for my family to finish. My salute to Auntie Ina, may she long uphold her tradition of selling authentic old recipe Malay kuehs.

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