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HBW: Nasi Kerabu – When Eating is Art
“Nasi Kerabu” literally means assorted vegetable rice or rather “Salad Rice”. Gastronomically speaking, it is rice served with special coconut-based gravy called “tumis” together with local herbs, leaves and vegetables. Apart from that, it is also served with fried fish, “keropok” (fish crackers), salted egg, "solok lada" (fish fillet and coconut-stuffed chillis) and pickled garlic. Of all you know the beautiful flower in the picture is the key to the real aroma and taste of nasi kerabu. Nasi Kerabu is one of the classic specialties originated from Kelantan, a multicolored state of Thailand border in the northeastern coast of the Malaysian Peninsular with multi-faceted and interesting people as her denizens. The only not-so-cool thing about them is the potential of running amok and start burning things when their darling state team loses in the football match (soccer to the Americans), but as a counterbalance, I can assure you this is the land that produces the most beautiful girls in the country. If one is adventurous in trying out different taste of victuals and gamed for gourmet foods, the right place to be at is no other than Kelantan state, located some 450 km from Kuala Lumpur. If you ever planned for a visit to this country, I’d advise you to take connecting flight right away upon your landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). One of those that ought to be tasted is “Nasi Kerabu”. No, no, no…. it’s not like the one you tasted from the stalls in Kg Baru, Keramat and Pantai Dalam in Kuala Lumpur, different from the one selling over in Permas Jaya, Johore, dissimilar to the one offered in Geylang, Singapore, and far off from the taste that selling in Ipoh and Penang for that matter. I even ate nasi kerabu in Bloomington, Indiana in the USA those days, but my taste benchmark is rather of a higher bar. The real taste of “Nasi Kerabu” is not easily found as the recipe is a well-kept secret, closely guarded that being passed down from one generation to another among the Kelantanese people, as much as pizza is eaten the world over, and yet the real taste can only be found in Italy, perhaps the pride of the Sicilian folks. Just like sushi can be found in New York, Paris, London and Kuala Pilah but the real thing can only be enjoyed in certain districts in Japan, and tell me about Cajun cuisine and beignets (pronounced like "ben-yays"), the unique specialties to the descendants of Acadian exiles in Louisiana or maybe some parts of Mississippi, USA. Oh, it reminds me of the best Burrito, Taco de Harina and Tortilla I have ever tasted just a few miles crossed the border from El Paso, Texas, in the Mexican territory. But, the paradox of them all, I couldn’t find “Mee Bandung” when I was in Bandung, Indonesia, same goes to “Nasi Pattaya” when I was in the coastal resort township of Pattaya, Thailand. (LOL! Errr…. we have foodstuff named after foreign places, thus, understandably, they don’t exist in the actual locality) One of the myriad secrets in preparing "goooood" nasi kerabu is the use of the flower in the picture above as coloring for the rice to be served (although some sellers in the city use artificial equivalents). Beats me on the name of the flower because I only know it called as “Bunga Nasi Kerabu” (“Bunga” is flower). Handful of these flowers need to be grinded and squashed to yield its juice with little water add. The precious extract of it is then mixed with water the time rice is cooked. And voila, it will result with blue-colored rice when it is ready. Blue-colored rice for Nasi Kerabu is no fun and game as it is always served like that for centuries in this colorful state of Kelantan. HBW!Mystery ~ Vet Mysteries To Solve!
Adorable Mystery purrs her Thanks to all who have been worried and concerned about her state of health and is pleased as Devonshire Clotted Cream of all the good wishes for her recovery! Lovely Mystery was at the vets again on Wednesday (seen here in the examining room as her carrier is opened) to try and figure out what has been ailing her of late. X-rays were taken and medicine dispensed and now it is a waiting game to see if the fluid in her abdomen (cause yet unknown) will go away. While at the vets Mystery gave many grunts of Disapproval ~ purrhaps a Tortie trait? ~ as once she is in the cat carrier she knows that she is now Off To The Dreaded Zone and wails in mournful and pitiful tones during the drive to She Knows Where! Mystery is perkier and even ate some of her usual cat food after being plied with steak and roast beef since Sunday May 22 til Thursday May 26th! Mystery especially objects to taking half a pill twice a day but does not mind lapping up the liquid medicine put on a spoon. The Lovely Myiss is meowing much more and sitting on her usual pillows which she shunned over the past week. Mystery will be watched closely to see how things go over the next several days! She is happy to be back at home and the pain medication is helping a lot though she complains when being picked up. She is not sure what to think of the medication that makes her trot to the litter pan to urinate more often! Mystery is resting on her plush red pillow by the computer chair and seems pleased. She has been eating more. May 28 - Saturday. Mystery ate a bit of food today but it made her sick and she refused her food until she ate a small amount of salmon close to 11 p.m. this evening. She was much hungrier over the past several days so this has been a bit of a set back when she got sick after eating. Hopefully she can keep the salmon down tonight! May 30 - Mystery has been eating very little and having trouble keeping her food down unless it is beef! June 13 - Now Mystery is eating regular canned cat food and kibble treats! She however ignores canned salmon, cooked chicken and her regular vet prescribed low protein cat food! Still no diagnosis, several things have now been ruled out and now FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) is a possibility. It is a fatal illness. June 21 Mystery now avidly eats her food and wakes me up in the morning to serve her breakfast, back to normal in that respect! She now loves those dry Treats for cats and gets excited when she hears the crackling of the Treat Bag! She is almost done her medication and is drinking and urinating for more than usual. She will go back to the vets after finishing her medication. Mystery sends rousing purrs and tail quivers to all who have been concerned about her health!
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