Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Nasi Kerabu Kelantan: Culinary Marvel


What makes this Nasi Kerabu Kelantan so special? Well, all the herbs used in it, which give it that distinctive Kelantanese flavor, are grown by Ms. Nava herself. And here's the kicker - they're all organic. So, this dish isn't just tasty, it's a testament to Nava's passion to her urban garden. Can you believe it? At 60 years old, while managing her Zen, being the yoga instructor as well, and not neglecting her home affairs, she's out there in the dirt, making sure her herbs are top-notch. That's why this Nasi Kerabu Kelantan is truly one-of-a-kind and deserves all the praise it gets.

Besides the flavorful rice, the condiments served with this Malaysian dish are truly exceptional, all thanks to Ms. Nava's creativity. If you're expecting the same old Nasi Kerabu Kelantan you've had before, you might be disappointed. But if you appreciate culinary innovation (Bunga Kantan Raw Salad), you'll be applauding Ms. Nava's version.

Feel free to improvise with the herbs used in this recipe if you can't find all the ones listed. The essence of this Nasi Kerabu Kelantan lies in its blend of flavors, aromas, and textures, making it a truly Malaysian delight (Pucuk Ubi Masak Lemak & Sambal Petai). As seen in the attached photos, this dish comprises Nasi Kerabu, coconut-dried prawn flakes, sambal-fried fish (Ikan Balado), budu ikan bilis, along with fried salted fish, boiled salted egg, and calamansi lime for added zest. And for the vegetarians out there craving a flavorful meal, don't worry - I've got not just one, but three variations of vegetarian Nasi Ulam for you to try  - Vegetarian Nasi Ulam: Three Unique Twists.

For the nasi/rice 
Ingredients 
3 cups warm cooked white rice 
1/2 cup butterfly blue pea flower extract: Nasi Bunga Telang/Butterfly Blue Pea Rice 
Herbs/ulam (adjust amounts to your preference and thinly slice all) 
Sawtooth coriander/ketumbar jawa 
Cekur (ginger) 
Galangal (lengkuas)
Lemongrass (serai) 
Water pennywort (pegaga) 
Thai betel leaves (daun kaduk) 
Turmeric leaf (daun kunyit) 
Kaffir lime leaves (limau purut)









Method 
Pour the butterfly blue pea flower extract into the cooked rice. 
Gently stir with a chopstick.  
Be careful not to overmix; you want some grains to remain white and others blue for a contrast of colors. 
Add all the thinly sliced herbs to the rice. 
Give it a couple of swirls or gentle stirs to combine.

For Kelapa Udang Kering Kerisik (Coconut Dried Prawn Flakes) 
Ingredients 
1/4 cup dried prawns, soaked and rinsed 
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
Chilli flakes, to taste 
Palm sugar, to taste 
Salt, to taste 
2 tbsp oil

Method 
Lightly pound the coconut and dried prawns. 
Heat oil in a pan, then add the pounded coconut and dried prawns along with the remaining ingredients.
Stir constantly until they become crispy and flaky.
Remove from heat and dish out.




For Sambal Fried Fish 
Ingredients 
2 pieces of white pomfret or bawal putih (scored on both sides) 
1 tsp ginger paste 
1 tsp garlic paste 
1 tbsp dried chilli paste 
1 turmeric leaf, shredded 
1 tsp corn flour 
1 tsp rice flour 
Oil, for frying 
Salt, to taste

Method 
Marinate the fish with ginger paste, garlic paste, dried chilli paste, turmeric leaf, corn flour, rice flour, and salt. 
Keep in the fridge until ready to fry, ideally for an hour. 
Heat oil in a frying pan.
Fry the marinated fish until golden brown and crispy. 
Remove from oil and drain excess oil on paper towels.


For Budu Ikan Bilis (Anchovies Sambal) 
Ingredients 
1/2 cup anchovies, soaked, rinsed, and crispy fried 
1 red chili, sliced 
1 green chili, sliced 
3 shallots, sliced 
Budu, to taste 
Palm sugar, to taste 
Calamansi lime juice, to taste
(Note: No need for salt because budu is salty enough. You can omit budu if desired.)

Method 
Pound the crispy fried anchovies, chili, and shallots together.
Season the mixture with budu, palm sugar, and calamansi lime according to your taste preferences.
Set aside.  



To Serve 
Scoop the prepared rice onto a serving plate.
Pair the rice with coconut dried prawn flakes, sambal fried fish, and budu ikan bilis.
Additionally, add some fried salted fish, half of a boiled salted egg, and calamansi lime for extra flavor.
Serve and enjoy your flavorful Nasi Kerabu Kelantan.

 

 





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