My Memory ( Ramadhan ...)

Year 2000

Rendang Ayam 53 Abbeydale Road

Preparing my first ever rendang was such an experience. First a part from the raw materials that mum sent to me via mail, I had to hunt quite a number of ingredients.
Second, as we’ve been exposed to these raw things in ‘Malay’, to seek those in Sheffield means we have to learn their names in English. Sure, we have few Bangladeshi and Chinese shops where we could get our ‘oriental’ stock easily.
First thing that sort of cracked our head was to find the English words for ‘lengkuas’. Luckily Nunu called one of her seniors and she told us lengkuas is ‘galangal’ in English.
Hunting in the Chinese shops along London road as well as near The Moor, we finally found the galangal, but only dried galangal available. In fact, we managed to get dried lemon leaves ( daun limau purut kering) in one of the Chinese shop. That would do, I thought so. We put both in boiled water to get them ‘wet’. He he he…
Then we hunted for cheap lemon grass and even bought coconuts as we want to prepare the ‘kerisik’ by ourselves. 2 for 1.20 pounds, I bought it from Safeway and had one of them being smashed onto our alley’s floor before Apai shouted that we should’ve asked his expertise first. Yeah, he knows how to ‘open’ the coconut. No ‘kukur’ available and Apai just ‘kukur’ the coconut using the grater that we bought from Argos.
So the ingredients for Rendang Ayam BO at 53 Abbeydale Road that I cooked for our first ever house-warming-cum-Raya-Open-House.

Chicken ( 2- 3 whole chickens cut into small pieces )
Cooking Onion, Garlic, Chilies/ Dried Chilies, Lemon Grass, Galangal (blend altogether)
Coconut Milk
Turmeric powder
Salt and Sugar
Lemon Grass (what do we call racik and ketuk?)
Daun Limau Purut (finely sliced)

I had this trial during the night before our Christmas Eve dinner which I planned for our ‘sahur’. Unfortunately, nobody woke up for sahur and we had my very first rendang for iftar on the next day.
My comment: ‘I think I put too much turmeric’
Darn…my friends then started used that as a joke whenever they asked me how the foods taste. ‘Kurang kunyit Bo?’
Anyway, I felt good as I believe my first ever rendang menjadi!
Then, the night before Raya, I cooked large portion of rendang ayam for pagi raya dishes with June’s satay, ketupat segera, Nunu’s nasi minyak etc. as well as for our first open house planned on 2nd Hari Raya.
Gosh…couldn’t imagine my first ever Eid was exciting. We had plenty of food on the table – satay, nasi minyak, ketupat, serunding, and rendang ayam … kuih raya.
Jury borrowed Aizan’s videocam and asked all of us to give ‘raya’ speech etc. he he he…it was so funny.
But one thing that I feel a bit disappointed and still remember till now was when one of our friend didn’t aware how special our first Eid abroad. For me it’s a good thing to have everybody sit down and have the Eid breakfast together, but when a friend, who was still grooming told us ‘don’t wait for him and just eat’ with quite a high pitch, I just felt not so good. Anyway, that’s may be a small matter for him.
We then went to wait the bus as our Eid-prayer will be held somewhere which was hell far, ‘The Darnall’. The place where you could meet large Malay community. Cheap house rent, but not so friendly neighborhood.
Imagine each of us dressed in our Raya outfits, for sure made people there looked at us as we were sort of something. He he he.
The yellow double-decker bus no. 33 to the city centre was full of our cheers and jokes; it then took us to the city centre where we waited for the Tram to Darnall.
We arrived a bit late as they’d finished the prayer already and we had to have it on our own after the khutbah.
The place was so small and packed, but the food was good especially the satays and we managed to meet a lot new faces. As usual, visits to friends’ house were in our schedule and then we hopped into the tram, heading to Meadowhall. So much we almost forgot, it was a boxing day! Boxing day sales just started and we, like a bunch of aliens in baju rayas went to shop. He he…people kept staring at us, I noticed that.
We couldn’t spend much longer time there, as we had to rush back and prepare for our next day open house.
Abbeydale Road Open House-cum-House Warming
Ohooo….Mee Kari Aizan was the main dishes!

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