Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nasi Ulam

Ulam is the equivalent of the western green salad, often served with sambal belacan but is quite delicious on its own. Traditionally, a Malay dish, it was adopted by the nyonas and is now appreciated by almost everybody. It is a very healthy dish because of all the herbs and fresh leaves. Try it once and you will be hooked for life.

4 bowls cooked rice
1 tbsp ground pepper
100 gm salted fish (do not use if breast feeding)
100 gm dried prawns (do not use if breast feeding)

Cut finely
5 pieces limau perut leaves
3 pieces kaduk leaves
1 piece kunyit leaf
3 pieces cekur leaves
1 thumb sized young ginger
1 thumb sized galangal
1 thumb sized tumeric
10-12 shallots

Lightly fry salted fish till fragrant
Allow to cool and pound the salted fish finely
Deep-fry the dried prawns until crispy. Drain and set aside
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well

Cekur leaves are difficult to find in the market therefore I grow my own from the root which looks like ginger but is smaller.

Cekur root, commonly known in English as odary roots, can be ground into a paste and applied as a poultice on the abdomen to aid the uterus in shrinking and to tone the abdominal muscles. The root is a common ingredient for nonya rice dumplings.

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