Let me see…

Normally, I would eat tempuyak (fermented durian) as it is…as a dip with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) or with rice. I have tried cooking prawns with it before, and also fish…and I hear that some people fry it with shallots, chili and ikan bilis too. The other day, however, I stumbled upon this recipe and I thought I could give it a try…and see if it was any good. Of course, being one who cannot follow recipes, I decided to just grasp the idea and went about it my own way.

I got the ingredients ready…

Sambal tempuyak - ingredients

– a handful of ikan bilis and pounded one shallot – peeled & sliced,  one chili, sliced…and a little bit of kunyit (tumeric) – not in the photo, a little bit of belacan (dried prawn paste) and lengkuas (galangal)…and bruised the end of one stalk of serai (lemon grass).

First, I fried the ikan bilis in a little bit of oil till golden brown before throwing in the pounded ingredients and the serai and finally, I added three scoops of tempuyak. It seemed kind of dry and since I did not have any santan (coconut milk), I just used a little bit of fresh milk and pretty soon, it was ready…

STP's sambal tempuyak

So, was it nice? Hmmm…I would say it was – very pleasingly fragrant with all the ingredients used but unfortunately, I think that drowned out the smell of the durian. It went very well with rice too…but personally, I think tempuyak is best eaten on its own.

Moving away from the main topic of this post, I just want to add here that if anyone is thinking about what to buy and serve to family and friends who will drop by during Chinese New Year, this is a good option – the kerepek gunting

Kerepek gunting

…or if you translate that, it means crisps cut with scissors. These are sold at my regular Malay kuih stall at Bandong here in packets, each containing more than enough to fill a bottle or two – those in which people usually keep their cookies and leave them on their coffee tables in their sitting rooms for guests to help themselves. They’re savoury, and just a little bit spicy and so very fragrant with the curry leaves and all the other ingredients used…and the best part is – they are only RM5.00 a packet. Considering the prices of cookies they are selling all over these days, I think I would rather have these anytime.

Gosh!!! How time flies and Chinese New Year is just two weeks away! Have you got everything ready yet?