My girl bought two packets of chick peas and used one to cook some vegetarian curry – she said that she used to enjoy that at the Indian stall across the road from the teacher-training institute where she was at Kuala Ketil in Sg Petani, Kedah. She soaked the chick peas overnight and cooked the curry the following day and though I thought it was very nice, she was not too happy with it as she said the chick peas were hard, not like the ones she had before.

The remaining packet was lying there all this while so last Thursday, I decided I would cook it. I also soaked the chick peas overnight and I boiled them the next day…for hours until they became soft. Maybe they had been kept too long already, all dried up and shrivelled and that was why it took so long and besides, the skin never came off on its own and worse, they did not taste good at all, none of the nice kacang kuda (chick peas) taste. In the end, I decided to cook curry with them.

I pounded some shallots, garlic, ginger, chilies and kunyit (turmeric) and fried the paste in a bit of oil, together with two stalks of serai (lemon grass). I chopped some tomatoes, skin removed, till really very fine and threw it in and I added some water before adding the chick peas and potatoes, peeled and boiled till almost cooked/soft. Oh dear!!! It was then that I discovered that there wasn’t any curry powder in the house so I had no choice but to add a bit of serbuk kunyit (turmeric powder instead) for a nice yellow colour, a spoonful of garam masala (Indian spices) and a spoonful of paprika…and I added a bit of evaporated milk and threw in a sprig of curry leaves. Lastly, I added a bit of salt and sugar and when I tasted it…

My chick pea & potatoes vegetarian curry

…I thought it was very nice! Once cooled, I kept that in the fridge for my girl to enjoy for lunch the next day, Friday, once we got home from fetching her from her school in the jungle. It so happened that her housemate at the teachers’ quarters came along with us and of course we invited her to join us for lunch. She tasted the gravy and exclaimed spontaneously, “This is nice!!!” Of course, that pleased me immensely. Hehehehehe!!!!

We did not go to the sunset service on Saturday evening as we went out for dinner to celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday. That was why we went to the early morning service on Sunday instead and after that, we dropped by here for brunch before making our way along the Pain-Borneo Highway to send my girl back to her school.

My girl had her favourite, the thosai

Sri Pelita thosai

…and that too is vegetarian, I guess but no, we did have the slices of beef with our kampua mee

Sri Pelita beef kampua, black

– my missus and I. I forgot to tell them I wanted it white so we were served the black version, the one with dark soy sauce but it did not really matter as it was good. My missus was having it for the first time here and she was pleasantly surprised and sang its praises, especially considering that it was halal, no lard was used in the making.

I was afraid that the mee would not be substantial enough and I would be feeling  hungry as we would not be home till mid-afternoon so I ordered one roti canai

Sri Pelita roti canai

…for myself and yes, that’s vegetarian all right but of course, my girl can’t eat that, much as she would like to, as it is made from  wheat flour and is not gluten-free.

The nice boss, Guna, was not around that day and the bill came up to RM18.50 for all that we had, the three of us, plus the drinks. I saw the chef taking a break and enjoying his chappati at the next table – I didn’t know they had that! I sure would want to try it the next time we drop by here.

SRI PELITA CAFE (2.293579, 111.820700) is located along Lorong Kampung Datu 11, off Jalan Kampung Datu, the first shop in the block to the right of Paramount Hotel.