Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Terengganu Beaches, the Origin of Ulek Mayang

pantai kelulut

Kelulut beach, located in the district of Marang, Terengganu, Malaysia is a popular beach among the locals and tourists. From this beach, visitors could see Kapas Island separated by the sea. This beach is located right next to the main road connecting Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu.

Along the beach, there are many resorts and accommodations ranging from cheap, budget accomodations to luxury accomodations. Set along the beach also souvenirs shops and local seafood product outlets. If you need to satisfy your stomach, you can choose among the food stalls and restaurants running along the beach.

This beach may not seem so special but today I have a chance to capture some pictures of the beach during my routine travel to work. More than special, I could capture the sunrise at the beach. Enjoy the photos guys

pantai kelulut

kelulut beach

kelulut beach

kelulut beach 3

kelulut beach

This beach had been prepared for what the locals call 'pesta pantai' or beach festival. Long time ago the festival was celebrated in Batu Buruk Beach until some years ago the government decided to relocate the festival to Kelulut Beach

Beach festival was originated from an ancient tradition to perform a feast to favor the spirit of the sea. They favor the spirit of the sea to protect them from the high tides and give them many catches. Soon the ancient believes faded away as the religion saves them from such believing. The festival continues as a festival to please the peoples and give them some entertainment after a full year of working. 

kelulut beach

kelulut beach

kelulut beach

There is a song called Ulek Mayang that is believed to be a chant to call the spirit of the sea in relieving a fisherman that has been possessed by a princess of the spirit. It is believed that the princess had fallen in love with the fisherman and a shaman had been called to relieve him. The princess then called upon another five princess to fight the shaman. The fight continues until the seventh princess which is the eldest of them all came and summon all of them to return to their origins. Those who came from the sea, return to the sea. Those who came from the land, return to the land. The shaman and the villagers are very grateful to the seventh princess and express their gratitude by offering yellow colored glutinous rice to the princess which is then lead to the beach festival.

Nowadays, Ulek Mayang song had been a traditional song sing along with a traditional dance which is performed by women wearing much a like of an ancient princess accompanied by a group of traditional musician. It is believed that this song is prohibited to be sang on or around any beaches in the shoreline of Terengganu. Such singing acts could lead to the dancers to be possessed by the seventh princess of the sea spirit and she will become unconscious until relieved by a religious scholar. Malaysian rock lady , Ella and an underground rock band Cromok had recorded the song in their album.

This is the lyrics of the song :

Ulek mayang ku ulek
Ulek dengan jala jemala
Ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan tuannya puteri
Ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan jala jemala
Ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan puterinya dua

Puteri dua berbaju serong
Puteri dua bersanggol sendeng
Puteri dua bersubang gading
Puteri dua berselendang kuning
Umbok mayang diumbok
Umbok dengan jala jemala
Nok ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan puterinya empat

Puteri empat berbaju serong
Puteri empat bersanggol sendeng
Puteri empat bersubang gading
Puteri empat berselendang kuning
Umbok mayang diumbok
Umbok dengan jala jemala
Nok ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan puterinya enam

Puteri enam berbaju serong
Puteri enam bersanggol sendeng
Puteri enam bersubang gading
Puteri enam berselendang kuning
Umbok mayang diumbok
Umbok dengan jala jemala
Nok ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan puterinya tujuh

Puteri tujuh berbaju serong
Puteri tujuh bersanggol sendeng
Puteri tujuh bersubang gading
Puteri tujuh berselendang kuning
Umbok mayang diumbok
Umbok dengan jala jemala
Nok ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan tuannya puteri

Tuan puteri berbaju serong
Tuan puteri bersanggol sendeng
Tuan puteri bersubang gading
Tuan puteri berselendang kuning
Umbok mayang diumbok
Umbok dengan jala jemala
Nok ulek mayang diulek
Ulek dengan tuannya puteri

Ku tahu asal usul mu
Yang laut balik ke laut
Yang darat balik ke darat
Nasi berwarna hamba sembahkan
Umbok mayang ku umbok
Umbok dengan jala jemala
Pulih mayang ku pulih
Pulih balik sedia kala

Now enjoy an Ulek Mayang song and dance performed in Esplanade Singapore some time ago.

Listening to the song alone gives me a goosebumps.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ketupat Sotong, yummy stuffed squid.

Image credit : http://yummyliciousthepurpleheartsway.blogspot.my/

Ketupat sotong, in English term the most appropriate word is stuffed squid. It is a traditional Malay foods commonly found in coastal area of Malaysia, famously known in Terengganu and Kelantan. 

Glutinous rices are stuffed in cleaned squids and secured by attaching a piece of skewer then cooked in the sauce which is made using fenugreek, onion and ginger enriched with coconut milk, salt and sugar. The aroma itself could make your mouth watery. The taste is a combination of salty and sweet but not too salty and not too sweet. Eat it by cutting the stuffed squid using a knife or just use your spoon.

A bowl of ketupat sotong with 3-4 squids is enough to fill your stomach much like eating a full bowl or rice. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, control yourself as this food is quite high in cholesterol level contributed by the squids and the rice. This warning also goes to diabetic peoples as the glutinous rice contain more carb than normal rice. The aroma is calling you and begging you to eat them all but still, control yourself guys.

Ketupat Sotong could be found in roadside food stalls and the market easily during squid jigging season. Squid is more expensive out of jigging season so it will be quite hard to find ketupat sotong off jigging season. You could always ask the cafe to cook ketupat sotong for you, it is very easy to make it. Every locals chef and cook should know how to cook it. If you are lucky and have a local guide or you could make some local friends, you could ask them also.

If you happen to visit Malaysia, go to Terengganu or Kelantan and find this delicious food cooked using mouth to mouth, generation to generation passed on recipe. Find the original here.

Welcome to Malaysia. Malaysia Truly Asia

Friday, September 11, 2015

4 ways to eat keropok lekor

Terengganu is located in the shoreline of Malaysia, rich and famous with its white sand beaches and handfull set of islands. Whoever come to Terengganu must be delighted with it's people, it's nature, heritage and mind relaxing atmosphere.

Among other things popular in Terengganu, of course it's famous keropok lekor. Made of fish fillet and cornstarch mixed together and rolled over and then cut to smaller roll. There are two types of keropok lekor which is stewed type and fried type. You can also fry the stewed one but the taste is slightly different than fried type of keropok lekor.

keropok lekor
Stewed type keropok lekor. Image source http://www.halfhourmeals.com
keropok lekor
Fried type keropok lekor. Image source http://www.detikdaily.net/
First encounter with keropok lekor, you must be wondering how to eat keropok lekor. Here's a list of how you can eat keropok lekor :

1. Eat it a whole roll
This is an extreme way of eating keropok lekor. Most stewed type keropok lekor are sold in a roll of 250 - 300mm (10-12 inches). Take them out of their packages and bite them to the last

2. Cut into pieces, dip it with the homemade sauces
Every keropok lekor bought will be provided with a pack of red, not too spicy homemade sauces. Made without any artificial ingredients, a perfect companion to eat keropok lekor cut into small pieces.

3. Cut into pieces then fry them all
Keropk lekor stored in a freezer usually become harden and lost it's aroma. Revive them into their tasty state by frying them. A secret tips handed from generation to generation, when they float they are ready to be eaten. Make sure your cooking oil is sufficient enough to allow them float.

4. Fried type, eat it right away
Not much thing could be done with the fried type keropok lekor. Two words, eat them on their own or eat them together with fried rice or noodle.

If you come to Terengganu, make sure you visit famous places for their keropok lekor. Among all of them, listed the best of the best keropok lekor in Terengganu

1. Keropok Lekor 007

keropok lekor 007

No affiliation with the famous James Bond. Located in Kuala Ibai, around Prinz Park Hotel and Terengganu Equestrian Resort. Ask the locals, everyone knows this place.
Coordinate :

5°17'08.9"N 103°10'07.2"E

2. Keropok Lekor BSN

keropok lekor btb

Located about 4km from Terengganu Airport. Famously called as Keropok Lekor BSN(a bank name in Malaysia) because of it's owner initiative to use queue management system in his premise.
Coordinate :

5°21'20.5"N 103°07'07.8"E

3. Keropok Lekor 008

keropok lekor 008

Located in Kelulut, opposite of Kapas Island. No direct relationship with 007 one and still no affiliation with the famous James Bond
Coordinate :

5°10'19.8"N 103°13'45.9"E

4. Keropok Lekor Panas Sungai Rengas

keropok lekor selekoh

Located in a suburb of Kuala Terengganu, this premise is slightly hidden from the main road but the folks here surely know where to find this place if you ask for keropok lekor selekoh sungai rengas
Coordinate : 

5°17'10.3"N 103°05'56.4"E

Those 4 are best of the best keropok lekor in Kuala Terengganu and Marang area. More will be added to the list including on the other districts of Terengganu later. That's all for now. Bye

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mahkota Dewa : A fruit of god?

mahkota dewa tree
 "Mahkota Dewa" scientifically named Phaleria Macrocarpa translated into English as "the god's crown" . This fruit origins from New Guinea Indonesia and famously known in Indonesia and Malaysia as a fruit with many benefits from stems, shell and leaves.

These pictures were taken in my parent's backyard in Terengganu, Malaysia. They planted and process these miracle fruit for their own consumption. No wonder they have a great health and still look young despite of their age.

Scientific studies had been performed and proved certain medical benefits of "Mahkota Dewa"

Extracts of this fruit reported to have medical benefits of:
  • anti-tumor
  • anti-hyperglycemia
  • anti-inflammation
  • anti-diarrhoeal
  • anti-oxidant
  • anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
  • vasodilator
The stem and shells of seeds have been used to treat various cancers, lung, live and heart diseases.
The leaves also contain compounds that can treat impotence, blood diseases, allergies, diabetes mellitus and tumors.
(source : wikipedia)

mahkota dewa fruit
mahkota dewa fruit
 "Mahkota Dewa" fruits are green in color in early stage and turned to red in color during mature period. The seed is believed to be poisonous and must be cooked prior to consumption.

"Mahkota Dewa" is believed to be a great sex performance booster among men in Malaysia and Indonesia. It also could help in women menstrual health.

You can find "Mahkota Dewa" fruit drink extract in many shops outlet in Malaysia and Indonesia and also in selected commercial market. Love your health, reduce drugs. Consume more natural medication.