The Kelantanese Rhapsody

During our ‘masuk kampung’ moments, we usually try whatever kampung delicacies the state had to offer. For instance, in Pahang, we were hooked on Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin, in Terengganu, we never leave the state without buying bagfuls of sattar and keropok lekor, in Melaka — laksa Nyonya and cincalok, Kelantan– akok and Nasi Dage ikan Tongkol. And the list goes on.

This month the husband bought Flavours magazine Merdeka Day edition and it featured the different kinds of rice found in each state. Having indulged in gastronomical gluttony in Kelantan a few times before these, we thought we have tasted it all, especially after staying in their kampung hosted by pure bred Kelantanese. But no, we missed Nasi Tumpang. And since it was featured in this month’s FLAVOURS, we decided to give it a go.

Nasi Tumpang is basically a Kelantanese snack, more or less like the RM 1 Nasi Lemak throughout Malaysia or the cone shaped Nasi Uduk in Indonesia. Nasi Tumpang is rice pressed in a cone shaped banana leaf wrapping, white rice layered with Kelantanese serunding daging ( beef floss ) and gulai lemak ikan tenggiri.

We decided to make some for the husband’s night class just now and it was quite a hilarious yet productive experience. For rookies like us, NON Kelantanese at it too, I think we did pretty OK. As ikan tenggiri is very expensive here, I substituted it with Ikan Patin, my favourite fish since moving here– milky taste and soft-melt-in-the-mouth texture.

How to make the Nasi Tumpang ? The white rice is first pressed into the base of the cone, then place a layer of serunding daging, another layer of pressed rice, fish meat and then another layer of white rice. The gulai is then allowed to flow into the cone, flavouring it’s entire content with the gravy. Sounded pretty easy? It was not that easy for us. The cones kept tearing, the contents spilling or the gravy dripping. Being the typical engineer, the husband took one look at the mess and decided it needed an engineering approach to get us out of the ‘fishy’ situation. :p

Perseverance paid off, we managed to produce 10 cones of Nasi Tumpang which fed his classmates and made them happy this cold, rainy evening.

Our grand total of 10 Nasi Tumpang !!!

Not bad for the first attempt.. ahaks!

Nasi Tumpang unveiled…

It did cross my mind to eat it while listening to M.Nasir kecek Kelate in his song Langgar Pak Dogo. But… the irony of it all was that… I had Delifrance cheesy baked rice dinner, while the husband, after feeding his classmates with our virgin Nasi Tumpang, he had sushi dinner afterwards.

8 thoughts on “The Kelantanese Rhapsody

  1. Emmm … what a daring attempt ! Hehe

    To be honest, Nasi Tumpang or accurately pronounced as Nasik Tuppae should look more like Nasi Himpit ( Kelantanese : Nasik Kapeik ) but yours is still too grainy.

    The secret to that is to prepare overcooked rice ( nasi lembik, but never let it burnt ), and have it stuffed very very snugly into the banana leaf cone while it is still piping hot. Then, top the compacted rice with the basic condiments and anything else of your own desire. Leave it to cool a lil’ bit and walla, you got yourself a Nasik Tuppae !

    Oh yeah, the banana leaf is not of any kind.
    The Kelantanese use the very sturdy leaf of Pisae Ggalor ( the one with lots of seed in it, usually not eaten when ripe but often made into delicious Achar Pissae when close to ripe ) that wont rip apart.

    Btw, they say that Nasik Tuppae was first created during the Japanese occupation when the homesick Japanese soldiers, missing their sushi, decided to make their own ” perantau version ” using the available local ingredients. The Kelantanese found it interesting and came up with Nasik Tuppae !

    And then, being a Kelantanese, never before I found Nasik Tuppae with Ikan Tenggiri. That would be too much. The most acceptable is Ikan Tongkol or what the Kelantanese called, Ikae Ayo. Normally it comes in two types of gulai, fish or shrimp. Special ones came in multi types of gulai in one serving, even poached eggs ! But this version is rare.

    Oh, real Nasik Tuppae, being so compact, the gulai never got thru the compacted rice ( yours seems to be gulai all over ! Hehe ).

    By the way, nice attempt ! Good job !

  2. Hey Unta,
    Thanks heaps!!
    NOW we know where we went wrong. haha
    Will try the tips you give and now try to make for Ramadan pulak…
    Nanti I update the newly improved version of this Nasi Tuppae! Wish us luck !!

  3. by the way Unta,
    the recipe in the Flavours magazine put ikan tenggiri.. ahh we have been fooled. Should have consulted at least a mek Kelantan… !

  4. Mr Lobo,
    You try, let me know and if successful, you can be my sifu ok? then we can start the Nasi Tuppae chain all around Malaysia 😛

  5. Indeed, Abdullah.

    Bcoz you are just PARTLY Kelantanese .. that’s why.


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