What’s your comfort food?
I have quite a few. It used to be ayam masak lemak cili padi and nasi goreng lada hijau. Ayam masak lemak cili padi was a must each time I went back home, which is not often at all. Like once a year.
Nasi goreng lada hijau ( which over the years I call nasi goreng nyai)– well because all my life, and that’s more of 3 decades of it already, no one has ever cooked it the way nyai ( my paternal grandmother) did. No one. Not even my mum. Whenever I was visiting, on any day, nyai would have my nasi goreng hijau ready for me and we would eat with ‘roti’. Yes, we ate nasi goreng with ‘roti’. Don’t ask me. It’s a Javanese thing. And ‘teh o panas-panas’. I would be really happy.
Another dish that would make my day anytime is sambal tumis ikan sagai, extra hot. That means made with cili padi. You get the idea. But since I moved here, I have difficulty in finding ikan sagai here. I cannot seem to find it anywhere. So when mum called to say she was coming to shop in KL, hence not staying at our out of KL place as it is far from Masjid India, the first thing I asked for was, ‘ Sambal tumis ikan sagai pedas-pedas please!!!’
Through my status of it on FB, I have since discovered the reason why I couldn’t find any ‘ikan sagai’ here. No one understood me. Just like I asked for ‘epok-epok’ and received blank stares, only to discover ‘epok-epok’ doesn’t exist here. It is called ‘karipap’. So ‘ikan sagai’, as I found out, is called ‘ikan nyiuk-nyiuk’ here. Like really???? LOL. I cannot imagine going up to the ahpek at the market and ask for ‘Uncle, ikan nyiuk-nyiuk 4 keping!’ I would die of laughter first.
So I went to KL to meet mum and collected 3 tubs of sambal tumis ikan sagai, done to perfection just the way I like it. It could have been more ‘pedas’ but I suspect she was thinking of the husband whose orientation to high level spicy-ness was only through our marriage. Even then, ‘tak pass!’ But it’s ok. It’s still perfect. Thank you mum. Nyiuk-nyiuk, although sounds funny, tastes so good when you handled it 🙂