I had this at Sambal Hijau the other day. Each time I eat siput sedut, I was reminded of an incident in my childhood where I saw my mother broke down because of siput sedut.
I was in my lower primary school level and was out playing with my neighbours. Mum went to the market and bought herself a bagful of siputs, which were still very much alive. Usually my dad would come back to clean them and cut them to get them ready for mum’s cooking.
But it was a weekday. Mum got back from the market, dumped her whole loot from the market into the kitchen sink and went out to rest in the living room with her Berita Harian. She must have opened the plastic bag full of siputs to see if she made the right purchase prior to that.
In about half an hour, from outside the house, I heard Mum screamed bloody murder. I ran in, just in time to see her run out of the kitchen sobbing. Sobbing mind you. I went to the kitchen and immediately understood why. Siputs were crawling everywhere!!! On the walls, on the cabinets, on the floor… It looked like they were invading our kitchen! I screamed and ran out too.
SOS, she called my nyai, still sobbing mind you and nyai promtly sent my 2nd youngest uncle on his motorbike to our rescue. So he came by ten minutes later, patiently plucking the siputs off the kitchen walls and cabinets and floor while my mother and I sat helplessly in the living room watching the entire rescue process.
To this day, each time I eat siput sedut masak lemak cili api, I remember that incident as though it just happened yesterday. But lo and behold, it has been more than 20 years and I still chuckle each time that memory makes its presence.