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Traditional Cooking Demonstration


Traditional cooking demonstration always draws a large crowd.

ketupat nasi
Granite pestle and mortar
 and ketupat nasi.

It is not surprising because many implements used back then are no longer available in a typical modern kitchen.

As these contraptions may look weird or funny, most people find it amusing to try using them first-hand.

With that in mind, Pickles and Spices web site organized a road show at Little Penang last June, and will do similar events every month or when there is an invitation.

As a matter of fact, their team had been invited to Wawasan Open University festivals on 5th July 2009 to help sell Penang Passion books too.

Malay traditional cooking demonstration use gadgets such as "kukur nyiur", "batu giling", "batu kisar", "lesung batu" and also "lesung padi".

For Nazlina, the Malay cook for Pickles and Spices, the lesung batu (granite pestle and mortar) holds a special place in her kitchen.

This simple tool is very versatile, it can be used to simply crush herbs and spices. It can also be used to grind finely softer spices. The mortar (anak lesung) can be used to crack open a fresh coconut shell too!

coc0nut scrapers (kukur nyiur)
Many types of old coconut scrapers.
(Photo above by Shakila Shabani).

Food made using these tools actually taste so much better if you compare with the food processed with electric blenders. The theory could be that the fresh ingredients were not oxidized much. Think of a whirlpool and how much air is sucked in it, you get the idea.

At Little Penang demonstration, the theme was "Coconut", so some of the activities involved cracking up open a coconut shell, grating the coconut with "kukur nyiur", how to squeeze the fresh coconut milk and later how to make homemade coconut jam with the milk.

learning how to weave ketupat
Learning how to weave ketupat.

There was also a demonstration how to weave ketupat, which is a small basket for cooking rice cakes. This little basket uses fresh young coconut leaves. I can tell you  that the taste of the cakes made using these leaves is so so GOOD!

The previous week I got the opportunity to attend an event organized by Museum & Galleri Tuanku Fauziah at USM too.

Little Penang market

One of the booths, which belonged to Penang State Museum, also featured various old kitchen tools.

My children had fun trying out the ice-kacang machine and making a lot of noise with the many types of lesung on display too.

This exhibition was put up so that it was very interactive, everything could be touched and tried out.

Besides booths outside put up from other organizations, the museum also refreshed their entire exhibits inside.

There were also live models walking around in Malay traditional costumes, period costumes of the Japanese foot soldier during WWII, 18th century Victorian costumes, as well as Star Trek critters, to say the least!

I was truly impressed with the quality and the amount of work done by the staff of the museum. Kudos to all involved!

Handicraft at Little Penang Market

Enjoy these pictures that we put together for you readers. If you have similar stories, please contact us and we can publish it here as well.


traditional food cooking in penang traditional food cooking in penang
Batu giling; lesung padi (for pounding freshly winnowed rice).
(Photos above by Shakila Shabani).


traditional food cooking in penang
Lesung Batu (granite pestle and mortar sets)
(Photo above by Shakila Shabani).


Grating coconut using kukur nyiur.
Grating coconut using kukur nyiur.


Grating coconut using kukur nyiur.
Children simply loved to try grating coconut using kukur nyiur.

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Nazlina's Cooking Class in Penang

cooking class in penang

Attend my cooking class to learn making traditional food.

Starting from 1st March 2011,

  • Tues @Lone Pine,
  • Weds @E&O
  • Thu-Sat @Islamic Museum in George  Town.

Now, the cooking class is also available together with Penang Market Tour.

PLEASE NOTE: The classes for 5th March and 28th Dec 2011 are already fully booked.




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