Literary giant Salleh Ben Joned Salleh Ben Joned passed away a few months ago. His taste in pantuns favored the more … spicy. His short essay “Salacious Pleasures of ‘Pantuns’” on four classic pantuns from the book Kumpulan Pantun Melayu (published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia) features his loose translations into English and some […]
Bamboo thrusts dramatically out of the soil, clean, symmetrical, very sharp. The shoots grow fast, shooting over my head within a matter of days. Only once they have reached their final height, long slender swaying canes 25 feet tall, will they leaf out and send stiff woody side branches out from the nodes. They can grow so fast because all […]
As Ramadan winds down, I race to give credit to local foods that got me through the month. These MREs, Malaysia Ramadan Essentials, are practically complete meals in one package. Add rice as needed. Pulut Panggang Udang Wrapped in banana leaves held in place by bamboo pins, pulut panggang udang is beras pulut, sticky […]
It is well known amongst Malaysians that any illness on earth can be treated by drinking the appropriate 3-in-1 instant coffee.
A banana leaf wrapped and held with lidis could hold just about anything. In this case, it holds tapioca root, ubi kayu, that has … crossed over. Normally a dense, bland, starchy tuber considered poverty food or at best home cooking, it is transformed into a pillowy soft sweetness soaking in a fiery liqueur
“Take the parang beneath the stairs
Use the whetstone on an edge grown dull.
That faith be kept safe in prayer
Prostrate daily five times in full.”
Gardening in the tropics is a constant battle against the jungle. Being properly armed means carrying a machete. From Brazil to the Congo to the island of Borneo, farmers wield some form of long, sturdy knife for slashing and hacking back the relentless encroaching green. The Malaysian machete is the parang.
“As large as papaya, as small as keranji,
Break a branch and the fruit falls down
A face so lovely with manners so ugly
Is like rain falling murky and brown”
Growing papaya, or betik, from seed is easy enough – sow them on loose soil straight from the fruit and they’ll come up without trouble. The tough part is figuring out if your tree is a boy or a girl…
Sleepy brown toad sits on a log A loud lorry passes, making it start Even though we are far from your eyes Know that you are close to our heart. *** Selamat Hari Raya, Eid Mubarak, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.