If you thought that my post about Malaysia a few weeks ago was the only account I was going to publish about my stay in that Asian nation, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but no. That was just the start. Tonight we tackle Malaysian cuisine (although the dish is originally from Indonesia) and next week is music's turn.
As I already mentioned in my previous post about Malaysia, the key word to describe its social make-up is 'mix' and so logically its cuisine tends to go in the same direction. The recipe I bring to you tonight comes originally from Indonesia but in KL I saw a very good version. Incidentally it is this version that appears in my cookbook 'A Taste of Southeast Asia', which I purchased in KL, and in it, it comes under... Indonesian cuisine. Over to you, my Malay brothers and sisters.
Roasted Chicken with Turmeric, Lemongrass and Coconut Juice
Chicken drumsticks (deboned)
Lemongrass 2 stalks
Garlic 2 cloves
A pinch of black pepper
Light soy sauce 1tbsp
Coconut juice 60ml
Assam water ½ tbsp
Cayenne ½ tbsp
Chop and rinse the turmeric, lemongrass, shallots and garlic. Rinse, drain the chicken drumsticks and mix with the previous ingredients as well as the black pepper, light soy sauce, sugar, coconut juice, assam water and cayenne. Marinate for three hours. Place the marinated chicken drumsticks on a baking rack. Cook in a preheated oven at 250°for 20 minutes. Remove and chop into chunks. Serve with rice (preferably Basmati) drumsticks. Mix with heavy music. And when it came to selecting the melodies for tonight's post my first thought was: my mp3 player. Because many a day I spent lounging by the pool at my brother-in-law's house when we were in Malaysia, listening to my mp3 player whilst reading 'The Female Eunuch' by Germaine Greer. So, the clips you're about to watch tonight have been short-listed from my always loyal mp3 player.
My first offering is a Cuban rap outfit that has done much to highlight the vigour and energy of the hip hop scene in my country of birth. This track, 'Represent', is from their debut album and it's spicy and filling, just like those drumsticks. Enjoy.
Now sit down, lie back and put your feet up because Lou Reed is 'Waiting For the Man'. Originally performed by The Velvet Underground, this version reminds me of how one marinates the chicken for the above recipe. Getting your hands filthy and sticky. No mess, no (good) cooking, in my humble opinion. Plus the album where the original song was included featured a banana (designed by one Andy Warhol) and that's food. So, tune and recipe are related. Thanks.
Continuing with acoustic pieces, we have Sinead O' Connor performing one of my favourite songs ever, 'A Perfect Indian'. When I hear this melody, I think of the food cooking slowly in my oven. I also think of the process of crafting a sensitive piece such as Sinead's and its close relationship to the art of cooking. And then the last line of the song comes back to me: 'And there's only one way to be free'. And that way, to me, is using your creativity.
In the same way that Brazil is a palette of different types of music, so is Malaysia an oblong board of different cultures. It should, then, not come as a surprise that in a post about Malay food I have included one of the most famous Brazilian songs ever, 'Aquarela do Brasil'. And what a marvellous cover version this one is! Enjoy.
Next Post: 'Vacas/Cows' (Review), to be published on Thursday 20th May at 11:59pm (GMT)