It’s this time of year the last ten years or so that Section 14 where I live comes very much alive. 70 stalls have now been neatly arranged around the playground by the side of my house, and so the next 25 days or so at around 3pm onwards, you will see smoke and wafting aromas of burning charcoal readied for grilled sting ray, grilled chicken, Satay, and a myriad other foods.
The clanging of woks, and the mixtures or aromas and people milling around waiting their turn is such a wonderful sight in this funny period in Malaysia where we all come together as one and enjoy Malay food of all different types.
Here are some of the photos I took yesterday.
Not the healthiest of meals but this is certainly different then the wet fillings we are used to. I did wonder about the redness of the sauce but at least it looks a lot like the poster at the bottom.
- Crispy Wet Spring Rolls is not really a new phenomenon, but the last few years a few kiosks have opened in Malls selling these snacks. It’s perfect for afternoon tea.
This was the only stall that sold Nasi Lemak wrapped in Banana Leaves, I did not try it but I am sure there is nothing better then unwrapping the rice parcel and tasting the rice and the taste of the banana leaf that was steamed with the heat of the rice.
My most favorite stall, Pulut Panggang, now this father and son or sons and daughters are here every year and so far in the first three days we bought close to 15 of these wonderfully grilled glutinous rice with prawn and coconut filling. And I must add he didn’t stinge on the filling. At times you get a whole roll of grilled glutinous and nothing else, and perhaps a sliver of prawn and coconut. It’s so good, we’re packing some to take to Singapore next week.
From the above, I am sure you can see how spoilt us Malaysians are when it comes to tea time. And shockingly these are foods we might eat at morning breaks as well.
This lady caught my attention because she was so cheerful in the middle of this hot hot afternoon. Her Kuih or Delicacies were one of the
cheapest I think, and also the tastiest. Her Curry Puffs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and flavors as well. I quite her Sardine Curry Puffs which she twisted to resemble a mini croissant. Her sweet potato curry puffs were nice too. Now once upon a time, only the poor ate sweet potato curry puffs because potatoes were too expensive, this has changed, now us normal folks have acquired the taste and enjoy it. I also liked her cucur badak, sweet potato puffs so to speak with a dried prawn and coconut filling. I would have loved it piping hot but I cannot complain.
She even had Laksam which is homemade rice noodles, similar to koay teow and it is served with julienned vegetables like cabbage and cucumber and hints of birdseye chilly. The sauce which is made of coconut milk and blended mackeral, is just the perfect balance who he how does not like anything fishy. I thought it was perfect to me that is. It was a tad bit watery but I think it was fine. The mother commented on this. No photo because I ate it before remembering 🙂
Kuih Cara Berlauk, is another delicacy she had, and she had two sizes. Now Kuih Cara is slightly similar to Yorkshire Pudding minus the dripping and this Malaysian version had its filling on top. You can get the sweet filling or the savory one. Diva Kuih had meat on hers.
I’m not marketing Diva Kuih, but it’s just that her infectious smile made me go back and get stuff a few more times since Monday.
Do try her other delicacies like Kuih Kosui, and a myriad other cakes and kuihs before the 28th of August.
The next stall to catch my attention was the stall selling Malay Food. Now this stall is best explained through the photos I have taken because it would be too long, so have a look.
The Famous Drink Stalls, only in Malaysia would you find drinks of different and mysterious types sold anywhere and at anytime especially at the Buka Puasa Stalls. I have personally never tasted anything before, not even once but perhaps I should not judge and try it.
Now you will find these drink stalls dotted along at every stretch. Each selling almost the same thing but differing flavorwise.
Now this next stall is actually an Icon of Section 14. The lady sells Nasi Lemak and if you want to know which one, just go to the section 14 stalls and you will see the longest line each morning. I have had their food since I was a wee wee lad. We’re talking single digits on one hand. I even got into trouble a few times by sneaking out when no one was around to buy her nasi lemak only to have mum go and buy nasi lemak for me later and the Lady would say I was there earlier, this usually meant a good smacking but trust me it was WORTH IT!!!
My sister was usually involved as well though she often pretended.
Now this year like all other years they are selling their famous lontong. Lontong is a Malay style few which is flavored with lemon grass, and galangal and of course onions and garlic, and then coconut cream is added. The yellowness comes from the use of turmeric. Now this soup has many accompaniments like rice cakes (Ketupat), fried lungs – as horrible as this sounds its really yummy. It also has eggs, vegetables, spicy coconut floss, and other things as well. Sometimes you even have it with fried Tempeh. Then it is laced with sambal to give and added kick.
Now this last stall Stall number 70… I felt sorry for the lady because no one seemed to stop at her stall. She sold homemade food and particularly I liked her Ikan Pekasam with Onions and Dried Chillies. Now Ikan Pekasam is usually fish caught at paddy fields and then pickled in tamarind and salt. The flavor is appetite whetting and as us Asians are well known for liking smelly foods, this one in particular is not a favorite amongst many but my family likes it. This is a delicacy for Perak.
She makes quite interesting jellies and so I thought I’d buy some seeing that no one bought any, and I placed it in the fridge to get cold and when we ate it, Poor Possum forgot to add sugar to it 🙂 I had no heart to tell her.
Now a few stalls that should not be missed is Kokopelli’s Char Koay Teow. Now this Malay man has mastered this dish and makes it as good as the Chinese. Kudos to him.
And of course don’t miss the Popiah stall because hardly anyone misses it because of its long long line. Now let it be known, this is Section 14 gossip. This is not the real Popiah Basah seller from the market. This one is an impostor who claims he has been selling it at the ramadhan stalls for 20 years… yeah good one… these stalls only started in 1998!
It was a business deal that went wrong and the original fella backed off. He still operates in the market and watching everyone line up yesterday in the blazing sun, I thought was such a waste when you could be lining up in shaded comfort of the market complete with fan and all.
Finally, I must say this year the council did the right thing by preventing an over supply of stalls and making the small stall holders lose out to the bigger ones. This comes but once a year so do go out spend, eat and enjoy!
Selamat Berpuasa my Muslim Friends and Readers!!!!!!!