Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Saturday, September 26, 2009
While going through the proof of "Kayu Manis - A Taste of Terengganu's Heritage", I was reminded of the breakfast fares far removed from those offered by McDonald or La Bodega. McDonald finally arrived in Kuala Terengganu recently and ordinary Terengganu folks have no inkling of what or where La Bodega is.

The forthcoming coffee-table book wrote about nasi kapit, pulut chawan, ketupat sebutir, tepung kapor and other dishes Terengganu folks eat for breakfast besides nasi dagang and later, roti Pulau Kambing.

Nasi kapit, or to the non-Terengganu people, nasi himpit is also served during Hari Raya. Some satay sellers replaced ketupat nasi with nasi kapit. Soto lovers will also find nasi kapit in their soto.

Nasi kapit is not an instant breakfast although nowadays you might get instant ketupat/nasi himpit from the supermarket. The rice is usually cooked one day earlier then wrapped in a clean muslin cloth before it is compressed by putting a very heavy object on the rice. My mother used her batu giling, the slab of granite that she mashed her spices on. Bookworms might use volumes of their encyclopaedia. Putting heavy mother-in-laws or other hefty relatives are not advised, however willing they are are. The rice is left to be compressed overnight.

Nasi kapit is usually eaten with kuoh kacang (peanut sauce). The sauce is similar to satay sauce although I find satay sauce today too sweet for my liking. Kuoh kacang takes some doing too. First the peanuts have to fried (without oil). Then the peanuts are broken into small bits by pounding them in a mortar or if you prefer the modern style, run them through a mixer/chopper. Then it is cooked with other ingredients like chilly, water, salt and a judicious amount of sugar.

Although nasi kapit and peanut sauce would be breakfast enough for a Terengganu person, some would like to heighten the experience by adding sambal daging (meat floss), sambal ikan or serondeng. Sadly, the best sambal daging is not from Terengganu. I would say that the best sambal daging I have tasted came from Langgar, Kota Bharu.

Those interested to try cooking nasi kapit might want to have a look at this page. Oh, what is ketupat sebutir? You have to wait for the book to come out.