Sunday, January 07, 2007


Tok Ku,

I suppose there is a perfectly logical explanation for your Nasi Dagang problem. Generally, there are two types of Nasi Dagang available in the East Coast, namely, Nasi Dagang Kelantan (NDK) and Nasi Dagang Trengganu. (NDT) There are two distinct features. The Kelantan version has dark red plus white rice due to partial polishing of the glutinous rice and the gravy is rather thick (using nyor gula) and sweet (using gula putih). On the other hand, the Nasi Dagang Trengganu uses the white glutinous rice mixed with normal rice in certain ratio (secret recipe) and the gravy is rather yellowish and not sweet. I suppose you took the Trengganu Nasi (glutinous plus white rice) and the Kelantan Gravy (sweet gravy). On the other hand, when in Primula you took the full Trengganu version (rice & gravy). If you were in Kota Baru, they will serve you the full Kelantan version. (Dark red rice & sweet gravy). Of course, you and I prefer the better Trengganu version with Original Recipe. The nasi dagang is now being modified where the acar timun mentah is added to it now instead of using only the old yellow cucumber cooked with the gravy. I prefer the acar to accompany it since sometimes, it neutralize the fishy (hanyir) taste of the tuna fish. The tuna fish is sometimes boiled separately (rebus and not singang with asam garam lengkuas) which explained its level of hanyirness and it is put into the gravy “on the rock”.

It is the same with nasi beriyani – it should be both the beriyani gravy but the beriyani rice. Beriyani rice is much nicer in taste since it is the long grain and expensive type of rice known as Bhasmathi rice or the Malay just called it Beras Mati (literally the Dead Rice). So, the next time you order for the beriyani make sure you take the beriyani rice and beriyani gravy. If not it is not so nice since you’re taking the beriyani gravy (plus meat) but not a berani rice (takut rice). By the way, there seems to be a third version of the nasi dagang. My encounter with the third kind of nasi dagang is in KL. The red glutinous rice was just boiled (tanok) in the normal way and it did not undergo the “arong” process and the nasi dagang rice is soft (lembek) and stick to one another. The gravy and tuna fish is cooked with lots of chili padi (lada kecik /ladi API) and of course it is damn hot and that’s the time you wish that it should be sweet. After some inquiry with the kitchen of the stall , I discovered it was cooked by a Negori Chef who stated that “ nasi dagang lauk lomak cili api pun sodaap…..I told him that it is not Nasi Dagang and it should be called “ Nasi Semenda” ( Semenda= Dagang ??) Since it is very very “podeh “

As to the road sign, the Trenganunized version should be written as “Pusak Banndo” ; “ Kuatang “ ; “ Pula Ghedang” ;”Paso Keda Payang”; “Tamang Sah Banndo “ and the Majeleh Banndorang Kuale Ganu Kite should approve it.


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