Housewife, Zainab Idris was seen placing finely chopped daun asam gelugur (Garcinia atroviridis leaves) at the bottom of a pot, before setting ikan selayang (Japanese scad) on top of the leaves.

She then repeated the process layer by layer until all four kilogrammes of the ikan selayang were used up before topping more of the leaves in the pot.

The resident at Kampung Melayu Jerkoh, here, proceeded to set the pot, which was filled with the leaves, fish, coconut milk and other condiments over a small fire and would wait for the gravy to dry about eight hours later.

"People here call this dish gulai kering daun asam gelugur... a traditional food that is becoming increasingly difficult to find those who can cook it," she told Bernama when met at her home here recently.

Zainab, 58 said it was a special dish among the residents of the neighbouring villages including Kampung Ulu Atok and Kampung Jenud.

On the best types of fish that can be used to make the dish, Zainab said besides ikan selayang, they would normally opt for ikan pelaling (Indian mackerel) and tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) to be combined with coconut milk, cili padi (bird’s eye chilli), fresh turmeric and salt.

Zainab said she learned about the recipe from her mother and mother-in-law who told her to mix the leaves with salt water to ensure that the sour taste of the leaves would not overpower the dish.

She said gulai kering asam gelugur is best eaten with white rice, glutinous rice, ketupat or lemang, adding it was normally served during festivities and special occasions such as wedding receptions and events attended by ‘important individuals’.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency