June 2, 2011

Breakfast in the Long House (Ulu Limbang)

Some people might be wondering what kind of breakfast longhouse dwellers( Ibans) have.

It depends really on what they have at home.

It could be a breakfast of hard biscuits and sweet thin tea or coffee. It could be even bread bought in Limbang made by the local bakeries. It could even be nasi lemak or even a great English or American breakfast!

But this Gawai there was one memorable breakfast...Very sustainable and green.

The longhouse folks have been growing at lot of kelata - a climbing vegetable which is a little bitter but tastes just like cangkok manis. this climber is grown in the backyard of almost every household.

A climber - the kelata is a good vegetable for any meal of the day.

the Ensaya is a popular vegetable amongst the longhouse people. Visitors are often given this fruit as a parting gift. The Ensaya grows well in the hilly soils of Ulu Limbang and the fuit lasts for a long time after plucking. Four or five of these fruits can feed a small family for many weeks.

This is half of the kundur or the ensaya..(Bisayas have been accorded the honour as the first people who introduced this vegetab le...hence the Bisaya Fruit...)

Ensaya boiled with pieces of smoked meat (or fish) and chilies and ginger. Any left over meat from the Gawai celebration could be used to cook the kundur as a soup.

Our breakfast on the second day of the Gawai .  The great beef rendang is at the top of the photo. On the far right is the Iban style of cooking cucumber leaves. The kelata dish was not ready when I took this photo. The was some chicken cooked in soy sauce. Beef or buffalo meat come from overseas and can be bought in the cold storage in Limbang. chicken is a common domestic animal and it is hoped that more and more of the families will raise their own chickens for eggs and meat in the future. Frozen chicken is really not a good substitute for fresh farm meat.

Do you think snake meat is a sustainable food?


Fran Johns said...

For an American brought up on Southern cooking, who thinks her grown-up New York/ California tastes are pretty exotic, I am just enchanted with all this. What a treat for our paths to have crossed in cyberspace.

Ann said...

TUNG KUA, that's what we cantonese call the, they are supposed to be cooling, esp if boiled with ducks. Mu Mum used to hollow a cylindric shaped Tung kua and steam her water duck.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Fran
It is indeed good that our paths have crossed in cyberspace. And I am happy to share my Sarawak experiences with you. perhaps not many of my fellow Sarawakians will be able to so as they have so little time on their hands to write about mundane things....but to me these are all just too signficant not tell others about!! Thanks for visiting!! God bless. Hope life is just great for you .....and the weather is kind.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I see that you have a special recipe there I have not tried before...that's really a good suggestion from you...and I shall do it soon. thanks.

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