November 4, 2011

Kelupis - a special leaf wrapped snack from Sarawak

Each Ramadan in the olden days my family would get a special gift from our Kak my mother's faithful help and neigbhour. She would make us some kelupis as my mum would have given her a gantang or two of pulut for her Fasting month and a bonus for laundry work. In those days "breaking of fast" was not in fashion.

Kak's kelupis would always be the best in the world. Thin as the thumb with just enough coconut milk to make it smooth and fragrant. She would collect the leaves herself and prepare the kelupis with loving and tender care. She had all the time in the world to do the cooking because she was the unmarried daughter of the family. She would prepare all the food for Buka Puasa before she left for her work with various households.

She gave us a bit of rendang and curry to go with the kelupis when she came to do work for mum. In a child's mind this were wonderful gifts.

A kind woman like Kak was like a good friendly spirit in my mother's busy life. Kak was always understanding. Her hands though rough from all the laundry she had to do were gentle when she combed our hair or helped to soap us down when we bathed in the bath area. Her extra help was lovingly noted by all of us. We continued to be close even though the urban development pushed her kampong away and her new home was nearer Sungei Antu. Times have changed in Sibu but good memories do not fade away.

We must never forget people's kindness towards us.

Some tips on cooking this traditional rice
300 gm glutinous rice (clean and check for impurities)
300 gm santan (or amount you like)
2 pandan leaves to add fragrance to the rice.
Get ready some daun long or daun apong (all these you can buy in the tamu).

Method :
1. Over a slow fire cook the santan and pandan leaves.
2. When the santan starts to  simmer add the rice an some salt. Stir until the rice is soft and has fully absorbed all the santan.
3. Wrap the rice daintily in the daun long or the long daun apong.
4. Tie with strings or small rattan twines (even rubber bands).
5. Steam in a steamer until the leaves are soft. Test.

Usually the kelupis is about 8 inches long (the stretch of your hand) when you use daun apong. For presentation we usually tie four together like in the photos.

When you use daun apong you do not have to bother with staplers and staple pins or small tooth picks. It is more environmentally friendly...and besides the taste is truly natural and sweet.....



Ann said...

I only know PULUT BANGAN, not the same? Then in Singapore and West Malaysia, the QUETUPAT?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann Pulut Panggang (bbq) is famous in Malaysia and especially Sibu. Kelupis is special and only made for special days like Raya etc...Ketupat is the oblong rice made for eating with satay...difficult for us to make because we do not know how to weave the "wrapping" with coconut fronds!! But now we can buy ready made wrapper....

Bengbeng said...

it looks like aversion of otak-otak

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes..many traditional snacks and food in Sarawak are "wrapped" food. And I notice that this is a style of the olden days in many different Asian countries. Not long ago I learned about making steamed cakes and food using corn sheaths!! How creative our ancestors are.

Otak otak can be leaf wrapped using many different kinds of leaves too. Best is still coconut fronds.

There is a duck recipe in Indonesia which uses old palm flower petals. Very interesting!! And looks really delicious .

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