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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Now We're Cookin'--Inside and Out!

After researching cooking classes in KL, we chose LaZat, which means delicious, and made a reservation for Tues.  We had the option to be there at 8i:30 for the market tour, which of course we did.  There were 7 of us in the group, Peter from Slovakia who now lives in Amsterdam, Linda from Canada whose husband is working in Hong Kong, so they live there now, Calinda whose husband is taking a Rolfing course in KL and is also from Canada, and a young man, Bjorn, and woman, Michelle,  who were here for a school/university project from Holland.  Michelle is over 6' tall and says her boyfriend is about 6'5".  The group ended up being great to cook with and get to know, and the teachers were fantastic women.  Sue, the lady in the white headpiece took us to the market and showed us where they buy their food for the class, then we walked back across the street to cook from about 9:30 till 2.  

Sue explained mutton is actually their word for goat.

This is Rosie who was so friendly!  She loved explaining how she mixes the pastes women use for their cooking rather than have to do it themselves.  She also gave us samples of herbs to take home and they passed leaves to smell of different herbs, etc.

This is Saadiah who was the main teacher and Sham in the background who demonstrated as Saadiah explained.  They both helped us when it was our turn to cook.  This shows their demo area--first, they'd show us how to make the dish, we'd get to taste when they finished, then we went to the cooking area to do it ourselves.  We each had our own area and food, so only ate what we made for ourselves.  

The first dish was fritters made with vegetables and shrimp pieces, then fried in very hot oil.

Very hot oil....and ya'll know I don't cook, so I hated working with the heat because it I could feel the heat on my hand and arm.  Sham put a towel over my hand so I wouldn't feel it.  Plus, they had fans going, but it was hot in the room too!  Farther down, you'll see pictures of me looking melted.

As a bonus, they gave us the recipe for making our own chili sauce.

These are my very own fritters!  It was agreed mine were better than Matthew's because I made them smaller and they were crispier.  Saadiah thought it was funny that we were competitive since she already knew I wasn't the cook.

Next, we made beef rendang,which is a Malay staple and found everywhere.  You can see the flour, beef in the cup, paste from Rosie's, shallots, lemon grass, spices on the spoon etc.
Our cooking area

Next, we prepared dessert, which started with already prepared coconut and rice balls.  We made a  dough and then flattened each piece into a circle, put the ball in the center, dropped it onto a greased banana leaf and added already prepared glaze.  Then we wrapped each one as we went and put them all in a steamer.

This is Peter checking out our steamer.  We each had an area with our own creations in it.


Just in case you can't find banana leaves, you can steam them in a small bowl as well.  They don't look appetizing but they're really delicious...oh lazat!
The last dish we prepared was the spicy salad.  Judith, you'd love this.  All the vegetables--carrots, shallots, and cucumbers were julienned, then stir-fried.  First, we used a mortar and pestle to smash lemon grass, shallots, and garlic into a paste to start the cooking, then of course, we cooked the carrots first, added spices and the cucumbers.  More cooking over the hot stove!  

We had a great time with these ladies.  You don't see Sue in our photos because she cooked a vegetarian meal with Calinda separately from us, though in the same room.  Saadiah used to be a chef in a hotel and she and Sham each have 6 children who are now grown.  I loved talking to them and was able to ask questions about religion and wearing the headscarves, etc.  Sue told me girls start wearing them at puberty, and Sham said they get used to the heat, though it does take some getting accustomed to. Sue also confided she wears spaghetti straps at home!  

1 comment:

  1. Very cool . . . or hot . . .Anyway, enjoyed your cooking lesson.