Daily Nonya Dishes: Heritage Recipes for Everyday Meals
This cookbook gives recipes for the food that Babas and Nonyas of old ate for their breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between every day.
This food is not the festive cuisine of Ayam Buah Keluak, Babi Pongteh, and Bakwan Kepiting that are the staples of many Peranakan cookbooks available in bookshops. The daily Nonya dishes are more simple fare, but no less delicious. Food like Ayam Goreng Tauyu Lada Manis (fried chicken with sweet black soya sauce and pepper), Babi Tempra (pork in tangy soya sauce), Gerago Goreng Tepong (krill fritters), Belimbi Masak Taucheo (belimbing in fermented soya bean), and Telor Dadair Empat Daon (four-herb omelette).
The author also includes traditional dishes that have almost vanished – Babi Moro (pork with fermented soy beans and red onions), Buah Paya Masak Titik (papaya and prawns in spicy gravy), and the various tohay dishes made from fermented krill and red yeast.
Thus, Daily Nonya Dishes is not only a fresh, and welcome addition to the canon of Peranakan cookbooks, but is also a valuable documentation of the food enjoyed by Babas and Nonya around the family table in the heyday of Peranakan culture.
This is an exciting new book in the spirit of rata rata (just eat the dishes and enjoy)!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Tan, an active contributor in the fore-front of the Peranakan revival on social media, grew up watching his parents cooking the dishes they learnt from his paternal grandmother, Khoo Quee Neo, the matriach of the historic mansion, Bonny Grass.
When he expressed the interest to learn to cook, his parents said: “Masok dapor prati apa Mak sama Daddy bikin dalam dapor – just go in the kitchen and watch how Mom and Dad cook.” And Matt did just that – and learnt.
When Matt's father passed away in 2002, it hit Matt that it was not only important to learn how to cook the food which he ate regularly at home, but also to record the family recipes for future generations.
The result is this book, which includes only a part of the recipes collected from his grandmother, parents and his extended family, as well as those which he recreated.
Matt is the one who cooks the loak hari hari - the daily dishes for his family.
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