|Enjoying the lunch that the guest cooked.|
|Learning about the various food by Hajah.|
Hajah Halimah is a mother of three children and lives in the coastal town of Kinarut. The inhabitants here are predominantly of Bajau and Brunei Malay descent and their cuisine features a lot of seafood and poultry that is cooked with a wide selection of locally grown herbs and spices. Like many of the people in Sabah, Hajah herself is a mixture of Bajau, Dusun and Brunei Malay. Having a passion for cooking, she learned about the traditional recipes from her mother and other family relatives during her early childhood. She has also added many recipes from various ethnic groups found in Sabah.
|Some od the dishes cooked by the guest.|
|Learning about the various erbs and spices.|
At the market, they are introduced to the various fresh herbs such as lemon grass, gingers like turmeric, galangal and torch ginger flowers, Thai basil, petai beans, belacan (Fermented shrimp paste) and the various local fruits and vegetables. They also learn about the various dry spices on sale in the Spice section of the market and the use of coconut. At the local cake section, guest get to sample the many varieties of colourful local cakes sold here and if the guests are interested, a walk around the fish market is also included. Having finished their purchases, the guests are driven to Hajah Halima’s house in Kinarut, which is about 30 minutes away from the city. The house has a lovely garden full of tropical flowers, fruits and a number of local herbs, which are used in our local cuisine.
|Guest at the market.|
Today’s dishes will be “ayam likku” or chicken in fresh herbs & spices which is typical chicken dish of the Bugis people and “kerabu pakis” a vegetable dish of Jungle ferns cooked with dried shrimp , chillies and roasted coconut. The guests then get busy preparing, cutting and grinding the various ingredients under the watchful eyes of Hajah, followed by cooking the dishes themselves. When everything is done, everybody sits down to have a sumptuous meal of local food, which they have helped, prepared and cooked. Local cakes are served with choices of Tenom coffee or Sabah tea to polish off the meal.
The guest have learned some new recipes, had an opportunity to meet local people and learn about the culture, while making some new friends. It is an experience that will be remembered for many years to come.
Hajah Halima can be contacted at:
Equator Adventure Tours Sdn. Bhd
Tel: (+6) 088 766 351 desserts
Text and Photos by DAVID DE LA HARPE