I've been away from my homeland for more than 10 years. Experiencing fasting in this special Ramadhan month has taught me lots of things. From the successful, devoted career woman who has her life revolved only around work and more work, now I've changed into a multitasking woman who wants to do almost everything that she can do.
I can actually cook- in other words, I am quite a good cook. My husband told me when at first he met me, he thought that I couldn't even cook by judging me on how modern and 'urban' (this term still didn't exist at that time) I was at that time. He even said to himself that he didn't mind eating or buying food outside as his love towards me overcomes everything else. (He confessed this to me after a few months we got married.) Wow.. isn't he sweet... :) To cut the love story short, we lived happily ever after till now as I proved him wrong!
My skills on cooking are more on lauk-pauk and baking cakes/cookies. I always helped my mom in the kitchen and that gave me lots of experience and tips on this. I enhanced my skills in cooking after being away as I have no choice but to explore, trial and error as here we don't have shops selling our local cuisines. Only after a few years back, a few Thailand shops and one Malaysian cafe opened here in Muscat. Once in a while we go there to lepas our gian on homeland cuisines.
I love eating our traditional kuih-muih Melayu but it is not beyond my expertise. The challenge started when the urge of eating these kuih-muih happened during Ramadhan. Back in Malaysia, we can see varieties of kuih-muih sold at the Pasar Ramadhan and you can just pick and buy what you want. Over here... if you want, you have to make it on your own. If you don't know how to make it, then learn how to make it! That is how I started slowly learned making these kuih-muih Melayu.
Cekodok pisang - this is my first kuih that I've learned to make. Yeah.. don't laugh at me. Who wants to make cekodok pisang when you can always buy it right? but that's in Malaysia... During Iftar, besides the main food I always want to have one kuih. Yeah.. no matter what, one kuih is a must walau masa tu tak tau langsung nak buat kuih.
10 years ago our first Ramadhan in Oman, I wanted to make one type of kuih. At that time with the limited source of ingredients and knowledge and skills that I had, the only kuih that I could think about was cekodok pisang. Bananas are sold everywhere here and are easy to get. At that time there was no Facebook or any kind of media social used so that I can google on how to make this kuih. I called my cousin back in Malaysia asking for the recipe.
From the recipe she gave me, I challenged myself to make this cekodok pisang. On the first day, the cekodok pisang turned to be mushy and oily. Still my husband and me ate it. On the second day, I tried again.. it turned up that I've put more flour that it became tasteless and hard. Still we ate it.. Third day it improved a bit but still the taste was so-so. I kept trying everyday for a week untill I got the perfect rounded cekodok pisang that was crispy at the outside but soft in the inside. Yeah..... I did it! Believe it or not, the cekodok pisang had been our only kuih for the first 15days of our Ramadhan until I moved to the next challenge of making karipap.
Only God knows how excited I was at that time on the achievement of this cekodok pisang. I was so happy...
Yesterday on our first day of Iftar, I made cekodok pisang. Sekarang dah terror lah.. hehehe.. sap sap sui dah siap! It brings me back the memory of how struggling I was to make it 10 years ago. Alhamdullilah now after being away for so long, I managed to learn and make varieties of our traditional kuih-muih. Besides of having no choice as no Pasar Ramadhan here, it also gives me the pleasure and satisfaction to make it for my family and friends.