|40-year old recipe book|
When I say `old', I mean real old... the text is in `ejaan lama'. For those of you young readers out there, if you don't understand what is meant by ejaan lama, go ask your mother. Even the measurements for the ingredients uses terms that are no longer in use. Try going to the market and ask to buy a kati of fish... and you'll probably get a laugh from the fishmonger.
Medan Selera was one of the very early compilation of recipes in book form. Haji Ahmad originally wrote his compilation in Jawi script in 1958. This romanised edition was first published in 1971, after the author's demise. It became a popular reference book amongst the ladies at that time. It contains recipes for most of the traditional dishes that Johor is famous for... nasi beriani (spelt as buryani in the book), laksa Johor and botok-botok. Surprisingly, the author had also included recipes for some western and Japanese dishes too. There is actually a recipe for mutton chops... which just goes to show that our tastebuds were already quite varied back then. It is also claimed that Haji Ahmad was the one who first used the Italian spaghetti in laksa Johor.
|So how heavy is a kati in today's terms?|
|Tembosa, a.k.a epok-epok|
A teacher from my old school who is a descendant of Haji Ahmad Bin Yaakub, is presently making efforts to re-publish this book in modern form. I look forward to owning a copy when it comes out in print. Then maybe I can try cook the original version of the famous Beriani Gam.