Monday, 19 June 2017

The fragrant aroma of clarified butter

My mother is an expert in cooking Indian-style briyani. Her skills have been passed down to my better half who has now become the go-to person when her siblings crave for tasty mutton briyani. For Aidilfitri, it is normal for our house to serve briyani when the normal Malay raya dishes would be ketupat and rendang.

There are many different recipes to cooking briyani, depending on the region or version. Pakistani style, Hyderabad style, Batu Pahat style, just to name a few. The ingredients in my mother's version are quite extensive. One of the most important is ghee. It gives the briyani rice a unique fragrant aroma. Recipes that make use of other fat substitutes would simply pale in comparison.

Ghee or clarified butter (commonly known as minyak sapi in Malay), is an expensive component. Even among the many manufacturers of this product, there are varying qualities. We have tried cooking briyani using different brands of ghee and conclude that the one from QBB is still the best. Not surprisingly, it is also the most expensive.

So expensive that the Mydin Supermarket chain has to attach security caps on the cans of QBB ghee to deter shoplifting.

Compare the prices of the 2 brands on this shelf

Anti-shoplifting bands on the QBB cans. Proof of its popularity


Andrea said...

I've tried cooking this dish twice but somehow it didn't turned out ok. Now that you pointed it out..hmm..maybe it was the GHEE that I missed; because on both occasions, the recipe called for the use of Butter instead. I'll probably give it another try with Minyak Sapi Tulen this time around. Thanks for the tip!

As for security tags, the other popular tagged food item is Infant Milk Formula where in certain supermarkets, they even have it behind locked glass shelves!!! Sign of the times, no doubt.

Oldstock said...

Hi Andrea. Indeed it is the sign of the times. Infant formula is certainly very expensive. I remember many years ago when my children were babies. They needed the formula because the Mrs could not breastfeed. I was on constant lookout for stores that sell the milk at the cheapest price. Surprisingly, the place selling them at the lowest price were the chinese medical halls.