Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cooking with Amah

I have an unsual relationship with my grandma(Amah)...to start off with she's my step-grandma...and due to the fact that I lived abroad for most of my years I never really got close to her. I read about people bonding with their grandparents all the time and I envy them as I never lived in the same place as any of my grandparents. It was because of all the distance that my relationship with Amah was awkward at best. We would do the usual greetings and goodbyes, but never really talked. It went on like this for 25 years right up until this past weekend when I decided I wanted to learn how to cook some of Amah's specialties.

Amah has a set repertoire when it comes to the dishes she serves when we visit her. They are delicious and no one in the family has learnt how to make them. So when I told her I wanted her to teach me I was slowly on my way to building a better relationship. I spent Sunday morning with her learning how to cook her way and for the first time in my life we bonded. She was so excited to teach me and I was just as eager to learn. She could not stop talking proudly about how she learnt these dishes...how she's added twists here and there to make them unique...if you had seen us in that kitchen you would have thought we had always been very close...I suppose it's true when they say food brings people closer together!

For my first lesson she taught me how to cook a Prawn Sambal, Spicy Spinach Dish, and Egg Curry(clockwise in the photo)

I observed her as she deftly prepared these dishes. For her it was second nature...she could practically do them with her eyes closed! She has many more to teach me and I'm going to be learning every step of the way. I'll also be posting the recipe for these when I try them out at home on my own. This way I can work out the quantities...because if I gave them to you the way my Amah gave them to me it would go something like this:

-50 cent worth of Coconut

-60 cent worth of Dried Chilis

-A thumbful of Tamarind

-Just see the paste and see how much Santan to add

-You don't need to add Belacan, then again you can if you want

I think you get the general idea...she cooks by feel as I suppose most grandmothers do...they just know how much should go in...this must come from many years of experience...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

,I like this article and Im glad to hear that you and amah are getting to kow each other better. Its never to late to do that.