Saturday, October 16, 2010

161010 Changkat Jering to Penang

Saturday 16 October 2010

It's been a while since I went back to Penang, having spent the Raya celebrations in Bangi. So when we heard that the Penang State Govt was having another ride, we signed up without any thought.

We left early & left the hustle & bustle of city life behind. Throughout the PLUS highway, our thoughts were just about the ride. Ashaari was excited & so was Arief. I believe even Hanafi had sleepless nights. Three stooges, without the knowledge & skill of what's in store for them. Are they gonna enjoy it or suffer? Only they can judge & gauge their own feelings.

After about 100km, the bike wobbled on the roof. Stopped & swapped the C50 to a normal low profile ones & the shaking stopped. I'm a virgin when it comes to this. Never used THULE roof rack before lah, what do you expect? Huh! Remembering that it was a Saturday, I kept telling myself to exit at Cangkat Jering. Changkat Jering is a small town in Perak, Malaysia. It is near the larger town of Taiping.

Map - Changkat Jering, Perak

Google route

It connects Taiping to the North-South Expressway via the southern exit, located near the junction of Federal Route 1, the old trunk road, with Jalan Air Kuning. Changkat Jering is famed for its big weekly evening market on Saturdays. Cangkat Jering brought back fond memories of my father. He was born in Kampung Panchor, Pantai Remis, Perak which is 30km or half an hour drive from Cangkat Jering.

Gado-gado / Pechal

Every possible time, he'd would stop at this small junction town after passing Kamunting, Taiping & the family would have kampung style "Laksa Buyong" cooked in a earth pot. You'd also find Dangai, Cok Peneram & 101 variety of kampung fare. Af far as I could remember, these simple folks would sell their wares particularly on Staurday, here only.


Chok/Cucur Peneram

"Lokan" was my favourite clam but since it isn't their season, none can be found. Instead, we took home one hellova big salted Ikan Parang & ten packets of Ikan Pekasam (Pickled fish with grated rice).

Salted river fish & Pekasam

We arrived @ my mom's pod around lunch & she cooked the best fish curry in the world! Got up after Asar prayers & went over to Padang Kota Lama (Fort Cornwallis) to meet up with my old friend the Tauke Mee Sotong. Caught up with Pak Piee of the famous Boria troupe as he was acting for a drama on a trishaw. Ariefr can't resist a pix with the legend.

Boria troupe. Pak Piee & Arief

After the nose watery threat, we headed towards Feringghi where Hanafi, Bedul & the rest of the gang looped a soft ride around Teluk Bahang.

That nite, we gobbled a hefty plate of carbohydrate fatty Nasi Kandar @ our regular Deen's Nasik Kandar Restaurant in Jelutong & with an unsteady daze, groggily drove 10 minutes back to the awaiting pillow.

Jering - = Archidendron Jiringa.

Changkit Jering - A hill full of Jering trees
Changkat = Low Hill/slightly elevated platform of earth, Jering/Jengkol. Dont eat too much of jering, you might get "Kapit" / difficulty when peeing! The beans are mildly toxic due to the presence of djenkolic acid, an amino acid, which causes djenkolism (Jering/Jengkol bean poisoning). It can cause "spasmodic pain, gout, urinary obstruction and acute renal failure". Even though it has a bitter taste and foul smell, the large brown legumes can be eaten raw, are very popular and cooked with coconut milk & chili (Masak lemak). It's best boiled till soft and eaten with sprinkled sugar & grated coconut.

Growing to about 21 metres, the Jering (Archidendron Jiringa), as it is known locally, has smooth, pale grey bark, originated in Southeast Asia, it grows wild and also cultivated in Southeast Asia. The most striking feature of this tree is the massive purplish-brown pods that suspend coiled from its branches. The pods, that measure 20 to 25 cm long and 5 cm wide, are used to extract purple dyes to colour silk.
As part of traditional medicinal usage, the Jering seeds are extolled for preventive diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. And as a remedy to eliminate stones from the bladder, a decoction of finely pounded ginger, Jering seeds and water, is consumed.

The leaves can be pounded and applied in chest pains, pains, skin ailments. Ashes obtained by burning the old leaves can also be applied on itch, cuts & wounds. Its bark powder are sometimes applied on to one's body for treating chest pains, skin ailments, made into a gargle for treating gum pains & toothache.

*Warning! Never go into a lavatory knowing a person who has consumed Jering.

Boria is a traditional song and dance sketch or dance drama, found mainly in Penang, believed to have originated from Persia & India. Boria made its appearance in Penang in the later decades of the nineteenth century It is described as a traditional quatrain song form or pantun which is performed in a fusion of traditional & western music style and with dance forms such as quick-step, rhumba or soul juxtaposed with inang, zapin & other classic dance steps.
Although it was probably brought in by Indian Muslim traders of long ago, it has today come to be identified mainly with the Penang Malay community.
Boria incorporates the elements of dance, music and comic sketches. The troupe has a leader, a chorus, comedians and musicians.

A Boria performance begins with a comic sketch, followed by a song and dance featuring a juxtaposition of choral and solo parts. The lyrics amplify the gist of the comic sketch. The violin, maracas and tabla are used to accompany the singing, although the western pop band may also be used.

"Hangpa ni semua borialah..." Translation "You guys are so "Boria"". Meaning - To wear something similar / same costume / same outfit.

Lokan - Polymesoda expansa / Marsh/Mud/Swamp Clam
(Is a kind of clam/mollusks mainly found within the mangrove forest). This large, heavy bivalve formerly known as Geloina expansa is found buried in the stiff mud of the landward fringe of mangroves. Shell length is mostly around 9 cm in diametres almost as huge as your fist, with thicker and heavier shells. In the thick black mud of the mangroves, its well-adapted to this habitat, being able to tolerate long periods of low tide, and has the ability to resume filter-feeding rapidly when inundated.
As an important adjunct source of protein. this mollusks presents a healthy relief from the normal meal monotony in coastal villages. .
It's really a bivalve mollusk, tasting (to me) like a sweet, delicious oyster.
Best cooked with lemongrass as a soup or fried with chilies. My late grandma's & uncle recipe. Locals claim that this mollusk improves general health as well as enhancing s**ual performance!

Don't confuse yourself with Kristanna Loken's clams

Behind my granny's house in Kampung Panchor lay a huge mangrove area. During Lokan season, we would scour the swamp at low-tide & get a gunny sacks full!
Lokan is huge compared to the tiny "Remis"/a dime sized clam, me & my cousins loves getting soaked in the black mud ala Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie "Predator" "& catch the cute Silver Leaf monkey's babies ("Lotong" not Lontong ok?).

Recipe - Lokan fried in chili

Enuff for me & my clone.

1 kilo of lokan
12 red chili
10 red onions
1 bolb of garlic
2 slices of tamarind
2 sticks of lemon grass
1 teaspoon of sugar or none at all
A pinch of salt
1 piece of Curcuma Longa leaf (Daun kunyit)
1 bowl of water

How to go about cookin it:
Soak briefly & clean the clams thoroughly in cold water. Remove the excess membrane/loose skin around the Lokan & discard the shell (Unless u wanna break your teeth). Pound all the condiments into a paste & fry it on a slow fire in a wok. Make it to a boil & as the gravy thickens, throw in the lokans & make sure it's properly cooked. Serve to the glutton! Best eaten with soft rice & soy sauce. That's it baby!

Achtung! Never over-cook Lokan, it’ll be too tough & taste like rubber!

*Indemnity clause - The author shall not be made responsible for your health, that could result in death or permanent disabilities for the consumption of the concoction, remedies, potions & recipes detailed in this blog.

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