Monday, April 30, 2012

One of the best (ori) nasi kandar .. ever

Some will swear that nasi kandar beratur is the best, others argue kassim mustafa / hameeds / kapitan is the world ruler, and you might have heard about many nasi kandar outlets claiming to serve you the most authentic, aromatic, automatic, romantic nasi kandar in the whole world. 

But have you had the real deal, at least with the (real) kandar thing thrown in? At Restoran Tai Min (opposite Jelutong Police Station), lies a small stall (without signboard). That is the famous nasi kandar ameer (some mention hamek). The shop opens from 6AM till 10.30AM or till they run out of dishes. Queue can bee seen along the corridor of the shop. You come late, you go back, you come tomorrow.

Firstly, kandar (a piece of wood) got nothing to do with the food they serve, except for logistic purposes. A flat piece of strong wood is used to carry rattan baskets that contains rice and curry items over shoulders of the peddlers in those days. The tradition has long vanished after motored vehicles came into picture, but this outlet still transports their 'goods' using the kandar seen below.

In early mornings, you can witness this tradition alive at Ameer's.Keep in mind that, this is not some gimmick, like you see some shops in KL keeping the rice pots in the BASKETS of the kandar and claim that's the real deal.

He's the man!! 3rd generation nasi kandar peddler, he's using a coconut shell to scoop the steaming rice. Their order taking is very interesting, where they use codes for food items and (instant) nicknames for customers. E.g a person with spiked hair will be called 'porcupine', a fat person will be called 'barrel' all in Tamil-lah :)

The food variety they serve is simple, limited and moves faster than the fastfood counter. This photo is taken between 8-9 am and the fried chicken is finished!!

Top: Sujen's prawn curry, you will see what happened to him later.
Middle & bottom: Boy & I took fried fish with mixed curry.

Their nasi kandar is always 'banjir' version, unless you want dry. The rice is fluffy, not soggy, aromatic and soaks up all the curry well. The curry, you have to taste it to know its heavenly.

And how can we resist a good cup of hot coffee for breakfast after whacking a whole plate of nasi kandar??
We found out that it has some dramatic effects on the patrons. No they are not having fits, yet.

Co-owner had a chat with us, he claimed that making nasi kandar (good one that is), is not rocket science. Its not just about the spices, the ingredients or the recipe, he said its about the laborious 12 hours making & waiting for the curry to complete that makes Ameer's curry exceptionally crazy! Its not some spicy, salty thing that they serve you and claims that's curry. They have flavorful and real taste that lingers in your palate for some time.

So if you're in Penang and you want to give yourself a good, authentic nasi kandar meal for BREAKFAST, head to Ameer @ Jelutong. You won't be disappointed. Burrrrrpppppppppp!

My first ever blog post - Tour of India 2011

Greetings friends,

Finally after much consideration and requests, I've begun to blog. I know, I know (ala the late Raguvaran) it took too long for me to be infected by blogging bug, but I've been always writing about thing all over the place, except in blogs. So here goes a new beginning. For that, I start with a religious note ;)

I've known some of my best buddies for more than 27 years, in that small group of notoriously hap-pening (albeit behind closed doors), Kevin, Ramesh, JB, Siva, Dev, Boy (engireh) Suresh play an important part in my life. If I'm not wrong some 15 year ago when Dev 'invoked' the Kaumaram - Murugan worship among us, we had this grand plan of visiting all 6 of the most sacred temples dedicated for Lord Murugan in India. Along the way we got busy with life, wife and sometime knife (I cook OK), the plan faded but remained in the archive for looooong time. Along came Boy who also incidentally inclined towards the Lord, keeping our hope for this elusive tour to happen.

Suddenly, the grand plan hatched long ago became a reality in 2011, without much trouble. we took 6 months of intense planning, communicating with relative in India and scheduling the 'over ambitious' tour, to complete over 2500km tour in 1 week!

So for the rest of blog, I'll let the pictures to paint thousands of words here ...

3am Sentral KL, Boy & Ramesh (please note the ultra-high-tech luggage tag for Boy)

2 Over excited buddies

And there we are, leaving on a jet plane

Yes, Ramesh is holding his breath

 1st look above Chennai

 Kovaiyil Kutthattam!

 Director & still cameraman

 6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 1st - PALANI

Mudi kanikkai

en route to 'sumarana' public bath, fail!

Vel murugan Vetri vel murugan!

Our dream of taking kavadi in Palani finally becomes reality

Golden chariot getting ready ... even looking at it makes you feel blessed.

The magnificent Madurai  Meenakshi temple

 Grand structures in Madurai temple

  6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 2nd - Tiruparakundram

  6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 3rd - Pazhamuthircholai
 Azhagar temple

  6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 4th Tiruchendoor

 6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 4th Tiruchendoor

Pillayar Patti Karpaga Vinayagar temple

Kunnakudi Murugan Temple

Tanjavoor (Tanjore) Sivan temple

6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 5th Swamimalai

6 padai veedu / 6 sacred temple : 6th Tirutanigai

 The gang that pulled of an incredible journey of more than 2500km in 3 days!! 

The moment we finished the temple tour, its was an unbelievable feeling of intense connection with the Lord. We couldn't have done it without His blessing and protection. For all the naysayers who told us its impossible to complete the journey in 1 tour, we have proved that, its possible if He wants you to! Vetri vel muruganuku .. Arogara!