Singapore is good at promoting foreign food or “hipterising” local food favourites such as nasi lemak’s conversion into a McD burger for National Day. At their Ramadan bazaars, I kept seeing a Katira drink that was a big hit. The crazy Chinese seller who looked like Batman’s Joker, assured me it is halal and showed me the MUIS logo which is similar in mileage to our JAKIM logo.
I thought he was a PRC (local racist and discriminatory slang word for workers from People’s Republic of China) but he is local since he kept using Hokkien (Fujian) expletives when I pushed him for an explanation of the unusual green drink.
What is Katira? It is Tragacanth gum from a shrub mostly found in Iran, Iraq and Western Asia. It is considered a herb and good for detoxing in the Middle East. I didn’t feel like trying after he called it “kapo nerg” or frog’s eggs or tadpoles. Thanks for your honesty, Sir. Wonderful Basil seed drink suffers the same. Finally, I saw one solitary stall selling it from a corner at TTDI’s bazaar this year. The Singapore stall was at Geylang Serai and local Malays loved Air Katira and Jus Katira.
#singapore #food #katira #ramadan #geylangserai
Kow Po is that famous family-owned ice-cream parlour in Bentong. I tried their cendol (icy dessert of green jelly in coconut milk, sweetened with palm sugar) this time and was delighted to find a scoop of pandan (screwpine) flavoured ice-cream on it.
While home-made ice cream is their signature product, part of the appeal of the place is the old-school containers and high-back diner-style chairs of the 60’s. The place is also quite dark, perhaps harking back to the dimly-lit coffee-houses that served as courting venues during yesteryears.
There is also a Malay lady selling some killer nasi lemak and rojak for which I didn’t try. On weekends, there are literally busloads of people lining up to get in.
Map and directions to Kow Po in Bentong: http://www.mycen.my/kow-po-ice-cream-bentong/
Warung Ais Krim Kow Po, Bentong Heights, 28700 Bentong, Pahang. Tel: +609 222 1258
Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f4.5, 1/50 sec.
#pandan #cendol #icedessert #kowpo #icecream #bentong #pahang
Green apple and dried sour plum drink at a Ramadan bazaar.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 800, f4, 1/3200 sec.
They always look graceful when frozen by the camera in mid-flight. At a market, I saw a shopkeeper throwing grains and the birds swooping in from a telephone wire.
Pays to keep the camera in S or shutter priority mode for street photography. I rolled the dedicated shutter speed control dial rapidly while lifting the camera to my eye.
It all happened in a matter of a few of seconds. Before I hit the targeted 1/4000th of a second, the birds were already overhead.
While I can control the camera, the flight formation is all luck. I added the green hue in post.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 200, f4, 1/3200 sec.
I like this gooey and fragrant dessert served chilled. Contained in a banana leaf boat, the kuih is made from coconut milk and rice flour. The top is creamy and a bit salty while the bottom is sweet pandan-flavoured green.
There is condensation on the surface because I just took it out of the refrigerator.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1600, f11, 1/60 sec.