Monday, April 01, 2013

Malaysian Food Fest (MFF) Kelantan Month

I am sure most of you have seen Malaysian Food Fest events going on for the past few months and now it is my turn to do the state of Kelantan. By the way, do drop by to Annielicious Food to check out the round up for Johor state. I’ve participate quite a few of blog events hosted by fellow food bloggers throughout the years of blogging but never hosted one until now.

When Wendy of Table for 2.. or more told me about her plan to do it and asked me if am interested to host for one of the states, I told her I am all for it. There were quite a few states not taken up by anyone and I choose to host the state of Kelantan. I am not from Kelantan or even been to Kelantan but I am always curious about this colorful state. Hopefully, I get to visit the beautiful state of Kelantan one day.

From wikipedia

Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ("The Blissful Abode"). Kelantan is positioned in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Narathiwat Province of Thailand to the north, Terengganu to the south-east, Perak to the west, and Pahang to the south. To the north-east of Kelantan is the South China Sea.

Kelantan is located in the north-eastern corner of the peninsula, Kelantan, which is said to translate as the "Land of Lightning" (see alternate theories below), is an agrarian state with lush paddy fields, rustic fishing villages and casuarina-lined beaches. Kelantan is home to some of the most ancient archaeological discoveries in Malaysia, including several prehistoric aboriginal settlements. Due to Kelantan's relative isolation and largely rural lifestyle, Kelantanese culture differs somewhat from Malay culture in the rest of the peninsula; this is reflected in the cuisine, arts, and the peculiar Kelantanese Malay dialect, which is unintelligible even for some speakers of standard Malay.

About the Cuisine of Kelantan

The above 4 pictures source from : Nor of Secubit Garam

Kelantan Darul Naim is famous it unique culture. The Kelantanese cuisine, heavily influenced by Thai cuisine, is quite popular among Malaysians. The key ingredients are rice, coconut milk, sugar, brown sugar, local ulam, blue pea flower, galangal and pickle garlic. Hence, the curries are richer and creamier in taste. Most Kelantanese dishes are sweet as the use of sugar is a must in the kitchen. Besides sugar, coconut milk is used more than anywhere else in the country. Even their savoury dishes carry a tinge of sweetness.

 Kelantan's fish soup, singgang ikan is lightly seasoned with palm sugar and so, you can imagine the taste. And Kelantan's Ayam Percik is on the sweet side too, rather different from the versions of other states. But that's how the locals eat, that is their way. Kelantan and Terengganu are neighbours. They share a lot of similarities but yet... are different in many ways. They both have nasi dagang, but they are not the same. Kelantan's version is made with the red specked beras lembut which gives it a tender texture while Terenganu's version is all white and chewy with a mixture of glutinous rice and medium grain rice. Singgang ikan is also available in both states, but the major difference lies in the colour. Terengganu's version uses turmeric and it's yellow, while Kelantan's version is beige due to the use of palm sugar to give it a sweet end. Both states have Akok too, but Kelantan's version uses palm sugar, less flour, and thus looks brown and wrinkled. Try looking at these two pictures (Kelantan Lompat Tikam, Terengganu Lompat Tikam), you will see how different the lompat tikams are. Well, if you've been to both states before you will notice that both states speak in different ways, what more about the food.

Here are some of their famous dishes:

Nasi Kerabu

Photo source : Alam Cahaya

This rice dish is a regional specialty from Kelantan and sometimes the rice is tinted in blue with blue pea (bunga telang) flower. It is cooked with many types of herbs. Besides that, there are many fresh herbs like daun kesum (Vietnamese mint) bunga kantan (torch ginger), mint leaves and etc.  Other ingredients like sliced onion, cucumber, bean sprout, fish floss and fish crackers are added to the dish to make it a complete meal by itself.

Nasi Dagang

Picture source : MaDiHaA

This is another rice dish which is made from glutinous rice which is cooked in coconut milk, blended onions, garlic and spices like fenugreek. It is a well known breakfast food on the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia such as Kelantan and Terengganu. Nasi Dagang can be considered as a festive dish in Kelantan as it is prepared for Hari Raya/Eid Al-Fitr. It  usually served with fish curry, salad, hard boiled eggs. Ikan Tongkol (Tuna fish) is the standard choice of fish but other fish such as mackerel can be use too.

Nasi Tumpang

Nasi tumpang is basically a Kelantanese snack, sold around Rm1.00 a packet. It is very similar to Nasi Lemak except that Nasi Tumpang is white rice pressed into a cone shape, layered with Kelantanese Serunding Daging and gulai lemak ikan tenggiri (Spanish Mackerel) and then wrapped with banana leaf. It is very similar to Nasi Uduk from Indonesia.


Picture source : Resepi Melayu Kelantan

Laksam is flat rice noodles, served with coconut milk gravy cooked with finely blended fish (ikan selayang), shrimp paste and garnished with raw vegetables like shredded cucumber, long beans, bean sprout and cabbage. It is serve during breakfast but you can still have it anytime of the day.

Laksa Kelantan/Laksa Putih

Picture source : 3 hungry tummies

Laksa Kelantan also known as laksa putih (literally translates as white laksa for the pale appearance of the broth. The broth or gravy is cooked with fish, coconut milk and load of spices. It is served with ulam (local salad).


Photo source: Kataminda

Budu, a fermented anchovy sauce that is used as flavoring with added chili, onion, lemon juice and usually eaten with rice, fried fish or Ulam (assortment of herbs) such as long beans and pucuk paku (fiddlehead fern). The salty and sourish taste can get very addictive.


Picture source: Melissa's Blog

Somtam is one of the famous Thai dishes in Kelantan. It is widely available in this region which has large number of ethnic Thais. Somtam is a papaya salad with a salty, sweet, spicy and sour taste. The ingredients in this dish are young shredded papaya, tomatoes, dried shrimps, chilies, soy sauce, ground peanuts, fish sauce and lime juice.

Ayam Golek or Ayam Percik

Picture source : Abebob

This popular dish in Kelantan is broiled chicken dressed in sweet coconut gravy. This dish is usually eaten with white rice and dipped into cholek (dipping sauce) and this case Thai Chili Sauce is usually used.

Solok Lada

Picture source : "Resepi Melayu Kelantan

This dish is green or red chili stuffed with grated coconut, fish fillet and cook in coconut milk. It is usually serve with Nasi Kerabu.

Ketupat Sotong Kelantan

Picture source : Citarasawan

Ketupat Sotong Kelantan is made by stuffing glutinous rice into the calamari and cooked in brown sugar sauce.

Now let’s talk about the kuih. Their kuih here are heavily influenced by the Thai Dessert. Most of their desserts are made from coconut milk which is plenty in Malaysia. They have many types of kuih which some I have not even seen or taste before. What I found interesting about Kelantanese kuih compared to those from other Malaysian states, other than the well known creativeness and innovativeness, is the use of a lot of eggs and sugar. to the extent that there are  more of eggs and sugar than any other ingredients.

Buah Tanjung

Picture source : Come 2 Kelantan

It is made from duck egg yolks and sugar. It is very sweet like most of the Kelantanese kuih or dessert and is also known as the Royal Kelantan Food.

Jala Mas

Picture source : Amirah

This dessert or kuih looks like fine gold threads. Made from duck egg yolks which gives it the golden yellow color and then soaked in syrup.

Cek Mek Molek

Photo source: Ameris

Cek Mek Molek can be translated as pretty lady in Kelantanese dialect, it is a fried mashed sweet potato with sugar filling in it.

Tepung Pelita

Picture source : CikManggis

Tepung Pelita is made from rice flour, coconut milk and sugar, encased in banana leaf. It has two layers, top layer is white in color and the bottom layer is green in color.

Buah Peria

Picture source : CikManggis

Buah peria resemble peria katak (a smaller variety of bitter gourd) They are made into many colors with mung bean cook in palm sugar as the filling.  It is very much like the Chinese Angku Kuih.

Sira Labu

Picture source: Azie Kitchen

Sira labu is pumpkin cooked in palm sugar. It is  traditionally served during special occasions such as wedding ceremony.

Here are some of the recipe links for your reference:

Nasi Kerabu Kelantan

Nasi Dagang


Laksa Putih/Laksa Kelantan

Ayam Golek/Ayam Percik

Daging Goreng Kelantan

Gulai Kuzi

Ayam Masak Kerutuk

Ketupat Sotong

Solok Lada

Buah Tanjung

Jala Mas

Cek Mek Molek

Tepung Pelita

Buah Peria

Kuih Akok

There are many more Kelantan dishes out there. Just click on some of the links I've provided here and they do have other Kelantanese dishes in their blog. Hopefully, many people will try to cook some Kelantanese dishes and I am looking forward to all your entries.


1. Who can join? Anyone can join. Come let's replicate some Kelantan Food at home!
2. Prepare a dish (sweet or savory) that is from Kelantan, be it old time favorite, modern dishes or dishes that has been localized. Chinese or Malay or Indians cuisines. All are welcomed. Take a picture of the food or many pictures. If possible, tell us the story about the dish, share with everybody so that others will learn.
3. Provide a recipe that is credited (from books, internet, friends or family or maybe it is from your own) Submissions without stating recipe souces will be accepted.
4. Submit your entry latest by 30th April 2013 except for Facebook submissions.


For Bloggers
a. Prepare a dish (sweet or savory) that is from Kelantan
b. Blog about it from 1st March – 30th April 2013
c. Include this caption below your blogpost "I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Kelantan Month hosted by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets (link back to this post" Send the following information to this email address with the email subject as " MFF Kelantan"

Name or nickname:
Blog name :
Name of dish :
Url of post :
Picture : Attachment a pix that is lesser than 500k

Facebook user:

a. Like this Facebook Page
b. Prepare a dish ( can be sweet or savory) from the state of Kelantan
c. Take a picture and upload it into Facebook ( this month's FB page link )
d. Provide recipe with picture. Anyone that has once cooked a Kelantan dish and have a picture and recipe can submit to Facebook. It is not necessarily a recently done dish. For a pictorial guide on how to submit via facebook, pls click here

For non Facebook users and Non Bloggers:

If you are interested in participating email me a picture of the dish together with the recipe to the email above before 30th April 2013 by 11.59pm (Malaysian / Singapore time)

A Round Up will be done for all blog entries and emailed in entries on 1st May 2013. Facebook entries wil not be included in the round up.


suituapui said...

Oooooo....nasi kerabu!!! Heaven is a place on earth!!! Nom...nom...nom!!!

WendyinKK said...

thanks for hosting!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

I think I have no excuses not to support you since I just back from Kelantan, hehehe..We were not manage to eat every speciality of Kelantan but we did tried few interesting sweet. One interesting dessert we have taken was Tahi itik, very interesting name right?

Caca said...

I heart nasi tumpang

ann low said...

Love all these yummy food but too bad I don't understand Malay and not sure how to cook these.... must copy from you :D

makcikmanggis said...

Cm join :)dah emel tadi.

K.Nor said...

gud luck gert! :)

Peng said...

Have bookmarked a couple of the recipes! Will try them out soon ^.*

Unknown said...

I would love to try out nasi kerabu... If I have time...

lena said...

hi gert, happy to join ! will go thru the recipes now..cheers!

Ummi said...

Hi Gert, first of all thank you for PM me inviting for this Food Fest (Kelantan Month). Yet, so sorry to say that I don't think I can join this fantastic event right now. Still upside down, here and there...gosshh! Pray for me...hehe Masak pun biasa2 and malas2 nak shoot gambar. Anyway, I hope this fest which hosted by you will going fine and fun..!

Frankly, I can see yours look admiring and superb! Nyummm...nyummm.. Wish you all the best of luck..! Keep updates dear!

Azie Kitchen said...

Kuih Sekaya is another famous Kelantan food. Can refer to this link

The other one is Pulut Sekaya

Merlynda said...

I think I have no excuses not to support you since I just back from Kelantan, hehehe..We were not manage to eat every speciality of Kelantan but we did tried few interesting sweet. One interesting dessert we have taken was Tahi itik, very interesting name right?