Monday, October 1, 2012

Malaysian Food Fest ( Terengganu Month )

Sarawak Month has just ended and we are are moving into the 3rd month of the Malaysian Food Fest online event, the month of Terengganu Food. The roundup of all the sarawak food entries can be found at Sharon's blog , Feats of Feasts. I guess many of us now do know more about the food cuisines found in sarawak, hop over and take a look at all of the entries.

When someone mentions Terengganu to you, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Beaches? Turtles? Food? Your family?  I do not know much about Terengganu, really..maybe a little about the turtles. I think we studied Rantau Abang and its turtles in our geography subject, right or was it in sejarah??  I've been there only once for an event at Kuala Terengganu and that was like twenty years ago , i lost my memories what's the town looks like, didnt have much time to go around, meals were all provided at the hotel and the only vivid memory which i have is i burnt my hands there while on a boat! Taking up the role as a host for the month of Terengganu is indeed not easy for me, i have to dig for information to learn about the food specialties in Terengganu and not only that, cook as well and if you find that there's any wrong information posted here, correct and educate me.

Redang Island, one of the most beautiful island on the east coast,
a popular tourist destination famous for its diving and snorkelling activities
Want to go there? Before you plan for your holidays there, please plan something to cook
for this month :D
source of photo:
Pulau Perhentian, another famous spot for divers.
Photo credit : ( Katz)

Before we talk about food ,some fast facts about Terengganu, it is located on the north eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia and according to the its 2010 census, its population stands at about 2 million, 96% being Malay, 2% Chinese, 0.2% Indians and the rest others. The largest city in the state is Kuala Terengganu, which is also the state capital is located on the banks of Terengganu river. It is a state rich in Malay heritage, endowed with beautiful natural landscapes, exotic island and beaches and offers a variety of traditional handicrafts such as batik and songkets. Main industries that contribute to the economic growth in the state are petroleum, tourism, fishing and algricultural products.

Photo credit :

Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, also known as ' The Floating Mosque'
is located in Teluk Ibai, just 4 km away from Kuala Terengganu
Photo credit :

Allow me to take this opportunity to talk a little bit on turtle eggs which i  think a subject that needs our attention. Terengganu, which is also known as the 'turtle state' was reported to have 10,000 nests per year of the leatherback turtles back in 1950s and 1960s , which then one the largest nesting population in the world but over the last few decades, this number has dropped tremendously and this species has almost becoming extinct here today although there are still green turtles to be found at a few beaches surrounding the state. One of the reason for these decline is the consumption of turtle eggs. The state now has banned trading and consumption of leatherback turtle eggs. Malaysian conservationists are putting their best efforts to save the other turtles by catching illegal poachers and urging the ban of consumption and trading of all turtle eggs. As long as there is a demand for these eggs, the trading would still continue and if this still carries on, our country will lose sight on these green turtles as well. So if you too want to help to save the turtles, do not eat turtle eggs and try not to buy souvenirs made from turtles too.

Leatherback turtles, the largest sea turtle can weigh up to 900 kg ( about 2000lbs)
photo source:
Green turtles. photo from: WWF

Due to its strategic location besides the South China Sea, the cuisine of Terengganu is mostly seafood based. Not much on beef or chicken although they do consume the both. The icony savoury delights are mostly made with seafood, be it fish, crabs or squids. Even nasi lemak comes with a chunk of sambal fish.  One will be able to find a lot of local produce such as dried cuttlefish, dried crackers and dried salted fish in many places around the state. Fish based food such as keropok lekor ( fish sausage ) and satar ( pounded fish wrapped in banana leaves ) ,both street food are considered very popular among the locals in Terengganu. When i was checking through many recipes, i found that fishes like mackarel ( ikan kembung ), sardine ( ikan selayang ), tuna ( ikan tongkol ) are some of the fishes that are widely used  for their local cooking. For example, the keropok lekor which i mentioned just now is mainly made from mackarel and wolf herring( ikan parang) , satar  mostly from sardine and mackarel , not forgetting their famous nasi dagang that comes with gulai ikan tongkol (tuna)  and also terengganu's very famous Laksam , a rice noodle dish with mackarel or sardine fish gravy.

Updated ( october 01, 2012 )
thank you Kak KNor from Secubit Garam telling me that lekor is mostly made from ikan tamban or ikan selayang ( sardine fish) because of its sweetness and ikan parang is mostly used to make fish crackers. 

satar, a concoction of fish meat with ginger paste, wrapped in banana leaves and
grilled over charcoal fire
Source of photo: New Straits Times
Keropok Lekor,  recipe and picture from
Hana's Family
kuih akok, another popular street food
picture and recipe from
and also from here

Besides the above dishes, stuffed crabs is one famous chinese cuisine found in Kemaman, another district in Terengganu. It is like a 'must eat' food when one visits Kemaman. Basically they are crab shells stuffed with chunks of crab meat and then deep fried. And do you know that Terengganu has their very own popular buns too? They are called Roti Paun, they are buttery little small buns. They may look just like ordinary buns but from what i gathered, they are really very delicious and soft, about half the size of our ordinary buns or maybe smaller. Cute eh?

roti paun. Photo credit :

When i searched for all these information, i noticed that Kelantan, the neighbouring state of Terengganu also has kind of similarity food as Terengganu but there's slight variations that make their food distinct from one another. For example Kelantan Laksa usually comes with kuah putih ( white gravy) that is from the coconut milk but Terengganu Laksa , though they have kuah putih , they also have kuah merah ( red gravy ) offered alongside for choices. Their gravy is also from coconut milk but comes together with blended spice paste like dried chilli and rendang spices   gulai spices ( thanks, kak KNor ) and this gulai is also known as gulai cap bunga ros. So is ayam Percik. Both has the same name but also with different gravy.

Laksa Kuah Merah . Recipe and pictures from

Laksa Kuah Putih. Photo and recipe from Secubit Garam
Kuih Tepung Bunga, a traditional kuih
photo and recipe from Dari Dapur Madihaa

Kuih Puteri Mandi, another traditional kuih. They are glutinuous rice balls
usually toss with grated coconut. Some serve with gula melaka syrup.
Photo and recipe from Dari Dapur Madihaa

Of course, they are still many many more delicious temptations in Terengganu. I would like to share with you a  list of some of the food specialties coming from this state. You may find some of the names are kind of funny or unheard of , i here giving a brief description of what they are so that you have a better idea what is it like and also the links to some of the recipes i found online.

1) Keropok Lekor - fish sausage or fish crackers. They are 3 types, boiled chewy ones, fried chewy ones and sun dried, fried ones. Normally eaten accompanied by chilli sauce.
2) Nasi Dagang Trengganu - steamed rice with a mixture of normal long grain rice and glutinous rice in coconut cream.
3) Gulai Ikan Tongkol - Curry Tuna Fish
4)  Laksam - a noodle dish made from rice flour and wheat flour, steamed and  rolled up, like chee cheong fun and sliced before eating. Comes with a fish gravy with coconut milk to be accompanied by condiments like beansprouts, long bean, cucumbers and ulam.
5) Lompat Tikam - a kueh with pandan and white layer served with brown sugar syrup
6)Ketupat Sotong - Stuffed squid with glutinous rice
7)Lempeng Nyiur  - Coconut Pancakes
8)Sagu Bronok - Sago Kuih
9)Tepung Gomak - Glutinous rice balls with green beans coconut filling
10)Terengganu Green Salad - mixed veggies and local herbs with special dressing

For more recipes on Terengganu food, you can click here and here. I do hope you will join the event this month, make some terengganu dishes to share it with us so that all of us can learn! Looking forward to your entries!

1. Who can join? Anyone can join. Come let's replicate some Terengganu Food at home!
2. Prepare a dish ( sweet or savoury ) that is from Terengganu, be it old time favourite, modern goodies or dishes that has been localized. 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 i's your own, be specific). Submissions without stating recipe sources will not be accepted for all forms of submission.
4.Submit your entry latest by 31October 2012 except for Facebook submissions.

a. Prepare a dish ( sweet or savoury ) that is from Terengganu
b. Blog about it from 1st October - 31st October 2012
c. Include this caption below your blogpost
" I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Terengganu Month hosted by Lena of frozen wings "

Send the following information to this email address ( ) with the email subject as
" MFF Terengganu"

Name/Nickname :
Blog name :
Name of dish :
Url of post :
Picture : ( URL or attachment that is lesser than 500k)

2. Facebook user
a. Like this Facebook Page
b. Prepare a dish ( sweet or savoury ) from the state of Terengganu
c. Take a picture and upload it into Facebook ( this month's FB page link )
d. Provide recipe with picture

Bloggers can submit old recipes to Facebook. Anyone that has once cooked a Terengganu dish and have a picture and recipe can submit to Facebook. Not necessarily a recently done dish.
For a pictorial guide on how to submit via facebook, pls click here

3. Non Facebook users and Non Bloggers
Email a picture of the dish together with the recipe to ( latest by 31st October, 2012 by 11.59pm ( Malaysian time )

A Round Up will be done for all blog entries and emailed in entries on Novermber01, 2012. Facebook entries are not included in the round up.


  1. Good morning, Lena! Great introduction about Terengganu! Superb write-up!
    Most of the food are totally new to me. I have a recipe but have not attempted it yet! Will submit as soon as I have enjoyed it! Hehehe!
    Good luck with your Teregganu Month!!

  2. thank you for taking up this humongous challenge of hosting a state non much known to you and thanks for this beautiful write up.

  3. Hi Lena, thanks for the great write up! I'm going to do a couple of dishes for this Terengganu month :)

  4. Great write up on Terengganu Lena. I too don't know much about this state except for the beautiful beaches. With so many things going on in my life now I hope I am able to make it on time to submit one or two dishes.

  5. I've enjoyed reading ur interesting and detailed write up! :) I've already a few recipes to try out! ^.^

  6. Oh I so enjoyed this post Lena. You did such a great job of offering such a wonderful glimpse into a place I will probably never visit but now I feel like you've taken me there. Thank you...

    I'm going to miss your passion for food and the way you love to share it. Thank you again, Louise

  7. Good write up Lena, now i know more..I did roti paun before, but i still need to search for new ideas to be able to participate and support you this month...

  8. Nice write up, very organize and slowly Terengganu food reveals...pulau redang i haven't been there yet also...Poor me. LoL.

  9. Hi Lena,

    Greetings from the Land of the Hornbill
    To the host of Terengganu Month MF Fest
    Each one sharing each cooking skill
    Have a fruitful month and all the best

    Your last poem is really touching
    While you were reading my comment
    The Beatles "Hey Jude" was playing
    Otherwise, is it just coincident

    Have a great week

  10. Hi Lena, wish you all the best with your Terengganu Month. Let's see if I can find any Terengganu dish or dessert to participate.

    Have a nice day.

  11. Interesting! The 10 foods that you found are all my favourite, especially Keropok Lekor, Laksam,
    and Sago Kuih,

  12. Oh my goodness Lena, this place is incredible! I'm so smitten by these photos and so want to go there! Love all these unique recipes, very delicious sounding!

  13. It has been ages that I have not been to Trengganu. I would love to support you my dear but I don't know what to cook and I am lousy at making kuih.

  14. Hi Lena, I had to double check this your blog as not seeing food pics but Islands, ha ha.
    I love Trengganu....used to go there every month, often 2, 3 times a month.
    And been to the Islands you mentioned....
    My time was not so commercialized.
    And Pulau Kapas was uninhabited then.

    As well love the nasi dagang there, but more the beautiful beaches and crystal waters.
    You have a nice day.

  15. Lena, I can see that you have spent a lot of time doing the research! A big clap to you! Very informative posting with so many yummy dishes there!

  16. hi lena, so happy bila tengok laksa kuah putih up there.. :)

    boleh k.nor bg pendapat sket ya.. :)

    mostly keropok lekor dan keropok keping/kering menggunakan ikan tamban dan ikan selayang (yg biasanya org pantai barat panggil ikan sardin. ikan tamban dgn ikan selayang adalah dua jenis ikan yg berbeza) kerana isinya yg manis. kalau guna ikan parang, biasanya utk menghasilkan keropok keping (hasilnya keropok yg berwarna putihdan chinese lebih sukakan keropok ikan parang). ikan kembung jarang digunakan kerana isinya kurang manis berbanding dgn ikan tamban dan ikan selayang

    about roti paun(paung), dulu tak ada inti, just bun yg plain tp skrg ni dah diberi pembaharuan dgn ada inti kacang merah, sekaya, majerin dan kelapa manis.. banyak dijual digerai2 tepi jalan, yg dibakar ditempat yg sama utk pelanggan menikmati roti paun bakar yg panas2 :)

    rempah yg digunakan dlm kuah merah bukannya rempah rendang tp rempah gulai. ada sesetengah produk rempah gulai ni, boleh digunakan juga utk memasak kuah nasi dagang, kuah nasi minyak (trg style) dan juga gulai ayam atau pun daging (rempah ni dipanggil rempah cap bunga ros)

    dari senarai foods yg patut dicuba tu, ada satu lagi dessert dr trg yg lena dan lain2 patut cuba adalah SAGUPAL, atau juga dipanggil ASAM GUPAL.. bahagian luarnya adalah sagu yg dikukus dan didalamnya adalah inti kacang hijau yg ditumbuk. kemudian dimasak dgn santan, halba dll.. boleh juga ditambah hirisan nangka (jackfruit). boleh dinikmati sejuk (dr peti ais) atau pun suam2.. dessert ni sangat2 sedap :)

    lena, saya rasa gembira dgn info ttg trg yg lena dah paparkan di atas. sangat baik secara keseluruhannya. banyak yg lena dah buat rujukan kan.. so happy about that :)

    sudi2kan lah datang lagi ke negeri terengganu utk menikmati makanan2 tradisional yg enak2 dan juga menikmati pemandangan indah terutamanya pantai2 di negeri terengganu :)

    well done & all the best for the event :)

  17. Hi Lena, I too do not know much about Terengganu,and I can't remember when I visited Pulau Redang! I just remembered the beautiful clear water! Must try to visit again one day, but now just learn more about their food and maybe try one or two if it is easy:D

  18. Hi Lena,

    Sad to say that I have not been to Terengganu and all the Terengganu food that that you mentioned seams so foreign to me! I don't think I can contribute much to your event... my apology but hope to learn lots from all of you :D


  19. so this is totally cool. the food pics look delicious, the scenery pics look amazing and so much fun and relaxing. I have never heard about Terengganu but I am so excited to learn and see more

  20. This is such a great job, a very good write-up, can tell how much effort you put into it. Kinda make me feel proud to be a Malaysian, such beautiful land and so much great food to complement!

  21. I absolutely love lekor. Was thinking of abstaining since I have a slight sore throat. Looks like I need to swing by to TTDi and satisfy my cravings today after work:D

  22. joyce: thank you my friend! i guess you already knew how busy i was for the last few weeks :)dont forget to submit once you enjoyed it ..LOL

    wendy: thanks a lot for guiding me! i wld have gone lost somewhere without your help!

    Mich : oh, thanks so much, MIch, i shall be looking out for what you are going to share!

    Gert: oh, i thought you would be familiar with trengganu too since you lived not too far from there:D. anyway, i hope you will hv some time to share some of the dishes with us!

    Peng: oh i'm so excited to hear that! Happy trying!

    Louise: thank louise. THis place is actually quite a distance from where i live, probably ard 7-8 hrs drive i think. I will still be posting food this month and a few dishes from Trengganu. Enjoy!

    sonia: i hv made rotipaun too for the event. You can still make roti paun again if you want...can put in fillings like red bean or coconut..

    angeline: haha..i also never been to redang..:(

  23. dreamer:

    Good eve to my friend, across the ocean
    how are you today
    yea, that was just a coincidental moment
    that gave me a smile before i ended my day

    hope you will enjoy this MFF event
    even tho you do not put on your apron a lot
    will see what my friends are going to present
    thanks to you and everyone for the support!

  24. amelia: thank you and hopefully you can find time and something to make for the event!

    yan: oh, you've tried laksam before?!why not you make some sago kuih to join us?

    chris: yes, that place is beautiful for its beaches especially. I hope one day i can go back and visit the place again.

    veron: okay, okay..dont force yourself my dear. enjoy looking thru the dishes first, chk the FB page and see if there's anything interests you later on.

    lee: correct blog lah..yea i remember you told us that you've been to the east coast quite often..actually you travelled around the country so much, i dont think you've not been to anywhere in malaysia. so did you have any rendezvous moments in pulau kapas?

    jessie: thanks, yeah, took me sometime to do up this bit by bit, otherwise can pengsan! LOL!but it's a good learning experience!

    rottweiler: thank you.

  25. K NOr: hello kak, thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your valuable comment! I really appreciate that so much! sekarang i got a better idea of the different fish untuk buat lekor, i will add that information to my post.

    I pun ada buat roti paun untuk event ini, but just put butter cos i didnt know sekarang mereka ada inti yang disebutkan oleh kak. I shall give that information to my readers later on when i do that roti paun post.

    i just went in to chk on that asam gumpal, i think i will love that too, kalau cukup masa, lena try buat. Kalau kak ada masa juga, maybe you can make something to share with us. Once again, thanks so much for your advice and information!

  26. jeannie: haha..yea learn some dishes first, i think later you can go and chk the fb page when somelink links up there , then you can see if there's anything you like :) we oredi had 2 submissions there yest!

    zoe: dun worry, friend. I can just sit and enjoy, ok?

    jessica: yeah, that place is famous for its beaches and its crystal blue water, regret to say that i've not been to that redang island which the pic posted up there but hope to be back to visit the town again:)

    ade: thank you so much, yeah it took me quite some time to come up with this introductory post, mandatory..haha..also browsing thru a lot of recipes to which to link to..quite some work but it was also a good learning experience for me!

    missblurkit: lol! i think you better go only after your throat is well!! dont play2!

  27. Wow, this looks like one of the most beautiful places EVER!! And the food looks pretty awesome, too :)


  28. Thank you for the all recipe link. Kena try masaklah to impress mother in law...hehehe...


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