Dec 26, 2007

When Media highlighting an issue...

Today at 9.00pm, I was accidently watching the TV3 programme of '360 degree perspective' hmm ..just like my brother's blog address ... oops.... :)

The program highlighting the issue of cleanliness and hygiene of food outlets in Malaysia and it does provide various pictorial / video examples of; a restaurants in Perak (was that a popular "pau" outlet in Tanjung Malim?), a soya bean processing oulet in Johor and a chicken's slaughtering house in Ara, Damansara Jaya... which all shown a stinking, filthy and the worst ever.... very disgusting indeed.

That remind me of a case when authority manage to hook a "big bread manufacturer" on hygienic ground, which resulted majority of Muslim in Malaysia boycotting the brand. That has also lead to one of my best friend vowed to prepare his own bread.

Back to the issue, Halal concept does include hygiene; which the HACCP is the best way in practice. Ask any food outlets, whether they have "JAKIM's HALAL and HACCP certification together? I bet, most of them is having the easiest to get and more marketable "logos", rather the HACCP which is very stringent in process .I also wonder why with JAKIM; the hygiene and food handling process were never a big issue, as important as the slaughtering process, diet intake and the way of rearing the animals as well.

Looking back the 360 program, the owner of the chicken's slaughtering outlet did admit that the animals are not being slaughtered by Malaysian (majority from India), not to mentioned the workers religion?; and at same time he is selling the chicken to everyone!!!!. (it also shows the chicken being washed? and cleaned? by water that as brownish as at the IndahWater treatment plant)... sorry at least IndahWater are better... All these can only be concluded the uglier side of Malaysian businessmen; as I have discuss in my earlier entry in this blog on halal concept.
For me it is about time to stop having chicken diet 100% except if I am sure; only the organic chicken.

FYI - Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic preventive approach to food safety, that addresses physical, chemical and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection. HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCP's) can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realized. The system is used at all stages of food production and preparation processes. (sources: wikipedia)

FYI - This shown Malaysian authorities has failed again and again; who cares, after all, the officers there just holding a job; not the responsibility (cari makan, bukan ibadah).

Coming soon - the halal concept of seafood and other ingredients, Food Fundamental 101 and healthy food, stay tune and please do visit this blog :)

Dec 18, 2007

The Army's Food "Rangsum"

Have you ever tasted the army's packet food ? The 'food-pack' is 'a-must-for-each-personnel' in the army as they being called to the tour of duty.

I do remember in 80's, we used to be supplied with the army packet food, as some of my relatives are in the army and the police field force. The best always the instant noodles, some of the biscuits and of course - the small cooking compartment with compressed oil are being supplied together.

Fast-forward - the food now have been improved as the technology -the food are packed in aluminium sachet (pouches), 'ready-to-eat' and some even use dehydrated ingredients and sealed further using secondary plastic packaging, which I assume that is for moisture protection. (by the way, this time cannot find the cooking compartment)

Nowadays, I think the mentioned packed food are difficult to obtain (well I am civilian, I am not sure actually; how to get those from the army), since any food contractor are obliged/compulsory to supply cooked food or fresh ingredients to any latitude and longitude in Malaysia, including out to the sea as informed by the Royal Navy Chefs which I had the opportunity to trained them, back in 2003-2005. (Malaysia are not that big anyway, plus our forest have fast becoming into oil palm estates!!)

Nevertheless here are some of the menu 4; Fish curry, vegetable soups, crackers, sugar, salt, chicken curry, mixed vege, beef kurma, sweet and sour fish, pajeri nenas, bubur pulut hitam, bubur gandum, pineapple in syrups, tea bag, coffee, matches, fruit jams - that is packed for a person, perhaps I estimated for one to two weeks supply?

So my menu today was fish curry - right from the packet (only to found the quantity is insufficeint for my family, therefore - some adjustments and voila - the fish head curry :)

updated with the pictures (27th Dec)

L-R: The mobile stove and the fuel, the rangsum and its packaging before and after opening - luxury food for one person?
FYI -why its being called 'rangsum' - the meaning in the dictionary mentioned as "rations"; the stated amount to be provided to each person (during state of emergency, or to army personnel)

Dec 16, 2007

Kenduri Here and There....

"kenduri' is a malay term, literally translated as a ceremony, with aplenty and abundance food being served. In Malaysia, there many ceremonies, which normally; during and after will be served with food and foods. My normal lazy sunday, changed today; with early morning drive to Putrajaya; the adminstrative capital, to attend a convocation. Breakfast, lunch and tea-break was OK for my standards, but I don't have choice anyway.
Congratulations and Selamat Pengantin Baru My Friend

Then I hurriedly rushed back to KL as my aim was to be at my best friend's wedding, I know I am late already. It was a worthwile journey. The food was superb; Nasi Briani, Dalca, Rendang Daging, ayam masak merah, expensive acar buah, pulut is served as well, tempe, bubur kacang and tapai pulut. The beverage was rather unique, a twist of Air Sirap with ice-cream soda..... and fresh fruit cutting. I really enjoyed myself; self-service the food twice!!!! (No dinner afterwards :) The atmosphere was greater and better than the 'many protocol' and rather a boring ceremony that I had attended earlier.

To my best friend: Hadi & Wife; Selamat Pengantin Baru, semoga bahagia ke akhir hayat, Amin

And the food is aplenty, marvellous and well anticipated especially if you are joining a Chef's wedding ceremony; and I couldn't help but 2 servings for myself :)

left to right: the Nasi Briani, The dishes: buffet style and The Tapai Pulut (or fermented glutinous rice; taste sweet and best served chilled A la-mode / with ice cream)

Clockwise: The main table for the Raja Sehari, the fruits carving display and the thrilling kenduri atmosphere and; those in orange t-shirt are the "bentara" or the waiter- the key person in any traditional kenduri; relaxing as the kenduri 's is almost over as we arrived

Dec 11, 2007

Congratulations KeKKWa!!! - for the 72 Rare Foods

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage for their effort in documenting '72 rare food items'

read the excerpts (NST Dec10, pg.24)

"KUALA LUMPUR: Ever heard of glutinous rice cooked in a pitcher plant in the jungles of Sarawak? Or what about the haruan fish caught in the padi fields of Kedah and baked in mud?Or even opok-opok, a red sugar and flour-based keropok only found in Kelantan?Never heard of them? Well, they are just some of the 72 "rare" foods in the country that the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry has identified.And to ensure that they do not disappear, the ministry is planning to gazette some of them soon.
"Food can also be of heritage value. If there is no effort made to preserve it, it can also be forgotten within the next few generations," said minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim after launching the Heritage Food Festival.He said he would be getting feedback from the public before gazetting some of the food as a national heritage."We will also look into modifying the ingredients a little to make it acceptable to all Malaysians, and then we will popularise it again."To complement this effort, the ministry will be publishing recipes of the "rare" food and will be touring several states to organise the food festival.He also said that there was no need for any other country to be upset with the nation's heritage list as culture was meant to be shared and modified and was intangible."

This effort suits well with our tourism objective and educational hubs ambitions as I have discussed earlier under topic; Asian Culinary- the future trends. The documenting process is indeed the first step of many stages in academics and significance to Malaysia's own version of Culinary / Gastronomy Tourism.
FYI- I always thought that we have only two foods; to claim as our originals - the Roti Canai and the Yee Sang. I am glad now, we have "74". Okay - have to find the details.... :)

Syabas KeKKWa.

The Istana Kenangan of Kuala Kangsar - being built in 1926 without even a single nail!!!, and still standing today; located next to the Royal Palace of Bukit Chandan (shown here is a model at Taiping Museum). Efforts to register, documenting and preserved any heritage should be fully endorsed and supported.

Dec 8, 2007

Food & Meals In A Day

How many food and meals do you have in a day? Twice? or Three times?... not exactly, allow me to show you the way.....
  1. 6.00am-7.00am Breakfast (Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Teh Tarik........)
  2. 8.00am Karipap
  3. 8.30am-9.30am Coffee Breaks
  4. 10.00am Sandwiches
  5. 10.30am-11.30am Brunch
  6. 12.30noon-2.00pm Lunch
  7. 2.30pm-3.30pm Hi-Tea
  8. 4.00pm Biscuits
  9. 4.30pm-5.00pm Tea Breaks
  10. 6.00pm-7.00pm Dinner
  11. 8.30pm Snacks
  12. 10.30pm Supper
  13. 12.30am Late Supper
  14. 3.00am...don't worry, mamak's shop open 24hours
  15. 4.00am ...bangunlah, McD dah bukak!!!!
  16. 7.00am ....Re-start your day with #1 (the breakfast again)

"to live is to eat; instead of to eat is to live"...hmm, this is good sign for me; at least I know that I won't be out of jobs at anytime soon :)

FYI - meals are suggested to be taken only twice a day; breakfast and early dinner

Ice kacang anyone? Bon Apetite......

The Chicken and Eggs Story - Halal Concepts 3

Which of which is the first, the chicken or the eggs in this world? my favorite questions whenever I am going to the poultry topics, since all are correct answer, you need a hint for the most appropriate (the Noah's Ark)

Malaysian love the chicken so much, that in 2005 - Malaysia's chicken consumption at 28 to 30kg per person a year or 36 million chickens per month is among the highest in the world. It also has a high per capita consumption level of 280 eggs per person per year. (USDA 2006) This RM9 Billion industry produced about 450 million chicken a year (MOA 2006). That roughly; a chicken plus 20 eggs per person per monthly basis.

The "ayam golek"; a local version of charcoal grilled chicken. Ever asked where the chicken coming from?

Chicken fall under category of white meat, its tender characteristics and an alternative source of proteins, making it very popular. This has create a huge business; the huge profit; and being Malaysian whenever they facing the food- this will only shows the ugly side. I remember; once upon a time, the chicks being destroyed due to lower market price; a very unethical practice indeed.

Today, I would like to discuss the essence of how the "ayam daging" or 'broiler chicken' being reared. With all the technology nowadays, the chicken have a shorter life-cycles - 3 months before its reached to our tables. Yup, 3 months only

While the chicken can be marketed as early as 1 month; hence 'the spring chicken', a normal one will start at 2 months, about 90% upon reaching 1.2kg-1.5kgs. Those you find; a chicken with 2 kg or more, most likely are 3 month old.

The "ayam daging" that we normally had, have gone various "innovative" DNA alteration; among other - no sexual orientation and therefore focus on eating only. It will not running away if you trying to catch them (have no functional brain?). The chicken also being reared in air-conditional space, and due to the "unnatural" method, the chicken tends to exposed to various diseases, which then require additional antibiotics and residue. So, what food we are having actually - chicken or chemicals?

Malaysian loves the chicken so much. Attached here is the Malaysian Style Grilled Chicken; Served with Satay Peanut Sauce, Buttered Rice and Keropok

At first the antibiotics are supposed to assists the chicken to be resistance to the viral; instead now; has turned as an opportunity; to further accelerated the productions - the chicken meat - (as the injection of antibiotics will increase the weight) a similar process normally happened to the pork production. (the irony; the chicken and pork is our biggest exports (MOA 2006), ever since the pork's price is increasing higher, the antibiotics's price are also becoming higher - there you have the recent chicken price hiking / RM6 per kg...hmm...should I say more)

Hey, how about the eggs that have been produced in average every 4 minutes!!! (to achieve that, "something" being injected as well)

In 1990's - Government, in hygienic perspective has ordered - all chicken must be sold -cleaned, without any feathers. This is a good intention, however only to create further problems. We no longer know who and where the slaughtering process?

JAKIM on the other hand, only focusing on the slaughtering process. So much so, a major chicken supplier is allowed to this new method; The chicken is tight upside-down, on conveyer belt and the "name of god" is read only once; then, the operator switch-on the rotational blade. It will be running for the next 10 hours - a process for more than 100,000 chicken a day (is this a normal practice? Jakim answer was; due to large number of chicken, therefore all the "adab" are not be followed - modern way)

All these conclude to one questions; is our chicken halal?

FYI - The halal practices

The chicken must be allowed to its natural; able to roaming freely; know how to scratch the soil in finding foods; apart of diet given; which this will naturally create a resistance to any disease; hence - minus the antibiotics and should be able to fly short distance. A normal chicken grows 3-8 months. (the "ayam kampung" or 'free-range chicken' have all these characteristics)

During slaughtering process, it must be released and allowed to be free, while to the last breath. It is advised to even "hide" the knife - in respecting the animals while at same time avoiding unnecesary stress (so Jakim... hopefully you are learning the basics here?)

FYI - The Solutions

My advise - get the "organic chicken" which being farmed / reared naturally and slaughtered as with accordance by a Medical Doctor. The farm is located in Hulu Langat, Selangor while the shop is located in Tmn. Nirwana, Ampang, Selangor. I don't have any share in this business, just a feeling being responsible to my fellow Malaysian in getting HALAL chicken from beginning to end of the process


Mumtaz Meat & Marine Foods Sdn Bhd. No 17, Jalan Nirwana 35, Taman Nirwana, 68000 Ampang, Selangor. Malaysia. Tel 603 92811802 / 92816924Fax 603 92816925 e-mail nattpro@streamyx. com

Alamat ladang ternak ayam organik: Lot 3864, Batu 23 Jln Sg Lui, Ulu Langat

En Husairi Kajang/Bangi 019 332 4345 En Che Muda Bangi 012 324 5988 Puan Shidah Shah Alam 013 273 7301 Tn Haji Azhar Gombak/Batu Caves 012 288 2265 En Radzi Puncak Alam 013 655 7770 Zila Puncak Alam 019 270 4273 Siti Zuraimah Haji Ismail Menara TM 03 2240 4098 En Jumhat atau Puan Maznah 019 229 8950 atau 019 317 3330 En Nazaruddin 012 278 5502 Puan Zainun 019 277 4927 Subang Jaya Pasar Tani Taman Melawati Hari Sabtu Pasar Tani Putrajaya Hari Jumaat Pasar Tani Kerinci. Taman Angkasa Hari Ahad.

Dec 2, 2007

The Halal Food Concepts 2

I have mentioned in earlier topic on halal food concepts, which have 2 major characteristics, the ingredients and the slaughtering requirement.

Now the 3rd - Audits (the auditing)
Audits in halal means you must check the first two, is the pre-requisite.

Audits for ingredients, is must be process accordingly, with no elements to change the original ingredients (or recently-the major DNA of ingredients), example - grapes is halal, even a dried one - it is highly suggested for students during their studies. But if you process the grapes and change it to wine or anything that could make "you lose your mind" - or makes you "drunk" - even for short time, then this is haram / forbidden.

Similarly the wheat or cereal - process it to flour or bread is fine, but once you turn it to become a beer, then is forbidden to muslim

the navigational compass in its earlier years.nowadays with digital technology, we thought of becoming more advances, yet we still depending on one criterion; education to navigate our life.

Audits for animals - among other it must received clean bill of health (from the expert), old enough to be slaughtered, have no visible stress or being injured and historically, being reared as natural permits, accordingly

Example, Kobe Beef is the most expensive beef in the world - being so tender, a chef only require to grill - say maybe about for 10 seconds - with no marination needed. The Kobe beef was reared under strict controlled environment -no movement allowed - except the mouth, for munching the grass (the type of food also being controlled) and perhaps, the eyes . This has create some kind of stress to the animals, obviouslly, "the mad cow" diseases was due to similar stress in UK. Conclusion is, despite the beef might be halal, but since it is not being naturally reared, there, it become "Non-Halal"

Audits is the most difficult to do. As consumer, we are putting our trust on the retalier & wholesaler, and they depending to the to supplier to inform the "halalness" of our ingredients. Is not an excuse, but it is everyone responsibility and classified under business ethics or "akad" -the sale and purchase agreement - between consumer and seller.

Halal is for all mankind, I am sure no one would like to have - dhall or cereal that has been "genetically engineered" or beef from "mad cows" or chicken that being injected with "pork-laced-antibiotics" and residue

Nevertheless the consumer have choice. Choice can be retrived through information gathering, which can be achieved by reading - the another basics of being Muslim.

To be continued, the chicken and eggs story.........