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16 Oct 2012
Friday, 4 June 2010
Kampung Cuisine With Rohani Jelani @ Bayan Indah
Last Saturday, I must be the happiest gal on earth!!! Excuse me a sec, I just have to let this out... I finally met my culinary idol - Rohani Jelani!!! :p
In case you don't know, Rohani used to develop recipes and the food stylist for Her World magazine back in the 90s. I painstakingly tore the recipe pages and have them all filed up, yes I still have them all! Actually I knew about her setting up cooking classes in her home in Kampung Sungai Penchala (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) after she left Her World but just like FBB, I never got round to sign up for a class until boo_licious and I received an email from Li-Hsian extending an invitation to attend one, plus got us to rope in some food bloggers along. How can we say NO right? Heh... but too bad boo_licious can't attend.
With that, Alice (Jom Makan! Good Food Trek), Audrey (Audrey Cooks), Chris (PureGlutton), FBB (FatBoyBakes), Jon (A Lil' Fat Monkey), Meena (AWOL) and myself headed over to Bayan Indah for few hours of fun in the huge open kitchen.
Rohani has since moved out of her home and turned the place into a modern styled kampung resort which she named it Bayan Indah. Within the one acre land, there's the two-storey bungalow with lots of wide and tall glass windows to let natural light shines in and for occupants to absorb in the lush greeneries; a fish pond amongst fruit trees, flower shrubs and herbs; a single-storey bungalow occupied by her helpers and an standalone structure which used to be the carpenter's workshop for private meetings or events.
This is everybody's dream house where tropical fruit trees and herbs are aplenty, and I spotted a large pot of rosemary too which is sooo fragrant! The herbs needed for our class were plucked straight from the garden, super fresh I tell ya.
The kitchen and dining area are located on the ground floor whilst the upper level is where the 4 bedrooms and living area are located. There are quite a number of nooks and corners where one can do their reading. There are quite a lot of books on the shelves but mostly cook books, of course. I guess I don't need to describe how beautiful the place is, just let the pics do all the talking.
As all of us have picked Kampung Cuisine, Rohani and Li-Hsian have pre-arranged with us via emails on our choice of dishes and they grouped us up accordingly. Before we start our class, Rohani briefed us over some delish cake, pastries, and coffee/tea. Rohani is so fun to be with. She's so down to earth and her witty comments got us cracking every now and then. With our banters, the briefing went on quite long, plus it's not helping when we camwhore every now and then LOL. She hasn't have a class where ALL the students kept on shooting non-stop, not even when we're in the midst of cooking.
Since there were 7 of us, I partnered with Meena to cook up Ayam Percik (spiced, grilled chicken), Nasi Kerabu (herb rice salad) and Masak Air Cekur Manis Dengan Ubi Keledek (green vegetable and sweet potato soup). Later on Meena took on the task to make some Onde-onde (glutinous rice balls filled with palm sugar) with some help from FBB and Jon. Funny how Rohani could tell which were the balls were made by FBB :p
The "AhPa" and "son" team cooked up a storm of Ayam Percik, Masak Air Cekur Manis using pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes and Masak Lemak Udang Dengan Nenas (prawn and pineapple curry).
The team of 3 very experienced cooks - Audrey, Alice and Chris, were entasked to come up with Kerabu Jantung Pisang (banana flower salad), Ayam Percik, Nasi Kerabu and Masak Lemak Udang Dengan Nenas.
Together with Rohani's explanation and prep work plus cleaning by her team of helpers, we managed to quickly cook up our dishes. Every now and then, Rohani checked on us and gave us many useful tips and tricks along as we go. It was very very informative indeed as cook books don't tell you everything. We learnt to cut our dry chillies diagonally so that it's easier to remove the seeds, how to bundle and slice the ulams, how to devine prawns and remove their "brains" and loads of other tips.
Check out this video on how to slice the ulams into hair like strands...
We finally got down and savour the dishes we have laboured over. They're all so delicious and best of all Rohani made it so easy that I can wipe off my fear of recipes with long list of ingredients. Err actually her recipes are not long at all for Malay dishes, I'm so glad :p
* the hands photo stolen from FBB
Thank you so much to Li-Hsian, Rohani, Wati and her team of assistants for having us, the crazy bunch of food bloggers, at Bayan Indah. We're looking forward to another session with Rohani, soon... very soon!
Check what others have to say about this class:
If you're interested with the classes or book a stay at Bayan Indah, drop Rohani a mail at email@example.com.