Cooking rendang ayam in a kuali

I took up the challenge to read the entire Twilight series recently after I scoffed at the the twittering younglings pledging their allegiance to Team Jacob and Team Edward, whatever that meant.  For most of the time, I plundered on, page after page, wondering why I even bothered to spend my precious toilet time reading the books, but I soon realised that I was spending longer periods in the toilet until my feet turned numb from the lack of circulation.  My unread so-called literary books sat untouched on my bookshelf while I groaned every time Bella did something rash yet again.  I downloaded the books onto the iPhone and iPad so that I could read them in the dark while Bald Eagle slept.  It was a love-hate condition until I turned the final page, and upon realising that there would be no more Bella, Edward or Jacob to fill my mornings on the throne, I looked at Bald Eagle and said, “I feel empty inside.”  He gave me a peck on my cheek and said, “Can I have salad for dinner tonight?

Table setting at Bayan Indah

Simmering ikan tongkol curry

The final plating

Home cooked nasi dagang

Luckily for Bald Eagle, it won’t always be salad nights with Lyrical Lemongrass.  Nay, some days will be filled with nasi kerabu, and some with rendang ayam thanks to another fulfilling cooking class with Rohani Jelani.  There’s nothing like a hands-on class to understand the temperaments of the stove and ingredients, and when you don’t read the instructions and add another 200ml of water where the recipe specifically tells you that you should refrain from adding water if you’re using chicken instead of beef….well, Rohani is there to salvage the situation after sending you to the corner for being a bad boy (yes, you, FBB).

The spread

Bengka ubi

Condiments for soto ayam

Kuih talam

I was quite pleased when Nigel (of Just Heavenly) picked me as his partner because he is already an accomplished cook and I knew that there would be no chaotic moments in our little corner in the kitchen.  True enough, with Rohani’s guidance, we completed cooking nasi dagang, ikan tongkol curry, rendang ayam and kuih talam while Rohani stood by to give us kitchen tips and to let us know if the first layer of the kuih talam was ready for the second and if the rendang ayam had achieved the right consistency.  Her insistence on using natural ingredients from scratch, like dry-frying coconut kerisik till my arms turned sinewy, resulted in some pretty delectable stuff in the end.  Together with the other teams, we put together a spread that would have wow-ed any food critic.  This was what cooking from the heart meant.  An outpouring of love and warmth, right from Rohani’s huge bear hug at the entrance of her home to the constant friendly jabs between the teams.  It was all good.

Bayan Indah collage

Rohani, Babe_KL, Pureglutton, GFAD, Fatboybakes, Nigel, Chaokar, Wai Hoong, Cyrene, Saw Leng, Audrey, Alice and Annie. Oh, and me.

For more information on Bayan Indah, please visit their website: http://www.bayanindah.com/

For earlier post on Bayan Indah, click HERE.