Break­ing down the walls

This princess is equip­ping fe­male in­mates with skills ben­e­fi­cial for their re­hab.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste - By SHARMILA NAIR [email protected]­

EV­ERY­ONE de­serves a se­cond chance in life, says Tengku Puan Pa­hang Tunku Az­izah Ami­nah Maimu­nah Iskan­dariah Sul­tan Iskan­dar. Even those in pri­son, she be­lieves.

Speak­ing at the launch of the Beauty Be­hind The Wall pro­gramme at Ben­tong Pri­son in Pa­hang, Tunku Az­izah re­minded ev­ery­one of their so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that all pri­son in­mates – not just those in Ben­tong – are given a chance to re­deem them­selves in life.

One of the best re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ef­forts, Tunku Az­izah be­lieves, is teach­ing in­mates skills that not only gen­er­ate in­come for the pri­son while they are there, but also that they can use to make a liv­ing upon re­lease.

Ben­tong Pri­son al­ready has a suc­cess­ful cot­tage in­dus­try where the in­mates make and sell tra­di­tional Pa­hang-style wo­ven prod­ucts.

Now, Tunku Az­izah has col­lab­o­rated with Re­sorts World Gent­ing, in par­tic­u­lar its ex­ec­u­tive chef Alex Vi­talise, to come up with food items that can be pro­duced in the pri­son by the fe­male in­mates, and then sold out­side.

“Alex chose the recipes for the Ren­dang Betawi and asam pedas pastes from my cook­book. I think they are good choices. The pastes can be used to make a va­ri­ety of dishes,” Tunku Az­izah shared.

Tunku Az­izah’s cook­book Air Tan­gan Tengku Puan Pa­hang – Masakan Tra­di­sional Pa­hang has recipes for many tra­di­tional dishes from the east coast state, but Vi­talise prefers to in­cor­po­rate the pastes in Western dishes.

Dur­ing a cook­ing demon­stra­tion at the pri­son, Vi­talise made, among other dishes, spaghetti with prawn ren­dang, asam pedas que­sadilla, lamb ren­dang stew and asam pedas brisket us­ing the pastes.

“It wasn’t dif­fi­cult to come up with the recipes that use the pastes. We haven’t in­tro­duced these dishes in the menus at our restau­rants but we could work some­thing out,” said Vi­talise who has been with Re­sorts World Gent­ing for 10 years and cur­rently over­sees a team of 160 kitchen staff.

“And it won’t be dif­fi­cult for the in­mates to make the pastes as they re­quire sim­ple in­gre­di­ents and there aren’t any com­pli­cated cook­ing tech­niques,” Vi­talise added.

Tunku Az­izah also said that Vi­talise and other Gent­ing chefs will teach the in­mates how to cre­ate the pastes in large quan­ti­ties and pack­age them.

“We will en­sure that they use good qual­ity in­gre­di­ents to pro­duce the pastes, and that the pack­ag­ing is done in a ster­ile en­vi­ron­ment,” said Tunku Az­izah.

The pastes are sched­uled to go on sale dur­ing Hari Raya Aidil­fitri next year, and will be made avail­able at lo­cal mar­kets and bazaars in Ben­tong.


For paste

60g shal­lot, coarsely chopped

30g long fresh red chill­ies, seeded and finely chopped

3 red cili padi, seeded and finely chopped 3 lemon­grass, bruised

30g gar­lic, crushed 20ml tamarind puree

2tsp fresh gin­ger, finely grated

2tsp ground co­rian­der

2tsp ground cumin

1tsp turmeric pow­der

Cook­ing oil

10g kaf­fir lime leaves

20g turmeric leaves

250g fresh grated co­conut, dry-roasted and pounded to make kerisik

1 litre co­conut milk (san­tan)

Salt and sugar, to taste

To make paste

Us­ing a mixer, blend all the in­gre­di­ents to form a smooth paste.

To cook

Heat oil in a large wok and saute the paste on low heat un­til the oil rises (pecah minyak). Add the kaf­fir lime and turmeric leaves, kerisik and san­tan. Sim­mer un­til the paste reaches a thick con­sis­tency. Can be used to cook chicken, duck, beef and lamb dishes.

Pho­tos: AZLINA AB­DUL­LAH/The Star

Tunku Az­izah shar­ing cook­ing tips with the fe­male in­mates and staff mem­bers of Ben­tong Pri­son. —

Use this ren­dang paste in a va­ri­ety of dishes.

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