My maternal grandmother has a very special prawn dish. So special that she made us waited for one whole year till the next Hari Raya Aidilfitri for us to have it again.
When I say, special, I really mean it. I have not come across that dish anywhere else. Worse, I don’t even know what the dish is called, so it was difficult to describe it to someone. For sure, it was one-of-a-kind.
We were hoping at 86 years old, she might be a bit lenient thus we rushed to her house to indulge in her prawn dish on last Hari Raya Aidiladha. We were already salivating and imagining a bowl full of succulent prawns with fluffy nasi himpit, spicy rendang ayam and kuah kacang. We just could not wait to reach Nenek’s house.
Much to our disappointment, Nenek kept her prawn dish as ‘Exclusive’ and ‘Limited Edition’.
Nenek has been reminding us, the kitchen-novices, to learn how to cook that prawn dish. She worried the recipe will die off (along with her, a scary thing to think of) and her grandchildren may possibly fed on BigMac on Hari Raya. The thought of fast food instead of Nenek’s prawn dish was too much to bear.
I personally called up Nenek if she’s willing to spend the long weekend at our home for some cooking lessons. That generation rarely welcome sleepover at someone’s place, so when Nenek said YES, we jumped in joy !
It must have been at least 20 years since my last grocery shopping with Nenek. We often stayed at her house during school holidays and tagged along to her shopping excursions. Thus, it was a bit nostalgic that this time I paid for her stuff instead. The good old days when we just threw anything in her shopping cart….
Writing is overated these days, so I documented the recipe in my Instagram. Do let me know if you are curious and adventurous to try it out.
We learnt a few tips and tricks along the way, besides reminiscing memories of my late Atuk. The prawn dish took ages to cook, I don’t know if I have the patience to do it again. That excludes the ingredients prep – the homemade dried cilli paste, grinding of shallots and whatnots. If not for the maids doing the ‘dirty job’, we would have our lunch at midnight !
It was indeed a memorable weekend. Definitely not the last cooking class, as we had more dishes to learn…