Section 14, PJ, is well-known for many reasons. Despite the fact that it’s near to impossible to get a parking space at this place, it never ceases to attract people from near and far. Gadget die-hard fans cherish this place for its Digital Mall but those who frequent this place would simply but surely state their reasons why this place remain their top spot. I’m pretty sure that these reasons, would include the RM1 per packet nasi lemak (as well as the fried rice vermicelli) sold by the young mechanic side by side the newspaper uncle or the yummy lontong sold at one of the stalls above the wet market. Personally, I am also ‘guilty’ of frequenting this place. The wet market is a lot smaller, (compared to the one in Taman Tun), causing me to feel at ease because I am familiar with almost all the vendors at this place. I know that the makcik ( I call her ‘kakak’ and since I know she’s from my hometown, I never have a second thought whenever I purchase the shrimp paste (‘belacan’) from her stall) selling vegetables recognises me, as well as the fishwife and not to forget the bubbly chap who would willingly chop my chicken into any size I want.
Mr KHz, on the other hand, is also a regular at Section 14. Nope, he rarely goes to the market and he does not really fancy the Digital Mall so, where does he go to that I label him a regular? If you may ask, he goes for his evening prayers at a mosque here, named Masjid Tun Abdul Aziz, or commonly known as Masjid Bulat – due to the shape of its dome. This entry is a product from a visit to this mosque. Talking about this mosque, the committee members had an open day on the 31st of July to find funding for the activities planned, and of course, for charity. They set up stalls, selling mainly cooked food and I joined the fun by sending my chicken puff and cinnamon rolls as part of the sale. Besides food stalls, there were also stalls selling materials for baju kurung, homemade crafts and religious books. The committee also organised quite a number of competitions, where ‘ketupat weaving’ was one that I could remember.
Among all the stalls, one particular stall did attract Mr KHz’s attention. He had taken the trouble to drag me to the stall (the place was small and it was a bit crowded so it’s kind of difficult to walk around) selling ‘ikan keli!’ Mr KHz and his food addiction. He pointed at the fish and he smiled at me – his witty smile. I agreed to fulfill his wish because the fish was already gutted and cleaned. To cut a long story short, the purchase led to the dish in the photo below.
DEEP FRIED CATFISH IN SPICY SAUCE
(IKAN KELI GORENG BERLADA)
The recipe is taken (again) from Rubiah Suparman’s Lauk Pauk : Malaysia, Singapura dan Indonesia book and he said that he enjoyed it. Here’s the recipe if you wish to try but the amount was halved from the original recipe.
1/2 kg catfish
5 red chillies
3 bird’s eye chillies
2 pips of garlic
a small piece of ‘asam keping’
1/2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of turmeric powder
salt to taste
- Clean and gut the fish and soak for 10 minutes in a mixture of salt and tamarind juice. Wash thoroughly and drained well.
- Coat the fish with salt and turmeric powder and deep fry till crispy. Keep aside.
- Pound the other ingredients coarsely. Heat up a wok and stir fry until the oil separates from the gravy. Put in the ‘asam keping’, salt and sugar.
- Arrange your fish on a serving platter and pour the sauce all over the fish.
- Serve hot.
By the way, just to let you know that I didn’t get a single cent at all from my puffs and rolls. Why? I was just doing my minute share as a member of the society and the best part was, I had fun.