What's cooking this Raya: Mee curry

Datin Sri Zainah (standing) typically makes an array of dishes for Hari Raya, with the help of her two daughters (sitting extreme left) Tunku Nurul Farhan and Tunku Nurul Aisyah. — Rahim Photo Media

Having a policeman for a father meant that as a child, Datin Sri Zainah Ibrahim spent her formative years in states like Wilayah Persekutuan, Negri Sembilan and also Perak. But the food that the family prepared for Hari Raya every year was a mixture of traditional Negri fare as well as Perak staples (courtesy of her mum, who hailed from the state).

“When I was small, we had nasi impit – those days, we didn’t buy the instant one, we did our own nasi impit and put something heavy on top of it overnight and that’s the very conventional way of doing it – that’s why it’s called nasi impit, I guess. “And of course, we had rendang and the rendang would be a mix of rendang tok from Perak and also rendang from Negri Sembilan but specifically from the Rembau region, which is a very dark rendang. I normally call it rendang hitam.

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