Rendangate's Zaleha strikes back with not-so-crispy rendang cookbook

PETALING JAYA: Her rendang wasn't crispy enough for the judges of Masterchef UK, but her book might just be – a year after being eliminated from the show, Zaleha Kadir Olpin has launched her very own cookbook.

Titled "My Rendang Isn't Crispy", her book is aimed at sharing the recipes of her favourite Malaysian dishes for the masses.

"I cannot tell you how excited I am feeling right now!

"From months of hard work to finally being able to hold it in my hands, I just hope you will enjoy and appreciate it," said an excited Zaleha, as she announced the launch on her Facebook page.

Zaleha and her chicken rendang made waves on the Internet in April last year when MasterChef UK judge Gregg Wallace criticised her chicken rendang for not being crispy.

Wallace and fellow judge John Torode frowned on the rendang that came with Zaleha's nasi lemak, and she was eliminated from the reality TV show.

The comment sparked a huge controversy since there is no such thing as a crispy rendang chicken.

The incident dubbed “Rendangate” even led to then-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and then-opposition leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad “uniting” in coming to Zaleha’s defence on social media.

It even prompted the British High Commissioner to Malaysia to say that "rendang is never crispy".

Then foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman also got in on the act, and congratulated Zaleha for managing to unite Malaysians from both sides of the political divide.

“You have succeeded in a way that many of us politicians could not, i.e. to unite Malaysians in the most divisive of times,” he said.

Zaleha's not-so-crispy rendang cookbook will be out on 1st of July in Asia and on Sept 16 in the UK.

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