IPOH: When the first movement control order was implemented last year, housewife Aida Farkhanah Mazlan decided to tap into her interest in learning to make punten, a traditional Javanese delicacy.
Her efforts paid off handsomely and she is now earning good money selling the unique dish to her growing list of customers.
Starting out as a home-based online business, Aida Farkhanah, 24, now runs her own stall with her husband, Firdaus Sulaiman, 29, in front of her family home here.
The mother of one said she started learning how to make punten via YouTube.
The savoury punten is her signature dish at her stall in Kampung Sri Kinta, along with pisang goreng (banana fritters) and various other kuih, including keropok lekor (fish fritters).
Aida Farkhanah said punten was a traditional dish popular among the Javanese community in Sabak Bernam, Selangor.
It is similar to nasi impit, which is popular among the Malays especially during Hari Raya or other festivals. But punten is more savoury due to coconut milk and salt being added to it.
“Punten is usually served with spicy sambal. Hence, many customers of Javanese descent like to buy this dish at our shop, ” she said.
“I sell this dish because of its uniqueness. Usually, when Javanese dishes are mentioned, many will think of nasi ambeng and lontong, among others. Therefore, we are trying to be a little different.”
She said the soft-textured punten, when served with spicy side dishes, would appeal to those who like spicy food.
Aida Farkhanah shared that it took her about 45 minutes to make punten, using rice mixed with coconut milk as the main ingredients.
“The cooked rice is mixed with coconut milk, mashed and formed into oval shapes.
For the green sambal, I only use blended chillies and onions. The level of heat depends on the amount of chillies used, ” she said.
According to Aida, the response was a bit slow initially but after more than a year, it is increasingly in demand now, and sought after by various people, not only from Ipoh but also from Sabak Bernam.
Aida Farkhanah said punten was sold at RM4 for six pieces. She sells up to 40 servings a day.
Demand continued to be good despite the Covid-19 pandemic, she said. — Bernama