Sweet sales for salty acar

Sought-after dish: Tengku Hayati spooning the acar at her home in Taman Wangi in Gua Musang, Kelantan. — Bernama

GUA MUSANG: Each time the month of Ramadan arrives, a salted fish acar maker here will have her hands full meeting the orders for the dish that is usually enjoyed as an appetiser or side dish when breaking fast and during sahur.

Tengku Hayati Akmal Tengku Hitam, 65, said her salted fish acar featured a mix of sour, sweet, salty and spicy flavours that also came from the crisp pickled onion in it, which made so many dishes taste better.

“Salted cencaru fish, vinegar, chillies, ginger and shallots are the main ingredients in this acar dish,” she told Bernama when met at her residence in Taman Wangi here.

The government retiree, affectionately known as Mokku Yati, said Thai shallots were the key ingredient in her salted fish acar.

“During the past three years, it has gotten harder to find Thai shallots.

“I only use Thai shallots to make my salted fish acar.

“I once had to turn down and cancel orders at the last minute due to the lack of supply of this type of onion,” said Mokku Yati, who has been selling the acar for six years.

She said she received a very high demand for the acar not only from the surrounding residents but also from Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Melaka as well as Singapore.

“I have a loyal customer from Singapore who will order in large quantities and is willing to pay the expensive delivery fee,” she said.

According to Mokku Yati, sales of the acar will rise throughout the holiday season and the month of Ramadan.

“I sell it at RM12 for a pack weighing 200g.

“The amount of money I make each month is uncertain because the supply of shallots determines my acar production.

“This acar can also be offered as hampers or door gifts in addition to being served as a side dish,” she added.

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