Nur Dayana Azman Wong’s yearning for Malaysia’s genuine conventional avenue meals whereas learning overseas impressed her to provide her personal cookbook Penang Makan.
Including one other feather to her cap, the 32-year outdated writer made Malaysians proud when her debut cookbook Penang Makan was awarded the perfect on the planet beneath the road meals class on the twenty seventh Gourmand Awards in Sweden early this month.
She upstaged different contenders, amongst them, a culinary institute from China, Future Meals Studio via Shanghai Jianbing Road Meals, Comida Callejera Guatemala (Guatemala), Bak Fritay (Haiti) and My Road Meals Kitchen from the UK (UK).
Sharing her cookbook journey with Bernama lately, Dayana who was born and raised in Penang stated she began accumulating recipes of her favorite hawker fare after returning house from her research overseas.
Dayana graduated with a Grasp of Science in Worldwide Enterprise on the Hult Enterprise Faculty, London in UK in 2017.
“I’ve lengthy harboured an ambition to jot down a ebook, extra of a childhood dream and the curiosity grew wider after I was doing my Grasp’s diploma in London as I couldn’t discover any cookbook on genuine Penang dishes right here (London),” she stated.
The daughter of a Malay-Chinese language couple, Hayati Ismail and Azman Wong Abdullah, Dayana stated her love for meals and tradition was ingrained in her from younger from her mother and father.
She grew up studying how you can cook dinner and admire conventional dishes from the matriarchs of her household; her fondest recollections as a younger lady revolve round cooking and sharing meals along with her family members.
“The ebook, Penang Makan is nothing in need of a labour of affection”, stated Dayana, who has additionally shared her private childhood recollections of rising up within the meals haven, that’s Penang Island.
Sharing her ardour in accumulating recipes, Dayana stated after finishing her research in UK in 2017, she returned to the Pearl of the Orient and labored in a non-public firm earlier than giving up her job to assist along with her household enterprise.
“I began visiting my favorite stalls in Penang. As a substitute of asking the hawkers for the recipes, I solely ate the meals to reignite my style buds and made certain I knew the components within the dishes,” she stated.
Dayana stated that almost all of her recipes within the cookbook have been tailored to go well with her palate.
“Then the pandemic occurred and it gave me the a lot wanted time to compile the recipes and check them out with my mother,” she added.
Dayana, who additionally holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the College of Toronto, stated the cookbook options over 50 recipes which can be rigorously chosen and curated for Malaysians to recreate recollections of Malaysia when they’re overseas.
Cucur udang, the primary recipe
Amongst Dayana’s favorite meals is cucur udang, the Malaysian model of prawn fritters. The deep-fried crispy snack is the primary recipe which made its manner into her cookbook. It’s often bought on pushcarts alongside the roadsides in Penang, with three variants, Malay, Chinese language and Indian.
“Cucur udang is easy however the reminiscence that I get from consuming is, it brings me again to a time after I was a toddler, after I was 4 years outdated. My grandmother will make the cucur udang for the afternoon tea.
“After my grandfather was finished exercising in his backyard, he would tear open the cucur udang and provides me the prawns; he’ll eat the cucur that’s empty. I felt actually beloved and that’s considered one of my favorite recollections to reminisce,” she stated.
Dayana stated cucur udang might be one of many best recipes within the ebook which reminds her of her late grandfather each time she eats it or makes it.
“My mother nonetheless cooks the identical cucur udang every time I come again from overseas. After I step into the home, I can odor it,” she stated, including that the odor of cucur udang reminds her of house.
On the cucur udang variants, Dayana stated the Malay model is rounded with a crispy exterior when contemporary from the wok and a mushy inside crammed with numerous greens.
“The prawns used are shelled and are both entire or chopped and blended into the batter earlier than deep-frying. The Chinese language or Peranakan model is crispier, wafer-thin with unshelled prawns on prime.
“The Indian or Mamak model is usually present in pasembur (Malaysian salad). They’re extra rectangular in form and are crammed with sliced onions, spring onions and the prawns used aren’t shelled,” she stated.
Subsequent, a cooking present maybe
To a query, Dayana stated it was her childhood dream to seem in a TV cooking programme or video manufacturing to advertise Malaysian meals and Malaysia to the world, as she grew up watching cooking reveals hosted by famend superstar cooks.
“I watched cooking reveals by Chef Wan, Denise Keller, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, these are my favourites.
“I’d like to have one, particularly an in-depth cooking journey programme that discovers the numerous Malaysian ethnic meals and delicacies, however thus far, I’ve but to obtain any proposal for that,” she stated.
Dayana stated she wish to consider herself as an individual who prefers house cooked meals and one who strives to protect Penang heritage and legacy.
She is at present selling Malaysian delicacies in Belgium in collaboration with the Malaysian Ambassador to Belgium, Datuk Ahmad Rozian Abd Ghani and can be concerned in a promotional occasion with the Malaysian Palm Oil Council in Europe.
“We’re very enthusiastic about this occasion and are so grateful for the help and encouragement to advertise Malaysian cultural heritage.
“I believe the subsequent step is to organise an analogous occasion and search for distributors to market our cookbooks throughout the globe,” she added.
Meals is love
“I would like folks to understand the normal manner of cooking no matter the place they’re. In a nutshell, whereas we nonetheless use fashionable home equipment, the essence remains to be there (based mostly on recipes), we nonetheless cook dinner meals from scratch (with out instantaneous pastes),” she stated.
Dayana stated the ebook would allow the youthful era to know the meals components corresponding to lengkuas (galangal), belacan (shrimp paste) and gula Melaka (palm sugar).
“I imagine my real love for Penang meals is portrayed within the cookbook. And that is actually the form of ebook that I want I had after I was away from house, after I was learning on the college for the primary time,” she famous.
On successful the coveted award, Dayana stated, “I’m very honoured and grateful for this award particularly this being my first ebook, and ‘Penang Makan’ was up in opposition to so many others within the operating.”
“Profitable the award actually boosted my confidence because it speaks volumes about the usual of our Malaysian cookbooks, which is pretty much as good as any on the market,” she added. – Bernama