I have not been updating my blog for a week now. I’ve been busy with Hari Raya celebrations, followed by my younger sister’s engagement ceremony. We hold the ceremony in my home thus we have a lot to prepare before the actual day. The two parties requested for a small affair. It was a simple Hantar Tanda ceremony or Pertunangan.
In a traditional setting, the groom sends his representatives to the bride’s home to negotiate and discuss with the bride’s father until they come to an agreement between the two parties. His representatives are normally elderly relatives. The spokesperson of the representatives is usually a respected elderly male relative. However, in our ceremony, the groom also turned up with the representative he sent! Hmmm…
The bride’s family is the host receiving the groom’s representatives as guests, and are usually the bride’s parents, senior family members and relatives.
In the ceremony, a ring is presented to the bride to seal the engagement between the bride and the groom. She is now spoken for. During the ceremony the two parties also discussed the dowry, financial commitment for the wedding and approximate date to hold the wedding and state the conditions if a marriage do not materialize after the engagement. There are other matters that may be discussed such as the wedding venue or whether to hold the wedding together as one event, which is quite common nowadays.
After the discussion, we hold a small kenduri or feast. The guests and the hosts will be served food prepared by the bride’s female relatives for the occasion.
Take a look at the picture and you will notice that the hosts and guests are seated on the floor. It is customary for such occasions that we are seated on the floor, probably in the old days there were a lot more people and fewer furniture. A tikar is laid out on the floor for the hosts and guests to sit on and a kain saprah is laid out in the middle to place the gifts which are the tanda and buah tangan. The kain saprah is a placemat on which to place the food for the feast later.
Since we are holding the ceremony at my home, as a host, I have to get many tasks ready for the engagement. My younger sister has no clue as to what is required. I wrote down the list of things and shared this with hubby, my brother, older sister and brother-in-law who helped us.
My preparation starts with creating a food menu for the guests since the pre-arranged time is around noon. I came up with a simple lunch.
Just a bit of detour here, I want to state how useful to have your direct family members in a closed group in Facebook. It makes discussions much easier and every person involved are on the same page at all times and updated easily. All discussions are online and real-time so no one gets confused or left-out. You saved a lot of time without having to meet to discuss. You can post any questions and a family member will answer or clarify. Everyone gets a clear view of any situation. We only met once to iron out any issues. Having a closed group in Facebook with direct family members also brings all of us closer together.
Okay, back to where I was, the menu I prepared was simple. We are to cook for about 28 people, family members included. I came up with a first draft of the checklist and shared with the rest of my family members involved through Facebook.
We decided on Roti Jala (Lacy Pancakes) and Chicken Curry for lunch. Fruits and cakes for desserts. For the drinks, we prepared hot and cold drinks. As for the rest of the other items, we have to shop for them or use what we already have. It is really useful to come up with a common checklist. It helped us tracked, saved time and effort.
As I have shared on how to make Roti Jala in my previous post, here I will share how to make a simple Chicken Curry, South Indian style.
Preparation Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Makes: 4 -5 servings
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 2 firm tomatoes, diced small
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 green chillies, cut lengthwise
- 2 tablespoon curry powder for meat
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 500 grams chicken meat (just take the meaty parts, keep the boney ones for stock later)
- Salt and Seasoning to taste
- 1/2 cup of cooking oil
- Heat the oil in a pot. Add in the diced onions and fry til it starts to turn golden brown.
- Add in the garlic and ginger paste and stir.
- Next add in the diced tomatoes and stir for at least 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add in the curry powder and mix well till the oil separates. Turn the heat to low.
- Add in the chicken meat and mix well. Make sure the meat are coated with the spice paste.
- Add in the potatoes and mix. Cover the pot for a couple of minutes to cook the meat and potatoes.
- Add in water and cover the pot till the meat and potatoes are cooked.
- Add in salt and seasoning to your desired taste (I added 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of seasoning such as MSG)
- Add in the chillies and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat. Best served hot.
For your info, the above pics are reproduced (that’s why you see the boney chicken parts instead of meaty ones) because I was too busy to snap any photos during the actual cooking on that day and the amount of food to cook was a lot. I used about 6 large chickens to cook the curry and about 2 kilograms of flour to make the Roti Jala on top of preparing the cakes and other stuffs.
I hope you can give the dish a try and I will make some further updates to this post because I have yet to sort out the pics of the engagement and will like to share with you some. Furthermore, I have cooked quite a couple of dishes since and will posting again very soon. Have a nice day!