School Transfer 101

In light of our recent move out of state, I thought I’d share a bit on the school transfer procedure (Malaysia’s education system that is). It was surprisingly less painful than I thought.

  1. Get Form P.U. (A)275 from your kid’s school. (See a sample of this form here
  2. Fill up all the relevant information needed. And you will need photocopies of your marriage certificate and your child’s IC or birth certificate. (3 copies each)
  3. You will then need to submit the completed form and copies of your marriage certificate to the school. The school will then proceed to type 4 copies of the form. This process can take anywhere from one day to a week as it depends on the school. For my kids, we managed to get the completed forms in about 3 days.
  4. Once you have your documents ready, go to the Jabatan Pendidikan of the district of your kid’s new school. Here, the officer will verify your documents, assign the new school and approve your transfer. (On your transfer form, you need to provide 2 different options.) Our school transfer was approved in about 20 minutes.
  5. After the Jabatan Pendidikan approves your transfer, you will need to go to the new school to hand over the transfer form together with the marriage certificate. The school principal will review your kid’s academic performance and assign the class to your kids according to their latest exam results. If your school transfer coincides with the new school year, your will be given a book list.
  6. You then need to go back to your kid’s old school to submit the approved transfer form and to collect report card, “kad kesihatan” and other records. These records need to be handed over to the new school.

Our school transfer process took slightly more than a week as the Jabatan Pendidikan officer-in-charge was away for a conference in Genting.

Tips on choosing a new school

  • Go to the Ministry of Education website and look at the list of schools in the area.
  • Do your research online. Look at the school’s website and Facebook to get some rough idea of the school.
  • Make friends with the locals and ask them regarding the best schools.
  • Pay a visit to the schools that you have shortlisted. It would be good to go with your child to allow him/her to get a feel of the new school.

This serves as a general guideline for school transfers and do note that there maybe slight differences as some schools may release the report card, “kad kesihatan” and other records even before the approved forms are submitted.

Hope this helps and good luck with your transfer!

 

The One About Nasi Lemak Party & Sambal Petai Recipe

Nasi Lemak condiments. Clockwise from the top: Cucumbers, Sambal Nenas (Pineapple Sambal), Sambal Petai, Kerabu Kacang Botol, Kangkung, Hard Boiled Egg. The small bowl is the dressing for the Kerabu.

Being the true Melaka Nyonya, our Nasi Lemak would not be complete without “kangkung” (water convolvulus). Thankfully, my IT dude friend and his missus managed to hunt down some. Made 2 different sambals to accommodate the non-petai eating diners. Decided to make a milder, sweeter Sambal Nenas for my non-petai eating friends and also for the friend whose sambal tolerance level is at the primary school.

Decided to make “Kerabu Kacang Botol” as well. Erm…. More like an experiment. Thankfully, my lab rats reviewed and the experiment was considered a success.

All plated and ready to go…into the tummy!

For a Nasi Lemak, the sambal can make or break it. Besides the fragrant coconut rice, the sambal is the highlight for most people, me included. One of my friends posted about my Sambal Petai and Nasi Lemak on her Facebook and I have had requests for my recipe. As a true blue Nyonya who cooks using the “agak-agak method”, I was like “Yikes! I really dunno how many grams of this or that.” So, I went off to the nearest supermart and got MORE petai and spent an afternoon “quantifying” my Sambal Petai.

So…. here’s my recipe.

The photo that made me write this post. 🙂

Sambal Petai

Ingredients A

11 fresh red chillies

35 shallots (“Bawang Merah”)

20 candlenuts (“Buah Keras”)

Ingredients B

3 cups petai

2 large yellow onions

400 ml tamarind juice (“Assam Jawa”)*

1 ½ tbsp salt

6 tbsp sugar

Oil

*made from 3 tbsp tamarind paste + 400ml water

Method:

  1. Blend ingredients A into a paste.
  2. Half and slice yellow onions into strips.
  3. Heat up oil and once the oil is hot, sauté the blended paste. Keep stirring consistently to avoid burning the paste.
  4. Once paste turns a darker red, add in petai and onions.
  5. Add the tamarind juice.
  6. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Tips:

  1. Use the food processor with a chopper function.
  2. Soak the candlenuts to soften them before blending them.
  3. If the paste looks watery, drain the excess water with a sieve.
  4. Use more oil when cooking the paste. Spoon out excess oil once the sambal is ready by allowing it to sit for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Add birds eye chillies (“cili padi”) if prefer a spicier version.

 

Clockwise from top left: Fresh red chillies, shallots, yellow onions, petai (halved), candlenuts, tamarind paste.
Pardon the smokey effect…Left is what the raw sambal paste looks like. The right is when the sambal paste is ready for the next step.
After putting in the tamarind paste, petai and yellow onions. On the right is what it looks like once the sambal is done.

 

Good Luck and Happy Cooking!

How Do I Love Thali, Let Me Count The Ways

For those who know me well enough, you will probably know by now that I love all things spicy and count Indian food as one of my favs. There is nothing I like better than a lovely vegetarian “thali”. Best enjoyed with all five of my digits, washed down with a nice frothy Teh Tarik Susu Lembu.

For those who are not in the know, the word “thali” actually means plate. (Hindi/Nepali: थाली, Tamil: தட்டு) It is essentially a round platter that is filled with several smaller little bowls (called “katori”) with food that is salty, sweet, sour, bitter and spicy. These little bowls are usually arranged around the bigger platter with some rice or chapati in the middle. Whether rice or chapati or even “puri” is served would depend on the region or restaurant that is serving the “thali”. Some restaurants I discovered would serve their “thali” on a banana leaf. Totally love “thali” on banana leaf as the aroma of the banana leaf enhances the whole thali experience.

Typical dishes of a thali are rice, roti, curries, vegetables, yoghurt (“tairu”), pappadums, pickles, “rasam” (Indian soup) and some places also serve salty fried chillies. (My fav!)

Recently, out of the blue, Son No. 2 decided that he wanted a thali. This was quite an unusual request as he is very loyal to his Roti Telur (Flatbread with egg). His “thali’ came with curried long beans, stir fried beansprouts, Sambal Taufu, Dhal curry (“sambar”), cucumber “salad”, fried bitter gourd and rasam. Oh yes, pappadums too.

Clockwise from the top: Sambal taufu, cucumber salad, curried long beans, stir fried beansprouts, Dhal curry, rasam and fried bitter gourd in the middle.
Clockwise from the top: Sambal taufu, cucumber salad, curried long beans, stir fried beansprouts, Dhal curry, rasam and fried bitter gourd in the middle.

Am usually not a fan of bitter gourd but the crunchy fried bitter gourd at Kari Kepala Ikan Raub* in Bentong, Pahang is probably one of the best I have tasted. I am a huge fan of their Sambal Taufu as it has just the right amount of onions and chillies. Actually, most of the dishes I have tried at this place is seriously yums.

So, why to I love “thali”?

Is it the Dhal curry that I instinctively drown my rice with?

Or is it because of the cucumber and onion raita that is the perfect match for firey sambal?

Or is it because of that mushy spinach that I love with a maddening passion?

Or the salty fried chillies that are so addictive?

The answer is “All of the above”. It is the various elements that make the “thali” oh-so-delish. All the different tastes, textures and flavours.

And one of the best part about “thali” is the huge portion that we just have to share it with our dining companions. And to share a good “thali” with great company is totally priceless!

 

*Kari Kepala Ikan Raub

No. 52, Jalan Loke Yew, 28700 Bentong, Pahang

09-223 3551 | 012-900 2351 | 016-320 8766

Are You A REAL Vegetarian?

I was an on and off vegetarian for some years before I decided to become a full-time vegetarian. My journey as a vegetarian has been a rather easy transition with so many delish eats available at all hours of the day in Malaysia.

As a vegetarian, I get many amusing and sometimes rather annoying remarks thrown my way. One of the remarks is that am not a full-time or “real” vegetarian since I eat garlic and onions. I once got kinda miffed at someone (a HUGE meat eater, no less!) who told me that am not a REAL vegetarian as I was happily chomping on garlic and onions. I tried to tell this person that I have not touched meat for some number of years but this person still insisted that am not a true vegetarian. You see, in Malaysia, Chinese who are vegetarians are mostly Mahayana Buddhists and they do not consume garlic and onions. Due to this, it is a common perception that all Chinese who are vegetarians cannot eat garlic and onions or to qualify as a vegetarian, one must refrain from consuming garlic and onions.

Hence, why I am inspired write this post to shed some light on the different types of vegetarianism. Basically, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat. Meat covers the usual beef, chicken, pork, lamb, seafood or anything with a life that moves, eats or makes noises. However, there are different classifications due to the different food combinations that the individual decides to consume. So, here are the different types of vegetarianism.

vegetarianism-101-2

So, which vegetarian are you? Not that it really matters as at the end of the day, what matters more is that you made a conscious choice of a non-harming lifestyle. Whether you are a REAL vegetarian or not, at least you know that you are not harming any living creature to feed your gastronomic need.