Preserving traditional cuisine

Syazwani Hj Rosli

In Brunei Darussalam, like other countries, traditional food is part of the nation’s cultural heritage that needs to be preserved.

However, food such as kelupis, selurut, penyaram, tapai and kuih cincin are getting harder to find.

With new food trends emerging among the younger generation, it has had an impact on their knowledge about local traditional food with some not been able to identify them.

Nevertheless, there are still some trying to preserve these cuisines. Kampong Jerudong ‘B’ Village Consultative Council (MPK Jerudong ‘B’) members in collaboration with Warisan Kedayan Jerudong Association (Warisan) conducted the Produk MPK and Produk Warisan event recently to promote the importance of preserving traditional cuisines.

MPK Jerudong ‘B’ member, 60-year-old Hajah Timbang binti Haji Jumat, said, “We aim to spread awareness among the youth to learn about our traditional food.”

During the event, several food items were displayed to show how each community has its own recipes unique from others.

Members of the Kampong Jerudong ‘B’ Village Consultative Council (MPK Jerudong ‘B’) with Warisan Kedayan Jerudong Association make kelupis. PHOTOS: SYAZWANI HJ ROSLI
Kuih sumbui-sumbui

Daging masak kunyit, ayam tua masak kunyit and rebung dan kulat tahun masak air were among the unique culinary items showcased by the Malay Kedayan community, particularly those residing in Kampong Jerudong, according to Hajah Timbang.

For the rebung dan kulat tahun masak air, Hajah Timbang said rebung and mushroom are sliced thinly, and are usually cooked with fresh prawns. The dish is eaten with white rice and lada padi.

Apart from featuring the Kedayan-style cuisine during the event, MPK members also showcased and demonstrated the process of making traditional cakes and desserts such as kelupis, lapat, dalamu and bikang. However, one particular dessert, kuih sumbui-sumbui, caught the attention of many.

According to Hajah Timbang, the reason for its name is the fact that the kuih is wrapped with the actual sumbui-sumbui  (pitcher plant).

The main ingredients consist a mixture of rice flour and bananas grounded up and mixed with hot water and drizzled with sugar and salt after mixing. The mixture is then poured into each sumbui-sumbui that has been washed and cleaned prior, before steaming.

“Through such events, we hope to see more young people in the country step forward and join in upholding our culinary heritage and recognise the true value of traditional food,” said Hajah Timbang.

“It is important to have a sense of cultural appreciation so that it will continue to be remembered and the people will want to learn to make them and uphold the prestige of our culinary heritage further so that they will not be forgotten in the future.”