Keeping grandma’s recipe alive

Her children remembered very well when they had to hand-pull beef during Ramadhan with the kitchen enveloped in the rich aroma of cooked serunding. For them, it was a matter of fighting the urge to dig in immediately especially during Ramadhan.

Hajah Rogayah binti Md Yassin started making serunding in the 1970s. Serunding is a traditional Malay dish often associated with festivities, especially the Hari Raya celebrations. Making it is very delicate, tedious and time-consuming task. Beef is carefully hand-pulled, cooked and dried carefully to get the final product, which is light, fluffy and slightly crunchy.

The story of Fennel & Dill’s serunding started four years ago when Hajah Rogayah’s grandchildren – Ahmad Mamduh bin Abdul Wahab, Raihanah binti Abdul Wahab, and Wafaa’ bin Abdul Wahab – decided to carry on the tradition of their grandmother’s serunding.

With guidance from their grandmother and help from their mother and other family members, they learnt to replicate the family recipe. Not only did they master the methods and skills of making it, they also developed ways to improve its production in their home kitchen.

Soon after, they renamed their kitchen Fennel & Dill, marking the beginning of their business venture. Through social media, their grandmother’s recipe reached beyond friends and family. Over the years, the brand has grown, and orders have been coming in, especially during festive seasons such as Hari Raya and weddings.

Fennel & Dill carries the siblings’ dream of sharing and preserving their grandmother’s serunding, while promoting Bruneian products and preserving Brunei Malay’s culture and traditions. They signed a joint venture with KS Food Industries on January 31, 2018, formed by George Lim and associates with the aim to take it a step further.

“It is with the intention of safeguarding the original recipe and using the latest technology that we aim to make serunding shine not only in the local market but also to share it globally,” George Lim said.

Fennel & Dill’s beef serunding