It is a dish that requires arduous work, from soaking the nuts, to cracking it open, grinding it into a paste and stuffing it back into the shell, then stewing and slow-cooking the meat until it is fall-off-the-bone tender. It is a labour of love for the ones you cook it for.
The dish, like durian although much milder and less of a shocker to unsuspecting tastebuds, is also an acquired taste; some find it aromatic, others pungent, and there’s those who sit on the fence. I fall into the category of those who “like it”, and I like it very much.
The Jman’s grand-aunt in Singapore makes a fantastic rendition of it, and I had the pleasure of having a little bowl to myself during my trip back to Singapore in December.
I’m now trying to find the nut in Melbourne in the hopes that I can get the Jman’s grandma to teach me how to make this dish, since she herself is a true-blue Nyonya (who makes a real kickass beef rendang, if I may add). Now that leaves me to beg the question: does anyone know where I can find buah keluak in Melbourne?