Malaysia is a multi-cultured socitey, colourful and rich with different races' culture and tradition. Sometimes, things just blur out in between and people like me, sometimes cannot really differentiate which culture/practice 'belongs' to the Malays, which 'belongs' to Chinese, which 'belongs' to Indians. I think I have no qualms in making friends with non-Chinese. In fact, my very good friend is a Malay. But we are both English speaking.
And every year, the Malays, actually the Muslims, have to endure a month of fasting before the celebration of new year. I join them, sometimes for my own religious moments (I'm a Catholic), sometimes for my own personal interests (like when I'm overweight, ) And there is this one food that I like so much that I'm willing to puasa (fast) – dates, or kurma in the Malay Language.
The Chinese use a lot of red dates in boiling herbal tonic. But I've never like them, because of their coarse skin. If the red dates have been soaked in water and plump up, I don't mind but then it is not that juicy and sweet. It is like a red pouch filled with whatever tonic that red date belongs to.
I like these Middle East kurma. I have yet to eat fresh ones that you can pluck from the twig and pop into your mouth. The kurma I have, normally come from the Supermarket during the fasting month. But there are so many different brand names and they come from different countries.
The one that I like most is the rounded type, soft and chewy, moist and succulent.
I was in search of the kurma since the first day of the fasting month. But I didn't have any luck, until yesterday when my good friend's brother in law passed me a box, imported from the city of Bam in southern east area of Iran. Previously, I had bought some from the local supermarket; the oblong-shaped, seedless, crunchy and less sweet types. But they are not moist.
In fact, in Islam, they call it the "Fruits from God". Good to supplement the energy when you are fasting. All you need is only 3 to 4 seeds. My friend's recipe is to take the kurma, take time to really chew on it, and drink with milk. I don't fast like the Muslims do. I do drink water. But I substitute my meals with kurma and milk. And this time around, I stock up a few boxes for me to continue my fast for another 2 months. I just won't believe that I can't drop some weight ~