Malay confinement recipes (Part 1)

The Malays believe that women should increase their intake of turmeric, ginger (galangal), and drumstick leaves after childbirth. Here are some dishes rich in those ingredients:

The Malays believe that women should increase their intake of turmeric, ginger (galangal), and drumstick leaves after childbirth. Because of this, many of these ingredients are included in traditional Malay confinement recipes. 

Turmeric is believed to functions as an antibiotic and promotes a healthy circulatory system. Ginger warms the body, cleanses the blood, improves appetite, reduces wind and energises the muscles. And  drumstick leaves are rich in proteins, vitamin C and A, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium and other minerals.

Here are some dishes rich in those ingredients. 

Malay confinement recipes

Fried Turmeric Fish

What you need:

12 small fishes – ikan kembong

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tbsp corn flour

What you do:

1. Marinate fish with turmeric powder, salt and pepper.

2. Set aside for an hour at least.

3. Dip fish into corn flour and shake off excess.

4. Deep fry each fish on medium heat.

5. Drain well and serve.

Ikan Percik (Baked Fish)

What you need:

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup tamarind, soaked in water drained, and pitted (could also use tamarind concentrate)

3 lbs. fish fillet

3/4 cup minced onions

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

salt to taste

1 teaspoon dried hot chilli peppers

What you do:

1. Combine the onions, garlic, and fresh ginger.

2. Rub the fillets with salt and half of the onion-garlic-ginger mixture.

3. Place the fish in an oiled baking pan.

4. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

5. Combine the rest of the onion-garlic-ginger mixture with the chili peppers, coconut milk and tamarind.

6. Spread this sauce over the chilled fish and bake uncovered at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Sea Bream with ginger

What you need:

2 tbsp Vegetable oil

5 Shallot (peeled and thinly sliced)

3 Ginger root, fresh (peeled, cut into thin strips)

5 Chili pepper, (deseeded and thinly sliced)

1 cube Ikan Bilis or chicken stock

1 tsp Sesame seed oil

2 tbsp oyster sauce

500 g Sea bream (fillet, cut into four serving pieces)

2 sprigs Coriander leaf

2 Spring onion (trimmed and shredded)

What you do:

1. Heat the water in the steamer. In a small frying pan heat the vegetable oil.

2. Add the sliced shallots, ginger and chilli pepper. Stir fry for 2- 3 minutes.

3. Add the Ikan Bilis Stock, sesame oil and oyster sauce and fry for a further 1 minute minutes.

4. Place the fish portions on a heatproof dish. Cover the fish with the shallot, ginger mixture.

5. Place in the steamer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

6. Place the fish portions on a serving dish.

7. Spoon over the liquid from the cooking plate.

8. Garnish with the coriander leaves and the shredded spring onion.

9. Serve hot.

Also read: Malay confinement recipe (part 2)