What don’t kill you only makes you stronger

Baba Chubby's Ayam Buah Keluak

Baba Chubby Ayam Buah Keluak

The German philosopher Nietzsche once wrote “Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.” or in English “What does not kill me, makes me stronger”. I am sure he meant that our experiences in life can help us be a better person. I am also sure that he didn’t mean for us to go out and look Death in the face and give him the finger.

F*ck You Joe, you w*nker

But that is what thrill seekers have been doing all these while. From free climbing to base jumping, the adrenalin addicts have been cranking up the extreme levels a few notches. The risk of dying is always there but most extreme sportsmen are also extremely cautious. They make sure everything is the way it needs to be to minimize the risks. Hats off to them, they all suffer from testicular elephantiasis.

Let me clarify next by saying that I am not an adrenalin junkie. Maybe it is because I am not fit (hence the tummy). Maybe it is because I don’t have a death wish.  I’m just not into it. Heck, I find skiing a very masochistic sport. For those of you that never skied before, learning to ski is a painful experience exerbated by 9 year old laughing at your face each time you fall flat on your arse.

There are plenty of everyday things that can kill you of course, crossing the road, driving, playing golf in the rain and eating. Yes you heard me eating. Here is a shortlist of edible morsels that will put a cap in your ass if you are not careful. Potatoes, tapioca, mushrooms, apple seeds, Fugu fish, rhubarbs, apricot stones just to name a few.

Fugu Vs Homer

There is also one rare fruit called the buah keluak or buah kepayang (Pangium edule).  It can be found in the mangroves swamp of South East Asia. It is still available for purchase, but the only source I know is in Singapore. The thing about this fruit is that it contains hydrogen cyanide and will make your cells unable to use oxygen sending you into a coma with seizures, apnea and a freaking heart attack to boot, killing you within minutes. Eating a buah keluak without any preparation is a definite no no.

The thing is, you can’t have Ayam Buah Keluak (Killer fruit Chicken) without buah keluak. Hey if the ingredient is in the name, it is a definitely needed. So what is so special about this dish? Ayam buah keluak is a peranakan dish and like most peranakan dishes is heavy on the spices. I have seen a few different recipes. Some, like my grandma’s recipe, involves taking the tarry black flesh of the fruit out to mix with mince pork and prawns then stuffing it back in to cook in a glorious spice filled gravy. Others just cook the flesh of the fruit along with the chicken in a curry like sauce.

The later is the styled prepared by the chefs at Baba Chubby. This restaurant is located at Muara Tabuan next to another famous restaurant My Restaurant. They serve Peranakan cuisine so you will be able to feast on delicious dishes like ngor hiang, babi ponteh and paku lemak. But to me the star of the show was the Ayam buah keluak.

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First thing you would notice is that it is a very small serving. At RM7 a plate this is unsurprising since buah keluaks are sold at RM60 per kg before transportation costs. Due to this, you don’t find much buah keluak in the dish here. The chicken itself is alright, you get a nice subtle hint of the buah keluak in the sauce. But the chicken isn’t the star of the show. It is the buah keluak itself.

Here is how you should eat this dish. Take the flesh of the buah and mash it up real good. Mix the tarry flesh together with your rice and a bit of the gravy. Now eat it with the chicken. Hmmmmm.. nom nom nom. I should warn you guys that this is a bit of an acquired taste. While I am absolutely addicted to the taste, just a handful from my extended family actually likes this stuff. But if you do like it, you will find yourself addicted to the unique taste real soon.



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