Cover The Hidangan Kegemaran Dari Dapur Tunku spread

Try these 12 dishes from a cookbook written by the daughter of Malaysia's first Prime Minister

The late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj was greatly respected as a statesman but few people realise that he was also a talented cook. Malaysia’s first Prime Minister learnt his way around the kitchen while studying in the UK as a youth. Returning home, he took pleasure in cooking for his loved ones, and even taught his daughter, Tunku Dato' Paduka Khadijah Tunku Abdul Rahman, how to cook.

Now, the public will have a rare chance to taste some of his favourite dishes for themselves in a special collaboration with OpenHouse for Malaysia Day. They are based on recipes from Tunku Khadijah’s cookbook, Hidangan Kegemaran Dari Dapur Tunku (Favourite Dishes From Tunku’s Kitchen).

“Tunku Abdul Rahman was really a foodie of his generation," says Andrew Wong of OpenHouse. "He truly is Bapa Malaysia because his food are so varied in taste, just like the fabric of our nation. We're truly honoured to be able to collaborate with Tunku Khadijah on this. Food is a very Malaysian thing, and by sharing our Bapa Malaysia’s passion for food, we hope to keep his legacy alive.”

See also: 6 Dining Promotions Celebrating Malaysia Day

The Malaysia Day menu, available from September 16 - October 31, 2021, is dubbed Dapur Tunku-Bapa Malaysia's Favourite Recipes and contains 12 of Tunku Abdul Rahman’s favourite dishes, including Kerabu Perut Kacang Botol, Otak Otak Daun Mengkudu, Gulai Daging Siam, and Telur Itik Masak Kuning Dhal. Also featured is Langit Collective's red rice from the Borneo Highlands, OpenHouse’s way of paying tribute to Tunku’s role in the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

According to Wong, this menu is the restaurant’s latest instalment in an ongoing series highlighting heritage recipes. OpenHouse’s Chef Azli Ahmad and his team aim to pay homage to the Tunku’s larger-than-life legacy through food and hospitality.

Wong sees the menu not just as an opportunity to try some great dishes but also a chance to gain rare insight into the life of one of the country’s greatest leaders.

“Tunku’s varied palette was a result of different influences, from his friendships with different races and the places he spent in his life. It shaped his love for a variety of food such as Thai, Chinese, Indian, and even English such as Yorkshire pudding. And as a member of the Kedah royal family, most of the dishes are also Northern Malay in origin,” he notes.

Read more: Restaurateur Andrew Wong Talks About The Wonderfully Diverse Flavours Of Malaysian Food

Wong recommends Gulai Ketam Nenas (Crab In Pineapple Curry) which combines the rich punchiness of coconut curry with the tangy taste of pineapple and flower crab, and Telur Itik Masak Kuning Dhal (Yellow Eggs Cooked in Dhal).

“(The latter) has this unusual flavour of curry with duck egg that just melds well together. Lentils and duck egg—that’s a flavour profile that’s new even to me!” he exclaims.

OpenHouse is donating 10 per cent of the proceeds from this menu to Covid relief programmes through a collaboration with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society. A limited number of signed copies of Tunku Khadijah’s cookbook can also be purchased at the restaurant.

For more information, call +603-2162 0888, WhatsApp +6019-299 0032, or visit OpenHouse’s website.

See also: Malaysia Day 2021: 5 Cookbooks That Celebrate Malaysian Cuisine

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