Being faraway from home often has its disadvantages. One of them being that you miss out on most, if not all the celebrations you grew up in. Malaysians are well-known for their festivals and celebrations. Being multi-racial, we celebrate all sorta festivals for the different races. Growing up, all these different celebrations meant public holidays to me – an extra day off school, more time to play and go shopping, sleeping ins etc etc. I think when you grow up in it, you kinda just start to take it for granted as the years go by, especially if it’s not a celebration you embrace yourself. But when you are faraway from home, you start missing these celebrations as no matter how faraway you are, a part of you will always carry the roots you came from.
In comparison to a lot of my friends, I would have to say I was more privileged than most of them. My parents are very sociable people and that meant that they have friends from different races, which also meant that we got invited to lotsa different celebrations! As kids, my sis and I were often “dragged” along for Hari Raya (which is the Muslim celebration) and Deepavali open houses. Just being there is an eye opener! You get to see different practices and culture, taste different and amazing food, and watching people dressed up in their traditional wear was so much fun!
When we were young, we had an Indian part-time maid – Letchumi, who would come to our place a couple of times each week to clean and stuff. My mum and her were particularly close and even after she stopped working for us, she’d still dropby our place once in awhile to catch up. Every time we opened our house for Chinese New Year, mum would ask Letchumi for help to prepare food and clean the house etc. And every year, without fail, we would receive an invite to her place for Deepavali. Just very quickly, Deepavali (or Diwali) is a major Indian festival normally celebrated in October or November each year. Known also as “The Festival of Lights”, this day is celebrated all over the world by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Deepavali has different significance to each different group. But overall, to many, the festival marks the victory of good over evil and the uplifting of spiritual darkness. Hence, on this day, the Indians would light oil lamps and perform some sorta spiritual cleansing ritual to mark this day.
Every year when we went to Letchumi’s place for Deepavali, she’d cook up a feast for us. There’ll be all sorts of curries, capatis, tosais etc etc. And of course there’d be different cookies and sweet stuff to munch on. My favourites were the murukus and these sweet crispy things that my mum called beehives. Because we kids loved them so much, every year, Letchumi would fill 2 containers for us to bring home. Sadly, I no longer have this opportunity now that I’m overseas. So, you can just imagine how ecstatic I was when I found the recipe for muruku and beehives on Aunty Lily’s website. She calls them Kuih Rose (Rose Biscuits) but I still like to call them beehives because of their shape and design. When I went back for holidays in 2007, I found the mould used to make them and bought them without thinking twice! I still can’t find the mould for murukus and had to use my icing press when I made them last year. However, I can’t seem to find the photos for them so guess we’ll just have to settle for beehives this time and save murukus for a future post.
1 can of 400 ml coconut milk
2 large eggs
170 gm sugar
1/2 tsp salt
240 gm all-purpose flour