When I am back in my kampong and want a change to the regular nasi lauk/nasi dagang for breakfast (which is frankly speaking -not that often, since it’s not easy to get tired of eating nasi lauk/nasi dagang) I will head on to Kampung Terbak for Kau Jam ( salad/ vegetable rice – rice cooked in herbs ( which gives it a greenish colouration))
I used to have to cycle pass Terbak everyday to get to school , on the way- you get to see familiar sights of monks going around the houses for alms, baby piggies and mama piggies , stray dogs, monitor lizards, the occasional snakes and biawaks running around the place. Now the place is all modern with traffic lights and all that…( sorry, I do not have any jokes on why the piggies cross the road lah)
The Kau Jam is available in the compound of a Thai temple- Wat Pikulthong ( which is directly in front of the Terbak traffic light junction heading towards the town centre of Tumpat.
In the midst of the foliage .. ( it was ~ 7:30am, it was still dark…) – spot the stall
The Kau Jam makcik cutting vegetables.
i (always) try to practise some Thai words with Makcik during my visits , but i think she prefers to speak to me in malay in response to my broken Thai lah
(Notice the calendar with a picture of the Thai King in the background)
The normal vegetable ( all raw) in Kau Jam include : cucumber, long bean, onions, daun kelsom ( spicy and fragrant herb), lemongrass , ginger flower.
Previously, Makcik will have all the vege ready-mixed in a big basin , but she had since improvise and will ask the customer what they do not want , and she will then omit those and then mix up the portion according to the packets of rice. ( this sure beat having to pick out all the long beans pieces that I do not want in my rice).
The vege are packed separately from the rice .With the rice, Makcik will pack – fish meat, grounded and fried coconut, pepper, chili paste, and also a packet of Budu ( fermented fish (sauce), for those who do not take budu, you can replace this with soy sauce.
Apart from kau jam, Auntie also sells porridge, these are the ingredients to be added to the porridge, I tried the porridge, it’s pretty good too ( very peppery and tasty)
You can either pack the food ( tarpau) or have it there, under the trees ( chair/table, eating utensils and drinks are available) , enjoy the serenity of the temple …. It’s a wonderful experience..(you should also try having keropok (fish crackers) available from Makcik’s stall , with kau jam ) And after you enjoyed the healthy kau jam ( so many vege, sure very healthy one !) take a walk around the temple, the statue of the Standing / Walking Buddha is close by to makcik’s stall …
Update Nov 2012- Kau Jam Makcik is no longer operating the stall in the Wat, she has moved ! Makcik is now operating from her home, i have not been there – so, the following instructions are based on what i have heard :- from Wat Pikolthong ( on your left), go straight after the traffic light ( i.e. don’t head towards Tumpat town center) , and err…ask around or look around you to find the stall..
I did a search on Wat Pikulthong and found that in Nov 2008, the temple became the first Buddhist temple in Malaysia to be homoured with the Royal Kathin award from Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. You can read the article by clicking here
how to get there :
From Kota Bharu – you head on to Tumpat ( which should be ~20 mins away on regular traffic), After passing Kg Sedar, you will come to Terbak and the traffic light , The temple is one the left of the traffic light juntion ( It’s so prominent, you shouldn’t miss it !)