Tuesday, February 5, 2013

perut ayam, an un-chicken chicken intestines

A good perut ayam should have a slightly chewy texture. It should have a nice golden brown  colour on the outside, yet fluffy and airy on the inside. A great perut ayam, however, should be easily unfurled, without breaking up, to look like its namesake chicken's intestines.

Don't cringe yet, it's not actually made of intestines, it's not even made of any part on any animal. Perut ayam is made of fairly normal dessert ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, and fermented cassava.

This day, Mbak Mi and I went to the pasar (traditional market) looking for another kind of snack called serabi (more on that on my next post). The market that we went to is in the Klojen district of Malang, East Java. The Klojen area is teeming with activity thanks to a busy train station in the south side. Rows of becak (pedicab) are parked at the front of Stasiun Malang Kotabaru, ready for transporting the arriving passengers to their final destinations. Various warung is busy feeding the masses, be it passengers, the public servants working in the nearby town hall or the students from various high schools in the Tugu area.

A few blocks north of the train station is where the market is, aptly named Pasar Klojen. This market has stood the test of time and gone through many renovations since at least the 1930s, it is somewhat cleaner than most traditional markets in Malang.

Pasar Klojen circa 1930s (courtesy of wikipedia and Tropenmuseum)
I didn't explore the market too much as time was a little bit tight. The jajanan (traditional snack) stores I wanted to visit were mostly in the periphery of the market. There are a few elementary schools located near the market. During breaks or after school, kids wanting jajanan would not bother to go too deep inside the market for their favourites.

I was disheartened when I couldn't find the serabi that I was looking for. I came to the realisation that I might not find them today. But almost as soon as I was crushed, I was elated the next. I leapt with joy as I peered through the glass display cabinet of one store to discover stacks of perut ayam. It's one of the few snacks I love and can tolerate when I was young.

Perut ayam - Rp 1,250
Apem selong was not a favourite, but I bought it anyway because it is somewhat reminiscent of serabi. Apem selong also goes by the name of apem ceylon in some parts of the country. When I hear the name, my mind takes me to a scene where seafaring Sri Lankans in the days gone by are teaching their indonesian counterpart in the art of making the apem. They would jovially mix the batter made of rice flour, eggs and coconut milk, pouring the batter on small wok-like earthenware that's been heated slowly over charcoal, until the batter is golden brown on the bottom.

Apem selong looks like serabi, it may even be made like serabi, alas it wasn't exactly a serabi.

Apem selong (on the background) - Rp 1,250


Jalan HOS Cokroaminoto Gg. 4B / 208
location on google maps

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