Monday, October 18, 2010


My early childhood “laugh and roam” days in Panchor by the banks of the Muar River has had me going through this phase of my life like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I used to swim and fish in the river.

One of the things that has still stuck with me is a passion and love for fresh water prawns called udang galah. I get excited whenever I see them - live or cooked. The other food from the river is the mud crab or ketam batu in Malay. This evokes the same response from me.

I was told that these mud crabs are not so popular with Malays who sometimes catch/trap them but sell it off at good prices. Since this crab can survive both on land and in water, it is not preferred by many Malays. Some consider it haram to eat. This got me thinking but was assured by my religious mentor, an Al-Azhar trained ustaz, that’s it is not haram but makruh. For those not familiar with these terms haram means explicitly forbidden in Islam. Makruh, on the other hand is not forbidden but discouraged. One is not penalized for doing it but it is better avoided. Smoking cigarettes/tobacco, eating durians or petai fall under this category.

So I still have a ball with my crabs and prawns often preferring the Indian version of cooking it best.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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