What I went for at one of the houses is the traditional staple of the poor. My personal favourite is the one pictured above, sambal jering. Jering is the bigger brother to petai, the stinky beans. In this dish, the mature pods of the jering is buried in the ground for a few days until it starts to germinate. It is then dug out, cleaned, boiled and cooked in a profusion of dried chillies, tamarind juice, prawn paste and anchovies. Definitely not to be found in a restaurant downtown.
Sambal ikan bilis and kacang tanah, anchovies and peanuts with hot chillies.
This is the young jering, eaten as condiments. In this state it is soft and crunchy with a peculiar bitter taste. Definitely one to be acquired, the taste I mean. In this case served with salted duck eggs.
Finally, to give a further mule's kick to the meal, sambal belacan. Prawn paste with birds eye chillies drenched in lime juice.
Actually, these are the kinds of food that I grew up with in Tampin Linggi. Meats were rare, chickens reserved for special occasions, fish and prawns when they are caught by my granddad. The raw ingredients are practically free. Just make them yourself i.e. salted eggs or look for them in the paddy fields or around the farm. My comfort food.