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Spice from Kepala Batas

I made it no secret that when it comes to cooking, I was no Masterchef. Every time I went back to Kepala Batas - my kampung - my parents and Anita would visit this spice shop run by an Indian Moslem family. The business been going on for a number of years and my Mum swears by them.

They had recently moved into this new shop. Previously, they had a small workshop at the back of their house in Kampung Kovil, in the back street of town, where the Indians stay in my kampung.

They had spices for everything, and everything was mixed to your taste when you order them. All you had to do was tell them what kind of cooking you liked, and how spicy or hot your want it to be, and he would suggest the rest. The owner - previously his Dad - also gave away recipes. Anita got some of them here in Gombak.

All the spices and all the coloursYou tell him what you wantAnd he would mix it for youThe spices he carried include sauces and paste from India, as well as some exotic leafs and nuts. All packaged into the kind o cooking you wanted to do. Say, if you want to cook a chicken biryani, he would ask you for how many guests, and he would tell you how much rice, chicken and spices you would need. Ace!

Listen carefullyAll packed up, and labelled of course

When we returned to Kepala Batas last weekend, we gave it another visit, and he was nice enough to let me snap some photos. He was running the shop with his brother now, and eve week they would do shipment to KL. Some of the 'kedai mamak' in KL bought the spices from him, in bulk.

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