Nasi lemak is Singapore’s national dish. Or is it Malaysia’s? This debate has raged on for as long as nasi lemak has existed.
We all know that nasi lemak is a dish well loved by people on both sides of the causeway, but when a restaurant recently launched a nasi lemak burger, it inadvertently sparked off a nationalistic claim on both sides on this popular dish.
However, the debate about the origins of nasi lemak has finally been settled once and for all. And it’s all because of a home renovation.
Renovation workers hacking the concrete floor of an old bungalow in Ampang were shocked to discover a preserved metal box hidden under it.
The worker who found it immediately knew that there was something “special” about it. “We were just hacking to lay pipework when I noticed this old and rusty metal box,” said the worker. “Old metal boxes are probably not what you would consider ‘unusual’ during renovation, but something inside me told me it was different,” he continued.
He never expected to find shocking evidence that would put an age-old debate to rest.
The box contained a leather-bound diary, dating back to the 1400s.
In one of the entries, the author provides the recipe for ‘a coconut-milk and pandan infused rice with a spicy condiment of ikan bilis and chillies’.
The diary entry is roughly translated below:
“His Majesty and his warriors were hunting by the river. Tired and frustrated that their hunt went badly, they decided to take a break.”
“Seeing the disappointment in their faces, and wanting to lift their spirits, I decided to serve them a meal from a recipe my mother invented. It consists of coconut rice served with homemade sambal and wrapped in banana leaf.”
Experts have examined and confirmed that the piece of paper dates back to 1402, and is believed to have existed during the kingdom of Malacca. “His Majesty” is most likely referencing Parameswara, also known as Iskandar Shah.
“We never expected to find something so valuable. Usually, when we renovate a house, the rarest thing we find are old coins and photos.”
– Ken ‘Ah Tee’ Pu, renovation contractor
“This discovery is amazing,” said Dr Rita Pal Sue from the University of Sultan Ishak. “This is as historically significant as finding the terracotta army. And it proves that Malaysia’s claim to nasi lemak is justified.”
“This proves that Malaysia’s claim to nasi lemak is justified.”
– Rita Pal Sue, Professor of History, University of Sultan Ishak
Once the diary has been thoroughly analysed by the University, it will become a permanent exhibit in Muzium Negara.
In the meantime, Ken the contractor and his team are catching up with the renovation work. “The owner hired us through Recommend.my because he wanted reliable and trustworthy contractors. We want to make sure we deliver on time, even after this unexpected delay,” he added.
Note: This article is meant for April Fools and is obviously not real, in case you’ve read this far and still didn’t notice.