Next, we went to the vegetables area. Same story. I did some comparison between RM1 worth of vege here and RM1 worth of vege in KK or Keningau and how I wish I have this Doraemon door where I can teleport to Keningau whenever I want to buy vegetables or teleport to Lahad Datu or Sandakan whenever I'm salivating for some seafood dishes. So the conclusion is if one wants to save on the RM ($), one has to do it the hard way, that is one has to grow one's own veges and go fishing. Otherwise, one will have to be content to just swallow one's air liur, close one's eyes, take out the money from one's wallet and pay.
So back at home, I was still reeling from the effect of seeing the high prices of raw foods (well, not just raw foods that are expensive) even while preparing the hinava. But then I thought of those people who are much much more unfortunate than me and slowly the "effect" began diminishing. I thought about those people who are constantly hungry because they have no means of acquiring even the basic foods. And those who are living in countries where famine is the story of their lives, especially those malnourished kids that even seeing their images in my mind brought that lump in my throat and my eyes got watery. Who wouldn't shed their tears by seeing pictures of those little children who have to crawl to get to the camp where they would be getting their foods (and even those are not enough) while the vultures are nearby knowing all too well that some would *shudder* become their foods (sounds harsh but it's the reality)? I can't really complain now, can I? As the saying goes, "berat mata memandang, berat lagi bahu memikul".
So, what is hinava? It's a traditional KadazanDusun food, some dialect calls it hinata, some calls it kinava. What is so special about this food is that it is simple to prepare and you need not worry if you run out of cooking gas at home. Not fire involved.
- bitter gourd - look for one with wide ridges, it won't make you jump out in shock when it hits your taste bud (unless you're a big fan of bitter foods)
- chilli (red pepper)
- mackerel (tenggiri). Some people use ikan yu, some use kombua (in Kadazan, don't know its name in Malay or English)
- MSG or sugar
I like using tenggiri because it doesn't smell. Of course, one has to get it fresh.
1) The fish - how you cut it is a matter of preference. Cut it into thin stripes or cubes or fine slices or any shape you like. Some like it chopped finely, some like it cut into squares, I've seen people cut it into squares about an inch (length and width).
2) You need the juice from the limes (to be mixed with the fish). So you'll see the color of the fish flesh changes from pinkish to white.
3) Cut the bitter gourd into thin slices.
4) Cut the ginger, shallots and chilli as shown below
5) Mix the ingredient all together. Don't forget the salt and the msg/sugar. Refrigerate for about half an hour or until the fish turns to white.
Prepare a sambal belacan to "spice up" your meal.
And VOILA!!!! Yummy-yum-yum