Brunei – Ambuyat

by Fauzan Anandika

Borneo is one of the biggest islands in the world. A place where three countries live peacefully. Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia live in harmony since they came from the same culture and tradition. Borneo island has a vast tropical forest, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. This natural wealth makes people who live there could create many unique culinary since a long time ago. One of them was Ambuyat from Brunei Darussalam. Ambuyat uses sago palm as the main ingredient. That makes Ambuyat texture chewy and tastes a little bit sweet.

People from Brunei eat Ambuyat to substitute rice for lunch. They eat Ambuyat using chopstick-like cutlery called candas. They eat together with their relatives to strengthen their family bond, eat it when still hot, accompanied with grill fish or chicken curry is the best part of this tradition. Ambuyat usually serves when there is a ceremonial event like marriage and any social event in the village. There is also a myth in local history that there is a time when people were forbidden to eat Ambuyat, that when a relatives pas away. They were forbidden to eat Ambuyat until the deceased body still at home.

Ambuyat proves that eating and cooking processes in the past create harmony in social life. Prevent them from feeling lonely and stressed. This tradition is a way to know and help each other. Ambuyat is a simple food that could build a strong bond in the family.

Make Ambuyat also really simple. You can find all the ingredients in your local market. Want to try some? Let’s cook Ambuyat together.

Main Ingredients

  • 500-gram sago palm
  • 500 ml of boiled water

Sauce Ingredient

  • 250-gram Malaysian mango (can be substituted with other kinds of mango)
  • 250-gram fermented durian sauce (can be substituted with tomato sauce)
  • 8 red chili. Grind until smooth
  • 2 lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

How to cook

  • In a big bowl, mix sago palm with boiled water. Mix well with a spoon.
  • Add boiled water slowly until turn grey for 10 minutes.
  • To check if it ready to eat, dip a fork into the dough. Ambuyat ready to eat when the texture chewy enough.

How to make the sauce

  • Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Stir slowly until all ingredient blend perfectly.
  • Adjust the taste with salt and sugar.

For non-Brunei people, you can eat Ambuyat as a side dish with chicken curry, grilled beef, or grilled fish.

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