It has been three years since the first instalment of the Ayah’s… culinary series on this blog. I do have a few more now (I think) and hope to do a few more in the near future. Hopefully you don’t have to wait until 2018 for the next one. -Ed.

Cucur udang, or as we say it up north coq udang. I was about to say prawn fritters but it is not.

It’s a deep fried savoury cake, made with wheat flour which can be made with a variety of added ingredients, the commonest of which is prawns (udang). In some instances the prawn is left out, and instead you have cucur bawang (bawang being onions). And then you have a slightly larger variety of the cucur bawang which is somewhat flatter, and once fried, is split open like you would pitta bread, and this is eaten with kuah kacang (a thick spicy sauce made of chilli and blended groundnuts) similar to the one you dip satay in), and this is called cucur kuah (kuah being gravy).

The Malay word cucur is an interesting one as I find it difficult to give you an English equivalent, likely because the actual action of cucur-ing is not really done in the west I guess. When frying cucur udang/bawang, the act of taking a dollop of the wet dough into the hot oil can be done with your fingers (in the video below, dad used a spatula – which is safer!).

Cucurs that are added to the oil this way tend to be more spherical due to how gravity pulls the dough from the fingers into the oil.

It is simple to make, and the ingredients are pretty much agak-agak (guesstimate). Check out the YouTube video below and you’ll figure it out!

Serves four

Plain white flour (filling about half a mixing bowl)
7-8 shallots (bawang merah)
3-4 chives (kucai – of the oriental supermarket version, not the thin fine types you get at regular supermarkets)
200 g of fresh prawns
1 large egg
Water to mix

Vegetable cooking oil (just short of one third of a wok’s depth)

Best dipped with chilli sauce, Lingham or of the sweet Thai variety. Tomato ketchup is fine too. An excellent accompaniment to hot sweet black tea (teh O) on a lazy afternoon.