Historic Timeline of Melaka.

15th century - 1511, the Malay Sultanate era
1511-1641, the Portugese era.
1641-1795, the Dutch era.
1795-1941, The British era.
1941-1945, the Japanese era
1945-1957, the British again
Then  Malaysian independence from 1957 till now.


"Feng" is a special Cristang curry cooked at Christmas. Its made up of pig offal and is stewed in a rich blend of the spices found in Malacca then. The Cristang used to rear pigs so that whenever a festive season came along the animal would be slaughtered  and the best parts sold but the remaining offal cooked in a vinegared spice stew, called Feng. Its akin to the Goan Sarapotel  but the Goans use pigs blood  and  intestines in their concoction  of this vinegared stew. The dish can be kept for months and I was told  Goan & Portuguese sailors took it on their long voyages! Celine Marbeck. (personal communication). Author: Cuzinhia Cristang (A Malacca Portuguese Cookbook)

Ingredients:
  • 1 Kg (~2 lb) lean pork, chopped or minced
  • 2 fresh pig hearts, finely diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 10 shallots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 5 cm (2 in) piece ginger, grated [originally this was a 15cm (6 in) piece of turmeric root, sliced, and if available, is preferred. ]
  • 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp chillie powder,
  • 3 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken up for easy grinding.
  • 1 small nutmeg
  • 2 Salem leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
Method :
  1. Grind or homogenise the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise, cinnamon stick, nutmeg and black peppercorns  into a fine powder.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ground spices, turmeric powder and chili powder, add a few Tbsp of water and mix into a thick paste, set aside.
  3. In a stockpot, cover diced pig hearts with cold water,  parboil for 10 mins, strain, reserve liquid.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a hot wok, add and stir-fry; shallots and garlic for about 1 min.
  5. Add spice paste, sliced fresh turmeric root or ginger, stir-fry until it turns a shade darker.
  6. Add reserved liquid, bring to a rapid boil, add the parboiled diced pig hearts, pork mince, salem or bay leaves and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for about 20 mins, remove the cover and allow to reduce, simmer until curry is slightly thickened, about 10 mins.
  8. This can be served immediately or like most multi spiced dishes, this improves when stored refrigerated. Ideal at two days.
  9. Heat and serve with  steamed rice or a loaf of French baguette.