Kadayan's delicacy~ kalupis
There was a meeting among the ethnics associations of Sabah one day. The purpose was for the preparation of welcoming Harvest Festival in the month of May, a yearly state’s event.
This was the subcommittee for food and drinks. What it did was to prepare the list of ethnic’s delicacies-kueh.
Every ethnic association was given at least one type of kueh to supply the committee.
I was no expert on this subject my mind started blurting out what kueh could Kadayan come up with?
Buah hulu, jalurut, wajid, pinyeram, sapit, chinchin, kolupis …so and so
All taken. Belong to so and so associations
I remembered I was in Inuman, Beaufort a few months ago attending one of the Kadayan association’s functions. The Kadayan here prepared us verities of kueh. However, I found one was unique among the many, they called it liking tibadak never heard this before; I searched for the person who made this kueh.
As always, the Kadayan were generous people so also this lady, she explained to me from A to Z about liking tibadak. It’s from a fruit of cempedak (artocarpus champeden), fermented for a while, let it dry, and fried. And taste … as sweat as cempedak after all is cempedak
The word liking that caught me.
Next time if you meet Kadayan talking about liking it must only be connected to fruit cempedak – Kadayan’s tibadak, I bet you don’t hear it too often.
Now back to this meeting.
I now wanted to be noticed. I had the kueh for Kadayan.
Because it required explanation, how the kueh is being prepared. I must now prepare myself to talk about it.
The committee wanted to make sure the preparation was hygienic, that’s priority. The kueh must last a day at least, without getting rotten in the afternoon heat in Penampang. Health inspector in charge of food might want assurance, they said. After all, our King was attending the function together with many Ministers both from Federal and State.
The committee required quantity too, 7 to 10 thousands, that enough to fill a proton saga.
The expected audience to attend the celebration this time would be around 12 thousands. There was a kind of whisper above my ear; I wouldn’t believe all the 12 thousand wanted to test liking tibadak!
Then, one guy sat next to me asked. ‘Are you sure, you could supply these lots? Aha, …tibadak needs cempedak. Cempedak doesn’t have fruit all the year around. Now isn’t the cempedak season’. You got me!
I had no other option but to change the menu. I informed the committee I would choose kalupis. Almost instantaneously, they said, Kolopis was taken!
I argued this wasn’t kolopis but kalupis; actually, it’s the same. Kolopis is Kadazan’s version.
‘My other argument was your kolopis doesn’t taste like my kalupis; we also don’t prepare the way you do’. The committee was convinced. We settled. Kadayan would supply kalupis.
A few months after the kalupis huha huha, I wanted to know how authentic was my claim that Kadayan was kalupis master maker.
Kalupis isn’t new to Kadayan; Allan Maxwell mentioned this in his PhD thesis, Yale University, Ethnographic Study of Kadayan of Labu Valley, Brunei, 1983 now a Professor at Alabama University, of how historical kalupis is to Kadayan.
In Brunei, Kadayan had always been the expert, had a long traditional history of kalupis maker. As early as 17th century Kadayan had always been called to the palace to make kalupis whenever there were functions held.
Its preparation is, boils glutinous rice with coconut milk, wrapped in nyrik leaf, tie them up with bilaan and steams it until tender and cooked. One could smell the aroma of nyrik leaf. I made it myself under the supervision of my wife in the last Idil Fitri.
This nyrik leaf is getting scarce, but occasionally I see it at Kota Kinabalu market. No body plant it, it grew wild but for how long?
Kalupis is served as refreshment for verities of occasion in Kadayan villages. Eaten with sambal or curry or heated sardine or even kopi kao
In any Kadayan functions kalupis is an almost a must.
(Read Amde's biography HERE)