Tunku Azizah, a dab hand in the kitchen

Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah and Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah pray during his coronation at Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan January 15, 2019. — Bernama pic
Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah and Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah pray during his coronation at Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan January 15, 2019. — Bernama pic

PEKAN, Jan 31 — Pahang often experiences devastating floods in the monsoon season, and in efforts to bring cheer to those facing the difficult times, Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has been known to prepare tasty meals for evacuees at the relief centres when she was the consort of Tengku Mahkota of Pahang.

During flood seasons, Tunku Azizah, well-known for her cooking skills, has been preparing dishes at the relief centres to ensure sufficient and tasty meals for evacuees throughout their stay at the centres.

Nor Mastuza Abdul Aziz, 52, shared her experience cooking with Tunku Azizah in the kitchen during the floods in Pekan district in 2014 and 2015, and described Her Majesty as a highly-skilled cook.

“Dishes such as ‘Ayam Masak Merah’ and sardines were often prepared by Tunku Azizah. Her Majesty often said that she didn’t like to cut the fish into small portion and prefer to prepare them in the original size.

“Tunku Azizah used to say, if we wanted to entertain guests, we have to make sure that they eat well,” she said when met by Bernama recently.

Nor Mastuza, who had assisted Tunku Azizah in preparing the food at three flood relief centres, namely, the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Science School; Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dato’ Mahmud Mat and Sekolah Kebangsaan Sinar Mutiara, Pekan, also described Tunku Azizah as a highly-skilled cook.

Meanwhile, Sepekan Jaya branch Women’s Association chairman Ruziah Awang, 60, described Tunku Azizah was also very sensitive towards the people in need of assistance and would go down to the field and prepare the delicious meals for those affected by the floods.

The sentiment was agreed by Safiatul Maizan Md Taib, 53, from Taman Mentiga here who said that Tunku Azizah would hang out with the flood victims to say hello every time she visited the relief centres.

“I saw Tunku Azizah approached women and children, especially babies at the relief centres, and she looked sad when she spotted a little boy sleeping on the floor at a relief centre.

Elsewhere, Saerah Ali, 85, who has served Tunku Azizah since 1986, said Her Majesty had always looking forward to cooking, not only for her family, but also in large quantities to entertain palace’s guests.

Fortunately for us though, Tunku Azizah’s culinary skills are not only confined to the palace and flood relief centres as she has written a few cook books, namely Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang in 2005, followed by Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang — Masakan Tradisional Pahang and Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang — Manisan Tradisional Pahang, both published last year.

Saerah also said that whenever Tunku Azizah visited other districts in Pahang and learned there was a new dish that she never knew before, she would then ask the cooks if they could share the recipes with her, so she could write them down.

Tunku Azizah, Saerah said, was also a meticulous person and would plan everything in advance and whenever she visited a flood relief centre she would enquire the number of evacuees so that she could bring some extra ingredients from the palace to prepare additional meals for the victims. — Bernama