THE PASSIONS OF TUNKU AZIZAH SULTAN ISKANDAR

First Lady and Queen of Malaysia helps childless couples through her cookbooks
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She is the new Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia – a mother, a daughter, princess, consort, a philanthropist, and a royal patron in providing fertility treatments to childless couples, for free.

Her Majesty Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Almarhum Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj. Photo from cheminahsayang.com.

However, did you know that her Her Majesty Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah binti Almarhum Al-Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj is also an avid home cook and rightfully an expert on traditional cuisine? In fact, she is practically an expert of the cuisines of her home state of Johor and the state of Pahang, where her husband until most recently currently reigned as the Sultan, before taking on the mantle as the 16th King of Malaysia.

Her Majesty Tunku Azizah is beyond passionate about traditional Malay cooking and cuisine, and this has resulted in two cookbooks, Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang – Masakan Tradisional Pahang, and Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang – Manisan Tradisional Pahang, where she has collected the recipes, actually tried them out to ensure it can be done by the average home cook, and managed to figure out the exact amount of “agak-agak” (meaning “more or less”) for each ingredient in each recipe as provided by the old aunties and makciks cooking with non-scientific measurements (a ladle of sugar, but how a big a ladle?) so that it would be a whole lot less confusing for the modern generation.

The former Tengku Puan Pahang and current Queen of Malaysia has gone around Pahang to find and preserve the state’s tradisional recipes such as this Braised Sea Snails dish, featured in Her Majesty’s cookbook, Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang – Masakan Tradisional Pahang. Photo from cheminahsayang.com.

However, going around Pahang and into rural homes collecting recipes wasn’t just a hobby for a princess or a Queen Consort with nothing to do. Not only was the Queen taking on the important task of documenting a national heritage that otherwise might be lost with the deaths of the village matrons, but profits from the sale of her book go towards providing fertility treatments to childless couples, under her Tunku Azizah Fertility Foundation.

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