Opor Kambing/ Opor Pekan

Opor Daging or just plain "Opor" is a traditional dish of the people of Pahang especially in the kampungs around the Royal town of Pekan.
It is usually served during traditional Malay weddings and festivals, being a traditional delicacy dish of beef or mutton/lamb, and eaten with rice, the staple food of the Malays.
The Opor recipe has many variations. In some recipes, they use candlenuts and galangal .While in certain other recipes it would be shrimp paste ! The opor can be prepared with chicken as well. The difference between opor and rendang is that opor is cooked with spices for instance coriander powder, fennel and cinnamon etc while rendang uses more galangal and lemon grass and has no spices in it.
I am preparing today's recipe with mutton. Cooking mutton is not the same as beef . Mutton sometimes leaves raw taste when not cooked properly with enough spices therefore when pressure cooking the mutton ,it is always advisable to throw in some flavouring into it. For those who do not have a pressure cooker, you can use raw papaya paste to tenderise the mutton.The flavour of meat from older animals (mutton is taken from a sheep that is more than two years old) can be better than either lamb (less than a year old) or hogget (between one and two). Cooking with mutton is flavourful with enough spices to it  : not massively strong, but quietly confident. It holds its own against some pretty powerful tastes.
For Opor, use the same amount of spices for the dish , for example,I have used 2 tbsp each for coriander powder,fennel powder and cumin powder . You can use the same amount for pepper powder as well, but I cant take too spicy food, therefore had reduced to 1 ½ tbsp .

This dish is specially for the muslim friends who are celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Adha or Eid ul –Adha. But since tomorrow is a public holiday , everyone can  try this dish out and serve it to your family .What better way to enjoy some quality time with them by sitting together and enjoying food !!

Whole spices and dry spices

2 Tbsp
Coriander, Powder
2 Tbsp Fennel Powder
2 Tbsp  
Cumin Powder
1 ½ tbsp Black
Pepper, finely ground
1 kg  mutton, cut into chunks
50 ml  
Coconut Milk (Santan Cair)
2 Tbsp Tamarind Juice (Assam Juice) - mix Tamarind Pulp with hot water, strain
8 Tbsp / 4 oz  
roasted, pounded desiccated Coconut (Kerisik)
6 Tbsp / 3 oz sugar
Cinnamon Bark (Kulit Kayu Manis)
Star Anise
Handful of
Cardamom Pods
Handful of
Salt to taste

Paste Ingredients: - to be finely grounded

15 Shallots (Red Onion), peeled
6 Garlic cloves, peeled –if large variety use about 3 enough
2 cm / 1 inch
Ginger, peeled
1 Tbsp
roasted Shrimp Paste (Belacan)
30 dried
Chilies (Cili Kering) - softened in hot water, drain (can lessen the chillies)
1 cup water

   For meat:

   2 screwpine leaves –knotted
   2  lemon grass/Serai –bruised
   1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp cinnamon powder
   1 tsp ginger garlic paste(pound 3 slices of ginger with 1 large nip of garlic)

First, cut meat in chunks.Place in a pressure cooker.Into it , add in knotted screwpine leaves, cinnamon stick or powder,ginger-garlic paste and 2 bruised lemongrass.Add enough water to pressure cook the meat. Pressure cook the meat for about 15 to 20mins.

Meanwhile,heat vegetable Cooking Oil in a wok. Stir-fry Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cardamom Pods and Cloves till fragrant.

Add in Paste and simmer till Oil surfaces.

Add in Meat, coat well with Gravy, and simmer for another 1-2 minutes,it’s a stew therefore have to braise it for some time.

Mix in Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder, Fennel Powder, and stir and leave it for a few seconds .Then add in black pepper and Coconut Milk. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or till meat becomes tender.

When the Gravy thickens, add in Tamarind Juice, . Stir well. Season dish with Salt and Sugar, to taste.thicken the gravy and finally add kerisik and serve with any type of rice.The dish should be slightly sweet so , do add sugar accordingly.

Kerisik can be purchased ready made from the market in plastics or in bottles , in the supermarket.For those who finds it difficult to obtain it, can prepare it at home. Check out this site,which gives a good step by step instructions in preparing home made kerisik : http://www.pickles-and-spices.com/how-to-toast-coconut.html

Malaysian Delicacies would like to wish all muslims friends and bloggers :

   Selamat Hari Raya 
   Aidil Adha or 
   Eid ul –Adha

The above recipe is being submitted to
Foodie Friday - A Room With A View For Two


  1. omg...i have never tasted opor before...looks so appetizing...

  2. Eid Mubarak wishes to u.. Opor is definitely a new dish for me, wat an interesting flavourful dish, sounds as much as like our Indian foods.


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