Waking up early in the morning is a regular routine for Fatimah (Kak Imah to her friends and customers), 51. This gritty granny, whose soldier husband died in a nasty motorcycle accident along the Plus Expressway 11 years ago, makes and sells curry puffs for a living. The loss of her husband dealt a huge blow to her self esteem as she had little money to feed her family of three. But that is behind her now. “I tried several jobs but none was satisfying enough as the pay was small and the demands too high”, she told Ipoh Echo recently. But things changed for the better when she joined Nur Kasih, a charity body dedicated to the care of Muslim single mothers. “I was encouraged to venture into business and was taught the skills,” she recounted. “That’s how I got involved in the curry puff business.”
Kak Limah’s curry puff is unique as its taste is different from others. Her 1Malaysia curry puff’s skin is made of dough mixed with rempah ratus, a spicy ingredient which is the origin of its spicy aroma. The filling is a mixture of anchovies and potatoes blended together to give that tangy taste that refuses to leave the tongue. “I don’t add meat to avoid religious taboos,” she said.
Kak Imah’s medium-size curry puff is sold at three a ringgit while the smaller one at four a ringgit. She receives orders from supermarkets, individuals and government departments. “I make about 500 curry puffs a day. But when orders are huge, I’ll get my friends to help out,” she said.
Fatimah operates from her Ashby Road flat, Ipoh. She has been tending to her food business since 2007 and has recently joined the small group of enterprising single mothers at the Uptown Ipoh night bazaar. For those keen on trying her curry puffs you can call Kak Imah at 013-418 0116.