A Letter To My Beloved Malaysia…

To my beloved Malaysia,

My name is Omar Mukhtar, #The12YearOldAuthor, and I’m a British-born Malaysian…

Even though I was born and bred in the UK, I am still proud of my parents’ birth country – MALAYSIA! I’ve always felt a strong connection to my roots, and from the very first time I set foot on its soil, I’ve experienced things I never would have experienced anywhere else!

When I was little, I used to think that there was no place better than England, and the mere thought of travelling abroad made me shiver! But my trip to Malaysia proved me wrong, and I’ve never been more proud of my Malaysian background! My first book, ‘My New Pair of Eyes’, documents all of Malaysia’s glory.

‘My New Pair of Eyes’ is not just a book…I wrote #MNPOE as a gift to Malaysia, and to show my appreciation for my roots. Through my humble writing, I wish to convey how proud I am of my heritage! My journey was truly unforgettable, and I just had to share how brilliant the culture, years-old traditions and kind, welcoming people were!

#MNPOE is not just a recount of my time in Malaysia; it’s the story of my unforgettable journey around a beautiful country with the power to change the way a little boy who didn’t even want to go to heaven looked at the world forever! It’s my homage to the amazing culture of the country and the people in it!

I don’t like to think of Malaysia as just one big chunk of land…I think of it more like a combination of different ‘kingdoms’, each one beautifully diverse and unique, with its own ethnicities, dialect, culture, historical background and cuisine! I’ve only explored a tiny part of Malaysia, but I’ll definitely be back for more!

In honour of 62 years of MERDEKA, I pray not only for the prosperity of Malaysia and Malaysians, but for the preservation – and CELEBRATION – of its heritage, because to me, that’s something that all Malaysians should definitely be proud of, and something we should all hold on to before it is lost forever!

Salaam Merdeka,
Omar Mukhtar

#The12YearOldAuthor

#BritishBornMalaysian

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Thank You Malaysian Digest!

This post is specially dedicated to Ms Hana Maher and the team at Malaysian Digest! Thank you so much Ms Hana for writing an EXCLUSIVE FEATURE about my humble self! Words can’t describe how much I appreciate it! Also, thank you so much for speaking so highly of me! I am very grateful! I’m so humbled by your kind words! As always, the write-up was very well-written and high-quality, and, just like your previous articles (some of which have been displayed in my school), it was written with great care and not a single detail was missed! I loved reading it, not because it was about me, but because Ms Hana’s style of writing is truly captivating! In fact, why don’t you give it a read? I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

Click the link below ⤵️ to read the full article:

http://www.malaysiandigest.com/frontpage/29-4-tile/747393-exclusive-meet-the-british-born-m-sian-who-was-offered-a-full-scholarship-at-top-uk-school.html

It’s not just Ms Hana who deserves thanks – the whole team does! I’d also like to say a special thank you to Ms Deza, the Editor of Malaysian Digest, for honouring me with this EXCLUSIVE FEATURE! Ms Hana, Ms Deza and the Malaysian Digest team are brilliant people who have been supporting not only me, but my whole family, and continue to do so! I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many supportive people, including all of you, my beloved readers! On behalf of my family, I would like to again thank Ms Hana, Ms Deza and the team at Malaysian Digest for all your kindness! May God reward you handsomely! Not forgotten, to all my dearest readers, your PAWSOME support is highly appreciated! Please continue to keep me and my family in your prayers!

p/s: Stay tuned for another EXCLUSIVE FEATURE on Malaysian Digest where Mrs Mom and Mr Dad will share their parenting secrets very soon! 😉

My Superhero Uncle!

herooven mamajee

Guess what? Mamajee won the 3rd place in Hero Oven! We couldn’t be more proud of him. We know how challenging it was for Mamajee. It’s a baking competition, which is quite out of Mamajee’s comfort zone, but he didn’t back away. He took the risk! Now look what he’s achieved! Congratulations Mamajee! We really look up on you for willing to accept the challenge. You never give up! You’re absolutely brilliant. You’re the best uncle anyone could ever wish for! You’re our idol Mamajee. You inspire us all. You’ll always be our superhero… 🏅

#TeamAdamForever ♥️

11 Fun Facts About Fatimah & Ali!

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Fatimah and Ali are two cute, lovable kiddies, and an interesting brother and sister! Their charm just gets to everyone, and they are full of personality. There is so much to know about them, but here, I’ve listed the 11 fun facts that you probably didn’t know about Fatimah and Ali!

  1. Bread is their favourite, but Fatimah prefers toast (she calls it ‘roti keras’) whereas Ali likes soft bread.
  2. Fatimah is more fond of Malaysia but Ali is all about Thailand.
  3. They both love animals so much!
  4. Fatimah is more mature and serious, but Ali is a jolly kind of person and likes to crack a joke and make people laugh!
  5. Fatimah prefers hot weather, but Ali can’t stand the heat at all! Winter is like summer for him!
  6. Fatimah has always spoken her own mind from a very early age, while Ali is the master imitator – he mimics Fatimah most of the time!
  7. They love reading a lot – we have to read them 4-5 books (or more) every day! The library has become their new favourite place!
  8. Both Fatimah and Ali enjoy swimming.
  9. Meat is a must-have for Ali, while he does like eating his greens. However, Fatimah prefers vegetables more than meat.
  10. Yoga is something Fatimah can’t live without! She also likes to do kickboxing with Mr Dad.
  11. Ali is CRAZY about elephants! He even calls himself ‘Ali Chang’ (‘chang’ means ‘elephant’ in Thai)!

#my11things

Surprise…We’re on UK TV!

The wait is finally over! The Family’s very own TV show is going to be aired on British Muslim UK TV. Believe it or not, it’s not just 1 episode, but 12! It is like having our very own reality show, but with added fun family activities! It’s also educational, packed with quizzes and trivia. It’s kinda like Fear Factor, fuelled with plenty of gruesome foods and smells! When Mr Dad broke the news to me, I was overjoyed to hear that they were inviting me to host our own family TV show! I was extremely honoured, but of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of everyone who put in every effort to make this happen!

First of all, I would like to thank Mr Dad! Normally, he doesn’t like to be in the limelight, but this time, he insisted on doing it to support me. I see him as a wonderful dad who won’t put his preferences before helping his son! He is a yes man, and can do anything for his children! He doesn’t mind to get his hands dirty, he just does it to support us! How much more caring can a father get? I hope he will be an inspiration to other dads out there!

I would also like to give thanks to Mamajee @adamdidam for his huge help too! When BMTV invited him to be part of the show, despite his busy schedule, he flew all the way to the UK from Malaysia and gave his full support! Mamajee has taught me a lot about the experience of being in front of a camera, and it has benefited me by having him in the show!

Of course, we can’t forget Fatimah! She has been exceptionally brilliant during the shooting and was very brave to talk in front of loads of cameras and people! Those of you who follow our Instagram will know that Fatimah was born to talk! However, shooting for TV is a whole new thing for a three-year-old like her! On some days, she was having a bad skin day due to the fact that she is lactose intolerant and is allergic to dairy products, but she was still able to continue shooting! I am very proud of her and how she has managed to be a featuring star in the show!

Another person who is prominent in the process of creating the show is Dr Auntie! She has been a massive help and sacrificed her time by coming all the way from Manchester to aid us! I don’t know what we would have done without her! She’s been great support to all of us!

Ali also deserves some thanks! He was extremely well-behaved whilst we were away shooting. He was not crying at all, even though him and Fatimah cannot be separated!

I would also like to express my gratitude to Mrs Mom! All throughout the making of the show, she has constantly supported us, telling us her thoughts about it and being really encouraging for us, even though she wasn’t feeling well at the time! She’s like a wonder woman!

And lastly, I would like to say a humungous thank you to Zainab, Yousra and the whole British Muslim TV team! They have taken us as their guests and have done millions of things for us! They are a great team to work with, being professional yet friendly! It’s like working with one big family! They accommodated us with all our needs right from the beginning! The original shooting location was meant to be in Manchester, but they brought the whole team to Birmingham just to make it more convenient for us! During the shooting, they looked after us, giving us appropriate breaks, providing us with food and cheering us on! They have also pampered Fatimah, making sure she has enough rest, making her food and even feeding her! Their love for us really shines through! It was such an amazing experience!

I have had so much fun making this show! The experience has helped me a lot in terms of developing my confidence and polishing my communication skills! And of course, be sure to tune in to British Muslim TV today from 4pm UK time (12am Malaysia time) on Sky 845 to watch the show! For those outside the UK, don’t worry! You can still watch us live from anywhere in the world through their website: http://www.britishmuslim.tv

p/s: Thank you once again BMTV! Can’t wait for our next project together!

11 Things I Love About You

Dear Mr Dad,

The 17th of June has always been a date that our family looks forward to. Yes, it’s your birthday and it’s right next to Father’s Day (Lucky you!)! That’s why I’m writing this post!

Over the years, you’ve been a PAWSOME father and a great husband for Mrs Mom, and you’ve made a lot of sacrifices for us. Ever since I was born, you’ve been like my best friend and you haven’t failed to keep Little Miss Diva and Ali the Salt Bubba happy too! You’ve got a great sense of humour and you’ve got a heart of pure gold! You’ve supported us and loved us with all your heart and you’ve always stood by our side. You are a very -and I mean VERY – PAWSOME dad! After all, you are the one and only Mr Dad! So, we’d all like to say THANK YOU for everything you’ve done! We really appreciate it! And since it’s such a special occasion, I’ve written a lovely (hopefully you’ll find it that way) poem, just for you!

11 Things I Love About You

A poem written by Omar Mukhtar, The Pawsome Lion on behalf of the whole family

Fatimah The Little Miss Diva, Ali The Salt Bubba and Mrs Mom

I love the way you keep us happy,

The way you sing to us,

I love how you smile at us in the morning,

The way you advise us

I love the way you play chess with me,

The way you comb our hair,

I love how you know how to make us laugh,

The way you help with your great sense of fashion

I love the way you love Mrs Mom, 

And how you care for her,

But most importantly, I love the way you stand by our side

Which makes you a PAWSOME father!

And on this special day, I’d like to say…

Happy Birthday! Happy Father’s Day!

From your loving family!

Happy birthday and Happy Father’s Day, Mr Dad! We hope they both turn out to be great days! May God grant all of your wishes and make them the best days ever! 😀

p/s: Dear God,

Please reserve my dad the best place in heaven coz he totally deserves it!

The King and I

Growing up, I used to wonder why my parents really insisted on me speaking in Kelantanese dialect, even when I didn’t want to. Their reason was because the language was their mother tongue and they made it their responsibility to preserve it. They continuously persuaded me to speak and also taught my younger brother and sister, who can now speak the dialect fluently. I quote what my parents said:

“We would be proud to have a child that goes back to their home country and confidently speaks to the local people in their dialect. It would be rude to say ‘Oh sorry, love. I was born and bred in England and I can’t understand a word that you are saying or speak your language.’ And that, my child, is very disrespectful!”

Despite the endless support which was given by my parents, I used to hate meeting other Malaysians in the UK. They made fun of me when I spoke Malay because I was speaking in Kelantanese dialect. I am not talking about kids, I am talking about adults. Most of them had children the same age as me or even older. They laughed at each and every word that came out of my mouth. As a result of that, my confidence to continue speaking Malay was killed and that added to my refusal to speak the language. I questioned a lot, “Why did people make fun of Kelantanese dialect?” but the answer remained a mystery.

Time passed and now I am 10 years old. My parents didn’t stop telling me stories about Malaysia. One day, I heard my parents talking about His Majesty, the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V. He sounded like an extremely humble, down-to-earth person. I heard many captivating stories about him and his virtuous qualities. He behaves like a common man and prefers to go out without any bodyguards. When a big flood hit Kelantan in 2014, His Majesty rushed out in his truck without anyone accompanying him and aided those in need. He is also occasionally seen voluntarily digging graves with common people. This marvellous Sultan regularly visits mosque and doesn’t claim a special place for himself in the front line. Sometimes, he even leads the prayer himself. He loves his people and wants to be close to their heart, especially on religious occasions. So for the last 10 nights of Ramadan, he opens his palace to the public to let people pray and read Quran all night long. And on Eid ul-Adha, he performs the slaughtering duties himself. To add to his brilliance, he changed the King’s regal salutation from ‘Daulat Tuanku’ (Long Live the King) to ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) as he is a religious man and strongly upholds his religion. He really is a modest, meek ruler who doesn’t mind to get his hands dirty and is caring about his people.

Finding out that he did all of these wonderful things made me adore him even more. I soon found out that His Majesty was going to be coronated as Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia (the King of Malaysia) and that made me look up to him even more! I was motivated and started to regain my confidence in speaking Malay. If the King of Malaysia can speak in Kelantanese dialect, then why can’t I? Thank you for inspiring me, Your Majesty, a boy in a foreign land! You are one in a million! So let His Majesty be an example to all of us! Be gratified of who you are, never be ashamed of your roots and your dialect but always remember to remain humble so that Together We Can Change The World! NOW I CAN SAY THAT MY NAME IS OMAR MUKHTAR BIN OMAR MUKHLIS AND I AM A PROUD KELANTANESE FROM MALAYSIA!

Written by The Pawsome Lion on 24/04/2017 in conjunction with the coronation of the country’s sovereign, Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

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Sunday with Adam – Friendly Food, Woeful Waste!♻️

🎶When marimba rhythms start to play  🎶 Dance with me, make me sway 🎶 Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore 🎶 Hold me close, sway me more 🎶

Ooppss…sorry! I just can’t stop singing that song!! Well, welcome back pawsome peeps. Hope all is well. FYI, Mr OCD Uncle started his own series of musical cookery videos in January 2016. The things that he has done from then on are AMAZING! By the end of his first series, he had made 42 videos! Because of the huge success, Malaysia’s Most Famous Celebrity of 2016, Neelofa, proposed to Mr OCD Uncle to make another series of cookery videos! After that, Mr OCD Uncle continued to make brilliant videos and till date, he has produced 71 musical cookery videos! Now, he’s going to be releasing a new series, using mostly Waitrose products. And, guess what? I’m gonna be featured in his show!!! YAY!!! I am so delighted to be featured in this new series! 😃

The very first episode of the brand new series is called the mouth-watering Chips to the Next Level! 🍟 😛 In this video, we want to promote ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’. This dish uses two leftover foods- chips and chicken. Ever had a time when you invited your friends over for a meal and at the end, there were some leftovers? If you threw them away, you should know that you could use those leftovers and turn them into another dish!

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It has always been our family tradition not to waste food. Khun Yai Thi Rak Khong Phom practised it in her early days and it was passed down from her to all her children. Now everybody in the family practises it, even me! She is totally against wasting food. I can guarantee that in our household, we are not allowed to waste any food. Instead, we were taught to use them to create a new stunning dish. If not, we always distributed our leftover food to the needy. I can still remember one time when Khun Yai Thi Rak Khong Phom used leftover chips and transformed them into yummylicious Vegetables Fritters. My grandma is a great inspiration! 😀

Me and Mr OCD Uncle use leftovers in our dishes because we hate wasting food too!!! We like to innovate dishes so we can make the world a better place-and we can have tasty food! Some of the reasons we hate food waste is because:

  1. It’s a waste of money! 💰
  2. It’s bad for the environment! 🌱
  3. (As far as I know) It’s against all religions! 🙏

This is why we shouldn’t waste food! Bear in mind that food isn’t just food, it’s treasure!

To wrap it all up, what me and Mr OCD Uncle are trying to say is that if you’ve got some leftovers, don’t waste it! Remember that it can be turned into something PAWSOME!!! Let’s all say NO to Food Waste!

p/s: Let’s Cook & Sway!

p/p/s: Don’t forget to follow Mr OCD Uncle on Instagram and Facebook: @adamdidam and subscribe to his YouTube channel! 😉

A Pawsome Project!

 

Hey there pawsome peeps! Hope you’re doing OK.

Because the one week school holiday started, I really wanted to do a fun activity. I was being ambitious and wanted to fit another project into my jam-packed time table. But, I had dozens of things to do. People were visiting, Mrs Mom and Mr Dad had lots of work to do, I had to look after Little Miss Diva and Baby A and I ALSO had a Drama Club rehearsal to attend! WHEW!!! I was definitely worn out after everything!

pawsome project

Although I had a very tight schedule, I still wanted to do something lively. So, Mrs Mom and I searched and searched. That’s when Mrs Mom said “Why don’t we try baking?” And that’s how I came across something called Onde Onde!

the-onde-onde-cake

Onde Onde is a type of Malaysian dessert or Kuih. They are small, poached dumplings in the shape of balls that are coated with shredded coconut. The pandan, which they are infused with, adds an amazing flavour. The brown palm sugar filling that floods your mouth with scrumptiousness makes them simply irresistible! It’s almost like it bursts in your mouth! They are little bites of satisfaction and deliciousness! YUM!!! 😛

Because I’m so passionate about my wonderful Malaysian heritage, I decided to use Onde Onde as my inspiration and concoct my own creation-with Mrs Mom and Dr Auntie by my side! So, instead of the Kuih Onde Onde, I turned the classic Malaysian favourite into…Onde Onde CAKE! It’s something bigger and bolder! I’m sure lots of people will fall in love with it!

onde-onde-cakeNow I know what most of you are thinking. What is the recipe for the cake! Well, I’m truly sorry but I can’t give it out to other people. It is TOP SECRET TPL business only! However, there is one thing I can share…my first time making it! Let’s get to it!

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The first thing that I had to do was chop up a couple of pandan leaves and grind them with a pestle and mortar. It was hard work but I eventually managed to do it! I also needed to add a splash of water whilst I was grinding. This was to get the pandan essence out of the leaves.

grinding-pandan

Next, I had to strain the leaves and squeeze them so the essence would come out and drip into the cake batter. It gave the cake a light green colour and a fantastic aromatic smell. The remaining crushed leaves were discarded because no one likes something gritty and chewy in their cake, at least I haven’t met anyone who does!

cake batter

After the batter was mixed thoroughly, it had to be equally divided into individual cake cases. I had to be careful with the amount that I poured in. Too much batter and the cake would be all over the place!

Then, I sprinkled some desiccated coconut onto the tops of the cakes. This was to add some extra crunch in the cakes. It also had a nice, fresh flavour, which goes great with pandan!

coconut

I also scattered some Malaysian palm sugar or Gula Melaka over the coconut. It adds sweetness to the cake and it almost has a decadent caramel-like taste. It is also very fragrant.

gula-melaka

All I had to do now was wait for it to cook. So, Mrs Mom set the timer and put the tray of cakes into the oven. When Mrs Mom bakes cakes, she has her own special way of checking if they are cooked brilliantly. If she pokes a skewer into one of her cakes and it comes out clean, that means that they are perfecto!

Finally, the cakes had finished baking in the oven! The finishing product didn’t look flawless as it was my first time making it. But, it still tasted delectable! There was a hint of sweetness from the palm sugar, crunchiness from the coconut and a wonderful smell from the pandan! And to top it off, once I have polished my baking skills and tweaked the cake a bit, I can hopefully start selling my cakes to the public! So, maybe you might be able to get your hands on one of them!

finishing-product

To conclude this post, I would like to share the recipe for the original Onde Onde. It’s fun, easy and great to eat! Here is the video:

Sorry guys, I’ve got to go now! It’s the first day of school tomorrow and I need to get my beauty sleep! But, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post! Don’t forget to try out the recipe for Onde Onde! See you later!

p/s: Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @thepawsomelion for regular updates!

*Media Sources: Google Images, YouTube & The Pawsome Lion*

Happy Teh Tarik Day!!!

Selamat Datang! Apa Khabar?

When I came back from school today, my brain was on a rollercoaster ride thinking about what to write because I didn’t want to bore you with another story from school. Then, Mrs Mom turned around and said “Hey, you know what is trending on Twitter today? International Tea Day!” Then, as quick as lightning, my thinking bulb turned on! Then, I turned to Mrs Mom and said “Let’s celebrate!!”

celebration

International Tea Day!

Happy International Tea Day!!! International Tea Day falls on 15th December of every year. People have celebrated International Tea Day since 2005. The first people to start celebrating it were the people in New Delhi, India. International Tea Day makes the public realise the tea production problems around the world. This festival is usually celebrated in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania. I’m surprised to know that England is not listed as one of the countries that celebrate Tea Day! If anyone would celebrate a Tea Day, it should be the English because they are famous for their cuppa tea! 

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My Tea Family!!

Unlike other families, my big family enjoy drinking various types of tea. Having a unique combination of different ethnical backgrounds, I could sum up that we drink all types of tea from around the world. Mr Dad is a heavy tea drinker. He wakes up to a cuppa tea every morning and won’t go to bed unless he had his bedtime dose of English tea! Mrs Mom and her bestie Evelina will make a date every week for their weekly ‘Belly Dancing’ Tea Session. Hold your horses! What I mean by that is Mint Tea! 😛 Dadajee and Uncle Pawsome share the same love for Chai. Khun Yai Thi Rak Khong Phom will stick with her beloved Cha while Auntie Kawaii and her famous Green Tea. Then, there’s Mr OCD Uncle who is mad about Fruity Tea. According to him, the fruity aroma of the tea is so relaxing and makes his mind de-stress. I quote him “Fruity Tea is a remedy for my soul!” Atuk and Anek are also tea lovers. They both love Kelantanese Honey Milk Tea and Fragrant Jasmine Tea.

Now, since everyone is a tea drinker, Dr Auntie, who is not a tea lover, has forced herself to explore the world of tea. She finally found something that suits her tastebuds which are… Sugar-free and Milk-free Chinese Tea and Chamomile Tea! Bravo Dr Auntie! You are finally part of our tea family! 😀 Last but not least, my pawsome self! I tried hard not to be left with those Kawaii babies drinking Tea-free milk! So, I finally found my own tea-dentity which is Bubble Tea! At the end of the day, no matter what tea we drink, we can all sit around the table and enjoy our all time favourite, TEH TARIK!!!

Teh Tarik?

Teh Tarik is a type of Malaysian beverage that means “pulled tea”. It is found almost everywhere in Malaysia. It is obvious that this drink got its name from the way it was prepared. Teh Tarik is made by mixing all the required ingredients together and literally pulling it in mid-air! When a cup of Teh Tarik is ready to drink, it will be much more frothier and creamier than a normal cup of tea. It is hot milk tea made from black tea and condensed milk. It is considered the national drink of Malaysia!

Since colonial times, Teh Tarik has been a popular drink in Malaysian Indian cuisine for most of the people in Malaya. Teh Tarik originally linked to the Indian Muslim migrants in the Malay Peninsula. They set up drink stalls at the entrance of rubber plantations after World War II to serve the workers there. Traditionally, Teh Tarik has been served with Roti Canai, a type of Malaysian flatbread, which has become popular until today. Another tasty partner for Teh tarik would be Nasi Lemak which is a Malaysian rice dish. Nowadays, Teh Tarik is known by the whole world. Even if you’re in the UK, you can easily walk into any Malaysian restaurants and order your cuppa Teh Tarik!

The preparation of Teh Tarik involves an element of showmanship. The skills of Teh Tarik brewers have attracted both locals and also tourists. They find it really entertaining. Every year in Malaysia, there will be competitions for Teh Tarik brewers to gather and show their amusing novelty skills. Obviously, they will be judged by their ability to drag a long stream of tea above their heads  and other sets of talents without spilling them. I would say that the Teh Tarik expertise is definitely a work of art!

Malaysia VS England!!!

Now, I shall bid you farewell as the smell of Teh Tarik is tingling my nose and the sight of the beautiful Victoria Sponge Cake is prickling my eyes. Without a doubt, this is definitely a piece of writing worthy of my time because of the delightful combination of treats from Malaysia and England! Chin chin Mrs Mom!!!

p/s: Thank God no one in the family likes Lapsang Souchong! Otherwise, it would be a terrible tongue twister!! 🙂

*Media Source: Google Images*

APPENDIX

How to make Teh Tarik: https://youtu.be//MpnkS1MNPpU

Teh Tarik Competition: https://youtu.be//ij20GFJKJbU