Cik Sabi: Chicken Biryani & other soulful meals for delivery

June 11, 2021

Serving everything from Nasi Uduk with Opor Ayam to Mutton Meat Loaf with eight local spices in an all-butter crust, Cik Sabi promises soulful meals by Malaysian theatre veteran Sabera Shaik, who spins skilfully from choreography to cooking with her latest effort.

We recently received a meal box fit for a maharaja, comprising chicken biryani with a bonanza of sumptuous sides. Cik Sabi delivers on Thursdays and Sundays, with the offerings rotating regularly, so this biryani will be back on June 24 and 28 and July 1 and 5.

Plenty of care and effort were lavished on this rice, prepared with Cik Sabi's homemade blend of spices, with the chicken meat marinated overnight and cooked over fire for over an hour on the day of delivery. 

The result: A richly fragrant biryani, princely in portion, concealing chunks of tender chicken buried beneath the rice, juicily complementing the firm basmati and crunchy nuts, rounded out with hard-boiled eggs for a feast that should satisfy the entire family.

While Cik Sabi is a newborn initiative, Sabera isn't a newcomer to the kitchen - she has been baking for decades, whipping up gluten-free bread long before it became commercially available in KL's bakeries. She has also previously offered catering services for special occasions such as weddings and birthdays.

The extent of her experience is evident even in her salads and sauces.

The Tri-Colour Salad is a nod to traditional South Asian vegetable accompaniments, kept simple with thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers and onions, splashed with a citrusy lime and orange dressing to help make the biryani pop, while the Mint Chutney is naturally nuanced in its dark green depth, buoyed by a subtle tang from green apples and mangoes. Those little touches do a lot to elevate the essence of each recipe.

Pan-fried potato cutlets are another convincing complement for the biryani, crisp to the bite and softly sultry to the chew, while Cik Sabi's 'racy raita' brings fun flourishes to the yogurt condiment, courtesy of diced fresh strawberries for a sweet bit of bite, pomegranate seeds for both texture and taste, and garlic for some sharp heat, harmoniously coming together for one fine raita.

The meal is completed with phirni, the equivalent of rice pudding, with a medium-thick consistency, not too sweet, lightly floral with rose water and orange blossom water, speckled with nuts and dried fruits. It takes 90 minutes to lovingly cook this, but we'd eagerly devour it within 90 seconds.

The Chicken Briyani meal box clocks in at RM55 for two persons in the portion pictured here, or RM130 for five persons. Orders must be placed by 2pm a day before delivery.

Many thanks to Cik Sabi for this sampling.

Cik Sabi

WhatsApp: 011-540-91050

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