Visiting An Giang province in Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, travelers should not miss Com ni – Ca pua which are specialty foods of Khmer people. In fact, Com ni and Ca pua are two different dishes. However, they always go together and create a very perfect couple.
To cook Com ni or Ni steamed rice, it needs skillfulness and experience. Firstly, choose high-quality rice, wash it carefully many times, drain it off. A little of salt is added to the water while washing. Stir-fry the rice with cinnamon and clove, then mix it with toasted cashew powder. The rice is cooked with a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and curry in a pot. When the rice is going to be well-done, pour coconut milk or milk into the pot, then continue cooking until well-done. Lastly, mix the steamed rice with dried grapes. The Com ni is a wonderful blend of flavors. The Ni steamed rice has a sweet smell, nice look with yellow color and great taste.
Ca pua is made from fresh beef, curry, peanut, coconut milk, etc. Wine and ginger are used to remove the odor of the beef. Shred coconut meat, a half is used to make a coconut milk sauce, the remaining is toasted until yellow. The beef is stir-fried with shredded coconut meat, curry, onion, chili pepper, salt. Then add coconut milk sauce and cook the beef until tender. Add toasted shredded coconut meat, onion, and toasted peanuts. Ca pua is a traditional food at many festivals of Khmer people. The dish can last a few days at room temperature.
The Com ni – Ca pua are hard recipes with various ingredients and many steps. Both of the dishes are greasy because Khmer people use so much coconut meat, coconut milk to cook them. Com ni – Ca pua are usually served on a plate with cucumber slices, tomato slices, minced coriander, and chili pepper slices. If you have a chance to visit An Giang, do not miss trying these foods and learn more about the rich cuisine as well as the rich culture of Khmer people in South Vietnam.