Experiences finding coconut oil in Malaysia

A special  request

When my son requested me to make a cake from coconut oil, it raised a question. I ask him why coconut oil?. I told him, all these years I make cake from butter and never coconut oil.

“Well, now I can’t take dairy products including butter anymore. I’m allergic to it,” he said.

My response is, “Well said, where I’m gonna find this coconut oil these days”.

The conversation through the phone with my son around the coconut oil continued.

He said, “Mak, Malaysia has  coconut trees, sure there is someone selling it somewhere”. 

In between lines, for information Mak is traditional calling for mum in Malay. There are people who are trendy. They teach their offspring to call them Mama or Ibu. For me it is always original and traditional, Mak. The joys of being Malay is that we use the language and customs as heritage. Trend changes while style remains.

So back to the topic, I agree with him, Malaysia has a tropical weather suit for coconut trees.

I told him, I’m going to find coconut oil. After I find the oil then I make a cake.

His response is “Thank you Mak”. With this, my search started.

Searching for coconut oil

I’ve been buying fresh produce  at my local and nearest market, Pasar Selayang Baru. When I went there, I never crossed my mind that the nearest place would resolve my searching for coconut oil.  

Thus I never ask the seller in the market whether they sell coconut oil. I make no effort to ask them. I make the conclusion not anyone in the market sells coconut oil. This oil has become rare commodities this day.

There is belief in me nothing comes easy. I have to try harder to get anything I want.  This belief was gradually stuck to my head that anything that in this world doesn’t come easily. We have to work for it.

Even though  the thought of where to find the coconut oil is always present in my mind, I still keep mum when I go to the market. I went to the market multiple times prior to my son’s request but never once I asked.

Later, I have a chance to go to a neighbouring state from my state. I live in the state of Selangor while the neighbouring state I visit is Perak. I went there with my other son and daughter. 

We went there to eat  in a restaurant in Ipoh. After eating we went to another place for a visit. Since we are still in a pandemic era, not many people visit the place. 

We went to a shop that sells many goody and local food products. I try to find coconut oil but it is not available. It is a one day journey and we went home with other goodies minus coconut oil. 

Back in my place, the day I have to make cake for my son nearer and I still haven’t found coconut oil.  

I went to my local market as usual. This market is a two storey building. I went up to the first floor and asked the seller who sells grocery about the coconut oil.  As predicted, there is none. 

Until I returned to the first seller I approached earlier to ask about the coconut oil and asked me whether I managed to get the coconut oil. He suggested to me to go to the coconut milk stall, maybe they have it.

His suggestion is that coconut oil comes from coconut. Since the stall sells grated coconut and coconut milk, maybe they can make coconut oil if I ask them.  

I followed the seller’s suggestion and asked the coconut milk  stall for coconut oil. The lady in charge told me they have coconut oil but at the moment it sold out.

But very kind of her to make coconut oil for me and ask when I want it. I told her that I want it in five days. I promise to her to collect on that particular day.

In my heart I’m not sure whether I can have the coconut oil from her so on the way home, I stopped by a grocery store and as I entered the store, I saw a row of coconut oil on the display rack.

What on earth I didn’t see before. After I promise the lady at the market now only I stumble on the oil. I bought one and went home but it seems like a mass production oil compared to the lady seller  in the market.

So in the end, the nearest to my place resolved my mission. Never estimate this option. Next time appreciate the nearest to you rather than the further.

Start making cake with coconut oil

I started making cake using coconut oil. I have to practice in order to make cake for my son. To be exact I make marble cake as per his request.  I’m using my traditional basic cake recipe.

It happens. The whole marble cake. Tasty, soft and moist by using coconut oil from the grocery store. Within a day, the marble cake finished. I tried again three times and it’s perfect. 

How I make decision to buy coconut oil

So what happens to the oil that I book from the lady seller in the market. I still have a lot more coconut oil that I bought earlier in the grocery store. How I’m going to solve this issue. The day has come.

Should I buy coconut oil from the lady seller while there is a stock of coconut oil in my kitchen?. I promised her days before. It is not appropriate not to do so. 

It is bad not to fulfill the promise. I know I can avoid her by going to another stall. But it is not a good attitude at all.  

I consider myself her regular customer for coconut milk at her stall.  I’ve been buying the coconut from her stall for so many years. Because of this, she makes an effort to cook coconut oil for me. 

The question raised in my head. Is it worth it for the sake of saving  little money?. I abandon people’s trust in me. I do not wish to be ignorant. I do not wish to let down people.

I look at the bottle of coconut milk and am looking for an expiry date.  It printed the date of  expiry date. It can be used for another two  years. 

When my other son wants to go to the market and  at the very last minute he leaves home, I make a statement. My instinct is that I should buy coconut oil from the lady seller. I gave him instruction.

“Go to the first stall from the wall at the coconut section. Buy coconut milk from the lady seller. Mak promised her to take the coconut oil  today”.  He’s obliged.

I felt relief when I said this. Never mind about the coconut milk stock that I have. I still can use it later. At least, I help the lady seller business.

When my son came home from the market, he had a story to tell me. She told me the lady asked what I’m going to do with the oil.

He told her that mum was going to make cakes from it. Then the lady responded “How much did your mother sell?.”  Since I never talk about selling cake, my son just gave her an amount randomly.

My son said, “Mak, the lady wants to taste the cake. She is so happy to hear you make cake from coconut milk that she makes for you”.

I felt delighted to give her a taste of my cake. This is a chance I have to grab. Never take lightly what people said. Her asking to taste is my motivation to move in a broadened perspective. 

I never thought of making a business selling cake. The chance comes and I have to work on it. So I make cakes for her to taste. 

What type of cake to make for tasting

I have been thinking about what type of cake I should make. Should I make a big whole cake and cut it into small pieces to give to her. No. This is appropriate. I want to give an individual cake for her to taste. 

Of course I could not give her a big cake. She wants to taste the cake only. Then come to my head, why not give her a smaller version  of cake. It seems more individual and specially made for her with two flavours separately.  Yes it is cupcakes that I decide.  Look presentable too.

Then I bake the cupcakes from the same portion and ingredients of a normal whole cake.  The day has come. I went to the market together with my children. I present the cake to her to be tasting.

This time the cake was using the coconut oil that I bought from the lady seller in the market.  

She was happy to take it and ask how much she should pay. I said she  does not need to pay. It is complimentary. Then she smells the cake. Her reaction is “The smell is fragrant”. I think she is happy too that part of the cake is from her coconut milk that she makes.

Is this a chance for me  to be an entrepreneur?. I brave myself to utter the words to her. “Can I put my cake here at your stall to sell”. She said immediately without hesitation. “Yes you may do that provided you take home when the market closes”.

“You may send it at 6.30 in the morning and collect it at 3 pm in the same day.” I’m happy to accept this and appreciate her. When I wanted  to leave her place, she gave me one packet of coconut milk. I guess it was a good gesture of me giving her cupcakes for testing.

The rest is history. So the moral of the story for me is to keep your promise and never let go of opportunity even though it is small.

Also, appreciate other people’s effort then you will be blessed from the person you never close to. Well, that’s life. 

Reward to my son request

He finally got his big whole marble cupcake that I made from the coconut milk I bought from the lady seller at the market. The cake is fragrant to smell, beautiful to look and tasty to eat. 

Thank you my son!

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