At a time when many entrepreneur are at their wits' end on survival of their business during the post-COVID-19, several nasi dagang traders in Terengganu have been savvy to expand their business by marketing spices and instant paste of the traditional food.

Nasi Dagang Atas Tol owner, Tuan Saidatul Jamilah Tuan Zainuddin said she began to sell her nasi dagang spices and paste as her restaurant was not allowed to operate when the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into force on March 18.

"There was high demand during the month of Ramadan and Syawal as many buyers are people from Terengganu who could not return to their hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya due to MCO.

"The feedback we received was very encouraging for the buyers were thankful as they were able to satisfy cravings for their favourite traditional food without having to drive to Terengganu and stand in the long queue to buy nasi dagang at the eateries," she told Bernama here today.

The 28-year-old woman began her nasi dagang business in 2014 and has open four branches of Nasi Dagang Atas Tol all over Terengganu.

Nasi dagang Terengganu is a dish consisting of rice steamed in coconut milk, fish curry, and extra ingredients such as pickled cucumber and carrots.

Tuan Saidatul Jamilah said she markets the paste and spices of nasi dagang through 150 agents and 100 dropship agents across the country which indirectly creates an opportunity to generate extra income since MCO was implemented.

Another nasi dagang trader, Mariah Juhari, 59, said she hopes more Malaysians can enjoy the traditional food everywhere at their own convenience by using the paste and spices under the Dapur Mok Bonda.

"Customers only need to add coconut milk and their favourite raw items such as chicken, beef, or fish. This is very convenient for housewives especially those who are working to cook a delicious nasi dagang with traditional Terengganu recipes.

"I am lucky because my children help me to market the nasi dagang spices through online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp," she said, adding she also sells other paste for fish, beef, and chicken as well as laksa paste.

The implementation of MCO also gave a new experience to a contract teacher, Saidatina Nur Ain Mohd Salleh, 26, to be involved in the business world when she started to market her Nasi Dagang Haji Mat spices, a business run by her parents, since last April.

"My mother and father have been in the catering business for a long time and have been taking orders for nasi dagang, nasi minyak, Arab rice, and Bukhari rice for decades.

"During MCO, I was worried about my career future since I am just a contract teacher. After discussing with my family, I dare myself to promote Nasi Dagang Haji Mat spices to my close friends on social media sites.

"Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), many acknowledged our spices as very tasty and easy to prepare, not to mention my father is well known for his tasty cuisine that uses the original spices from Terengganu.

"That indirectly makes it easier for the brand to remain in the market," she said, adding she is looking for agents for the business networks throughout the country.