Archive for August, 2011

  • Aug
  • 31
  • 2011

raya madness // malaysian vegetarian lontong

Yet another Eid/Raya favourite,  a vegetarian soup dish with rice cubes (I only say vegetarian as its served with no meat pieces but theres shrimps paste and chicken stock in it!).

My version is a little bit red as I went a bit nuts with the chilli, but technically the colour of the soup is supposed to be yellow.  Usually I’d make the rice cubes/nasi impit myself, but ever since I found them at the asian grocers, I no longer make them. I don’t usually take shortcuts, but its just rice and they all taste the same, no?


RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN VEGETARIAN LONTONG
Adapted from 3 Hungry Tummies, with slight changes

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
10 dried chillies, seeds removed and soaked in hot water for 30mins
2 red chillies
6 candle nuts
4 garlic cloves
6 shallots
1.5 tbsp turmeric powder
1cm piece of shrimp paste (belacan), toasted
30g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for a couple of mins
4 cm knob of ginger
4 cm knob of galangal or 1.5 tbs of galangal powder
2 lemongrass (white part only), chopped

Other ingredients:
15 small packets of rice cubes
1 cup long green beans, cut into 5cm long
1 large carrot, cut into 5 cm thin strips
1/2 cabbage, cut into pieces
400ml coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 packet bean curd sticks, softened with boiling water for 5mins
3 tbsp oil
salt, to taste


Method

1. In a medium size pot with water,  boil rice cubes  for an hour (follow instructions on packet). Remove and leave to completely cool before refrigerating for 2 hours. Rice cubes need to set firmly before cutting.

2. Cut all the vegetables and blend the ingredients to make the paste.

3. In a medium pot, heat up oil and saute the blended ingredients until oil separates.

4. Add coconut milk, chicken stock and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil.

5. Put the vegetables and bean curd sticks; and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes. Season well with salt.

6. Serve with some cut rice cubes for a one pot meal.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




  • Aug
  • 30
  • 2011

raya madness // malaysian chicken curry rendang

‘Rendang?, Errr..’ That’s what I would say a couple of years back had you told me to make it. It never crossed my mind to even have a go at making rendang. Then one day, after picking my sister up at the airport (her trip back from Malaysia), she casually mentioned that she had written down a rendang recipe from our cousin’s grandma, Tok Ye, whilst she was staying with them. My reaction; “what? where? pleaseee give it to me!”. We all know she’s a good excellent cook. I tried it straight away. Kinda failed the first time. Tried again. Getting better. Third time, ‘wow nice’, forth attempt, ‘I have mastered this dish’ *insert proud face*. You’re probably wondering why it took me a few go’s before perfecting it? It aint easy! No two rendangs taste the same. Once you make this, you’ll never want to eat from a packet again. An original, from scratch, this rendang is truly authentic. And please don’t take any shortcuts or leave out any ingredient. Rendang is a sensitive dish. Have I scared you off?

This aromatic-absolutely-delicious-mouth-watering-jam-packed-full-of-flavour dish originated from Malaysia/ Indonesia. The usual rendang is made with tender juicy beef, but since I was cooking for mum and she doesn’t like beef,  I made it with chicken instead. It taste just as good if you’re into chicken. Who isn’t :p



CHICKEN RENDANG
Adapted from Tok Ye, with slight modifications

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1-2 hours

Ingredients

Part A (Blend till it forms a fine paste)
12 small shallots
7 cloves garlic
1 knob ginger, 4 cm
1 knob galangal, 4cm
3 lemongrass, end part only and sliced thinly

Part B (Dry fry the first 3 ingredients untill fragrant, and then blend all together)
2 tbsp ketumber (coriander seeds)
1 tsp jintan manis (cummin seeds)
1 tsp jintan putih (fennel seeds)
15 dried chilli, soaked in hot water for 30 mins

The rest of the ingredients are:
1 kilo chicken curry pieces, with bones
2 tsp ginger paste (to marinate the chicken)
2 tsp garlic paste (to marinate the chicken)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp black pepper
1.5 tbsp curry powder (brand:baba’s meat curry powder)
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
100g kerisik (dry fry shredded coconut untill golden brown)
1 can coconut cream
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water

Method


1. Marinate chicken with a bit of salt and the ginger & garlic paste. Stand for an hour.


2. Put oil and add the ingredients from Part B, fry until fragrant and you see the oil separates. Should take about 7-10 mins.


3. Add part A, turmeric, tamarind and curry powder then fry again until oil separates. Another 7 mins.


4. Put the chicken and water in then cook covered for an hour on low heat. Stir regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn.


5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut cream, kerisik (shredded coconut) and season generously with salt, pepper and sugar.


6. Cook for another half hour or so until it dries out and the colour has darkened.


7. Serve with warm steam rice.


Click ‘Read More’ below to view my tips on how to concoct a wonderful pot of rendang.


  • Aug
  • 24
  • 2011

raya madness // peanut cookies

Its Eid! If you’re a traditional malay, you’d probably spent hours in the kitchen making traditional Eid cookies. Growing up in Malaysia, you’ll find hundreds of variety of cookies. From the traditional  bahulu and kuih bangkit to the more modern ones like chocolate marble and london almonds, you could not celebrate Eid without at least having one of each, after all, they are only tiny bite size cookies!

So for this Eidul adha, I decided to go somewhere in between. Not too traditional and not too modern. Something easy and simple to make. Of course my all time favourite – peanut cookies…the ones that melt in your mouth, yum!


PEANUT COOKIES
Adapted from Do what I like with slight modifications

Yields: 40 cookies
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

200g peanuts
200g plain flour
100g icing sugar
100g veg oil or peanut oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk,lightly beaten with 1 tsp water for eggwash

Method

1.Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a baking tray.

2. Put 200g peanuts in a wok and dry fry over low heat till just about brown. Then put into a blender and blend till it forms into a smooth powder.

3. Mix flour, baking powder, ground peanut powder, icing sugar and salt in a big mixing bowl till well combined.

4. Add in 100g oil and mix till a piable dough is formed. Shape into a small 20cent piece coin.

5. Apply egg wash and put in the oven for 20mins or until golden brown.

Note: These cookies are meant to be very soft due to the icing sugar used. Once you remove them from the oven, do not disturb them. Let it cool down.



  • Aug
  • 22
  • 2011

raya madness // choc almond cookies

Raya madness translates to ‘Gila Raya” which means Eid madness. Eid marks the end of Ramadan and is a celebration for all Muslims around the globe. This is my first year (ever!) making eid cookies/biskut raya. I wanted to re-create the spirit of eid like we have back home in Malaysia, especially now that I have a child. Growing up in Malaysia, we always looked forward to celebrating eid. The food. The visits. The money. The atmosphere. Its such a huge celebration and one that I will surely treasure forever. I know my daughter will never experience that kind of eid (or maybe one day inshallah), but at least she can enjoy my homemade cookies.



So this Eid, my sister, step mum and I will make  a few batch of cookies each. Different varieties of course, and share them amongst ourselves. So in total, each of us get 10+ variety of cookies. Yay!  The cookies that I have/will be making are choc almond, peanut cookies and choc chip cookies. (edit: links added)

In spirit of this year’s eid, the next few posts will be in relation to malay traditional food commonly served during eid/raya. Enjoy!


RECIPE FOR CHOC ALMOND COOKIES
Adapted from Jom Masak Jom Makan-Makan

Yields: 100 cookies
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins, for 1 batch (But you probably need a few batches depending on the size of your oven)

Ingredients

300g flour*
250g butter
250g chocolate, melted
190g caster sugar
200g cornflour*
2 tbsp cocoa powder*
200g almonds
1 tsp  vanilla essence
1 egg

*Sift these ingredients into a bowl

Method

1. Beat the sugar, butter and vanilla essence until fluffy.

2. Put the egg and chocolate and continue beating until well combined.

3. Add the sifted ingredients and using a spatula, gently fold the mixture.

4. Add the almonds and combine well. Do not over combine or almonds will start to break.

5. Put some mixture into plastic wrap and shaped them into a square long train (see photo above)

6. Once all the mixtures have been wrapped tightly, put them into the fridge for 2 hours until it sets.

7. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a baking tray lined with baking paper.

8. Take out the cookie dough and remove plastic. Cut into 2cm thick and place on the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.



  • Aug
  • 21
  • 2011

in my deen…


Narrated by Abu Huraira,

I heard Allah’s apostle saying, ‘If there was a river at the door of anyone of you and he took a bath in it five times a day, would you notice any dirt on him?’

They said, ‘Not a trace of dirt would be left’.

The prophet added, ‘That is the example of the five prayers with which Allah blows out evil deeds’.

volume 1 | book 10 | number 506




  • Aug
  • 20
  • 2011

leftover chicken turned sandwich

Roast chicken is what they call ‘a meal for today and tomorrow’. That is why I love making it. You can make so many things with leftover roast chicken. The easiest is a sandwich since you’d probably have all the ingredients sitting in your fridge to whip up this very quick and healthy lunch. This makes one tasty sandwich because the flavours from the chicken were just popping in my mouth with every bite I took. Not to mention, the sauces just oozes with yumminess. I think without the them, it would be a little dry. Drizzle with a bit of mayo, or thousand island or sweet chili, or anything else…oohh yummo! Other meal ideas using leftover roast would be, chicken pies, chicken salad, chicken couscous, bbq chicken pizza, chicken fried rice, chicken baked pasta, chicken wraps, chicken soup, chicken nachos, chicken fritters, chicken and vegetable lasagne…hmmm the ideas just keep on rolling.

LEFTOVER ROAST CHICKEN TURNED SANDWICH
Roast chicken from this recipe

Makes: 1 sandwich
Prep time: 5mins
Cook time: none!

Ingredients

Handful of shredded chicken (leftover roast chicken)
Handful of shredded carrots
2 slices bread (I used soft Rye bread)
2 slices cut tomatoes
1 slice cheese
1 large lettuce leaf, cut
pinch of salt and pepper
drizzle with any sauce you like (I used mayo and sweet chilli)

*There’s no particular way of assembling a sandwich. Just do it the way you like it. And then put it in the grill/sandwich maker.




  • Aug
  • 19
  • 2011

chocolate ripple bites

I’ve been attending Aussie Muslims (forum) iftaar for 3 years consecutively now. And at every single iftaar, a sister (May Allah reward her) never fails to make these super cute bite size dessert. Though, she puts a bit more effort into them by drizzling over some chocolate for that finishing touch. I just topped mine with a slice of strawberry. Now these are on their way to my sister in laws house, for iftaar. Impressive much?

RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE RIPPLE BITES

Makes: 25
Prep time: 20mins
Chill time: min 6 hours (recommended overnight)

Ingredients

400g Arnotts chocolate ripple biscuit (1.5 packets)
600ml thickened cream
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
5 strawberries, sliced

Method

1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream sugar and vanilla essence until thickened.

2. Lay 25 biscuits on a tray and put a dollop of cream mixture then sandwich it with another biscuit on top. Do this for the remaining 24 biscuits.

3. Using a star nozzle, put some mixture into the nozzle bag and squeeze the cream to form a nice shape.

4. Top with a strawberry slice and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but I recommend refrigerating overnight.



  • Aug
  • 17
  • 2011

wordless wednesday // tea leaves sassafrass


  • Aug
  • 15
  • 2011

roast chicken with garlic, thyme and lemon


A good’ol roast chicken is a family favourite in our home. So easy and yummy. Literally all you have to do is just clean and season it, then chuck it in the oven. Its so simple that I make this quite often especially when my dad gives us his home grown organic purple carrots!

*The above photo was added on 18th March 2014*

*The above photo was added on 18th March 2014*

The secret for creating fresh recipes is using fresh ingredients. Thyme from our garden. I just leave them like that.

The best part about roast chicken is, when you have leftovers, you can make a chicken salad sandwich for your lunch the next day! I will blog about this sandwich in my next entry, so stay tune. Here it is. For now, this is the recipe. Nothing fancy, just really simple. But yummy of course.


 

RECIPE FOR ROAST WHOLE CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, THYME AND LEMON

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 kg chicken (small-medium size)
8 cloves garlic (for paste), pound in mortar and pestle
5 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled (optional)
3 medium potatoes, quartered
3 carrots, halved longways
1/4 cup olive oil
6 sprigs of thyme (or 3 tsp dried thyme)
1/4 cup vegetable stock paste (I use homemade)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp salt
10cm long cotton twine string (to tie the legs)

Method

1. Clean and rinse the chicken inside out and pat dry. Do not remove the chicken skin.

2. Marinate the whole chicken with garlic paste, vegetable stock paste thyme, salt and pepper. Rub it thoroughly and put the stuffing in the cavity. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil then tie the legs together with a cotton twine string. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

3. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease a roasting pan, place a roasting rack and put the chicken on top.

4. Bake for 30minutes then swap the chicken the opposite way. Add in the cut vegetables and unpeeled garlic underneath the chicken rack. Bake for another 30minutes until golden brown (you can see the crunchy skin).

5. Stand chicken for 5 minutes before serving and don’t forget to remove the string.


 

 


  • Aug
  • 13
  • 2011

Dining 101

This is our 40 year old house, well part of it. It used to be a small family area but we have transformed it into a dining space. The original interior decor is a typical 60′s style, retro modern (thats not too bad) but it was so gloomy (perhaps because it was a deceased property? Just kidding).

Now this house is speaking “I need to fit in the new era”.

So fast forward to 2011 with some new paint, stripped the old flooring, change of artwork and some  furniture…ahh what a bright and fresh new look! Notice the pendant light? I didn’t change that one though. I thought I’d leave that hanging, the antique lamp that adds a sentimental value to the space. But the truth is, we just couldn’t afford an electrician with all the other reno expenses we had to cover. Maybe one day. Someday. It’ll be replaced.


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