• May
  • 05
  • 2014

pumpkin soup

 

Its been very cold lately in Melbourne and its not even winter yet! Particularly in the past week, it has been raining everyday so my husband has been asking for winter comfort food-pumpkin soup! He absolutely loves pumpkin and especially that we’ve grown our own pumpkin this season, he was very excited almost like a little kid receiving a present, lol!

This is a very simple and easy recipe, but according to my husband, superbly tasty!

 

RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
400g pumpkin, peeled roughly cut into cubes
1/2 tsp cummin
1/2 cup thickened cream
2 cups stock (or I use a homemade chicken stock paste and use 2tsp)
2 cups water (add more water if you’re using a stock paste)
salt and pepper to taste

Method

1.Heat butter and saute garlic.
2. Add the pumpkin pieces, cummin, stock and water.
3. Cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Then let simmer for 20minutes.
4. Using a handheld stick blender, blend all the ingredients thoroughly in the pot. If you’re using a blender, wait a couple of hours until all the ingredients have cooled down before putting it in your blender.
5. Once blended, add salt, pepper and thickened cream and let simmer again for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with some bread on the side!


  • Mar
  • 25
  • 2014

carrot soup

When my dad brought out his carrot soup over the weekend when we had dinner at their place, I thought I wasn’t going to like this. I was wrong! I loved it. I think its the suttle spices that are sauteed that make it so flavourful. So I decided to make this for dinner tonight, the perfect entree to our ‘vegetarian dinner night’. Dinner was spinach & ricotta lasagne which is another favourite of mine.

RECIPE FOR CARROT SOUP
Recipe from my dad
Serves: 4 entree bowls

 

Ingredients
1/2 medium size onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
400g carrot, roughly chopped (about 5-6 carrots)
1 tsp cummin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 cups liquid stock (I use homemade veg stock)
salt & pepper to taste

Method

1. Saute onions and garlic in some oil until soften but not burned.
2. Add in spices then saute until aromatic for about a minute or two.
3. Put in the chopped carrots and stock then cover, bring to a boil.
4. Put stove on low, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Leave to cook for another 15minutes
5. Turn off stove and leave to cool for an hour. Once cooled, blend mixture in a blender.
6. Return soup to saucepan and bring to a boil. Serve hot with some bread.


  • Nov
  • 08
  • 2011

vegetable spring rolls | popiah goreng

Spring rolls make the best appetisers for any gatherings, big or small. What I love about them is that they are so crunchy on the outside and very moist on the inside. One spring roll is definitely not enough, two, three…heck I can even gobble up 5 or more depending on how big they are.

spring rolls

Usually home made spring rolls are larger than store bought ‘cocktail’ spring rolls. Though tedious to make, I still prefer making it myself. I roll them a bit bigger, around 6-8cm long so it saves me time standing up rolling one by one.

jicama

For those not familiar with jicama, this vegetable is used in the filling of the spring roll. Its a sweet root vegetable kind of like a turnip.

spring rolls

And this is how you roll a spring roll. Get a big sheet of spring roll pastry and put the filling in the middle towards the end bit.

spring roll

Then roll the side closest to you, covering the filling.

spring rolls

Roll the left flap in.

spring rolls

Roll the right flap in.

spring rolls

Then roll it once before brushing it with the cornstarch + water mix (acts as a glue).

spring rolls

Roll it closed. Seal tightly. And deep fry for a couple of minutes.

 

RECIPE FOR VEGETABLE SPRING ROLL

Makes: 15
Filling prep time: 10 mins
Wrapping time: 30-40 mins
Cook time: 1-2 mins each

Ingredients

15 sheets large spring roll wrappers
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 medium sized prawns tail off, chopped finely
1 large carrot, shredded
1 large jicama, shredded
1/2 cabbage, cut thinly
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup baby green peas
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black papper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp peanut oil
vegetable oil for deep frying
sweet chilli sauce, for dipping

For gluing the spring rolls
2 tsp corn starch
4 tsp water

 

Method

1. Heat peanut oil in a pan and sautee the garlic.

2. Add all the vegetables and stir for a few minutes.

3. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and give it a final stir. Do not overcook or it will become soggy.

4. Leave to cool before wrapping them in the spring roll wrappers.

5. See pictures (above) on how to roll spring rolls.

6. Heat up vegetable oil in a wok/deep fryer. When it is hot enough, fry the spring rolls until golden brown.

7. Drain excess oil on a paper towel and serve immediately with some dipping sauces.


  • Nov
  • 03
  • 2011

flame grilled eggplant

eggplant

This is my husbands favourite when he wakes up on a lazy Sunday. Flame grilled eggplant/aubergine sort of like a dip. But then an eggplant dip is called baba ghanoush which is made with tahini and other seasonings. This one here, is basically just an eggplant with oil and salt. Easy to make but very smelly when cooked on a flame. Not to mention the burnt skin goes everywhere. But it taste so good!

Just pop it on the stove like this. Turn it around after a few minutes. It needs to shrink in size and start peeling before you remove it.

eggplant

Then start peeling the skin off. Beware, its very hot!

eggplant

Use a fork to give it a good mash and season well with olive oil and salt. I added a couple of garnishes for some extra colour – for photos sake, but its not necessary. Serve with Lebanese bread and you have yourself a quick and easy healthy brunch!

 

RECIPE FOR FLAMED GRILLED EGGPLANT
Adapted from my Lebanese Mother-in-law

Ingredients

1 large eggplant  (1/2 kilo)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt

Method

1. Wash the eggplant and put it directly on the stove. Leave for a few minutes then turn around until all sides are equally cooked. Eggplant should shrink in size and the skin should start peeling off.

2. Remove from flame onto a wooden chopping board and leave to cool for a bit before starting to peel the entire skin off.

3. Place the filling on a plate/bowl and use a fork to mash.

4. Season well with oil and salt.


  • 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.




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