giving the world a peek into my kitchen...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Briyani

This is a very popular Indian dish made with highly seasoned rice and meat, fish or vegetables. There are numerous ways to prepare this and since this was my first attempt, I made it the easiest way - to cook the rice and chicken separately and layer them.  This is also known as 'Katchi Briyani'. The recipe below may seem long and complicated, but honestly, it's not that hard.. Do give it a try!

Basmati Rice - 2 1/4 cups
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Briyani powder - 1 tbsp (I used Aachi) *optional
Cinnamom stick - 1
Cardamon - 4
Cloves - 5
Star anise - 1
Bay leaves - 2
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Water - 4 cups
Salt to taste

Chicken - 1 kg cut into medium sized pieces
Ginger-garlic paste - 6 tbsp
Onions - 4 thinly sliced
Tomatoes - 1 chopped
Green chilies - 3 slit
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1
Cloves - 5
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Chili powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Coriander leaves - chopped
Mint leaves - chopped


To prepare rice:
1. Wash and drain Basmati rice and keep aside.
1. Heat ghee over medium heat and fry cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, star anise and bay leaves until fragrant.
2. Add Briyani powder and stir the mixture.
3. Add rice and mix well until every grain is coated.
4. Remove rice from heat and place in rice cooker. Add all remaining ingredients and cook rice.

To prepare chicken:
1. Roast fennel, cumin and cardamom over low heat until fragrant. Blend to a powder and set aside.
2. Marinate the chicken pieces with the prepared powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt. (for approximately an hour)
3. Heat some oil and fry whole spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and star anise.
4. Once fragrant, add green chilies and chopped onions. Saute until the onions turn golden brown and add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder.
5. Continue to stir over low heat until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy.
6. Once the oil starts to ooze out of this mixture, add the chicken pieces and cook well.
7. Check salt levels and remove from heat once chicken is cooked.

To layer:
1. Once rice is cooked, fluff it up and set aside half of it.
2. Layer with cooked chicken. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and mint leaves.
3. Add the remaining rice and repeat step 2.
4. Set the rice cooker to 'Keep Warm' until serving time.
5. Mix nicely from bottom and serve with some yogurt salad or raita!

* You could add some crushed safron or yellow colouring when cooking the rice for a nice color. Since I did not have it at home, I omitted it.. hence the pale color. It tasted great nevertheless :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yogurt Salad

This simple vege/salad goes well with briyani rice..

1 cucumber - cut length wise and diced
1 tomato - diced
1/2 onion - diced
Chopped coriander leaves
1 cup fresh yogurt

Mix all the ingredients together and sprinkle with some salt and pepper!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber - 1 chopped
Onions - 1 chopped
Tomato - 1 chopped
Pineapple - 1/2 chopped
Chilli - 1/2 chopped
Lime juice - 5 tbsp
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and you have a healthy vegetable salad! This goes well with savoury rice dishes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Malaysia!

Prepared Chicken Briyani for lunch today! Will be posting the recipe soon :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

Since Raya mood is in the air, decided to make some tomato rice, ayam masak merah and cucumber salad. We had some friends come over and they seemed to enjoy the food, so it must have been good :)

Chicken - 1 cut into small pieces
Dried chilies - 20 soaked
Galangal - 2 inch piece
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Onion - 2
Lemongrass - 5 stalks
Garlic - 5 cloves
Star anise - 4
Cardamons - 3
Cloves - 5
Cinnamon stick - 1
Tomato soup - 1/2 can
Coconut milk - 1/2 can
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Spring onions - 1stalk
Salt to taste

Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric and salt. Set aside for 1/2 hr then deep fry til golden brown.
Blend onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, galangal and chilies to a fine paste.
Heat some oil and stir fry star anise, cardamons, cinnamon and cloves until fragrant.
Add in the blended paste and increase the heat until the mixture bubbles. Reduce the flame and let it simmer until the oil is separated from the paste (pecah minyak).
Add in tomato soup, coconut milk and chicken. Stir well and let it simmer until the gravy thickens.
Season with salt and garnish with some spring onions before serving!

Fried Chicken Wings

With just a few basic ingredients, you will have some awesome and crispy chicken wings. You could also add in some chili flakes to give it a hint of spiciness. Yumm...

Chicken wings - 12
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Flour - 3 tbsp
1 egg
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Rinse the chicken wings and pat dry.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Ensure chicken wings are well coated.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Deep fry until golden brown, drain on paper towel and enjoy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Curry Puff

I've been wanting to try this for a very long time. Finally made these for tea today! Yummy..

All purpose flour - 300g
Margarine - 70g
Water - 150 ml
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Onion - 1/2 cubed
Potatoes - 2 cubed
Chicken breast - 1 cubed
Chili powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Meat curry powder - 1/ tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 100 ml
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Prepare the filling first by sautéing onions in a little oil. 
Add chili powder, meat curry powder, turmeric powder and continue to stir. 
Add chicken pieces and potatoes. Add water and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the potatoes are cooked and the liquid is reduced, remove from heat and let it cool.

To make pastry, mix flour, margarine, salt, water and knead well until it forms a dough.
Let it rest for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into circles about 2mm in diameter. Fold the filling in and seal the edges.
Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Kuih Seri Muka

Kuih is a snack or dessert type of food found in many shapes, colours and textures. Seri muka is one of my favourite kuihs and I decided to try it at home. (Honestly, it's better to get them from the stalls as you will probably eat one or two pieces only. ) Anyways, it turned out well but we couldn't finish the whole tray at home. We gave some to our neighbours and.... they loved it! 

Bottom layer
Glutinous Rice - 250g (aoaked for 4 hours, and drained) 
Bottom Layer
Thin coconut milk - 150 ml
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Top Layer
Eggs - 2
Castor sugar - 150g
Pandan Juice (Blend approx 10 pandan leaves with 120ml water)
Coconut milk - 350ml
All-purpose flour - 120g
Corn flour - 3 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
*Green colouring (optional)

Steam glutinous rice with coconut milk and salt for 30 minutes. Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes and transfer to a square pan. Press it with the back of a wet spoon till firm and let it cool.
To prepare the top layer, beat eggs and sugar till sugar is dissolved. Add pandan juice, coconut milk and salt. Stir well. You may also add in some additional green colouring if required.
Sift in flour and whisk until everything is well mixed. Strain the mixture and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Pour the mixture on top of the pressed glutinous rice and steam over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
Cool completely before slicing.

* Steam over medium heat to get a smooth surface.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Garlic Bread

Garlic bread is so good that I find it necessary to have them when I prepare soups.
Here's 3 very simple steps to get these delicious slices.

French baguette - 1 sliced 
Garlic - 3 cloves
Butter - 3 tbsp
Parsley - chopped finely

Mash the garlic and butter in a bowl.
Spread them evenly on the sliced baguettes and sprinkle some chopped parsley.
Bake in oven at 170C degrees for 5 minutes or until it's golden brown.

There you go, 3 simple steps and it's ready!

Homemade Soy Bean Milk

Trying to keep cool during this hot season, I made some soy milk. It's extremely easy to make and is also very nutritious.

Soy beans - 125 g
Water - 1 litre
Pandan leaf- 1 (optional)
Sugar to taste

Soak the soy beans overnight. Remove the hulls by kneading the soy beans and rinse with water.
Blend the soy beans with 1 litre of water in a food processor. Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth to recover the soy milk.
Heat the milk till boiling point together with a pandan leaf. Continue to boil for 5-10 minutes.
Stir sugar to taste.

** Credit to Melvinder Kaur for inspiring me to try this! :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nasi Goreng Kampung

My family and close friends know that I am very fond of Malay and Thai food. Nasi Goreng Kampung is a type of fried rice with anchovies, water convolvulus and bird's eye chilies as the key ingredients. I used to have this very often during my campus days.
Here's my take on one of Malaysia's most popular fried rice!

Rice - 2 cups
Chicken breast - 1 cut into small pieces
Water convolvulus (kangkung) - 1 handful
Carrot - 1/4 cut into thin stripes
Fried anchovies - 1 handful
Bird's eye chilies - 5 slit
Light soy sauce - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
To blend:
Onions - 1/2
Garlic - 5 cloves
Anchovies - 2 tbsp
Bird's eye chilies - 6

Heat some oil in a wok and stir fry the blended ingredients, soy sauce and salt until they turn slightly brown.
Add chicken pieces and stir fry until they are cooked.
Put in the cooked rice and stir well. Add water convolvulus, carrots and bird's eye chilies. Continue to toss and stir. Ensure everything is mixed well.
Sprinkle a dash of pepper and add in fried anchovies.
Give it a good stir and serve with fried crackers, fried egg or freshly sliced cucumber!

Dhal Sambar

Being Indians, we prepare sambar almost every week. Well... it's easy to prepare and it compliments both veg and non-veg dishes. There are many varieties of it and this is a plain sambar which goes particularly well with breads and chappatis. You may also add in vegetables such as carrot, brinjal and okra.

Dhal - 1/2 cup soaked
Potatoes - 1 cubed
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Tamarind juice - 2 tbsp
Shallots - 3-4 chopped
Dried chilies - 3-4 cut small
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - chopped for garnishing

Boil dhal in 2 cups of water with garlic and salt. Once the dhal is cooked and tender, mash them a little.
Add turmeric powder, chili powder, potatoes, tamarind juice and 2 more cups of water. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes are cooked.
Grind cumin seeds and grated coconut to a fine paste. Add this in and let it boil.
Check for salt and add if needed.
Heat some oil in a separate frying pan and splutter mustard seeds, shallots, dried chilies and curry leaves. Once fragrant, pour them over the sambar and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with bread, chappati or even rice!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dry Chicken Peratal

Chicken – 1/2 kg medium size pieces
Onions – 4 big sliced thinly
Ginger-garlic paste – 3 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 spring

Chili powder – 3 tsp
Coriander powder – 5 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Marinate the chicken with 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste and salt for 1/2 hr. Cook on low heat without adding much water. Once chicken is 50% cooked, dish out and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add onions, curry leaves, salt and rest of the ginger-garlic paste. Saute it for about 10 minutes until the onions turns very translucent and soft.
Add all the spices and fry it for another 3 minutes. Now add the partially cooked chicken and fry it well till the chicken is well coated with the masala and is cooked well. Continue stirring.
When a reddish brown color is attained, the dish is ready to be served. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice or chappati.

Asam Pedas Fish

I've always wanted to try this dish at home. My brother who loves fishing brought home this lovely Jenahak, and I just had to make this. It turned out well, but I added a tad bit too much of tamarind. Nevertheless it was great and here's the improvised recipe!

Jenahak - 1/2 cut into small pieces
Okra - 5-6 cut into small pieces
Tomato - 1 cut into wedges
Fish curry powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Tamarind juice - 5 tbsp
Water - 1 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove
Lemon grass - 2 staks (white part only)
Shallots - 4
Dried chillies - 8-10
Belacan - 1/2 tbsp

Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric. Fry in oil until golden brown, drain and set aside.
Pound the spice paste with a pestle and mortal. You could also use a blender but the former yields a better taste.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the spice taste till fragrant.
Add tamarind juice, water and fish curry powder. Let it boil.
Add tomatoes and okra.
Add pre-fried fish, salt and sugar.
Let it simmer on low heat until the vegetables are cooked.
Serve hot with steamed rice!

Chicken Soup

Here's a very simple recipe to a bowl of heart warming soup.

Chicken pieces - 8-10 medium sized
Ginger juice - 2 tbsp
Carrots - 1 cut cubed
Cabbage/salad leaves - few small pieces *optional*
Potatoes - 1 cubed
Onions - 1/2 chopped thinly
Spring onions - 1 stalk chopped
Water - 3 cups

Fry the onions in some oil. Remove and set aside.
Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil. Once smoking, add chicken pieces. Stir fry briefly and add water.
When it starts to simmer, add salt, pepper and ginger juice. Let it cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes before adding carrots and potatoes.
Add cabbage/salad leaves once the other vegetables are cooked.
Check for salt and adjust if needed.
The soup is ready to be served. Don't forget to sprinke some freshly chopped spring onions and pre-fried onions!

Kung Pao Chicken

When I cook, I like to experiment with easy-to-make recipes. This is one of them! You can play around with the measurements for a darker/lighter sauce, or add cashew nuts instead of peanuts...You can't go wrong!

Boneless chicken breast - 1 1/2
Roasted peanuts - 3 tbsp
Dried chilies - 8-10 cut small
Ginger - 1 inch sliced
Garlic - 2 cloves sliced
Spring onions - 1 stalk chopped
Corn starch - 1 tbsp
Light soy sauce - 2 tsp
Chinese cooking wine - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Light soy sauce - 1 1/2 tbsp
Dark soy sauce - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Black vinegar - 1/4 tsp
Water - 2 tbsp
Corn starch - 1 tsp

Cut the chicken into small pieces and marinate with the above ingredients for about 20-30 minutes.
Heat a wok with a little oil and stir fry the marinated chicken until they are 3/4 cooked. Dish out and set aside.
Add 2 tbsp oil in a cleaned wok and put in ginger, garlic and dried chillies. Once fragrant add the partially cooked chicken in.
Add roasted peanuts and the pre-mixed sauce in. Continue to stir until the chicken is well coated with the sauce.
Add spring onions and dish out to serve.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spicy Stir Fried Four Angled Beans

One of my all-time favourite vegetable dish. The key ingredient is none other than the spicy and aromatic sambal paste.

Four angled beans - Sliced thinly
Sambal paste:
Garlic - 2 cloves
Onion - 1/2
Dried chilies - 4-5
Anchovies - 5-8 cleaned
Belacan (shrimp paste)- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Pound dried chilies, onions, garlic and anchovies or grind them in a food processor. Set aside the paste.
Heat some oil in a pan, and fry the spices until fragrant. Add sliced four angled beans and stir well. Season with salt and belacan.
Once the beans are cooked, dish out to serve.

Bittergourd in Yogurt (Pavaka Kitchadi)

Bittergourd - 1 cut into small cubes
Yogurt - 1 cup
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried chili - 2 cut into small pieces
Green chili - 1/2 sliced thinly
Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan and fry the diced bittergourd till light golden brown. Drain the oil and set the bitergourd aside.

In the same oil splutter mustard and add green chilly, curry leaves, dried chilies, ginger/garlic paste and sauté till they turn golden brown.

Pour the bittergourd and sauteed ingredients into the curd. Give it a good stir. Season with a little salt if needed and it's ready to be served!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fish Thoran

This is such a simple yet delicious recipe. You can prepare this in less than 15 minutes.

Fish - 1 cup
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Dried chilies - 3-4
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Ginger - 1 inch crushed
Green chili - 1/2 crushed
Salt to taste

Boil/steam fish. Remove flesh and keep aside.
Heat some oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add dried chilies and curry leaves. Add crushed green chilies, ginger and garlic together. Saute for a few minutes.
Now add the shredded fish. Also add turmeric powder, chili and coriander powder and stir well. Cover with a lid and leave on medium heat for a few minutes before you add the grated coconut.
Saute for another 5 minutes and your fish thoran is ready to be served.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chicken Sambal

Phew! I'm finally able to update this blog after a 3 month hiatus! Hope you enjoy this chicken sambal recipe!

Chicken - 15-20 medium sized pieces
Dried chillies - 8-10
Red onion - 2
Garlic (crushed) - 1 clove
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Shallots -3
Tomato - 1
Chili sauce - 3 tbsp
Lemongrass - 2 stalks
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Blend half of the red onion, shallots, garlic, ginger and deseeded dried chilies with a food processor. You can also use a mortal and pestle. The latter gives a better texture and taste.
Slice thinly the remaining red onion into rings. Put in the chicken and continue to stir until half cooked.
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the spice paste with lemongrass until fragrant. Remove from heat and add them together with the chicken and cook well.
Season with salt, and sugar.
Add chili sauce and simmer on low heat until the gravy thickens. Set aside and serve.