giving the world a peek into my kitchen...


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!