Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tasty Meat Sauce From Home 芽菜肉燥 - " Malaysian Monday 15''

I am terribly sorry for my inaction for the past weeks. With my computer out of order, a new job and my local internet cafe now a bottle shop getting anything posted is a real pain. Thanks for all your comments and emails while I was away, I will be posting regularly starting from next week. This is everyone's last opportunity to cook somthing Malaysian for this month's Muhibbah Malaysian Monday, how about something about deepavali for the spirit of muhibbah!? This is a very simple but versatile meat sauce that I grew up with and there is always some in the fridge for emergency. It is perfect as topping for rice, noodles or tofu and I hope you will try it out too. Traditionally pork is used but I am using chicken this time around.
P.S I will also try to reply all your emails over the weekend.

you'll need;
500 g of chicken mince or mince of your choice
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cm knob of ginger, chopped
1 onion, chopped
25 g of ya cai (a type of Sichuanese preserved vegetable)
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of dark soy
2 tbs of oyster sauce
dash of Chinese cooking wine
1/2 cup of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the garlic, ginger and onion.

Marinate chicken mince with oyster sauce, light soy and Chinese cooking wine for 15 minutes.

Saute onion and garlic til lightly brown then add the marinated mince. Brown meat a little or til it loses it's pinkness.

Add stock, dark soy and ya cai and simmer on very low heat for 1.5 hours.

Remove the lid and continue to cook for 5 minutes if the sauce is too thin, alternatively thicken with some corn flour solution.

Serve this as topping for noodles, rice or tofu.

I will be hosting the October event. Please send all your delicious entries to me at To find out more please click HERE.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Goan Prawn Curry, Samar Codi

I found this great recipe while flipping through Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible. A quick look at the ingredients and I was most delighted to know I have got everything to make the dish except for the prawns. This reminded me very much of the mamak style prawn curry that I cooked a while back, after all they do share so many of the characteristics of a good southern Indian curry. Make sure you have plenty of steamed basmati rice and roti to mop up the delicious curry sauce. This is a relatively mild curry, I added some green chillies for the extra kick!
P.S We are having a perfect spring day here in Melbourne so I will have to come by to your blogs a little later :)

recipe adapted from Ultimate Curry Bible
serves 4 as part of an Indian meal
you'll need;
1 kg of prawns, peeled and deveined
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 peppercorns
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs bright red paprika
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of of finely grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed to a pulp
2 tbs of cooking oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 green chillies, cut into chunks (optional)
400 ml of coconut milk
2 tbs of tamarind paste
salt to taste

Prepare the chillies and onion.

Place all spices in a pestle and mortar and pound to a fine powder.

Add spice powder with ginger, garlic and 4 tbs of water to make a thick paste.

Heat oil in a pan and saute chopped onion til translucent before adding the spice paste, cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.

Next add in about 200 ml of water and bring it to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add coconut milk salt and tamarind paste and green chillies, bring it to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes before adding the prawns. Simmer gently til the prawns are cooked. Check for seasonings.

Serve as part of an Indian meal with plenty of steamed basmati rice and roti to mop up the delicious curry.

I also made some chapati to go with our meal.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cauliflower With Mustard

I am not a big fan of cauliflower although once in a while I might add a few florets in a stir fry. But it is one vegetable that I come back to time and time again when I am cooking an Indian meal. This is another very simple vegetarian dish that will blow your mind away with its sheer simplicity, flavour and colour. If you are a big fan of cauliflower don't forget to check out allo gobi (spiced potato and cauliflower)

recipe adapted from The Food Of India
serves 4 as part of an Indian meal
you'll need;
600 g of cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp of black mustard seeds
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tbs of tamarind puree
3 tbs of mustard oil or peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 green mild chillies, seeded and chopped
2 tsp of nigella seeds
100 ml of water

Black and yellow mustard seeds.

Grind mustard seeds to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. Mix with water, tamarind puree and water to form a smooth liquid.

Cook the cauliflower in batches with a little oil in batches til lightly char and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan and fry garlic and onion til golden.

Return the cauliflower to the pan and fry for a minute before adding the chopped chillies, cook for a further minute.

Pour in the prepared mustard sauce; reduce the heat to low, cover and cook til the cauliflower is nearly tender and the seasoning is dry. Season well with salt.

Serve immediately as part of an Indian meal.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cardamom Chicken

Finally I am able to continue our Indian week after much delay. When I first laid my eyes on the recipe of this dish I thought there might be a misprint for the ingredients, the list is simply too short for an Indian dish I thought. I soon changed my mind when I had the very first taste of the finished dish. Here you are able to enjoy the wonderful aroma and taste of cardamom; less is more? Absolutely! 
P.S Prepare this a day ahead as it will taste even better the next day.

recipe adapted from The Food Of India
serves 4 to 6 as part of an Indian meal
you'll need;
1 free range chicken, skinned* and cut into 12 pieces
25 cardamom pods, removed from pods and pounded to a fine powder
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cm piece of ginger, grated
300 ml of Greek yoghurt
1.5 tsp of ground black pepper
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tbs of ghee (clarified butter)
400 ml of coconut milk
6 green chillies, pricked all over
1/2 a cup of chopped coriander leaves
juice from half a lemon
salt to taste
* don't throw away the skin, turn it into some delicious chicken fat and crackling instead

The star of the dish.

Prepare the marinade - mix yoghurt with cardamon, grated ginger, garlic, pepper and lemon rind.

Marinate the chicken pieces with the marinade with salt overnight.

Brown chicken pieces in batches with ghee.

Place chicken pieces with the remaining marinade and coconut milk in a pot.

Bring everything to a boil then add the green chillies and chopped coriander leaves. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes till the chicken is tender. Check the seasoning and stir in the lemon juice.

Serve this as part of an Indian meal. This is definitely a keeper!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Nasi Lemak 椰槳飯 Coconut Rice With Side Dishes - "Malaysian Monday 14"

Nasi lemak (literally means fat/creamy rice in Malay) is a popular dish in Malaysia and Singapore. Fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk, pandan leaf and aromatics is served alongside a selection of dishes or condiments. Although it is traditionally a breakfast dish; one can easily find this delicious dish at most hours, be it at the roadside stalls or fancy restaurants these days. To call a dish so loved by all races in Malaysia a national dish is quite fitting I think. t sadden me to read about how there is a small group of people who are constantly trying to upset the racial harmony so cherished by the majority of my fellow Malaysians. I decided to do my part by writing a pantun (Malay poem) to counter all the negativities...please excuse my rather rusty Malay! (there is a rough translation st the end of the post;

Nasi lemak warisan kebangsaan kita
Sarapan yang terkenal sampai ke luar negeri
Mutu, Mei Ling dan Wati berkongsi semeja
Semangat Muhibbah membakar tanpa disedari

Sambal udang, telur and buncis tanpa kerang
Rendang, kari dan ikan bilis boleh ditambahi
Walaupun orangnya jauh diseberang
Tradisi dan adat tidak pernah dilupai

serves 4
for the nasi lemak (coconut rice)
you will need;
500 g of jasmine rice, washed, rinsed and drained
1 pandan leaf, knotted
3 cm piece of ginger, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1 star anise
5 cloves
200 ml of coconut milk
1 tsp of salt

side dishes;
1 cucumber, sliced
4 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 cup of anchovies, fried til crispy

suitable dishes from the blog;

Place all ingredients for coconut rice into the rice cooker. Add enough water and cook as one would with plain rice.

When the rice is done, remove pandan leaf and spices. This is now ready to be served with side dishes of your choice.

Hard boiled eggs and cucumber slices - compulsory

Crispy anchovies (ikan bilis) - compulsory

A sambal dish is also a must, I made a sambal prawns (sambal udang).

I also made a stir fried green beans with garlic and chili. Often blood cockles (kerang) are added too.

Serve the fragrant coconut rice with the condiments and you will have a very memorable one dish meal ready.

Mix well and enjoy!

The following the the rough translation of the pantun (poem);

Nasi lemak is our national heritage
A popular breakfast dish that is well known all over the world
Mutu, Mei Ling and Wati sharing a table
The spirit of muhibbah* is burning without being noticed

Sambal prawns, egg and fried beans without cockles
Rendang, curry and anchovies can also be added
Although I am thousand miles away
Traditions and costums have not been forgotten

* the spirit of goodwill and tolerance

I will be hosting the October event. Please send all your delicious entries to me at To find out more please click HERE.

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