Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kari Ikan Mamak, Mamak (Indian Muslim) Style Fish Curry - "Malaysian Monday 97"

I know it is already Wednesday but it is better late than never right? 

This is a popular Indian muslim style fish curry that can be found at every corner of our beautiful country. It is extremely simple to recreate this delicious dish at home especially if you are able to obtain some Malaysian fish curry powder (look for burung nuri brand curry powder for fish). I made this in just under 40 minutes during my afternoon break, just to give you an idea of how easy it is.

Spanish mackeral is the fish of choice and cutlet is preferred rather than fillet, if your are unable to find Spanish mackeral, snapper is a good substitute. With the added eggplant and okras means you can save yourself from making another side dish, just make sure you have plenty of steamed rice or roti to mop up the delicious sauce!

P.S remember to check out my prawn version (kari udang mamak) and if you are after Nyonya fish curry (gulai ikan) please click here.

serves 6 to 8 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need
1 kg of spanish mackeral cutlets
oil for cooking
1 tsp of funegreek seeds (halba)
1 small eggplant, cut into wedges (optional)
10 okras
2 long green chillies, sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 brown onion, chopped*
6 garlic cloves*
5 cm piece of ginger*
4 tbs of Malaysian fish curry powder (I used burung nuri brand)**
1 tbs of chili powder**
500 ml of coconut milk
500 ml of stock cup stock
2 stalks of curry leaves
4 tbs of tamarind concentrate
Blend ingredients * in the food processor, set aside
Mix ingredients ** with a little water to form a paste, set aside

Blend or chop onion, garlic and ginger and set aside.

Brown eggplant with a little oil until half done and set aside.

Heat up a little more oil in the pan, add funugreek seeds and curry leaves, be careful as the oil might splits, after 30 seconds add the blended ingredients and mix well. Cook the spice mixture on low heat for another 30 to 60 seconds.

Add in the curry paste and mix well. Continue to stir until oil starts to split.

Add coconut milk and stock and let it simmer for 10 minutes before adding the eggplant and tomatoes and green chilies and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add fish cutlets and cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes or until the fish is done. A minute or two before the fish is ready add in the okras and tamarind concentrate. Check for seasonings before serving.

Serve with plenty of steamed rice or some flaky homemade roti canai.

The crazy season has started, we decided a combined Nov/Dec roundup should work better for everyone during the busiest period of the year. I will be hosting the next event, so please send all your entries to me at . To find out more about MMM and on how to enter please click here

Monday, November 26, 2012

Phat Si Ew Neur ผัดซีอิ๊วเนื้อ Thai Soy Fried Rice Noodles With Beef

Another Sunday with a grand dinner plan but I knew my lavish Malaysian dinner plan was destined to fail after our second bottle of chablis at yum cha.

So instead of fish curry and tamarind prawns, we settled for a very simple stir fried noodles - phat si eww. This is Thai's answer to gon chao eu hor (乾炒牛河 fried rice noodles with beef), a simple one dish meal that is of Chinese origin that can be found all over the kingdom. You may of course replace the beef with pork, seafood or chicken, for my chicken version please click here.

P.S Obviously my Malaysian Monday post will be late again this week, but do send in your entries to me at if you have been dishing up delicious Malaysian fares.

recipe per serve
you'll need;
200 g of fresh hor fun, mixed with a dash of soy
50 g of beef rump, marinated with dash of soy, oyster sauce and pepper
1 egg
3 stalks of kailan, sliced at an angle
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbs of light soy
2 tbs of dark soy
pinch of sugar

Slice beef thinly across the grains and marinate with soy, oyster sauce and pepper.

Prepare the kailan and garlic.

In a smoking hot wok, char noodles mixed with soy with a little oil for a minute, carefully move the noodles around to char the other side. Don't be tempted to move them too much or you'll break them into pieces. Set aside.

Heat up the wok again and fry the marinated beef and chopped garlic with a little oil til lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

When the wok is hot again, add a little more oil and crack in the egg, allow the egg set a little before lightly scrambling it, add kailan and stir fry on high heat for a minute.

Return the beef and noodles to the wok and mix well. Add seasonings and stir fry on high heat for another minute or so.

Serve with some cut chillies with fish sauce.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Kaeng Phet Ob Gai แกงเผ็ดอบไก่ Baked Whole Chicken In Red Curry Sauce

Tummy wanted a Thai curry while I was looking forward to a good old Sunday roast, in the end we came to a sweet compromise and the result is this beautiful baked whole chicken in red curry sauce using the same technique I learnt from cooking the Italian classic - chicken cooked in milk and the chicken came out moist and juicy as you had imagined.

With the selection of vegetables in the delicious sauce, all you need is plenty of steamed rice and some cold Singha beers

P.S You may use green curry paste of course, homemade is the best but good quality shop bought ones are allowed too :)

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
serves 4 to 6 as part of a Thai meal
oven preheated at 200 C (conventional)
you'll need;
1 free range chicken, removed excess fat, rubbed with garlic and pepper paste
2 small zucchini, cut into manageable pieces
2 long eggplants, cut into manageable pieces
a handful of green beans, topped and tailed and cut into 4 cm pieces
3 heaped tbs of homemade or shop bought red curry paste
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 can of Ayam brand coconut cream
1 can of Ayam brand coconut milk
1.5 cups of stock
4 tbs of fish sauce
4 tbs of palm sugar
1 bunch of Thai basil, picked
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
2 to 3 bird chillies, sliced

garlic, pepper and coriander paste;
3 cloves of garlic,
3 coriander roots, scrubbed and chopped
2 tbs of white peppercorns 
a pinch of salt
*pound everything into a course paste

Prepare the vegetables and set aside.

Cook eggplant pieces with a little oil on high heat until slightly soften. This step is optional but the end result is worth the extra few minutes.

Rub chicken with the garlic, pepper and coriander root paste then brown chicken in a pot with a little oil until golden all over, remove and set aside.

Place 4 heaped tbs of coconut cream into a oven proofed pot (big enough to snug the chicken in) and slowly bring it to a simmer, when the coconut cream starts to split, add in the curry paste and fry until oil bubbles start to appear, add torn kaffir lime leaves and stir for a further minute.

Add in the rest of the coconut cream, coconut milk and stock, mix well and bring it to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the hot creamy sauce and place the pot into the hot oven for 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. 

Baste the chicken with the curry sauce from time to time. When the bird is ready, remove from the pot and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes before chopping.

Put the pot back onto the stove and bring the sauce back to a simmer, add the vegetables and cook to your liking. Check for seasonings and throw in the Thai basil.

Cut chicken into pieces Chinese style and arrange neatly in a large shallow platter.

Pour the sauce with the vegetables over, garnish with finely shredded kaffir lime leaves, sliced chillies and Thai basil. Serve with plenty of hot steamed rice and some cut chillies in fish sauce on the side.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Super Crazy Meatball filled Arancini

I didn't quite have the patience and time to do a turducken but did manage to turn some leftovers into an equally crazy dish. If you have tried my cheese filled meatballs or arancini, then it is a matter combining the two into one.

A perfect picnic offering when the warmer weather returns. Watch you friends bite into these ordinary looking arancini and see the smile on their faces.... of course keep them away from vegetarians!

P.S My freezer is filled with goodies and I am looking forward to do a lot of cooking over the weekend, otak-otak, tamarind prawns and Johor laksa are a few of the dishes I have in mind.

recipe from the tummies' kitchen
makes 6
you'll need

~1 cups seasoned mince
mozzarella cheese or tasty cheese, cut into 1 cm cubes
1.5 cups of leftover risotto 
1 egg, lightly beaten
a little oil for frying

Divide seasoned mince into 6 equal serves and form each into meatball, fill with cubed cheese of your choice and set aside.

Brown meatballs with a little oil until they are golden all over, transfer the pan into the hot oven for 8 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile moisten the leftover risotto with half of the beaten egg and divide into 6 equal serves. Roll each portion into a ball, flatten it slightly and wrap over the cheese filled meatballs.

Roll the meatball filled arancini tightly before coating them with breadcrumbs.

Fry until golden and crisp, remove and drain on absorbent paper.

Serve with some of my spiced tomato relish.

I hope you might give this totally crazy but wicked snack a try!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pork And Chinese Broccoli With Silky Egg Sauce On Rice 滑蛋豬肉芥蘭飯

I had grand plan for a big fancy dinner on Sunday night but all I could managed was this simple one dish meal after a long lunch with perhaps a few drinks too many.

Though simple and far from fancy, this moorish dish is something I could eat everyday.... well anything that comes with the delicious egg sauce really! Feel free to replace the pork with beef, chicken or seafood of your choice. 

If you are also a wat dan sauce (silky egg sauce) fan, remember to check out the following dishes too;

serves 2 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
2 tbs of cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 small bunch of kailan (Chinese broccoli), cut into manageable pieces
300 g of pork neck, finely sliced and marinated 10 minutes
2 tbs of oyster sauce
2 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of white pepper
a dash of Chinese cooking wine
2.5 cups of stock
corn flour solution
2 eggs, lightly beaten

pork marinade;
1.5 tbs of light soy
1 tbs of oyster sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of white pepper
a dash of Chinese cooking wine
2 tbs of corn flour

Prepare the aromatics and kailan and set aside.

Marinate pork for at least 10 minutes.

Brown marinated pork slices with a little in a very hot work, remove and set aside.

Add a little more oil to the wok and saute chopped garlic and ginger for 5 seconds before adding the kailan. Saute on high heat for about a minute, add seasonings and mix well.

Add stock and allow to come to a boil, thicken the sauce with a little corn flour solution.

Return the pork to the wok, slowly add in the beaten egg and stir gently to incorporate the egg to the sauce. Check for seasonings.

Divide the content of the wok between two waiting plates of steamed rice, serve with some chopped chillies in soy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Laksa Kelantan/Laksa Putih, Kelantan Laksa - "Malaysian Monday 96" And Happy Deepavali !

I must confess catching up with my dear friend A over a few drinks was a delight after a not overly pleasant evening. Feeling happy and alive again, I decided to compose this post before my much needed beauty sleep.

However I did start my Saturday on a high note; after my breakfast in bed with my reading materials and composing a quick post for my blog, I cycled down to Victoria Street in Richmond to gather some ingredients for a very special dish that I have been planning to cook for ages.

Yes! The special dish is yet another laksa but this time from the Malay heartland of Kelantan. I first tasted this beautiful dish during my first trip to the capital of Kelantan, Kota Bahru as an innocent and youthful 13 year old. I fell in love with the charming town and its friendly people immediately; the local food also left a lasting impression on me even at that tender age. Everything was so different from what I was used to, yet many dishes also reminded me of Thai food that I was so familiar with and laksa Kelantan also known as laksa putih (literally translates as white laksa for the pale appearance of the broth) is a very good example of that.

I have mentioned previously about the similarities between asam laksa and keang som (a fish based Thai dish from the south, recipe up soon) and as a closed cousin of the former, Kelantan laksa with it's trademark ulam* (a wonderfully refreshing selection of raw vegetables and herbs that also accompanied many Thai meals. It appears on the dinner tables all across the northern states) really shows you the cross cultural influences between Kelantan and its northern neighbour.

This very colourful dish is based on a recipe by my favourite blogger friend Makcik Manggis, a  native Kelantanses whose blog Jom masak.. jom makan-makan has been an inspiration for me to cook authentic Malay food since I started blogging 3 years ago.

Apart from being utterly delicious, this is also the most democratic dish in the world.... well if there is such a thing. One is able to decide on the thickness of the broth, the selection of the ulam that suits one's taste and omit the coconut milk if you are after something something a little lighter.

Without further ado please look at what is needed and the very simple preparation for this deliciously obscure dish!

P.S I would love to wish all my Hindu friends and readers a safe and happy Deepavali!

recipe adapted from jom masak... jom makan-makan
serves 4 to 6
for the broth you'll need;
500 g of mackeral or sardine
3 to 5 pieces of asam gelugur (asam peel)
about 2 l of water
1/2 a ginger flower, halved lengthwise
a small bunch of daun kesom (Vietnamese mint)
250 ml of coconut milk (optional)

for the spiced paste;
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
a small knob of galangal
a small knob of ginger
4 dried chillies, soaked in hot water for 10 min (I used 6, hence the slightly reddish appearance)

and my selection for the all important  ulam;
1 red onion, finely sliced into half rings
half a ginger flower, finely sliced
a small bunch of long beans, finely sliced
a handful of bean sprouts, tails removed
1 small cucumber, julienned
a small bunch of mint, picked and finely sliced
a small bunch of daun kesom (Vietnamese mint), picked and finely sliced
a small bunch of daun xxx (water parsley), finely sliced

you'll also need;
1 bag of laksa noodles/lai fen/ fresh thick round rice noodles
chopped chillies
sambal belacan
hard boiled eggs, halved

Place the fish of your choice in the pot together with the water, asam gelugur and a pinch of salt. Bring it to a simmer and cook until the fish is completely cooked (about 10 minutes). Remove the fish and allow to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the spice paste by blending all the ingredients until smooth.

When the fish is cool enough to handle, remove the heads and separate the flesh from the bones. Remove the asam gelugur from the cooking water, blend the flesh with the fish cooking water and set aside.

Place spice paste in a pot and bring it to a simmer. cook gently for 10 minutes, to cook off the rawness and to enhance the flavour of the spices.

Add the blended fish broth to the pot follow by the reserved asam gelugur, ginger flower and vietnamese mint. Let it simmer slowly for 20 to 30 minutes. Add coconut milk if using and check for seasonings.

While the broth is simmering away, cut, dice and chop the all important ulam. Finely sliced cabbage, lettuce, pineapple, Thai basil are often used.

Ladle the aromatic fish broth over some thick rice noodles in a shallow bowl and add the ulam of your choice, hard boiled  egg and a wedge of lime. Don't forget to add a little sambal belacan on the side if a hotter dish is desired.

Squeeze a wedge of lime or two over, mix well and enjoy one of the most delicious noodle dishes in the world!

The crazy season has started, we decided a combined Nov/Dec roundup should work better for everyone during the busiest period of the year. I will be hosting the next event, so please send all your entries to me at . To find out more about MMM and on how to enter please click here

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