Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Murgh Masala, Chicken Masala

When Tummy suggested Indian for lunch I said yes right away. As I wanted something light and fresh rather than the more intensely spiced variety, this dish that I tried making once a while back came to mind.

Murgh masala or chicken masala is is a refreshing change from those Indian restaurant staples such as butter chicken or tikka masala. It is a classy yet complex dish but fortunately it is dead easy to prepare, just make sure you serve it with plenty of steamed basmati rice or roti on the side.

I also made a couple of simple side dishes to accompany this new favourite of ours, do come back later in the week to find out what they are! Happy cooking and see you soon!

recipe adapted from The Food Of India
serves 4 as part of an Indian meal
you'll need;
1.5 kg of skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
1.5 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
5 cm knob of ginger, roughly chopped
2 very ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 tbs of ghee
5 cloves
8 cardamon pods
2 sprigs of curry leaves
5 cm piece of cinnamon stick
150 ml of thick natural yoghurt

Mix cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric in a bowl and rub it onto the chicken thighs.

Put half of the onion with the garlic, ginger and tomatoes in a food processor and blend till smooth.

Aromatics for the dish.

In a large pot, saute the remaining onion with ghee, add in the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and curry leaves and fry until the onion is golden brown.

Add the tomato and onion paste and stir for 5 minutes, season to taste with some good sea salt.

Add the spiced chicken, stir in the yoghurt and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the oil separates from the sauce. Stirring from time to time to prevent chicken from sticking to the pot. If the sauce is too watery, remove the chicken from the pot and simmer until the sauce thicken, return chicken to the sauce. Check for seasonings.

Serve as part of an Indian meal.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Silky Eggplant With Spicy Mince Sauce 香辣肉碎茄子

Working up to 9 hours a day 6 days a week in a commercial kitchen without adequate support means I rarely cook at home these days. And when I do, simple no fuss dishes such as this soul warming eggplant dish from my childhood days are the preferred choice.

What's not to like about a bowl of silky pieces of eggplants swimming in a spicy mince sauce? It reminds me of home and even after I discovered the exotic fish flavoured eggplant (魚香茄子) from Sichuan, it continues to be my most favourite eggplant dish of all time. 

P.S It's good to be back knowing there are still readers who continue to read and cook using recipes from my once abandoned blog. Also a big thank you for all your encouraging comments since my return!

serves 4 to 6 as part of a Chinese meal
you'll need;
1 kg of oriental eggplants or continental eggplants, cut into chunks
oil for deep frying
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 bird chillies, chopped
3 cm knob of ginger, chopped
2 tbs of yellow bean paste
1 tbs of fermented black beans, chopped
2 tbs of oyster sauce
2 tbs of dark soy
3 tbs of sugar
a good splash of Chinese cooking wine
2/3 cup of water
corn flour solution
2 spring onions, chopped

for the mince;
250 g of mince of your choice
1 tbs of light soy
1 tbs of Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp of sesame oil
a pinch of white pepper
1 tbs of corn flour

Chop garlic, chillies and ginger and set aside. Chop spring onions and set aside.

Cut eggplants into large chunks, soak in water for for 15 minutes and drain well. This prevents the eggplant from soaking excessive amount of oil during the frying process.

Soak off excess water from the eggplants with a tea towel and fry eggplants in hot oil in batches until golden and tender. Drain well and set aside.

Saute chopped garlic, chillies and ginger with a little oil until fragrant then add in the mince and continue to cook on high heat, breaking up large lumps until the mince is no longer pink.

Add yellow bean paste, chopped fermented black beans and the rest of the seasonings and mix well, cook for a minute on high heat, stirring constantly.

Add water to the pot and bring it to a simmer, check for seasonings.

Return fried eggplant to the pot and mix well, when it returns to a simmer, slowly add in the corn flour solution to thicken the sauce. Add chopped spring onions and mix well.

Serve with plenty of steamed rice and enjoy! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fu Pei Guen 腐皮卷 Beancurd Skin Rolls - Yum Cha Special 3

I told myself I must put up a post tonight and here you have it - another one of my must order items when visiting a yum cha restaurant.

As I mentioned in my last yum cha special installment, the ingredients of the filling for my fu jok guen is the leftover from my siu mai making. So make a bigger batch of the filling and you should be able to serve both items at your yum cha party without working out too much of a sweat. 

I am making this a very brief post... time to catch up on my reading. Happy cooking and see you soon.

P.S To my fellow blogger friends, I will drop by to say a quick hello when I have a little more time over the weekend :)

makes about 10
for the filling you'll need;
500 g of minced pork or chicken
250 g of banana prawns, shelled, chopped
8 water chestnuts or 1/2 can of bamboo shoots, chopped
2 spring onions (white parts only) minced
2 cm piece of ginger, grated
3 tbs of light soy
1 tsp of white pepper
2 tsp of sesame oil
a dash of Chinese cooking wine
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tbs of corn flour

you'll also need;
10 pieces of 8 x 8" beancurd skin

for the sauce;
1 tbs of cooking oil
1tsp of chopped garlic
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 cup of chicken stock
a dash of Chinese cooking wine
a tiny pinch of white pepper
corn flour solution for thickening

Place all ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix well.

To wrap the roll - Place a piece of the beancurd skin on a flat surface, use a damp cloth to wipe the beancurd skin to remove the excess salt and to soften the wrapper a little. Place about 3 heaped tbs of the filling in the middle of the beancurd skin.

Roll the beancurd skin over and fold the sides to form an envelope.

Roll tightly into a cylinder roughly 1.5" wide and 4" long. Brush a little egg white on the edge to secure the roll. 

Shallow fry beancurd skin rolls in batches until golden. Remove and drain well.

To prepare the sauce - saute garlic and ginger with cooking oil for a few seconds then add in the stock, cooking wine, white pepper. Allow it to come to a boil and thicken with a little corn flour solution.

Arrange half of the rolls in a shallow bowl, pour half of the sauce over, cover and steam over medium heat for 8 minutes.

Sprinkle with some spring onion julienne spring onions and serve as part of your yum cha at home.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kerabu Kay, Nyonya Poached Chicken And Prawns Salad

Hello everyone! It has been almost 7 months since my last post and I am ready to come out from my all too long hiatus. 

A long hours and stressful job, daily gym routine and other works and projects on the side made me rather selfish with the little spared time I am left with - spending time with friends and love ones or catching up on my reading became my priorities for the last few months.

I have missed talking about food; one would have thought working in a kitchen gives me plenty of opportunity to do that but unfortunately that is not the case. A decision was made to modify my daily routine a little to enable me to start blogging about food again and I can already feel the joy of blogging as I type....

I posted a kerabu dish (Nyonya's answer to Thai yam or salad) a while back and this is another variation using chicken and prawns and dress with a slightly different dressing.

F.Y.I kay = chicken in Hokkien, unlike Nyonya dishes from other part of the country, those from Penang are often named in the Hokkien dialect rather than Malay.

serves 4 as part of a Malaysian meal
you'll need;
1 chicken breast (~350 g), poached, cooled and shredded
10 banana prawns, poached, peeled and halved lengthwise
15 green beans, finely sliced diagonally 
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced lengthwise
6 tbs of desiccated coconut, dry fried until golden
1 stalk of coriander, picked (optional)

for the dressing;
4 tbs of sambal belacan (see below)
1/2 a very juicy lime
2 tbs of sugar
2 tbs of coconut milk
a pinch of salt

sambal belacan;
200 g of dried chilies
80 g of toasted belachan
salt and sugar to taste

Prepare the green beans and shallot and set aside.

Prepare the chicken and prawns and set aside.

For the kerisik - dry fry the desiccated coconut in a pan over moderate heat, stirring constantly until it turns golden.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and pour the dressing over and mix well. Check for seasonings before serving.

A quick and delicious salad is ready.

Serve as part of a Malaysian meal or it will go very well as a snack with some cold beers.

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