Thursday, July 17, 2014

beef kurma

Another classic of the South Indian cuisine
smooth creamy and sourly spicy
compliments well with rice and bread

Here's how I cook it:

marinate 250g beef chuck tender in 1" grated ginger and 3 grated garlic

heat 2 Tabsp cooing oil in a medium pot over medium heat

toss in 1 stick cinnamon + 1 star anise + 5 cloves + 2 cardamom into the pot 

let the aroma of this spices infuse your kitchen while the oil heats up

saute 1 diced onion till it gets transparent then add in some cilantro and mix well

add in the marinated beef and stir well

in a small bowl mix 3 teasp Baba's Kurma Curry with enough water to form a smooth paste

then add in this paste into the pot and stir thoroughly to mix the curry paste with the beef

then add in 1 cup water into the pot or just about enough to cover the beef

toss in 1 cut tomato + 1 cut potato + 2 fresh red chilies + 2 Tabsp fresh yogurt

allow to boil for about 30 mins to cook the beef

 meanwhile cover the pot but leave a slight gap to avoid the curry from spilling over the pot

keep checking the curry from time to time to make sure it doesn't dry up

add more water into the curry as and when required

check to see if the beef is cooked before adding 2 teasp salt

squeeze about half a lemon into the curry mixture and stir well

final taste for salt, sourness, spiciness and creaminess of the curry

off the fire

allow the beef to rest for 15 mins before serving

garnish with cilantro


Sunday, July 13, 2014

asam rebus kepala ikan bawal

A simple yet satisfying dish
very easy to cook and nutritious too as no oil is used in the cooking
it has the spiciness of the chilli yet sourish
a delicious treat when you are desperate for time :)

Here's how I cook it:

in a mortar, pound 1/2" fresh turmeric + 1/4" fresh ginger + 1 garlic + 3 shallots + pinch of belacan till fine 

then add 2 teasp of chilli paste into the mortar and mix all pounded ingredients well with the chilli paste

be careful at this stage as it gets watery and transfer this into a pot

crush the bottom of the lemongrass with the pestle and toss it into the pot

mix 1 teasp of tamarind with 1/2 cup water to make tamarind juice and pour it into the pot

add 2 cups water and mix all ingredients well

turn on the fire of the stove and let this boil

add in 5 ladies finger and 1 teasp salt and let it boil

when the ladies finger is cooked put in the fish head and continue to boil

allow it to simmer and taste the salt 

add more salt if necessary

off the fire

let the fish and vegetable rest before serving


a word on the fish
choice of fish is plentiful for this dish
I chose fish head because I've not cooked this dish with any fish head before
and it was definitely a winner..a blue ribbon!

Friday, July 11, 2014

mamak soup

This is a typical Mamak soup sold on the streets
just that I've added some veggies in it
and I'm using beef shin instead of bones 
truly delightful

Here's how to cook it:

marinate 300g beef in 3 grated garlic and 1" grated ginger

heat 2 Tabsp cooking oil in a medium pot over medium fire

toss in 1 cinnamon stick + 2 cardamom + 1 star anise + 3 cloves into the pot 

and let the aroma of the spices invade your kitchen!

saute 1 diced onion + some fresh cilantro and allow more aroma into your kitchen

add in the marinated beef and mix well with all the spices

it is perfectly alright if the beef gets slightly caramelized here

add 5 cups water + 1 cut carrot + 2 cut celery stalk + 2 cut tomatoes + 1 teasp BABA's kurma curry mix
(in a bowl, add water bit by bit into the kurma mix to form a smooth paste before pouring into the mixture)

allow the vegetables to boil before adding in 1 teasp of salt

the salt would bring out the flavor of the vegetables

let the soup boil for 1 hour or so until the beef gets cooked

keep adding water enough to maintain the consistency of the soup

once the beef are well cooked taste again for the saltiness of the soup

add 1 teasp extra salt if needed and off the fire

garnish with more cilantro

serve hot with baguette or rice

squeeze some fresh lemon over the soup before eating

hhhmmm ..

what more can I say :)

a word on the beef
as I'm cooking the beef shin which is the toughest part of the beef I use pressure cooker to cook it much earlier before making the soup to cut the time short
adding some bones into this soup would just be perfection!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

chawan mushi

"Chawan mushi" is a delicious treat anytime
I could just eat it on its own
the Japanese eat this as an appetizer
and that's how I got to know of this "steamed eggs"
dining in a Japanese restaurant some time ago

Here's how simple it is to cook it :)

whisk 2 eggs + 1/2 cup water + pinch of salt in a bowl till foamy

pour contents into 2 Corelle small round bowls

place the bowl in a pot and fill water inside the pot till it reaches halfway the sides of the bowl

cover the pot and bring the water to a gentle simmer and maintain this at all times

cook for 10 mins before sprinkling the top with spring onions 

simmer the steamed eggs for another 3 mins

remove the bowl from the pot 

do not touch the bowl with your bare hands

 as it is extremely hot

 serve hot


a word on the pot
If you have a pot with a clear glass lid you would be able to see the custard forming
it is better to have lid with steam escape to prevent the custard from curdling

If the pot is wide enough you could put both bowls together
otherwise cook one bowl at a time

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Inspired by Laura Calder
 through her TV program "French food at Home"
this dish is truly vegetarian and awesome
a classic dish from France

Here's how I cook it:

slice 1 aubergine into 1" rounds and then cut each slice into two

arrange them in a colander, sprinkle salt all over each slice and press them with a plate

place the colander over a sink to allow water to drip from the aubergine for 10 mins

meanwhile slice 1 zucchini into 1/2" rounds and then cut each slice into two

 sprinkle salt all over the zucchini and keep aside

take a red bell pepper and grill it over direct fire on the stove till it is black

remove from heat and put in in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 15 mins

the trapped heat would shed the outer skin of the pepper naturally

 after which slicing it up into smaller pieces would be easier

rinse the aubergine thoroughly before wrapping it in kitchen towel to dry them

rinse the zucchini thoroughly too and wrap it in kitchen towel to dry

heat a non-stick skillet over small fire and pour enough oil just to coat the skillet

arrange the sliced aubergine on the skillet and let it cook on both sides

when cooked remove them from the skillet and place them onto a plate

pour just enough oil onto the skillet (again) to coat it and arrange the sliced zucchini on it

allow them to cook on both sides as well

remove from fire when cooked and place them onto a plate

Now heat a medium sized pot on a stove and pour 2 Tbsp cooking oil

saute 1 sliced onion and 2 crushed garlic till fragrant

add in 5 Tbsp of canned diced tomatoes and 1 tsp salt and let it simmer

then add in the cooked aubergine, zucchini and red bell pepper into the pot and mix thoroughly well

sliced some fresh basil and sprinkle all over the ratatouille

once basil are in the pot mix well and off the fire

garnish with basil


a word on ratatouille
just be patient with the preparation of the vegetables and cooking them
it's worth it :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

masak asam pedas daging

Here's another classic dish from my hometown
where beef replaces fish in this exotic masak asam pedas
another favorite loved by many :)

Let's get started:

marinate 250g-300g beef in 1" grated ginger and 3 grated garlic for 5 mins

put it in a non-stick pot and pour enough water to cover the beef and boil until the meat is cooked

meanwhile pound 5 shallots + 1" galangal + 1/2" fresh turmeric in a mortar until fine

on another stove, heat 3 Tabsp cooking oil in a medium pot over medium fire

toss in 1 crushed lemongrass followed by all the pounded ingredients and sautee till fragrant

add in 3 teasp chilli paste and 1 teasp salt..mix well and keep frying the chilli until it is cooked and crispy

add in the cooked beef together with its stock + 1/2 teasp of "kerisik" (desiccated coconut) + 1 sliced candlenut and allow to simmer until the gravy thickens

tear up 1 kaffir leaf and toss it inside the gravy and mix well

off the fire

let the beef rest for 5 mins before serving

Bon appetit!

a word on the beef
I'm cooking the beef shin ie. the muscle which is the toughest part of the beef
It requires a long time to cook so I use the pressure cooker instead
within 30 mins it is done and the meat was so tender and silky
I transfer the meat into the other pot when the chilli paste is cooked

Sunday, July 6, 2014

chicken soup

Inspired by Chef Michael Smith
through his tv program "back to basics"
A refreshing soup for the soul any time of the day!
Original recipe is from my mom
with a bit of modification inspired by the Chef himself :)

Let's get started;

marinate chicken thigh with 1" grated ginger and 2 clove grated garlic and keep aside

heat 2 Tabsp cooking oil in a medium non-stick pot over medium fire

toss in 1 stick cinnamon, 1 star anise, 5 cloves and allow the aroma of the spices to infuse your kitchen

sautee 3 sliced mushrooms till it change color followed by 1 diced onions till it turns transparent then add in the chicken thigh and allow it to brown slightly all over

pour enough water to cover the chicken then add in 1 cut potato + 1 cut carrot + 2 cut celery stalks + sprinkles of grounded black pepper

allow the vegetables to cook then add in 1 teasp salt and let it simmer

taste the soup and add more salt if necessary

add 1/2 cup colored spirals pasta and allow to boil once before you off the fire

close the lid of the pot and let the soup rest for another 10 mins before serving

garnish with scallion and cilantro


a word on the pasta
spirals pasta cooks very fast that is why it is best to turn off the fire when it is added into the soup
this is to maintain its spiral shape which would otherwise get out of shape in prolong heat

Saturday, July 5, 2014

ikan pari masak lada melaka

This is a classic dish from my hometown Melaka
it is a fusion of curry and assam pedas
due to our cultural heritage
truly exotic!

Here's how I cook it:

heat 2 Tabsp cooking oil in a non-stick pot over a medium heat 

sautee 1 lemongrass + 1 twig curry leaves + 2 sliced shallots + 1 crushed garlic + 10 fenugreek till fragrant

meanwhile in a mortar pound 1/2 teasp coriander + 1/4 teasp cumin + 1/4 teasp fennel 

add-in into the pot and continue sauteeing all the ingredients until the aroma of curry fills up your kitchen

then add in chilli paste together with 3 shallots + 2 garlic + 1" belachan + 1/2" ginger + 1/2" fresh turmeric which have been pounded in a mortar much earlier before the cooking starts

sautee until the chilli paste is cooked and crispy

meanwhile mix 1 Tabsp tamarind paste with 1/4 cup water to make tamarind juice

add this tamarind juice into the pot when the chilli is cooked and stir well to make gravy

add 1/2 cup water into the pot to form a smooth gravy

toss in 5 ladies finger + 2 cut tomatoes + 1/2 teasp kerisik + dash of black pepper into the gravy and allow to boil

add in 2 teasp salt and fish into the gravy and continue to boil until it thickens

final taste for balance of saltiness spiciness and sourness

off the fire


Bon appetit!

a word on the fish
sting ray is used in this recipe although other fish is fine too
just that sting ray is popular with this dish simply due to its silkiness released when cooked 
which adds a unique flavor into this dish :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

french toast

French toast the French way as inspired by Laura Calder
through her cooking program
"French Food at Home"

I love french toast very much
and when it is cooked with baguette..Wow!!
definitely my favorite breakfast  
where ever I may be :)

This recipe is inherited from my mom with slight modification 
as recommended by my niece Gina 
thanks Gina :)

Lets get started:

beat 2 eggs + 1/2 cup UHT milk + a drop of vanilla essence + salt + 1/2 tsp sugar

meanwhile heat a skillet over medium fire and toss in 1 teasp butter

dip 1 slice of the baguette into the egg mixture thoroughly before landing it onto the hot skillet

fry till golden brown and crispy and place it on serving plate

repeat the whole procedure till all the baguette is done

easy peasy! 

a word on butter
butter burns easily so make sure you control the fire throughout the cooking period
 as we want to see the lovely golden brown color 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

mutton curry

I eat mutton curry once in a blue moon
and today I was craving for it as I've not had it for a long time
check with your butcher on the most tender part to cook
my butcher recommended the leg steak for this recipe
but I must say I've tasted other juicier and tastier parts of mutton ;)

Here's how I cook the curry:

first and foremost prepare the mutton (300 gram)

marinate the mutton with grated 1" ginger and 3 grated garlic..keep aside

heat 2 Tabsp cooking oil in a pot over medium heat

while the oil is heating up toss in 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 5 cloves and 2 cardamom

add in 1 diced onion and sautee while adding some fresh cilantro to infuse the aroma

when the onions turns transparent put in the marinated mutton, curry paste and 1 cut potato

I mix Baba Curry powder for mutton (25gram) with enough water to form smooth curry paste

stir all the ingredients well so that the mutton is evenly covered with the curry paste

add in water just enough to cover the mutton and allow to boil for 20 mins

test the mutton to see if it is cooked by eating a piece of it

taste good? it is cooked then..otherwise add in some water and allow it to boil for another 5 mins

once cooked add in 2 cut tomatoes and 2 cut red chillies..allow to boil

when the vegetables are cooked add in 2 Tabsp yoghurt and 1 teasp salt and mix really well

let the curry gravy boil before bringing it to simmer and add in juice of 1/4 lemon

final taste for spiciness, creaminess and sourness with salt

turn off the fire and add in more fresh cilantro over the curry

let the mutton rest before serving

indulge!!! :)

a word on the mutton
always choose the most tender part of the mutton to cook 
however for a silky taste you may want to choose shank or shin but you 
need to boil it separately beforehand as it takes a while to cook probably about 1-2 hours
a good pressure cooker would be helpful as the cooking time is greatly reduced

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