Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beef Curry Puff

Salam All,

Karipap can also be called curry puff (I guess?). My kids really like karipap. Every week they will eat karipap (masa tak posa la.). Ever since Ramadhan, they have not had karipap yet. Because Ibu is too lazy to pay a visit to Pasar Ramadhan, a place where they sell various dishes for iftar. You may lost your mind if you are there (it's me). Everything seems so tempting especially when you are fasting.

Therefore, one lovely day, Ibu decided to make karipap for them for iftar. Some for eating on the same day, and some will be turned into frozen karipap for later consumption.

Here's one for the album: My two versions of karipap.
Back: the traditional version
Front: the rolled version (aka versi nak cepat)

The fillings:

About a bowl of minced meat
2 tbs curry powder (mixed with some water to form a paste)
2 potatoes - peeled, diced
2 red onion - diced
curry leaves (for the aroma)
salt for seasoning
2 tbs cooking oil

How to:
My method is soooo simple, it is called the 'campak-campak' @ a throw-in method (;-p)
I simply throw-in the ingredients into the griddle while busily preparing other ingredients (multi tasking)

  1. In a griddle, pour the cooking oil. Once heated, put in the curry powder paste and the curry leaves. Stir continuously until you see the oil is appearing, then you may add the minced beef and some water and let it simmer.
  2. While the beef is cooking, I quickly peel and dice my potato. Once complete, it's just about time to the potato into the griddle. You may add some more water in order not to burn your cooking.
  3. Then, I quickly peel and dice the onion. Once complete, it's about time to add the onions into the cooking.
  4. Make sure everything cooks well. Add salt to taste.
  5. Turn off the stove. Let it cool before using.
The pastry

2 cups of multi purpose flour
about 3 tbs butter
about 3/4 cup of cold water (the amount really depends on the liquid in the flour, therefore it may varies, softer dough is difficult to handle but produce a soft result)
pinch of salt

How to:
I saw Chef Micheal Smith using the food processor to make a dough, even though I know it can do it, but I've never tried it before. This time I'm using it.

In a food processor, I put the butter (cubed), flour and pinch of salt. Set the knob to 1. In a zest, you'll have a crust. Without a food processor, simply use your finger to make the crust.

Next, I just pour enough cold water (from the fridge) into the processor while it is working. And again, in a split second, you get a dough. With out the machine, you can easily knead the dough using your hand. It is easy not as difficult as kneading a bread (but some people find kneading bread is simple too).

Form the dough into small balls. Then, roll the balls to get a circular shape piece of pastry. Put the fillings into it, fold it into half and seal the open edges. You may do some shapes with it or you may just use your fork to make the sealed tight together. It's ready for frying.

In cases of emergency (just like what happened to me - it's almost iftar time and my karipap is not ready), another method can be used. That is the rolled approach. For this, make bigger ball, flatten the dough (using the rolling pin, of course) into a rectangular shaped pastry. Spread the fillings onto the surface evenly. Then roll the dough and you'll get a log-liked shape. Instead of frying, baked in the oven at 175C for about 20 mins. This approach is healthier as it did not absorb oil (no frying, remember?). But .... the traditional always taste better.

Adios .... wassalam

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chicken Ball 'n Mushroom Soup

Salam all,

Another healthy entry from me today. Not to say that other entries are not healthy, they are healthy but probably less healthy. As I normally write, 'Cooking is Simple'. Put everything into the cooking pot and whalla!, it's ready to be eaten. Preparing and cleaning requires a bit of your extra effort --- bab ni yang tak tahan, except if you have a helper. However, sometimes we can make the preparation time shorter by using the ready made ingredients, for instance this Chicken Ball that I purchased, the Ayamas brand.

The mushroom, is also readily used. washed it thoroughly, remove the stem and they are ready to be cooked. No mess produced. Next, you need only to prepare some garlic and onion. For a cook, this is just a bliss. Follows will be the cooking steps. With couple of sentences -- dump everything into the pot, add some water, later add salt & paper to taste -- a here you are:

You may also add any green leafy vegetables and some carrots. It will not only add colors to your cooked food but it also contains more health benefit. As I mentioned elsewhere in my earlier postings, "Different colors of vegetables have different health benefits that the body requires".

You may noticed that I boiled my vege soup in order to reduce the fat intake.
*Note: the words in bold are the ingredients.

Adios! Cheerios .... Enjoy.

Len Chee Kang

Thirst quenching!!!

That's all I could say on the hot and humid weather. But it's not today or even yesterday. This was few dayssss before. As usual, this is a belated entry. This few days the weather is friendlier to us who are fasting. Alhamdulillah, TQ Allah.
Len Chee Kang, as it is called is originated from the Chinese (I guess). How it is spelled, I am not so sure, but this is how it is pronounced. Some call it 'Laici Kang'. I, myself not sure of the correct version.

Why do I say that this drink is originated from the Chinese? It's because I got all the ingredients from a Chinese Herbal Store, actually, I got brother in-law to purchase it for me from a Chinese Herbal Store. According to my brother in-law, he just walked-into the store and asked for ingredients to make the drinks and the shopkeeper eagerly prepare the ingredients. All are the dried ingredients.

To turn it into a drink, simply boil it until tender for about an hour or so. Some of the ingredient required soaking in a hot water prior to boiling, and some are to be put in just before turning off the stove (for this, you've got to ask the seller when purchasing the ingredients). You can have it either warm or cold. It has health benefits too.

Among the ingredients are dried white mushroom, lotus seed, luo han guo, red dates, dried longan and many other that I do not know the name, and of course its halal because it is plant based.

Sorry for the poor picture quality (snapped using my beloved handphone). Cheerios ......

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fiddlehead Fern @Pucuk Paku

Salam all,

During fasting month, we must not forget to take veges in our diet. Eating veges is essential and it helps protect our body from many harmful illness like cancer. A large amount of serving is required to stay healthy. Veges should be taken with every meals. But, during Ramadhan, its not easy to get the kids (especially) to take veges at 5am in the morning. Due to the dislike for veges, many people turn to supplements. The different color of veges has different benefit to health. But for this entry, just let's share a single colored vege ......the Fiddlehead Fern.

Back in 1970s, when my aunt was staying in Kg Nakhoda, Selangor, there was a small creek behind her house. On the other side of the creek there were lots and lots of ferns. We used to cross the creek and pluck the fern ourselves. Wow! what a beautiful memory back then. And Kg Nakhoda is not that far from the heart of the city center Kuala Lumpur. I am not sure whether the environment still exist or perhaps all ferns have to go for development. What a pity sight!!!! Argh .............

Back to our recipe, today it's going to be the Fiddlehead Fern in Coconut Milk and Chili.

The ingredient:

A bunch of fiddlehead fern (remove the hard stem, only use the soft stem and the shoot).
1 onion (*)
3 cloves of garlic (*)
1 fresh red chili (*)
some shrimps for flavor
1 cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt to taste

How to:
  1. All the ingredients labelled (*) are to be pounded or blended coarsely.
  2. In a pot, place the cooking oil. Once heated, add in the pounded ingredients and saute till brownish.
  3. Add in the shrimps.
  4. Add the ferns. (You may add some water, just enough to make the fern tender).
  5. Finally, add in the coconut milk and salt. Let it boil and ready to be served.
Cooking is always so simple. The tiring part is the preparation and cleaning-up process. Agree with me???

Adios .... Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Black Glutinous Rice Porridge @ Bubur Pulut Hitam

Salam All,

Hakim is really full of ideas this Ramadhan. He came up with various eating desires. It helps me in a way - helps me in deciding what to cook for iftar as I always have problem with that. One evening, we were watching a cooking show on TV and it shows how to make a porridge. I told him that it would taste good to have porridge for iftar. and his response, "Kenapa tak buat bubur yang warna purple? (why not make the purple porridge)". I immediately know what he meant. It is the Black Glutinous Rice Porridge. I don't normally stock the black rice at home as it easily spoilt. Therefore we decided to head to a supermarket for a packet of a Black Glutinous Rice or black rice, and of course with some other things to buy on the list.

A quick browse on the internet found me with an interesting new knowledge about this black rice. The black rice is being compared to berries for its antioxidant, as mentioned by this article: black rice which in addition to its high level of antioxidants contains less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E than blueberries. There is even a website dedicated to this black rice: click here.

A Quote from that website, In addition to its almost legendary antioxidant properties, Black Rice is also a well known anti-inflammatory food; which helps cut down on general infections and illnesses. In recent studies antioxidants have been found to seriously slow down the aging process, so Black Rice is really worth eating if just for those benefits alone; but it also offers an entire host of other great benefits in addition to that as well.

O Wow! All this while I've been eating the black glutinous porridge just for its taste, but now I now that it has some medicational value too.

The making of the porridge is quite simple. What you need are:

A cup of the black glutinous rice (soaked overnight for a fast cooking)
3 tbs sugar
Coconut milk (i used the fresh milk because my dear Sabrina is allergic to coconut milk)
A pinch of salt

To make a porridge:
1. Boil the black rice in water that is doubled the rice quantity until the rice doubled and soft. Add water frequently. While boiling, stir once in a while as it easily sticks to the bottom of your cooking pot.
2. Once doubled and soft, add sugar, salt and the coconut milk(or fresh milk). And it's done.

Since I substitute the coconut milk with the fresh milk, I topped my porridge with some coconut milk for decoration.

Adios, Cheerios, Enjoy ....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 3 Ramadhan: Masak Lemak Labu @ Pumpkin in Coconut Milk

Salam All,

Happy 9th Ramadhan. Sorry for the belated entry. As usual, nothing changes, always late, late, late. Anyway, better late than never.

Browsing in the Giant Supermarket with Hakim one afternoon (after his visit to the doctor), found me with a heap of pumpkins. I thought it will be delicious to have LABU (pumpkin) for iftar today, so I grab one small pumpkin, just enough for a family of four. Puasa puasa ni selera nya luar biasa sikit. Makan dengan nasi panas dan ikan masin ..... humph .... insyaAllah menjilat jari!!!!

The ingredients are quite simple:

A handfull of dried shrimp (for flavor)
Pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 fresh red chilies
1 cup of coconut milk
2 tbs cooking oil
Salt to taste

How to:

1. Boil the pumpkin till tender. As shown in the picture at the side.

2. The remaining water used for boiling should be saved for later used.

3. Blend or finely chopped all other ingredients except coconut milk and salt. I used my kitchen helper - the food processor. It really do wonders.

4. In a pot, pour the cooking oil, once heated, pour the chopped or blended ingredient it.

5. Let it cook for a while.

6. Add in the remaining boiling water, followed by the boiled pumpkin.

7. Next, add the coconut milk. Let it boil and finally add some salt to taste.

And, ....... here is the completed version.

Allahummalakasumtu wabika amantu .....

Adios .....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 2 Ramadhan: Asam Pedas Utara and others

Salam all,

On your left is the dish that we had for iftar on the second day of Ramadhan.

From top left, clockwise: the salted Kurau fish, Asam pedas Utara, Omelet, Chicken in black soya sauce (ayam masak kicap), fried kurau.

Center: Spinach special

Very simple menu but really mouth watering especially with the salted kurau there.

I did not plan to cook much on 2nd day of Ramadhan. Ayah planned to go to surau for iftar with Hakim (he said that it's going to be a month event). When there's only Sabrina and me, the Ayam Masak Kicap is good enough. At almost 5.30pm, he suddenly changed his mind and decided that even with pizza is better if we had it at home, which indicates that he wanted to have the iftar at home. Digging into my fridge for a fast and easy dish, I decided that it's going to be the Asam Pedas, northern style.

3-4 red chillis*
1 red onion*
3-4 garlic*
5g anchovies
Fish (any)
Tamarind juice
Daun Kesum
1 inch belacan
salt to taste

How to:
1. Blend all the * labelled ingredients and put in a pot for cooking.
2. Put in the anchovies, fish, belacan and daun kesum. Let it simmer for a while.
3. Next, put in the tamarind juice and once boil, put in the fish and salt. Let it simmer.
4. Ready to be served.

Easy & Healthy!!!

A close-up

<--- Omelete

<-- the salted kurau fish with fried onion

aDIOS .....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 1 Ramadhan: Chapati

Salam all,

I know, I know, today is already 4th Ramadhan, but I still want to update my dish for first day iftar. Since ayah has declared that he and Hakim is going to the surau for iftar, it left only Sabrina and me at home. Therefore, I decided to make something that Sabrina like the most - CHAPATI. For myself, I prepared some nasi goreng (tapi semua orang pun makan....)

Here goes ..... for the recipe, click here.

These are the food that we had for iftar on the first day of Ramadhan.

From left to right: Gravy for chapati, Chapati
Bottom: Fried rice with soya sauce (as my husband likes it)

For the gravy, I made it very simple:

150g chopped chicken
1 potato cubed
2 onions (diced)
5 french beans
2 tbs curry powder
1 cup coconut milk (I used fresh milk or sometime yogurt)
salt to taste

How to:
  1. put the chicken, curry powder, one onion (leave some onion for later) and some plain water in a pot, and cooked till the chicken is slight tender and curry powder is cooked (it is cooked when there is no strong smell of the curry powder).
  2. next, put in the potato. let it simmer till the potato is tender.
  3. then pour in the coconut milk or the substitute, let it boil
  4. add in the french which has been cut approx 2 inches apart, add some salt
  5. ready for consuming
If you like the oily look in your gravy, just dash some olive oil. For me, I make do with only the oil from the chicken.

the look of the chapati on a griddle.
if your chapati is bloated like the one below, you'll get a soft, fluffy chapati

aDIOS ...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Creamy Chicken Pie

Salam all,

This is a pre-Ramadhan cooking. Just trying out few new recipes, to check whether my kids like it or not. If they do, I can definitely make it again during Ramadhan. In other word I am trying to create varieties to my cooking, especially during Ramadhan. My chicken pie normally uses the pie crust recipe with chicken curry and vege as filling. But last Sunday, I tried something different.

Actually, I got the recipe from a recipe book sent to me from Naturel cooking oil, as a birthday gift. They'll send me something every year, without fail. Wonder how I got it? Well, years ago I submitted some competition conducted by Naturel but fail to win any prizes. Based on that address and some personal info that they got from the application, every year, they will send me something as a birthday wish, and this year is the recipe book -- Ok jugak kan .....

The filling's recipe (as modified from the book):
2 inches carrot, cut into cubes
3-5 french beans, sliced to 1cm
1 onion, diced
approx. 100g chicken breast, cut into cubes
about 5 Tbs fresh milk
1 Tbs plain flour mixed with water (I used corn flour) - used to thicken the filling
cooking oil
salt & pepper to taste

How to:
  1. Boil carrot till tender, followed by the french beans. Put aside. The remaining boiling water is kept for cooking the filling.
  2. On a heated pan, put 1tbs cooking oil.
  3. Saute the chicken, followed by the onion till tender.
  4. To ensure the chicken is well cooked, pour some of the remaining boiling water and the fresh milk, and let it simmer for a while.
  5. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Finally, pour in the flour mixture. Stir until its thick and smooth.
  7. Let it cool.

The pastry:
I got the idea for this from 'my friend' Cik Mat Gebu (ini kes bertepuk sebelah tangan, dia bukan kenal aku pun. tapi aku tiap2 hari punggah dapur dia hihiih)
I used Kawanku 4"X4" pastry.
  • Take it out from the fridge. Let it thaw only for short while (please not too long as you will find it is very difficult to handle when it is soft).
  • Heated the oven at 175C.
  • Using a muffin tray, I lay the pastry into the muffin hole. Spoon the filling into it. Cover the filling using the excessive pastry. Sprinkle some sesame seed for decoration.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes.

And ... whalla ... ready for consumption. I like it. However, the kids seem to like the other want (the pie crust) better ... huhuhu