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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Prawn Fritters (Cucur Udang)

A recipe from Rohani Jelani with slight adjustment 

For the fritters:
150 g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt 
¼ tsp tumeric powder (you can add more for extra aroma and flavour)
50 g onion, sliced thinly
30 g carrot, finely shredded
30 g Chinese chives, cut into 4 cm lengths
150 g prawns, shelled and de-veined

1-2 waterchestnuts, chopped into small cubes
200 ml water 

For the chilli sauce:
6 fresh red chillies (120g), sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2-3 Tbsp tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp water

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the onion, carrot, Chinese chives and prawns. Stir in water and mix well.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or shallow pan on medium heat. Test by placing a small drop of batter into the oil – if it sizzles, the oil is ready. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the oil, leaving at least 1 cm of space between them. Fry until lightly puffed and golden brown on both sides. Drain well in a wire basket. Fry fritters in batches until all the batter is used up.

3. Meanwhile, measure all the ingredients of the chilli sauce into an electric chopper/blender and blend finely. Transfer into a small bowl. Serve the fritters hot or warm, accompanied with chilli sauce.

With the added of chopped waterchestnuts, there's some crunch in the texture when bite; and it taste good too.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Yam Abacus Beads 算盘子

I love to eat yam (another word for yam is taro).  What about you?  There are so many delicacies that can be made with yam such as bubur cha cha, woo kok, woo tao koh, orh nee,  stir fry with pork belly.......etc...etc....

Seriously I never heard of Yam Abacus Beads until I watched one cooking/travelling show on TV.  Aigh....eventhough I'm a Malaysian and yet was so ignorant of this delicious delicacies available here in the country.

I've never eaten this before and love to give this a try and see how it goes but I'm sure I would love this lots.

Yam Abacus Beads 算盘子 (Yam Gnocchi Fry in Dried Shrimps & Woods ear) 
Recipe sourced from Billy Law (A Table For Two) 

Abacus beads
500g taro, sliced into cubes
80g tapioca flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of salt

Few tablespoons of hot water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

For Stir Fry Abacus Beads 
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A small knob (5 gram) ginger, peeled then julienned
120g water chestnuts, cut into cubes  (I forgot to add this)
30g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water
1 medium dried squid, soaked and thinly sliced
6 dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, thinly sliced
15g wood ear, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, thinly sliced
2 block firm tofu, cut into small cubes (I didn’t add this)
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon Shaoxing Wine
2 sprig spring onion, thinly chopped
A bunch of coriander
2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. First, prepare the abacus beads a day ahead. Place taro in steamer and steam until the taro has soften, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer taro to a large mixing bowl, mash with a fork while taro still hot. Add tapioca flour a little bit at a time and mix it in until combined, repeat until all flour used and knead the dough until no lumps. Add salt and oil to the mixture and knead for another minute. In this stage, if the dough is dry, you may add tablespoon of hot water.  Wrap the bowl in cling film, set a side to rest for at least 10 minutes.

2. Roll the dough into a long long and cut into small chunks.  Take one one small chunk and roll into a ball size of a marble, poke into the center of the ball with index finger to make an indentation then place the taro bead on the tray. Repeat until all dough is used.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil on high heat, and also prepare a large bowl of chilled water on the side. In batches, drop the abacus beads into the hot water, once the beads are cooked and float to the surface, scoop them out with a strainer and transfer them to the chilled water. Drain and transfer to a bowl, pour some oil into the bowl and keep it a mix so the beads won’t stick together. Transfer the abacus beads to refrigerator and let it cools down. 

Note: If you are don't intend to use it immediately, put into a zip lock bag and store in the freezer.

4. Add a dash of oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat, in batches, fry the abacus beads until golden brown on both sides. Place them slightly apart to prevent sticking together. Once all done, place them on a plate and set aside.

5. In a wok, heat 2 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat, add garlic and ginger, stir-fry for a minute. Then add mushroom, wood ear, tofu and water chestnuts, stir-fry for few more minutes. Add abacus beads and spring onions, then season with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper and sesame oil, now stir-fry gently for another minute and is ready.


The Chinese called this Yam Abacus Beads..... and the western or Italian can called this as"Yam Gnocchi"


 YUM !!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Kuih Ketayap

So, how do you called this kuih? Kuih Ketayap? Or Kuih Dadar?  Or Kuih Gulung?  Well, actually they are the same but to me, from young I known this kuih is Kuih Ketayap.  

I learnt to make this kuih (or Pandan Crepes with coconut filling) way back when I am still in my Home Science class; well that is probably when I am 13 or 14 years of age.  Wow, and now only I got to make it all over again.  Again, my mum loves to make this kuih but hers, she go for the simple type of crepes but with palm sugar coconut filling too.

Kuih Ketayap (Pandan Crepes With Palm Sugar Coconut Filling)
Recipe sourced from J's Kitchen  with adjustment

For the crepes:
120g plain flour
170ml thin coconut milk or water
150ml pandan juice (I used 5pcs of pandan leaves blended in 150ml water)
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
Oil, to grease

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. 

Make a hole in the center. Add egg, coconut milk, and pandan water. Whisk until batter is no longer lumpy. Cover and refrigerate for at least half hour.
Preheat a small nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Grease with butter. Pour 1/4 cup of batter. Swirl to cover base. Cook until crepe starts to pull away from pan. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter.

To Serve:
Place a crepe on a plate and scoop a spoonful of the coconut filling and roll it up like the spring roll.  

For the filling:
75g fresh grated coconut
75g palm sugar (or brown sugar if you can't get palm sugar)
1 pandan leaf or 1 tsp pandan extract (optional)
50ml water

Heat palm sugar and coconut milk in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat until dissolved.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Press down the dessicated coconut so that it soaks up the sugar mixture. Cook until coconut mixture starts to dry up.

                                I think the best beverage to go with this kuih is "Kopi O'

                              Traditional way is roll up the crepe like spring roll but I am
                              giving it a new facelift by folding it square.  How's that?                        

                            Lazy to make?  No problem; now that there's pasar Ramadhan around, 
                            go and buy some to indulge first.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Mince Meat & Tomato Relish (Nam Prik Ong)

I have bookmarked this Mince Meat & Tomato Relish after watching an episode on TLC when Poh travelled to Thailand quite awhile ago.  Oh, you know Poh ~ Poh Ling Yeow, the runner up of Masterchef Australia 1st season.  I'm a big fan of hers; she always have that big beautiful smile on her face!

Though it might not seem anything special about this relish but wait till you cooked and tasted it!

Mince Pork & Tomato Relish (Nam Prik Ong)
Recipe sourced from Poh's Kitchen with slight change

7 dried red chilli  (I added 10 pcs)
1-2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 shallot
2 teaspoons shrimp paste
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soy bean paste

Tomato and minced pork relish
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
200g pork mince (I used lesser)
2/3 cup chopped tomato
¼ cup (60ml) water
½-1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
¼ cup roughly chopped coriander
¼ cup roughly chopped spring onion

To make the paste, place all the ingredients together in a mortar and using pestle pound to a smooth paste.

Place a wok over a medium-low heat and heat oil. Add paste and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the pork mince and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chopped tomato and cook for a further 1 minute.
Add water to the wok, bring to boil and season with fish sauce and sugar. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until relish reduces and thickens.
To serve, sprinkle relish with coriander and spring onions, before serving with sticky rice and condiments

If I am not mistaken, whenever Poh tasted any dishes, her favourite words are "It's so gooooood!".  And here, I can say that this relish is indeed "sooooooo gooooooooood!"

Monday, 7 July 2014

Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi

Have you tasted this Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi (Chicken in bird's eye chilli & coconut sauce)?

Eventhough this dish using more than 20 bird's eye chilly, to me it is not that fiery hot at all.  I think this dish is the most easiest dish to cook.  Just prepare those ingredients on hand and blend it to paste and put everything into a pot and cook till the chicken cook.  That's it.

I seldom use coconut milk in my cooking and even when I cook chicken curry, I don't use coconut milk but I substitute with fresh milk instead.  But for this Ayam Masak Lemak it is just simply too delicious to try it out to use the coconut milk.  What is Ayam Masak Lemak when it doesn't use coconut milk?

Chicken In Bird's Eye Chilli & Coconut Sauce
Recipe sourced from Azlita of Masam Manis
½ chicken; cut to bite size (I’ve used only chicken thighs)
3 medium size potato; cut in 4 pieces
½ tumeric leaf, finely sliced
2 lemongrass, bashed
1 cup (250ml) thick coconut milk
Salt to taste

Grind/Blend to paste
20 bird’s eye chilli
2” fresh tumeric root
2” ginger root
2 lemongrass (white part only)
½ tumeric leaf
3 shallots
2 garlic
2 cups water


Put the blended paste into a medium size pot.  Add in the chicken pieces and potato, bring to boil, and lowering the heat till the chicken and potatoes has tendered and cooked.

Add in the coconut milk and frequently lightly stirring to avoid the coconut milk split into oil.  Add salt to taste.

Sprinkle the additional thinly sliced tumeric leaf and serve hot.

                    You can always reduce the chilli if you can't withstand the spiciness!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Melting Moments With Raspberries Jam & cream

Today I made another winner recipe from Masterchef Australia; Melting Moments by Julia Taylor.

I've bookmarked this recipe when Fern of To Food With Love posted her recipe in 2012 but as time passed by, I totally have forgotten about this recipe till I watched one of the episode on Masterchef on the team challenge recently.

Melting Moments with Raspberries Jam & Buttercream
Adapted from Masterchef Australia 

180g unsalted butter
60g icing sugar, sifted
60g custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
180g plain flour

Vanilla buttercream
100g butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 cup icing sugar, sifted

Raspberry jam
250g fresh or frozen raspberries
250g caster sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ teaspoon gelatine powder
Icing sugar, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

2 For biscuits, cream butter for two minutes in an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Add icing sugar and custard powder and mix until combined. Sift the baking powder and flour together then add to the dough and mix well. Roll dough into 40g balls, place on a baking paper lined baking tray and press each ball with a fork to leave an indent. Bake biscuits for 16-18 minutes or until light golden. Stand on trays 5 minutes to cool then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 For buttercream, whisk butter and vanilla until smooth. Add icing sugar and beat until mixture forms a paste, the consistency of thick icing. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.

4 For jam, place raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook for 20-30 minutes until thickened. Mix gelatine powder with one tablespoon cold water together. Remove the jam from the heat, stir through gelatine mixture. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool in the fridge.

5 To assemble, place a spoonful of cooled jam on the base of half the biscuits. Pipe buttercream in a circle onto the base of the other half of the biscuits. Gently press one of each biscuit together to form a melting moment. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

You can make the raspberries jam or strawberry jam one day ahead.  If not, use the store bought jam of your choice.

This cookies really do melt in your mouth and with the buttercream and raspberries jam to go with it, all goes really well together; a sweet treat dessert for my tea break!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Chocolate Frangipane Tart With Poached Pear

I am a big fan of Masterchef Australia and MKR (My Kitchen Rules).  Our local TV does not aired both these cooking competition series but only at the cable TV.  As it only aired one episode everyday or once a week, I just couldn't wait for that long to watch the next episode.  Hence I searched all the episodes in Youtube and Dailymotion.  From there on, I been glued myself watching those amateurs cooking up and presenting those dishes professionally.

Here, today, a post recipe from Masterchef Series 4.

Chocolate Frangipane Tart With Poached Pear

250g plain flour
pinch salt
60g cocoa powder
100g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
iced water

Poached pears
500ml water
250g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped
Juice and strips of rind of one lemon
1/3 cup vincotto *
4 medium corella pears, peeled

Chocolate frangipane
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar, sifted
2 eggs
100g almond meal
1 tablespoon flour
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways, seeds scraped
100g dark chocolate, melted

1 Preheat oven to 180°C fan forced.

2 For pastry, place flour, salt, cocoa, and sugar in a food processor and process for 30 seconds until mixed. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. With the motor running add egg yolk and about 40ml iced water, or just enough for dough to come together.

3 Tip onto a lightly floured surface, bring together to form a flat disc, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate until just firm.

4 For poached pears, place water, sugar, vanilla, lemon peel and vincotto in a deep, small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Peel pears and remove core from base. Place pears, stem-side up in the saucepan and reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer until pears are tender. Add lemon juice to syrup. Remove pears, allow to cool slightly, reserve poaching syrup.  Slice sides of pears in curved lines, starting 2cm from the stem in a curved line down to the base, repeat at 1cm intervals. The pear should be joined at the top and separate at the base, so when you twist the pear the slices will fan out.

5 Roll pastry between two sheets of baking paper to 2mm thick. Butter and flour 4 x 10cm fluted tart  tins with removable bases. Line each tart tin with pastry, trimming the edge to fit the tin. Refrigerate until pastry is firm. Line tarts with baking paper and pastry weights and bake for 15 minutes until firm around the edge, remove pastry weights and paper and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until pastry is set. Remove from oven and set aside.

6 For the chocolate frangipane, cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Fold in almond meal and flour and then melted chocolate.

7 Fill the tart shells with the frangipane, smooth the surface and bake for 20 minutes or until frangipane is cooked. Set aside until firm. Carefully remove the tarts from the tins and place onto serving plates.  Place a poached pear in the centre of each tart, slightly fanned by twisting the pear. Drizzle the tart and plate with a little poaching liquid.

* Vincotto is a cooked wine.  I have used balsamic vinegar as a substitute.  Almost the same.

My mum used to make poached pears for us to indulge way back in my younger years and now she still do it for us.    This is why whenever I see recipe with poached pears, it just remind me of my mum.

Wish I could share this delicious tart with my mum.

                                     Ooops....forgotten to take the innards of the tart.  

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Cherry Friands

When I woke up this morning, cooling air was blowing into the window and dark cloud was blanketing the sky. I was so happy and hoping that it will give a good downpour later.  But it didn't and the sun coming out and the dark cloud slowly disappeared.  OH NOOOOOOO..... another hot day coming!  The temperature for the past weeks already shooting up to 36C-37C!

I wasn't really in the mood to bake and cook nowadays when the weather is scorching hot.  But since this morning the cooling breeze blowing in, so thinking of making a small batch of cakes to indulge in.

Cherry Friands
Recipe adapted from  Cath of Confessions Of A Glutton with changes from raspberry to cherry
Original Recipe from What Katie Ate

5 egg-whites (abt 150g or slightly more)
150g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
90g ground almond meal
185g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting (do adjust to your sweetness taste)
50g plain flour, sifted
12 cherries, pitted and sliced

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly grease the holes of a non-stick friand pan.
Whisk the egg whites for a few seconds just to lightly combine until frothy. There’s no need to whip them into peaks.
Add the butter, ground almonds, icing sugar and flour and beat lightly to combine well.

Pour into the prepared pan, filling each hole two-thirds full. Don’t worry too much about smoothing the tops.

Place the sliced cherries on top of each friand and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of one comes out clean.
Cool and dust the friands with icing sugar and serve warm.

If you have egg whites still storing in your freezer, do give this a try.  It is sooooooo delicious!
I have used the muffin pan instead of friands pan; not going to invest another mould as it is more or less the same.

You can always substitute it with raspberries which the original recipe used, or with strawberries or blueberries.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Blueberries Almond Muffin

When Jessie of Jessie-CookingMoments posted her Raspberries Blueberries Muffins weeks ago, not only the ingredients that captivated me but after reading her opening 1st paragraph, I just had a laugh and I know this muffin must be real good that the Hippomama's grandma keep coming back asking more for this muffins.

I always love blueberries and almond meal in my bakes and if I have all the ingredients in my fridge, I will not hesitate to bake this immediately.

And guess what, at this post, this is already my 2nd bake for this delicious muffins;  only thing is I only have blueberries in my fridge, so no raspberries in it.  As I have baked Blueberries Muffin before, and I do not want to confused with the same title of Blueberries Muffin, so I named this as Blueberries Almond Muffin instead.

Blueberry Almond Muffins 
Recipe Source & text copy from Jessie-CookingMoments with changes 

150g Low Gluten Flour, sifted
140g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
120g Caster Sugar
60g Cream (35% Fat)
40g Almond Meal
4g Baking Powder
1g Salt
2 Eggs (about 60g each)
2tbsp Fresh Milk
120g Frozen Blueberries, lightly thawed
Fine Zest of 1 Lemon 

1. Mix flour, almond meal, baking powder & salt in a clean bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 160C. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
3. Beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add cream & lemon zest. 
    Mix well.
4. Add flour mixture & milk. Mix well on each addition.
5. Fold in the blueberries.
6. Spoon the muffin mixture into the cupcake liners until 80% full.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Well, needless for me to say, as this is my 2nd baked in a row, these muffins are really yummy and delicious.  But if you are not into cakes that are creamy and buttery in texture, I don't know if you will like it ...  well, I really do absolutely crazily LOVE IT!!  Because the texture is something like my top favourite cake ~ Tish Boyle's Plainly Perfect Pound Cake

Thank you Jessie.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

"Almost Perfect" Butter Chicken

My family and I absolutely loves Butter Chicken!  Whenever I am back to Auckland for visit, Butter Chicken is a must for me to indulge into.

I have in fact cooked few versions/recipes of Butter Chicken but non of those are of the similar taste that I have tasted to that "Shamiana"or "Masala" restaurant Butter Chicken.  Either it was too tangy in the sauce or it doesn't have that herbs in taste.

I have almost 5 or 6 recipes I have bookmarked previously but wasn't ready to try it out.  Yes, I did alot of google searching, even go to the extend of studying one recipe comparing with another what herbs and spices to go into it.  Until one day I searched in the youtube and saw this video and it just clicked to me that this is just the right one.  

Well, one of the ingredients is "dry fenugreek leaves" which I have doubted whether I can find it here.  I tried searching at the local hypermarkets here and no... they don't have it.   Going to the Indian grocery spice shops  one shop after another and no....they don't have.  So, I thought maybe I go ask at the wet market to see whether they have the fresh fenugreek leaves (daun halba).  Oh no...they don't have too and some they don't even know what I am talking about.  And one young Indian lady just shove me the curry leaves instead!

Well, one of the weekend, I went to the city looking for it at the Indian shops again.  I went straight to the worker and asked "Do you have kasuri methi?"  He just went to one of the corner and gives me a pack of it.  You wouldn't believe it as I wanted to jump up high with joy when I finally found what I want!!

Cooking Indian food is not my forte, but butter chicken is my favourite so I will try and try and try to achieve that butter chicken taste that I had wanted;  just like "Shamiana" butter chicken!

Recipe inspired from Vahrehvah with changes

500g boneless & skinless chicken thigh, cut into long strips
1 sprig coriander leaves
50g butter
80ml cream (cooking cream or heavy cream or whipping cream)
1 tsp tomato ketchup (optional)

1 tsp ginger garlic paste 
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt 

2 tbsp oil
1 medium size onion
400g tomato
1 green chilli
6 pieces cashew nuts
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp dry fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi), lightly crushed
1/4 - 1/3 cup water
2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste


Marinade the chicken pieces with the marinade ingredients for 30 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat the pan with the oil and lightly pan fry the chicken 10 minutes till fragrant.  Dish out the chicken pieces and set aside.

In the remaining oil in the frying pan, add in the cumin seeds, onion, ginger garlic paste, and some water in.  Give it a stir for a minute then add in the coriander powder, cashew nuts, chilli powder, fenugreek leaves. green chilli, and lastly the tomatoes.  Stir to combined all up and cover with a lid.  Cook for about 10 minutes till tomatoes are soften.

Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before pouring it into the blender.  Blend till all mashed up.

In a clean frying pan, add in the butter, pour in the juice from the chicken pieces, and the tomato puree mixture (I strained the tomato mixture before pouring into the pan), add in some water in,  salt to taste (I add about 1 tsp) and the sugar.  Let the sauce comes to a boil and add in the tomato ketchup (optional), 1/2 cup cream and stir to combine the sauce up.  Lastly add in the chicken pieces and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Dish up and serves with steamed rice or naan bread.

Do watch his video

*  The Butter chicken has the mild sweet in taste.
*  Those butter chicken serving in the restaurant/hotel has more vibrant in orangy colour as 
    they add artificial colouring in it. 

This is the dry fenugreek leaves ("Kasuri Methi")

Should anyone of you needed some of this dry fenugreek leaves, email me and I will send some to you.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - Indian Subcontinent hosted by