Friday

Biskut Arab

Aidil Fitri is just around the corner. It is a feast of joy that every Muslim celebrates every year after Ramadhan. Besides countless savoury dishes, we also prepare lots of sweet biscuits during the occasion. I have just finished making one type of delicious biscuits called Biskut Arab. It is very easy to make and it melts in your mouth. For those who would like to try something easy, this would be it. You would not fail this one if you follow the recipe closely. Do try!






Ingredients

6 cups of flour
2 cups of skimmed powdered milk ( I used Nespray)
2 cups ghee
a pinch of salt

Icing sugar- for coating

Methods

1. Mix skimmed powdered milk, ghee and salt.

2. Add flour bit by bit and mix well.

3. Make a dough. Form small round balls and arrange them on the baking tray.

4. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, 180 celcius.

5. Let them cool before coating them in the icing sugar.

6. Put the biscuits in a paper cup before keeping them in an airtight container.



Monday

Lemak Ayam Berempah

This is a typical Malay dish that you can get in any Malay home. While most people use pounded bird's eye chillies, I like to add more flavour by putting in some spices like coriander and cumin seeds. The taste is wonderful and suitable taken with hot white rice. Do try!

Ingredients

1 chicken, cut into smaller parts
2 round eggplant, cut into half
500ml coconut milk
salt, to taste
1-2 bunga kantan

Blended Ingredients
3 garlic
1 big onion
1 inch ginger
1 cm lengkuas
1 table spoon coriander seeds
1 table spoon cumin seeds
10 bird eye's chillies

Methods

1. Put coconut milk and the blended ingredients in a pot and boil under medium heat. Stir well to avoid clumping of the coconut milk. You can add water if it becomes too thick.

2. Let the broth simmer a while before putting in the chicken.

3. When the chicken is tender, add in bunga kantan and eggplants. Stir well.

4. Lastly, add in some salt and let the broth simmer for a few minutes before serving.

*serves 6-8 people

Banana Pudding

This is an original recipe by me and I have made this pudding twice since Ramadhan. This is one of the simplest ways to make delicious pudding with a short period of time. As usual, I like no hassle in cooking. I prefer easy, fast and simple ways of doing things but produce great results. This is one of them. Do try!

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups self raising flour
2 cans evaporated milk
8 table spoon sugar, or more
6 ripe bananas, more if smaller
roasted almonds
raisins
1 tea spoon vanilla extract

Methods

1. Put flour, sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. In a greased baking dish, pour in the blended ingredients.

3. Arrange the peeled bananas on top.

4. Sprinkle some raisins and roasted almonds before putting it in the oven.

5. Bake for about an hour, 180 degree celcius or until done.

*serves 6-8 people

Malay Prawn Sambal (Sambal Udang Petai)

I think, without being judgmental, that most Malays love their sambals. We cook fish sambal, squid sambal, anchovies sambal dan prawn sambals to name a few famous ones. Today, I would share with you how I make my prawn sambal. To add some zest, I have added some 'petai' as it gives a very distinct aroma to the sambal. But, if you don't like anything of a strong flavour, you can omit the 'petai'. Here it is.






Ingredients
500 gm medium sized prawns, cut the edge of the front and cleaned well
Oil, for frying
water, if needed
sugar, as preferred
salt, as preferred
Petai (optional)

Blended Items
3 garlic
2 big onions
4 shallots
1/2 inch lengkuas
2 lemon grass, cut into small chunks
a handful of dried chillies, soak into hot water and cleaned well
1 inch shrimp paste, fry with or without oil first
4 table spoon of tamarind juice


Methods
1. In a heating skillet, pour in some oil before pouring in the blended items. Stir and cook well for a few minutes until they turn aromatic and bubbly.

2. Then, add in some sugar and stir again. When the paste has thicken up, you can add in the prawns and petai (optional).

3. Cook the prawns and (or) petai for a few minutes. By this time, you can add in some water to give some nice consistency to the sambal.

4. Stir again before adding in some salt. Cook for a few seconds and the prawn sambal is ready to be served.

*serves 4-6 people


Chicken Pie with Potatoes and Mushroom

During the month of Ramadhan, the Muslims will fast from dawn to dusk. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calender and is a holy month for Muslims all over the world. In Ramadhan, the Muslims must abstain themselves not only from food, but also from any intimate contacts, slandering, back biting or any other negative activities. This is the month where the Muslims are given a 'once in a year' chance to correct themselves, to ask forgiveness from God the Almighty and to do as many good deeds as possible, as this is the month of self reflection and the month where all awards for good deeds with be multiplied.

Besides, Ramadhan is also associated with food. By noon, most ladies would be in the kitchen to prepare delicious food for Iftar or the breaking fast for their family. I am included. I believe that the best meal should be from the wife's and mother's hands. Thus, yesterday just like three days before, I decided to make a delicious chicken pie for the family. Well, I now this is not Asian, but why not! We need some varieties sometimes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Pastry
Flour
Butter
a bit of water
pinch of salt (if needed)

* Mix the ingredients until it becomes a dough. Knead well and roll into thin layers. Put aside.

*Or you can use frozen pastry, like I did. You can find it at any local supermarket.

Fillings
4 garlic, finely chopped
2 big onions, finely chopped
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced (Cubed) or chopped
1 can of button mushroom, cut into four
2 potatoes (medium sized), cubed
3 tables spoon coarse black pepper, grounded
1 table spoon Italian herbs
3 table spoon flour, mix with water (as thickening agent)
2 cups of fresh milk or cream (or more, depends on your taste)
a handful of coriander leaves and spring onions, chopped
Butter, Oil for frying

Methods
1. Firstly you make the fillings by frying the ingredients. In a large skillet, pour in some butter or oil. When the butter/oil is heating up, add in the chopped onions and garlic. Stir and fry until golden brown.

2. Secondly, put in the chicken cubes and stir well until the chicken is tender. You can add in some water if needed.

3. After that, put in the potatoes and stir until tender.

4. Add in the mushroom halfway of cooking the potatoes.

5. When the potatoes and mushroom are tender, sprinkle some grounded coarse black pepper and Italian herbs. Stir well. Make sure all water is absorbed.

6. Then, pour in the flour mixture and fresh milk or cream (of your choice) and stir all ingredients well. They should be thick and not watery.

7. You can keep adding the milk or cream until you achieve your desired consistency.

8. Add some salt and chopped coriander leaves and spring onions. Now, they are ready to be baked in the oven.

9. In a preheated oven of 180 celcius, put in the oven dish with the fillings at the bottom and the pastry at the top and bake for about 40-50 mins or until cooked.

* You can layer the pastry and design it as you wish according to your own creativity. Don't forget to brush the top of the pastry with some beaten eggs and milk.

*serves 4-6 people

Bubur Arab (Arab Rice Poridge with Spices)

There are many variations of making rice porridge. The simplest would be cooking the rice with water (with some salt) and eat it with fried salted fish or anchovies. The Malays have one special version of rice porridge which is called "Bubur Lambok'. In it, you can add lots of ingredients like minced meat, chicken, fish and some herbs and coconut milk. Like Bubur Lambok, Bubur Arab has the same basis but with more spices and fresh ingredients in it. Let's sample this dish for your family and you will like it, well if you like it spicy. Do try.






Ingredients
Ghee or butter
2 cups of rice, cleaned well
1 chicken breasts, cubed
200 gm minced meat
1 carrot, cubed
3-4 potatoes, cubed
a handful of coriander leaves and spring onions, chopped
500ml thick coconut milk
salt, to taste
water, 4 times more than the rice or more
Fried onions

Blended Items
3 big onions
4 garlic
2 inch ginger
4 lemon grass
50 gm dried anchovies
50 gm dried shrimps
3-4 table spoon coarse black pepper
2 table spoon coriander, cumin
2 table spoon soup spices (rempah sup)

Methods
1. In a frying pan, heat the ghee or butter. Then, add in the blended items, cook and stir well until aromatic. Put aside.

2. In another cooking pot, put in the rice and water. Cook the rice until tender.

3. When the rice is tender, you can add in the cooked blended items (number 1) together with the meat and chicken cubes. Stir well.

4. After that you can put in the diced carrots and potatoes.

5. Pour in the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes. Make sure the rice is very tender, not too thick and not too watery.

6. Lastly, add some salt, chopped coriander and spring onions together with fried onions to complete the meal.

*serves 4-6 people


Sunday

Spicy Fried Chicken

There are many ways to fry your chicken and this is one of them. For those who love spicy fried chicken, you can try this recipe. I am sure you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!


Ingredients
8 chicken parts or more (up to you), cleaned
4 table spoon curry powder
1 table spoon chilli paste or paprika powder
2 table spoon turmeric
1 table spoon pepper
salt, to taste



Methods
1. Clean the chicken well and marinade them will all the ingredients above for about an hour.

2. In a hot pan, deep fry the chicken until golden brown or fully cooked.  Easy!

*serves 2-4 people

Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables

I love the simplicity of this dish. It is light and healthy as well. You can eat this combination anytime. For this complete meal, I have stir fried some fresh vegetables that I got from Cameron Highland the day before. If you go Cameron Highlands, you can get all sorts of fresh vegetables with reasonable price. There are lots of stalls erected along the road from Brinchang to Tanah Rata and you can stop by the road side to choose your own vegetables. But beware of high traffic jam on these spots especially during the school or public holidays. You can get stuck for at least fifteen minutes until the traffic is clear again. Anyway, do enjoy this recipe!

  


Ingredients
3 garlic, sliced
1 big onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 green pepper (capsicum), sliced
10 green peas
6 cherry tomatoes
5 small corns, sliced
half chicken breast, cubed
1 table spoon flour
pepper
salt
soy sauce
oyster sauce
oil, for frying

Methods
1. In a hot pan, pour some oil and fry the garlic and onion. Stir until golden brown.

2. Add in chicken breast cubes (which you have coated with flour)  and stir fry until the chicken is tender. You may add in some water at this stage.

3. Then, put in carrots, green peas, small corns and the rest of the vegetables. Stir for a few seconds.

4. Add in salt, pepper, soy and oyster sauce. Stir well for a few minutes before putting off the fire.

5. Do not over cook the vegetables. Let them be crunchy a little bit.

6. Serve with hot piping rice and grilled chicken or any dish you prefer.

*serves 4-6 people

Fresh Lychee Juice

Fresh lychee is definitely much better than the canned one. Juicy and fresh, they are perfect for the hot weather especially if you make them into juice. I had the opportunity to get some fresh lychees at the local store, thus this sweet juice for you to enjoy. Do try!

Ingredients
6-8 fresh lychees (keep the juice)
500 ml water
3-5 table spoon sugar (depends on you preference)
Ice cubes




Methods
1. Take out the lychee seeds and put aside.

2. In a jug, pour in 500ml water and mix with sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Add in the fresh lychees and the juice. Stir well.

4. Lastly, add in lots of ice cubes, stir well and pour in an individual glass to enjoy.

*serves 1-2 people

Coconut Pancake

I woke up early in the morning with no vivid idea of what to do for breakfast. It was weekend and I was too lazy to go out for any 'ready made' breakfast like nasi lemak or roti canai. Hence, I opened the pantry and look for some ingredients that I can play with. Well, if I have no fixed plan, I would just make do with any ingredients in store. As long as they are edible, why not!

Soon, I got with me some flour, milk, sugar, coconut milk and coconut flakes. Thus, coconut pancake came to mind. It just so happened that I had with me some leftover sambal, so that would be perfect for my pancake. This is a traditional Malay dish that has been forgotten and I better make some for my children to sample. Do try!

Ingredients
3 cups of flour
2 cups of fresh milk
2 cups of coconut milk
4 table spoon sugar
1 cup coconut flakes
pinch of salt
Water, if needed
Oil

Methods
1. Mix every ingredient well. You may add some water to ensure that the batter is smooth and runny to form a pancake.

2. In a small frying pan, add in very little oil and scoop one ladle of batter onto the pan and wait until it forms some bubbles. Flip to the other side after a minute or so.  

3. When ready, eat with some sambal or if you prefer something sweet, some jam or honey.

*serves 4-6 people