Happy Hari Raya!

On 1st October 2008, Malaysians will celebrate one of the many important feasts in our calendar, that is Hari Raya or Eid'l Fitri. The feast is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadhan where Muslims all over the world would be fasting from sunrise to sunset. After a month of surpressing hunger and controlling all of our desires, the coming month of Syawal will be a celebration time!
By this time I am sure many Malaysians are already making their way in batches to their home towns, driving with families to all directions, north, south, east and west. I hope that all will reach their hometown safely and will be able to meet with their loved ones!
I would like to wish all Malaysians and Muslims all over the world Eid Mubarak! May God bless our lives and shower us His love and bounties! When we savour the colourful treats like lemang, ketupat and rendang on the dining table, please do remember the needy and the poor that might not be able to celebrate with loads of delicacies like us. Do eat in moderation! :)

To Malaysians, Selamat Hari Raya and Maaf Zahir Batin!

Fried Koay Teow

Fried Koay Teow is a hot meal! Hot in terms it is very popular, easy to get and tasty to eat. Best done with prawns, cockles (kerang), chives and bean sprouts. Yummy!

500 gm of koay teow
3 garlic, finely chopped
1 big onion, finely chopped
300 gm prawns or cockles (or both)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2-4 tbsp dark soy sauce, according to taste
six strands of chives, cut into an inch
200gm beansprouts
2 eggs, beaten

1. In a hot wok, add oil. Put in chopped onion and garlic. Fry until slightly brown.
2. Add prawns or cockles (or both, depending on preferences)
3. Add oyster sauce and dark soy sauce.
4. Stir until all ingredients are cooked.
5. Add koay teow. Stir until all is coated with the ingredients and soy sauce.
6. Make a hole in the middle and add beaten eggs. When the eggs are quarterly cooked, mix the eggs and all the ingredients well.
7. Add chives and beansprouts.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
9. Serve in a serving plate.

*Serve 2-4 people


Malaysian Chicken Curry

Malaysians love chicken curry. Well, most do. In our house, we eat chicken curry almost every week. Besides chicken curry, we also have beef, fish, prawns, crab even potato curry. We eat the curry with rice, roti jala or bread. I particularly love well toasted bread with potato curry. The soft potatoes in between the spiciness flavour of the curry just melt in my mouth. It's tasty and make you feel full fast. With a cold glass of iced tea and lime juice, I think this will be a kick! Do try this recipe!
1 chicken, cut into 12 parts
3 garlic, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
1 big onion, finely chopped
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
6 tbsp chicken curry powder, mix with water until it forms a thick paste
1 cup coconut milk (you can substitute it with milk)
6 potatoes, cut into four parts
Salt, to taste
1. In a hot pot, pour in a generous amount of oil. When the oil is hot, add in chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Stir for 30 seconds.
2. Add in star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves. Stir all ingredients until golden brown.
3. Add in the curry paste. Stir regularly until the oil becomes separate from the paste (you can see the oil starts to appear on top of the paste)
4. Add in the chicken. Stir untill all is coated with the paste.
5. After 5 minutes, add in the coconut milk and stir well. You can add in a little bit of water if the curry is too thick. The consistency is depending on your taste and preferences.
6. Add the potatoes and salt. Cook until the chicken and potatoes are soft and tender.
7. Serve with rice or bread.
*Serve 4-6 people

Prawn Fritters

This dish is very easy and simple to prepare yet very tasty to eat. You can choose a medium to big sized prawns as they are easier to prepare and meatier to eat. All what you have to do is to take off the head and peel off the skin, but let the end tail intact. Wash the prawns thoroughly and let it dry in a sieve. To let the batter stick, the prawns must be dry or the batter will not work too well. You can also pat the prawns gently with a clean dry cloth for faster drying. Happy trying!

1 kg prawns, peel off the head and skin, let the tail intact
10 tbsp flour or depending on the prawn portions (mix with water until they make a thick consistency)
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1. Mix the batter with salt and bicarbonate soda.
2. In a hot pan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, dip the prawns into the batter and let it fry until golden brown.
3. Take the prawns out and serve in a big platter with chilli sauce or mayonnaise.

*Serve 3-6 people


How To Make Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai food has been one of my favourite dishes. The food is normally hot and has a blend of sweet and sour to it as well. In cooking Thai food, one must have some basic ingredients like the small green chillies, palm sugar, fish sauce, basil or lemongrass which is normally added in most dish. But that also depends on the type of dish which may omit some of those ingredients. I have one simple Thai curry paste recipe that you can try at home. You can cook it with beef, chicken or prawns and eat it with rice.
10-12 fresh green chillies, seeded
3 tbsp chopped lemon grass
1 tbsp chopped galangal
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 stalk coriander (roots and stems included), chopped coarsely
8 black peppercorns, cracked
1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp belacan granules (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 bay leaves, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp oil

Blend all the ingredients in an electric blender until smooth. Add a little extra oil if necessary. Keep ingredients refrigerated in a clean container until needed.


Vegetable Samosa

This is a very delicious treat that can be taken anytime of the day. It is spicy and crunchy and the spiciness of the samosa depends on how much spices you put. If you prefer less spicy taste, add less spices. The more the spicier. It all depends on you. For vegetable samosa, it can be a great vegetarian dish, but if you are not a vegetarian and prefers some meat, you can add minced beef or chicken in your dish. Have a try!
2 tbsp of curry paste
1 tbsp cumin powder
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 big onion, diced
100g (3.5oz) frozen peas
3 tbsp vegetable oil
15 sheets Fillo pastry

1. Blanch potato and carrots in boiling water until just tender. Drain excess water.
2. Place frozen peas in a bowl of boiling water and cover. Leave for 1 minute and then drain.
3. Pour 3 tbsp of oil in a hot pan. Put in the onions and stir until aromatic. Add in the curry paste and cumin powder. Stir well for 1 minute. Then, mix the potatoes, carrots, peas. Stir well for 30 seconds. Take out the filings and put in a dish.
4. Cut each pastry strip into 4 long strips. Brush the pastry pieces lightly with oil.
5. Using 2 layers, place a heaped tablespoon of mixture in the middle at the end of the pastry strip. Fold a corner of the pastry over the mixture to form a triangle and continue folding in alternate directions to form a triangular parcel. Brush each parcel lightly with oil on both sides.
6. Line a tray with baking sheet and brush lightly with oil. Place samosas on baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356° F) for 15 minutes OR deep fry in a hot oil until golden brown.
Makes approximately 25-30 samosas

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream

Who would refuse an ice cream if they were offered one? There are plenty of ice cream flavours in the market right now, from the most simple to the most exotic. To have a cool, sweet and rich flavoured ice cream when the sun is heating up definitely makes our day. Sometimes, we crave for more ice cream and too lazy to get one from the shop. If you love vanilla ice cream, here is a recipe that uses coconut milk instead of animal milk. It's creamy taste and texture will win you! Try!
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
Coconut Milk
1. Beat the sugar and eggs for approximately 5 minutes until pale and frothy.
2. Add in coconut milk and vanilla essence.
3. Pour into a metal tray and freeze for 3-4 hours until firm or churnin an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. Serve scoops garnished with slices of fresh peach.


Lemon Chicken With Cous Cous

This is a very light yet delicious middle eastern dish that is very easy to make. It can be taken together with bread, rice, cous cous or by itself. Besides Asian food, this is one of the many ethnic flavours that I like to sample. Do try this fresh tasted dish!

1 whole chicken
10 lemons
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cous cous
bitter greens, to serve

1. Slice the chicken straight down the breast bone and open out flat.
2. Juice the lemons and reserve the skins.
3. Make a marinade by mixing the garlic, lemon juice, ¾ cup parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper together.
4. Marinate the whole chicken in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.Place the chicken in a baking dish or camp oven.
5. Pour in the marinade then sprinkle with pepper.
6. Place the reserved lemon skins on top of the chicken to cover it. Roast at 180°C for 45 minutes, basting at 15minute intervals.
7. Remove the lemon and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
8. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the mughrabi couscous by boiling for 15-20 minutes in plenty of water.
9. To carve the chicken, run a knife down the backbone to split it in two, then cut each side into thirds.
10. Place a small pile of couscous on the plate.
11. Pour 2–3 tablespoons of the lemon sauce from the camp oven into the couscous, top with a piece of chicken and pour on another spoon of sauce.
12. Sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley and serve with a salad of bitter greens.

* Serve 4-6 people


Green Papaya Salad

This is a very delicious and crunchy salad that can be eaten on its own. Very good for digestion and your health. Try!

1 small green papaya
1 red chillies
1 green chillies
¼ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
25g dried shrimps, finely chopped in the food processor
25g roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Sliced extra chillies to garnish
Ginger, optional

1. Peel and seed papaya and finely slice. Put in a bowl.
2. Finely chop one red and one green chilli. Combine lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, stirring until dissolved.
3. Add to chopped chillies, garlic and ginger and toss well with papaya.
4. Serve on a platter sprinkled with ground shrimp, peanuts and sliced chillies

*Serve 1-2 people

Pickled Ginger

Ginger is very commonly used in Asian cooking. Besides being used in meals and dishes, ginger can also be made into pickles. It is good to eliminate gas and healthy for us. If you like to bite a sweet and sour pickle, why not try pickled ginger for a change.

250g knob of ginger
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup Japanese rice vinegar
½ cup water

1. Peel the ginger and, using a sharp vegetable peeler, peel into thin strips.
2. Place sugar, vinegar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
3. Place ginger into a sterilised jar; pour hot liquid over ginger and seal.
4. Allow to stand for 2-3 weeks before using.