Eggplant in Coconut Gravy (Masak Lemak Putih Terung)

In my earlier post, I talked about grilled fish with budu and cincaluk. In this post, I will share the recipe that goes very well with them. In fact, these dishes often go hand in hand. In a Malay society, when we enjoy a certain delicacy, we often say 'ibu mertua lalu pun tak nampak' which literally means 'even if my mother in law walks in front of me, I will not feel her presence' to suggest how much we love and enjoy the food that nothing or nobody can divert our attention. A lot of traditional Malay cooking is easy to prepare. Masak Lemak for example, is usually a mixture of everything in a pot and does not need any frying or stages of cooking. We simply put everything in a pot, heat it and voila! a dish is done in a matter of few minutes. Do try!

2 eggplants, cubed
1 petola,cubed
200 gm ikan bilis, pounded
1 table spoon coarse black pepper, pounded
800ml coconut milk
1 turmeric leaf

1. In a pot, put the eggplants, petola, ikan bilis, black pepper, turmeric leaf and salt.

2. Pour in the coconut milk.

3. Heat the pot and cook until all ingredients soften. Stir well while cooking to prevent the coconut milk from breaking its oil.

4. When the vegetables are soft, serve in a serving dish.

*serves 2-4 people


Garlic Prawn

Nothing is better than to cook something so simple yet it turns out to be fantastic. This fried prawn which uses lots of garlic and pepper is very easy and simple to prepare. My daughter loves this kind of dish and I did this especially for her because it is not hot, which she dislikes, and subtle and juicy if you cook it correctly. Do try!

500 gm prawns
6 cloves of garlic, pounded
1 table spoon coarse pepper, pounded
1 tea spoon soy sauce
salt, as preferred
1 lime juice ( optional)

1. Marinade the prawns with pounded garlic and pepper. Add soy sauce and salt to taste.

2. Leave for about an hour before frying them in a pan with some oil.

3. Stir well until cooked.

4. Squeeze 1 lime juice on top if you prefer.

* serves 1-2 people


Grilled Fish with Budu and Cincaluk

Being half a Kelantanese we cannot stay away from this traditional dish that comes from the eastern part of Malaysia, Kelantan. The Kelantanese cannot live without their grilled fish and budu, a special fermented condiment made from ikan bilis or anchovies, if I need to give the nearest example. Whenever I go to Kelantan to visit my relatives, this delicacy will always be on the table. Besides grilled fish which is grilled without any marinade, they eat budu with some fresh vegetables like cucumber, petai, jering or any other local fresh greens that we can get at our backyard like daun kesum, kacang kelisa or pucuk ubi, to name a few.

Besides budu, the fish can also be taken with cincaluk, a fermented condiment made from dried shrimps which is popular to the people of Malacca. This time, I will show you how to mix the budu and cincaluk to make them taste better especially for those who have not tried them and would like to sample a few. Do try!

6 ikan kembung or mackarel, cleaned
(grill the fish as they are, with no marinade or salt. It is supposed to be just plain grill)

1/2 bottle of budu ( you can get a bottle of budu from any local supermarket)
1 big onion, finely sliced
1-2 lime juice
4-6 cili padi, thinly sliced
1 tea spoon tempoyak ( optional)

1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients well. You can add a little salt to the mixture if you find it less salty.

2. Serve with the grilled fish and some local green vegetables, and eat with plain rice.

3. The same ingredients apply when you want to mix the cincaluk minus the tempoyak. You can get a bottle of cincaluk at any local store. But cincaluk is more salty than budu, so do avoid adding any extra salt.

*serves 2-3 people

Bread Pudding with Custard Sauce

My family love bread pudding. If we have leftover bread, I would definitely make bread pudding without hesitation as it is the easiest pudding you can ever sample. Besides easy to do, it it also delicious and very milky and supple and the kids enjoy this every time I make one. We had this pudding a few days ago. And as usual, it disappears in a blink of an eye! Do try my version of bread pudding!


Dry Ingredients
8 white bread, cut into small squares
1 small box of raisins
3 table spoon sugar
cinnamon powder
nutmeg powder
1 table spoon butter

To be mixed in a bowl
2 cans of evaporated milk
2 eggs beaten
2 table spoon custard

Custard Sauce
1 can of evaporated milk
2 table spoon sugar
4 table spoon custard powder


1. In a 6 inch baking tray, put the cut bread in layers until it reaches the quarter of the tray.

2. Sprinkle some raisins, 1 table spoon sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder over the top before putting in another layer of cut bread.

3. Continue the whole process until you reach the third layer or after it reaches three quarter of the baking dish.

4. When the bread has covered the top of the baking tray, spread the butter evenly. Sprinkle some raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg powder on the top.

5. In the meantime, mix the beaten eggs with the evaporated milk and custard powder in a bowl.

6. Pour in the mixture over the top of the dry pudding until all surface is coated well. Make sure that all surface has absorbed the mixture well.

7. Steam in a steamer with a medium heat for about an hour and a half or until done. You can also bake it in an oven with 180 degree celsius for about an hour and a half.

8. While the pudding is cooking, you can make the custard sauce.

9. In a pot, put the custard powder, sugar and evaporated milk and mix well.

10. In a medium heat, mix all ingredients until the custard powder is dissolved. Mix well until it has achieved a medium thick consistency.

11. When the sauce thickens, stop the heat and keep stirring.

12. Let it cool before pouring the custard sauce over the pudding when the pudding is done.

*serves 6-8 people


Fruit and Vegetable Salad

I love fruits and vegetables. I can eat a bowl of them just by myself. While we can eat each fruit individually, eating a few mixture of them in small pieces with some nice dressing is a delight to me. You can do this with a blink of an eye. It is a simple yet healthy dish for a person on the go as it is fast to make. Just a few spoonful of mayonnaise will not make your scale rise above usual. So, just enjoy the delights while watching your favorite tv programme or just reading your favorite book or magazine!


1 red tomato, diced
1 yellow tomato, diced
1 carrot, cut into 1 inch length
1 cucumber, cut into 1 inch length
1 green apple, cut into triangular shape
1 tea spoon dried Italian herbs or any dried herbs you have ( basil, oregano, dill etc)
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped finely
a half of lemon juice
a pinch of salt or none ( as preferred)
a dash of pepper ( as preferred)
2-3 table spoonful of mayonnaise ( low fat if you prefer)

1. Clean all the vegetable and fruits. Cut them as directed above. Put them in a bowl and mix with the mayonnaise.

2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, if you preferred or none. Then add the herbs and some pepper and a half of lemon juice and the chopped coriander leaves.

3. Mix them all and keep cool in a refrigerator for half and hour before consuming it or you can eat it immediately.

*serves 2-3 people


Ramadhan Mubarak! The holy month has arrived!

Today is the first day of the month of Ramadhan. A holy month for all Muslims from all over the world. This is the month to suppress our hunger and worldly needs and to avoid eating or drinking from sun rise to sun set. All Muslims must learn patience throughout the month. And it is best if we can fulfill the time with good deeds and rituals that will bring benefits and barakah in our lives.

In Malaysia, Ramadhan is celebrated with a lot of activities. Besides religious activities like Tarawikh prayers, sadaqah and reciting of the quran, we also celebrate Ramadhan with varieties of food selections. It is a norm when every Ramadhan comes, food sellers will open up stalls selling varieties of food. This is called Pasar Ramadhan or literally Ramadhan Market which can be found in every district. Unlike some parts of the world, Malaysians muslims are lucky because we can get home food readily cooked without having to lift a finger. These Pasar Ramadhan will sell all sorts of food from savoury dishes to sweet desserts, exactly like what we can get at home. So for those who are busy and are always running out of time to whip a good dish, Pasar Ramadhan can offer a lot of food selections.

Personally, I prefer to cook the main dish and will get a few desserts from the Pasar Ramadhan. As we have too many nice desserts, I will mainly buy a few selections of a few desserts to take home. In my family, we break the fast with some dates and a cup of hot tea. Normally cold drinks are not encouraged but will be taken with moderation. I would prefer if we eat the dinner after Maghrib prayer, but sometimes the dinner can be too inviting or the tummy is rumbling loud enough that sometimes we have to succumb to the food before taking our prayer. The kids are also encouraged to fast although they have not reached puberty because I prefer to train them from small. If they cannot fast the whole day, I allow some drinks and will adjust the time of fasting for them from time to time.

The holy month of Ramadhan is a blessed month. It is also the month to ask for forgiveness and to improve on our qualities of life, what more of our morals and values. I personally believe in good moral values and that we have to be morally right throughout or lives and not only during Ramadhan. What we impose on Ramadhan should be continually done for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, it is sad to see some people who will not take morals seriously and think that being good and true is something that we should not be proud about. I am appalled at some people who praise unworthy things but condemn those who want to do good. We all should be good not only during Ramadhan but also for as long as we live.

I believe in honesty, a good intention and say the truth, even it might hurts, but saying the truth is better than lying. Even worst if lying has become a lifestyle and norm that it has been almost natural to lie to some people. Hence, this holy month is best if we can practice all the good things and throw all the bad away forever. If we have been a foul mouth, learn to shut or mouth. If we have been dishonest, learn to be honest. If we have been a good liar, learn to say the truth. If we have not been religious, learn to be one. If we have not prayed or read the quran, we can start now. If we are not thankful to what we have, be thankful now. If we cannot stop complaining, end it now. If we think we are holy, think again. We are not perfect but we have to strive to be the best morally and religiously. And materials and assets are just a bonus. Morals should always comes first in every way.

Hopefully, by the end of Ramadhan, we will be blessed by God and forgiven for all our past, present and future deeds and wrongdoings. Hopefully, this Ramadhan will be a better one and it is my intention to improve my deeds, thoughts and actions not only on Ramadhan but throughout my entire life. InsyaAllah.

Ramadhan Mubarak to all and have a nice holy month ahead!