Cucumber with Coconut Milk@Masak Lemak Putih Timun

This is a very typical Malay food that you can get in any Malay house. One of the most basic ingredients in a Malay community is coconut milk. Often, vegetables are cooked this way but with time and the influence of other immigrants, we have incorporated the Chinese style of cooking vegetables like stir fry, for instance. But if you would like to make a traditional Malay style vegetable dish, this would be one of them. Besides cucumber, you can also substitute it with other vegetables like petola, broad beans, small corns, or any other green and leafy vegetables like spinach, to name a few. But for this one, I would like to share with you how to cook lemak putih timun or cucumber with coconut milk. Enjoy!

1 cucumber, sliced (about 1 inch thick)
100 gm anchovies
1 big onion, thinly slicrd
2 fresh red chillies, sliced
1-2 table spoon coarse black pepper
500 liter coconut milk (plus water if needed)
salt, to taste
2 eggs 

1. In a pot, put all ingredients except the eggs and stir the coconut milk and other ingredients continually and cook until the cucumber is tender.

2. When the cucumber is tender, break the eggs and put them into the pot and leave them to set for a while. Do not tamper with the eggs and let them cook.

3. When the eggs are cooked, you can transfer the dish into a serving bowl and eat with hot plain rice.

*serves 4-6 people

Fried Anchovies with Chilli and Tamarind Juice

When I was living in the UK, I often cooked this simple dish whenever time was constraint. And whenever I make this dish back home, I often reminiscent those times where the weather was cold and windy, and I would sample this dish with a hot piping rice. Simply heaven! And now, when I have no appetite to eat anything fancy, I would open the fridge, take out the anchovies (ikan bilis) and fry them with some chillies and onions in no time. Sometimes, you do not have to eat anything fancy to feel full, simple dish like this one can fill up one's stomach sometimes even hundred times more than anything else! Do try!

300 gm anchovies, fried until golden brown
2 garlic, chopped
1 big onion, chopped
a cup of tamarind juice
6-8 cili padi or thai bird's chilli
3 green fresh chillies, sliced thinly
salt and pepper to taste

1. Firstly, in a skillet, drizzle some oil and when the oil is heated, put in the onions and garlic and fry until golden brown.

2. Secondly, put in green fresh chillies, thai chillies and tamarind juice and cook for about a minute before adding in the fried anchovies, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Thirdly, stir all ingredients well and serve in a serving dish and eat with hot piping rice.

*serves 4-6 people   

Beef and Zuchinni in Tomato Sauce

I learned to cook this after marriage. It is an Egyptian dish that is simple yet tasty which they called Kosa. The Egyptian will eat this with bread, but you can also take this with rice that has been cooked with some oil and chicken stock until golden brown. It is not Asian, but it has been incorporated into my kitchen and the children love it too. Do try!

500 gm beef, cubed
1 zuchinni, cubed and spread with salt to take away the liquid
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 big onions, chopped
8 fresh red tomatoes, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 table spoon coriander powder
1 table spoon cumin powder

1. In a pot, drizzle some oil and when the oil is heated, add in the chopped onions and garlic until golden brown.

2. Then, add in the beef cubes and let them become tender, for about 15 minutes.

3. When the beef is tender, add in the tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have become a thick sauce.

4. After that, add in the zuchinni, coriander, cumin powder, salt and pepper to taste.

5. Cook for a few minutes until the zuchinni is tender and the sauce thickens.

6. Serves with bread, preferably Arab bread.

*serves 4-6 people