Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri / Eid Mubarak

Tomorrow October 01, 2008 is also Shawal 01, 1429H in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end of Ramadhan (fasting month).

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslim, Selamat Hari Raya / Eid Mubarak.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Chili Tuna Pasta And Oven Roasted Brussel Sprout

I bought some brussel sprouts yesterday to make the oven roasted brussel sprout that Jo made at her blog but I cant just have that for dinner, can I? So I walked back and forth opening the fridge, freezer and all the kitchen cabinets thinking what else should I make. Then I saw a can of the Bumble Bee Spicy Thai Chili Tuna and decided to make my favourite pasta that I used to order everytime I go to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf outlet in Malaysia, Chili Tuna Pasta.

You can also check out my other recipe using Chili Tuna, Roti Pratha with Egg and Spicy Thai Chili Tuna.
Chili Tuna Pasta
Serves 1-2

1 can 5oz Bumble Bee Spicy Thai Chili Tuna
1 tomato, cubed
2-3 thai chili, sliced (optional, only if you like it hot)
2 tbsp olive oil
Cooked spaghetti or pasta of your choice

In a pan, heat olive oil on medium heat and add everything in. Stir occasionally. Serve on cooked spaghetti.

Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Serves 1

8 Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halves lengthwise
Olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven 400F

1. Lay out the brussel sprouts on a baking pan in a single layer.

2. Sprinkle some olive oil, salt and black pepper.

3. Baked for 30-40 min, depending on the amount of brussel sprouts that you use.

4. Serves immediately as they taste better hot. Crunchy and yummylicious good.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daging Goreng Kunyit (Dry-Fried Beef with Potato)

Eventhough I live far away from home, I still keep in touch with my family and friends on a regular basis. Be it via phone (love those calling cards from the internet!) or IM or Skype. Being away from them is not an excuse not to keep in touch. 1 of them is my friend Su who came to visit me last year. When we are on skype, among other topics that we talked about is their plan to move to Seattle and food. Su is also a reader of both my blogs although she has only left a comment once. (Su, hint hint!)

She is also a good cook. I tried making Daging Goreng Kunyit before but I just could not get the beef to be crispy. I thought I needed to deep-fry the beef first which I kept doing which resulted in a horribly looking beef. That is until she spilled the secret of getting the beef to have that deep-fried texture and taste instead of chewy. For those who dont speak Malay or Bahasa, daging = meat (in this case its beef), goreng = fried and kunyit = turmeric.

Daging Goreng Kunyit
serves 4-6

1lb beef, thinly sliced
Water, enough to cover the beef in the pan or wok
4 tbsp veggie oil (or any kind of cooking oil)
1 potato, peeled and cut into wedges
3/4 tbsp turmeric powder
1 each of green and red bell pepper or capsicums, cubed
1 yellow onion, sliced 1/3-1/2 in width
Pinch of salt, black pepper and sugar

1. Put the beef in a pan or wok and add water enough to cover the beef. Cook until the water has completely dried. Stir occasionally.

2. Add in the oil, potato and turmeric powder. Stir regularly until the beef looks crunchy and the potato is soft.

3. Add the bell peppers, onion, salt, pepper and sugar. Continue stirring for a minute.

4. Serves with warm white rice.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tepung Pelita

Tepung Pelita is like the best dessert in Malaysia and especially more so during fasting month. I could not tell you enough how much I miss having this sweet, creamy (coconout milk creamy) and a little bit salty eversince I moved here. Tepung Pelita is a must-have in my family. And that must-have is everyday for the whole of fasting month. I dont know why the cravings get crazy during fasting month since I dont really mind not having them for the rest of the 11months in the year. This craziness for Tepung Pelita doesnt just happen in my family but also by my friends/readers of my other blog as admitted by them here.

This year I am finally brave enough to make Tepung Pelita. My quest for the recipe brought me to a few sites/blogs of those who has made this before but the recipe and how-to is basically the same. 3 major differences that I found are 1) whether or not its steamed 2) with or without the sugar syrup at the bottom 3) whether or not you're using the banana leaves as the 'boat'.

The original Tepung Pelita are usually steamed, with sugar syrup at the bottom AND comes in small 'boat' made of banana leaves as seen here. This picture is taken from hanieliza.fotopages.com. This is how tepung pelita is sold in its 'original form'. I can eat between 3-4 and sometimes even more of these everyday during fasting month. *wink*

You can go here to see pictures of how its made step-by-step. Below is the recipe that I used with some modifications.

1 + 3tbsp cup rice flour
1 cup sugar
5 cups water
2 tsp pandan paste
4 cups coconut milk
4 tbs rice flour
A bit of salt
2 square Glass or ceramic bowls (9x9 or 10x10)

1. In a pot, mix 1 + 3 tbsp cup rice flour, 1 cup sugar, 5 cups water and 2 tsp pandan paste and stir well until smooth. Keep aside.

2. In a different pot, mix coconut milk, 4 tbsp rice flour and salt and stir well. Keep aside.

3. Cook no.1 on slow heat, stirring continuously until shiny.

4. Pour equally into the 2 glass bowls.

5. Now cook no.2 it thickens. You must stir all the time to avoid the flour from getting clumpy.

6. Pour onto the 1st layer.

7. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy once its chilled.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Green Beans with Chicken Gizzards in Soy Sauce Recipe

How time flies. Its already the 17th day of Ramadhan. 13 more days before Syawal comes which means the end of fasting month and all muslims would be celebrating Eid ul-Fitr or as we Malaysian call it, Hari Raya. A Merry Day. That's celebrated not just for a day, but the whole month. More on Hari Raya later though.

I started fasting when I was 7 years old but I only managed to fast for the whole month the next year when I was 8. Back then as an incentive, my parents (and I think most parents do too) would give us $1 for every day that we fast. Well, that lasted until we turned 12 and after that we just do it because its our responsibility.

When I was a kid and staying at home with my parents and 3 brothers, waking up for sahur for our very early morning meal is rather a challenge. I may be a light sleeper now but definitely not then. But I would still get up and eat the meal with everybody for I dont want to be hungry the next day. However, by the time I got up, my mom usually would have the food ready on the table. The spead is not as much as of for iftar/breaking of fast but enough to last us the whole day of fasting. Those are some of my favourite childhood memories. I attended a full boarding school since I was 13 so I didnt get to spend much time with my family anymore.

Well, I better proceed with the recipe post before I get too emotional. Today's recipe is about internal organs. Chicken gizzards that is. I just love love love these things. Dont ask me why. I just do. And as my other recipes, this is also very easy to make and nutritious too.
Green Beans with Chicken Gizzards in Soy Sauce
Serves 3-4

1/2lb chicken gizzards, cleaned and halves/quartered
Salt & turmeric to coat
2 handfuls of green beans, cuts into 2in long
3 garlic, thinly sliced
1in ginger, thinly sliced
Half onion, sliced
1 red chili, sliced
5-6 tbsp sweet soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2-3 tbsp water
Oil for deep frying

1. Coat chicken gizzards with salt & turmeric, set aside

2. In a wok, heat the oil and deep fry chicken gizzards until golden brown. Set aside.

3. Transfer access oil into a container leaving about 2 tbsp in the wok. Medium heat.

4. Sauteed garlic and ginger until fragrant.

5. Add water, sweet soy sauce and light soy sauce. Stir.

6. Add green beans, onion and red chili. Stir. Turn heat to high and cover. 2 min.

7. Bring the heat back to medium and uncover. Add chicken gizzards and stir a few more times.
8. Serves with warm white rice.

I am also linking this to Kitchen Flavours for Joy from Fasting to Feasting.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Deep-Fried Tofu With Sweet Spicy Sauce

Thai food has become 1 of Malaysian favourites for a long time due to their geographical location which is just northern of Malaysia. Most of the Thai food stall or restaurants are run by the Kelantanese, people from Kelantan which is a northern Malaysian state and bordering Thailand.

Visits to the Thai restaurants here in the US I realise that they always have deep fried tofu in their menu. Frankly speaking, I dont remember if I have ever ordered this from the Thai stalls or restaurants back home. It is however very easy to make. So if you crave for this dish, save the $8 and make them yourself.
Deep-Fried tofu with Sweet Spicy Sauce

1 pack firm tofu, dry pat and cuts into squares or other shapes
Oil for deep frying

1. In a deep pan or wok, heat the oil and deep fry tofu until golden brown.

2. Use paper towel to rid of excess oil.

For the sauce, I use mae ploy sweet chili sauce and added some ground peanuts to it. You can use any other kind of sweet chili sauce.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Important And Exciting News

Hi all

Just want to share the good news. I just got myself my very own domain name. Yes, after contemplating for quite a while, I finally got down to doing it. No more of those long and too many dots url. It is now a very straight forward, easy-to-type (and remember!) name www.SaltNTurmeric.com

If you are linked to me, please do update the url so we can still keep in touch via this world of blogosphere.

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Kuih Bahulu Recipe

Thank you all for participating in the guessing and choosing game. Yes it is Kuih Bahulu. A traditional Malaysian kuih that can be found mostly during Hari Raya (Eid) or Chinese New Year. They came in various shapes. Sometimes flowery and other times in goldfish shape. And just like durian, I dont discriminate them by their shapes. Mine however look like a tiny acorn according to Michael. And now the image is stuck in my head and so does the movie Ice Age!

As mentioned in my previous post, I had to do something to redeem my failure in making Pandan Chiffon Cake. What better way than making something else that is fluffy, sweet and cute such as kuih bahulu?

For this, I followed the recipe from Rasa Malaysia since her Kuih Bahulu Recipe sounds easy and simple enough to follow. Just what an amatuer like me need and if I can make them, so can you.
Kuih Bahulu
Makes between 30-35 cute little thang

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp butter

1. Pre-heat oven at 375F

2. In a bowl, beat eggs until frosty then add sugar. Continue beating gradually changing from slow to fastest until mixture becomes sticky. About 12-15min.

3. Add vanilla essence and gradually add in the flour and butter. Continue beating for another 10min on high.

4. Grease mould and fill up to 3/4 of the 'holes'.

5. Bake for 15 min.

6. Once done, use a toothpick or wooden skewer to 'pick' them out and lay out on cooling rack.

7. Continue steps 4-6 until all batter are used.
** I do not have the flowery mould that Rasa Malaysia used. I got mine at 1 of the asian supermarket here. Email me if you want to see the picture or if you want to purchase the flowery mould, you can contact Rasa Malaysia.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Let's Play A Guessing Game, Shall We? Part III

After the kitchen disaster experience with my supposedly Pandan Chiffon Cake, I decided to make these tiny, fluffy, sweet thang.

What are they? Well my friends, that is where you come in and guess. I do however have told a few of you what they are so I would really appreciate if you dont tell. Yet. Ok? But you can still pick which set of pictures should I use for the recipe. I kind of gone a bit too excited about them that I took 2 set of pictures using different props and lighting.

So, come all and join in the fun of guessing game and choosing pictures.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Disaster Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake is one of my all-time favourite. It is light, foamy and oh-so-yummy. But I have never made it from scratch so on Friday, after finding all the ingredients, I decided to bake. I was really pumped-up and could already taste the cake in my mouth. Oh, I didn't mention that I was fasting that day so you can imagine how excited I was thinking that I was going to have the cake for iftar.

I followed Rasa Malaysia's recipe for Lemon Chiffon Cake since hers look, well ... light, foamy and oh-so-yummy. Except for 1 thing. You need to add coconut milk into the Pandan Chiffon Cake recipe while for lemon chiffon cake, you dont need too. And me, being the not-so-smart-in-baking totally forgot about it until I have already add in all the ingredients. What did I do then? I added some coconut milk into the ingredients and continue with everything that needs to be done.

1 hour later.

Well, as you can see from the pictures, the cake was a disaster! From far, it does look like pandan chiffon cake but who wants to look at it from far, right? Since I dont have the right mould, I just used bundt cake mould and it was tricky getting the cake out thus a part of it stays inside the mould. The texture was more like a bread rather then chiffon cake. Michael had a slice of it and says that it tasted pretty good. Oh, he is such a sweetheart! But I know that it was far from pretty good. It was a disaster.

So, that was my story/experience of baking disaster. No wonder baking scares me. I am just not that good in it. However, that will not stop me from trying. I love chiffon cake too much to quit. Hopefully the next time I post about Pandan Chiffon Cake, it would look and taste like it is supposed to be. Light, foamy and oh-so-yummy.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Serawa Durian with Roti Jala (Durian in Coconut Milk with Lacy Pancake)

You will either love it or totally hate it. Yes, I am talking about durian. The King of Fruit. With smell that is so intoxicating it would make you ask for more. Or run away. As for me, I have always loved durian. I am no connoisseur of durian and wont be able to differenciate between all the varieties there are out there. I just dont discriminate. If it's durian, I will love it.

Fresh durian is practically non-existent here. The durians that we get here are from Thailand. Either as a whole or seedless and frozen. Since Michael do not eat and neither can he take the smell, I would normally buy the frozen seedless kind and eat them little by little.

Sometimes I would make serawa durian. Serawa basically means a mixture of coconut milk, brown sugar and pandan leaf. So serawa durian is a mixture of all those with durian. It is very easy to make. You can eat it with bread or with roti jala (lacy pancake), hot or chilled. The smell is not as strong as eating them 'fresh' either so if you're a durian virgin, you might want to try this. I decided to make roti jala to go with this since Rasa Malaysia gave me the mould. I also used her recipe for Roti Jala. But I didn't do a very good job in lacy-ing the roti. lol.
Serawa Durian

1 tube of seedless frozen durian (or 5-6 pieces)
1 can coconut milk, 400ml
4-5 tbsp brown sugar
4-5 drops of pandan flavoured paste

1. Put everything in a pot and cook on low heat. Stir often. This would be maybe between 12-15 min.

2. Pour them into a bowl and enjoy with roti jala or bread.

3. If you like it chilled, just put it in the fridge for a few hours.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadhan Mubarak & Labor Day

It is a long weekend for the United States for Sept 1 is Labor Day. This year it also coincides with the first day of Ramadhan where all Muslims around the world will be fasting from dawn to dusk for the whole month before celebrating Eid. I am taking this advantage wishing all muslim Ramadhan Mubarak.

This Malaysian-ised baked beans was my favourite when I grew up. I usually have it for breakfast but I think it is also good for sahur (or suhoor or sehri or sahari in other languages) which is an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting. It is easy and fast to make.

Baked Beans with Deep Fried Egg

Serves 2-3

1 can baked beans -I used Malaysian made which comes in tomato sauce.
1/2 onion, sliced
1 red chili, sliced
3tbsp ketchup, if you use the regular baked beans
salt & pepper to taste
2-3 eggs, deep fried
2 tbsp veggie oil

1. Deep fry eggs and set aside

2. In a wok or pan, saute the onion, add in the baked beans and lightly stir.

3. Add salt and pepper, taste to your liking

4. Add chili and eggs. Gently stir.

Serves with toast.

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