Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Post #2 ~ Ayam Masak Merah


I guess the best way to describe Ayam Masak Merah would be ~ Fried Chicken cooked in rich-creamy Spicy-Tomato sauce.

Mentioned Ayam Masak Merah to a Kedahan (Kedah is a state in the far North of Malaysia),  would immediately evoke memories of ‘Traditional Malay Weddings’ and perhaps Hari Raya / Eid Celebration. 

Yes… Ayam Masak Merah is not an everyday affair in a typical household in Kedah. It is a unique dish to be enjoyed on special occasions… served with Nasi Minyak / Savoury Rice, fresh salad of cucumber, pineapple, cut-up chillies and red onions.

Ayam Masak Merah has unique flavours, the taste is beautiful and unforgettable although it shares some basic similar spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise and chillies) to Chicken Curry. It is distinctively different, be it in the texture of the chicken or the tantalizing flavours in the sauce.

The chicken pieces are rubbed in with turmeric and salt and are deep fried till golden in colour. Deep frying seals the juice as well as it gives the chicken pieces, a firmer texture to every bite. The pieces are then added to the simmering sauce. This gives the chicken, its rich flavour, with its subtle heat from the chillies, sweet and sour-ish taste from the tomato soup combine with creaminess from coconut milk.

Moslems in Malaysia and around the world will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidil Fitri,/ Eid Mubarak soon, perhaps Ayam Masak Merah could be one of the dish that you might want to cook and join in the Celebration.
The recipe for Ayam Masak Merah courtesy from my sister... who happened to be a great cook.
I am submitting this to Suresh Chong of 3 Hungry Tummies for the Muhibbah Malaysia Monday..
Eid Mubarak …

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Selamat Hari Raya 2011/ Eid Mubarak 1432

Wishing my Friends and Readers ….
Kuih Bahulu
To those who are making the long journey... through the horrendous traffic jam... to your respective hometown ... be safe on the road. Your loved ones are waiting with open arms to celebrate this joyous occassion.
And to those who are away from family ... err.. like my family and I , we'll make the best of our Raya/ Eid by celebrating with friends... and Raya cookies, lemang and rendang...thumbs up

Pineapple Tart
Our Raya/ Eid Celebration will be incomplete without the presence of Kuih Bahulu , Pineapple Tart, Kuih Makmur and I could add Samperit previous post to my list of Raya Cookies...
note : click on the bold blue words to link to recipes... of respectives cookies...

Kuih Makmur
Maaf Zahir Batin... jika ada terkasar bahasa...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Samperit / Custard Cookies


These are gorgeous 'Melt in the mouth' Samperit,  one of many 'favourite' traditional cookies, in many Malay households during Eid Celebration in the 70's to 80's...happy

Every Raya /Eid celebration... my mom would start her preparation as early as 2 weeks before Eid. She would wash and dry the flat aluminium pot covers, which would served as baking trays later. Then Mom would do a checklist and put aside all the ingredients needed.
She would bake as many as 5- 6 types of biscuits.... and one of the 'must-bake' sweet treats would be Samperit.

My siblings and I, would have Samperit every Raya... but sad to say... we didn't know how to appreciate good things back then. We overlooked, underestimated the traditional cookies, and started to yearn for other exciting fancy name Cookies from the West.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence...
Since none of her children were looking forward to the traditional cookies anymore... Mom stopped baking Samperit. 

2 decades passed.. the craving and longing for traditional cookies started to kick in ...
I missed the 'Custardy-melt in the mouth taste' of Samperit ... 
I missed that little yellow Rose flower cookies with the cute little red cherry on the top...
Most of all....I missed my mom baking us Samperit!!! crying
Samperit Nozzle...
I have been on a quest for few years  ... to bake the perfect Samperit but failures came to greet me...frustrated ,  either the dough was too soft that the 'petals' fell flat during baking or the dough was too stiff that my thumb hurts when I was trying to push the dough out of the nozzle...

I gave Mom a call...asking for her recipe... she described in the detail how she did hers... unfortunately the quantities in her recipe were measured by that orange colour tin labelled Brown and Polson Custard Powder ...  dang!!!
I surfed the net... found a few... tried but still not as good as Mom's... until  the subject about Samperit was mentioned in one of my FB conversations with my former schoolmates... we talked food all the time...NOT!!!

Intan, generously share her recipe... and with her consent, I am sharing with everyone...
Thanks Intan...rose 

Alas... my search for the perfect 'Melt-in the Mouth' Samperit is ....OVER!!!drooling

Recipe (makes approximately 70 pieces)

150g margarine
80g icing sugar
50g cornflour
80g custard powder
120g plain flour
1 egg yolk
glaze cherries - chopped
  1. Fry the cornflour, plain flour and custard powder into the dry wok over low fire until the mixture is light and leaves the side of the wok. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar until creamy.
  3. Add in the egg yolk. Beat the mixture until well combine.
  4. Add in flour.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 120C.
  6. Using the Samperit Nozzle (photo above)... pressed out the dough.
  7. Topped with cut up cherries and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sago and Brown Sugar Syrup


Time flies and another week just flew out of the window... and soon Eid Celebration will be at our door steps...  big grin
I have to start my cookies baking soon...

If one were to visit some hotels in Malaysia for their Ramadan (Fasting Month) Buffet Spread... one of the desserts that you are likely to find is Sago Pearls served with dark brown sugar syrup and coconut milk...

And that was where D had his first taste of this gorgeous dessert and has not forgotten about it eversince... it was like ~  love at first taste for him...love struck

With a packet of sago in hand... I asked him... and knowing what his answer would be ...
"Which would you prefer: Kuih Sago or Sago with dark brown sugar syrup and coconut milk...?"

Without a second to waste...I got his reply...

Enjoy this dessert either as it is or chilled for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Like D, you will craving for more winking...
I am submitting this to Muhibbah Malaysia Monday #14 hosted by Suresh Chong 3 Hungry Tummies 

Recipe (serve 4-6)
2 liter of water
200g sago pearls
2 pandan leaves ~ tie into a knot
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 can of coconut milk
  1. Place dark brown sugar, knotted pandan leaves and 1/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a quick boil then lower the heat.
  3. Leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes
  4. Set aside.
  5. Bring 2 liter of water to boil. Add sago pearls into the boiling water.
  6. Stir continously... so it will not clump together.
  7. Cook until all the pearls become transparent.
  8. Drain off the starch and rinse under cold water a few times.
  9. Spoon into glass or bowl.
  10. To serve, add dark brown sugar syrup and coconut milk.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pecan and Chocolate Tart

When I announced... that I wanted to bake Pecan Pie for the weekend... one jumped with joy while the other gave me a 'not-so-happy' face... So, to pleased both; D and E, ideaI decided to bake 2 types of pie  ~ Pecan Pie and Pumpkin pie ~ ambitious? yeah... a Mom got to do what a Mom got to do... to please her brood, right?

D loves Pecan pie and E loves Pumpkin Pie... so settled... both were happy. Since I have 4 individual serving loose bottom pans... I baked 2 of each.
H and I can enjoy both pies... (greedy parents ...hee hee)

I was busy 3/4 of the day ... making the pastry, line them in the loose bottom pan, bake and mix the filling and bake again...

Finally when the pies were all ready, and we were about to sit down... to enjoy our desserts...
suddenly E asked, 'What type of pecan pie is this?'...'Is it your usual Pecan Pie?'
me~ No.... this time ... I added Chocolate in the filling...
E~ (a long)Ohhhh...... Can I have a bite?
... after her 'Can I have a bite' question.... the rest was history....  the Pecan and Chocolate Tart became hers... and I was left with her pumpkin pie!!!

When she was half way finishing the Pecan and Chocolate Tart... I posed her the million dollar question...
me ~ I thought you dislike anything to do with Pecan or Pecan Pie?
E~ but this is different...This is Pecan and Chocolate... and this is GOOD...big grin

My hope to sink my teeth into both pies.... was quashed....
Looks like I have to bake another Pecan and Chocolate Tart...winking again...

Recipe (adapted from ABC Delicious Sweet)
50g unsalted butter, softened
125g light brown sugar
150ml  light corn syrup
3 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate , melted
200g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
Icing sugar to dust
250g plain flour
110g icing sugar, sifted
110g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
1 egg
  1. Place flour, icing sugar in food processor, pulse to combine.
  2. Add in butter and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Add egg and process until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
  4. Enclosed in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out pastry to line a 23 inch loose bottomed tart pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  7. Line the tart with baking paper and fill with uncooked rice grains.
  8. Blind bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the baking paper and rice grains and continue to bake for another 5 minutes until its golden and dry.
  10. Filling ~ Place butter, sugar and corn syrup in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add egg, vanilla, chocolate and pecan nuts
  11. Pour the Filling into the tart case.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.
  13. Set aside to cool and dust with icing sugar.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goan Beef Curry

In Bahasa Melayu...
'Saya mengambil kesempatan untuk mengucapkan kepada semua sanak saudara, rakan taulan, sahabat handai  yang jauh maupun dekat ~

Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadan yang mulia... semoga segala amalan di berkatiNyapraying'
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends and readers
Ramadan Kareem.
May this Ramadan brings us peace and joy to the world.
Aameen... praying

Visiting Ramadan Market ~ one of the many things I missed ....celebrating Ramadan in Malaysia...
The moment I stepped foot into the market... feels like I was on another planet ...

'Planet Food'.

The arrays of food on sale... flavours from Coast to Coast, North to South of Malaysia... home cooked meals, all time favourite cakes, sweets and traditional kuihs, freshly squeezed sugar cane drink, cenduls....and a lot more... all in one place... big grin...
I know some of us who now resides in another part of the world... misses Malaysian Ramadan market... right?winking

Do you have one near you? and what is the market like?

One will not be able to find Goan Beef Curry... in the Ramadan market... perhaps something  similar ~ Mutton Curry.drooling

Recipe (adapted from The Food Of India)
8 cardamon pods
1 teaspoon fennel
8 cloves
10 cm cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoon coriander seeds
3 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup oil
2 onions finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
10cm ginger - grated
1kg gravy beef - cut into 3cm cubes
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 can of 400ml coconut milk
4 potaoes cut into wedges (optional)
  1. Remove the seeds from the cardamon pods, grind in the spice grinder with fennel. cloves, cinnamon, fenugreek, black pepper, coriander and cumin into fine powder.
  2. In a heavy base pan, heta up the oil and saute finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  3. Add cubed beef, cook until brown all over to seal the juice.
  4. Add in the grounded spices.
  5. Give a quick stir for a minute, add coconut milk.
  6. Bring to boil then reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer for about an hour.
  7. Add potatoes in the last 30 minutes.
  8. Season with salt.
  9. Simmer until the sauce thicken, potatoes and beef are tender.
  10. Serve with Naan click here for recipe or basmati rice