Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nonya Curry Laksa


If someone offer you a bowl of good laksa... would you politely decline or would you have a Cheshire Cat smile and accept whole heartedly?
Shamelessly....I am the later type of person...blushing

Just in case you were wondering..."What is Laksa?" ...Laksa is a bowl of noodles serve in broth with some garnishing. Its the broth that define what type of Laksa it is... whether its fish based sour and spicy soup or thick and creamy 'curry' like soup.

I wouldn't be wrong if I were to say that Malaysia is a Laksa Haven love struck. I guess I could divide my Laksa 'adventure' into 4 ~ North, South, East Coast and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).

Here is my quick snippets of the gorgeous mouth watering Laksa...
  • North ~Laksa Utara click here for recipe  (from Perlis, Kedah and Penang) is mostly fish based broth with sourish taste and serve with Rice Noodles, lots of cut up bird's eye chilli, and local fresh herbs. Slight variants to the type of fish used to make the broth between the States.
  • South ~ Laksa Johor click here for recipe comes from Southern State (Johor) ~ the broth is again fish based broth with spices and coconut milk added. Spaghetti is used in Laksa Johor instead of Asian noodles (yellow noodles or vermicelli or flat rice noodles).
  • East Coast ~ Laksa Kelantan. Broth is made up of fish and it has different texture, taste and colour. The authentic Laksa Kelantan is serve with sambal, thinly sliced snake beans and homemade rice flour flat noodles.
  • East Malaysia ~ Laksa Sarawak ~ again the taste is distinctively different from the rest.


I have another Laksa to add to my list... its Nonya Curry Laksathumbs up

The Flavours of Nonya Curry Laksa is unique, in comparisons to Laksa(s) I have tasted.
To slurp sum it up...  ~ I would say its a combination of Curry Mee and Laksa. The burst of flavours were beyond words... obvious from the long list ingredients listed below...
The preparation was laborious.... alas! to be rewarded with a hot bowl of Nonya Curry Laksa is worth all the slogging, sweat and hard work in the kitchen .... so satisfying, even kids were asking for more.big grin

Note :Nonya Curry Laksa uses a combination of vermicelli and yellow noodles, however, all of us agreed that vermicelli absorb the broth flavour better than the yellow noodle...

Do you know of any Laksa and wanted to add on to my list? Feel free to share batting eyelashes...

Recipe (adapted from Pasar Malam delights with modifications)
500g yellow noodles
300g vermicelli noodles
200 g prawns ~ deveined and leave the tail intact
finely sliced ginger flower (bunga kantan)
mint leaves
4 pieces cooked chicken thigh-sliced thinly
Golden fried shallots
Broth
2500ml water
1 tablespoon raw sugar
salt
150ml light soy sauce
5 Sprigs of vietnamese mint (daun kesum)
3 stalks of lemongrass - bruised
6 kaffir lime leaves
300ml coconut cream
12 deep fried beancurd (tau pok) - halved.
Spice for Broth
200ml canola oil (cooking oil)
1 large red onion
15 dried chillies -soaked
2cm tumeric
2 cm galangal
5 stalks of lemongrass
10 candlenuts
1 tablespoon of Maggi prawn paste granules (belacan)
Sambal (Chilli Paste)
10 dried chillies- soaked
1 medium size red onion
4 garlic
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (ground) 
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 teaspoon Maggi prawn paste granules (belacan)
3 stalks of lemongrass
salt
sugar
50 ml coconut milk
1/2 cup of oil
Method
Laksa Broth
  1. Blend the spices (under the heading of Spice for Broth) into a smooth paste.
  2. Saute until fragrant in 1/2 cup of oil.
  3. Add in water, sugar, salt to taste, soy sauce.
  4. Bring to boil.
  5. Then add vietnamese mint, bruised lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
  6. Bring to a quick boil then lower the heat into a simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Add coconut cream and deep fried beancurd.
  8. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Sambal (chilli paste)
  1. Blend the spices into a smooth paste.
  2. Cook the blended spice in 1/2 cup of oil at low heat until aromatic (into a thick paste).
  3. Put aside.
Noodles and condiment.
  1. Blanch the yellow noodles and vermicelli (separately) for 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Divide the yellow noodle, vermicelli, prawns, and chicken slices into individual bowls.
  3. Ladle hot Laksa Broth.
  4. Garnish with some ginger flower, golden fried shallots and mint.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Cocoa' Tiramisu




I was a coffee drinker... started at a very young age... perhaps as soon as I took my dislike in drinking milk, at six or seven years of age.
I would have a cup of instant coffee with 2 teaspoon of sugar for breakfast with 3 slices of bread. Then in the afternoon, I would have another cup of Malaysian coffee with sweet condensed milk ... with banana fritters or just dunk the cream crackers.
And when I was in Uni, I would indulge in latte, cappucino, espresso etc... coffee
I could not resist coffee especially when I walked passed the coffee bar with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the air... as if its calling my name... I would walked straight into the coffee bar for my caffeine fix.


However, things started to change... I was at work, and had just finished my first cup of coffee... suddenly my heart was pumping so fast that I felt like my ribcage was about to burst... I thought it was work related, you know 'work related' stress!!

It happened again the next few days... not only my heart was beating fast...my head was swimming too... strong headache that I can't even open my eyes... it happened everytime I had a cup of coffee... then I knew the source of my 'excited' heartbeat!!! its
COFFEE
my body was telling me that it had enough of caffeine intake... sad

It has been 2 decades since I stopped drinking coffee... not even a sip or a bite of coffee flavoured cake, the effect is the same...

Being a sweet-tooth person...Tiramisu is one of the desserts I would love to try but dare not give it a go...  all because of COFFEE ...sigh


And being an imaginative person... and not wanting to miss out on good dessert... I had my Tiramisu with cocoa instead.... it was SUPERB...I can't compare with the Authentic Coffee based Tiramisu ... sorry...   

So here is my take on 'Cocoa' Tiramisu... can I still call it Tiramisu?

Recipe
1 cup of brewed cocoa
1/2 cup of caster sugar
250g saviordi biscuits
250g mascarpone cheese
300ml thickened cream
1/4 cup Creme de Cocoa (non-alcoholic)
  1. Pour warm cocoa in a shallow dish.
  2. Dip the saviordi biscuits, one at a time, and line either ramekins or glass or cup.
  3. Whip cream to firm peaks.
  4. Mix in sugar, fold in mascarpone cheese and Creme de Cocoa.
  5. Fill the glasses carefully with the mascarpone mixture.
  6. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Sprinkle with some grated chocolate or some caramel Hot Chocolate Powder.
  8. Serve

Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest Post # 3~ Lemang/ Glutinous Rice wrapped in Banana Leaf

glutinous-rice-in-banana-leaf

I am so excited to be invited by Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yum to write and share with everyone about a traditional Malaysian delicacy, Lemang... (pronounce as Le-Mung).  Lemang is a 'must-have' dish during Eid celebration. drooling

Being far away from home, with only glutinous rice, coconut milk and banana leaves easily available, I managed to re-create Lemang at home...
To my fellow Malaysians who reside overseas...and at times have that 'craving' for Lemang... fret no more... you too can make Lemang without bamboo and a huge bonfire in your back yard.thumbs up

So let us head over to Rosa's Yummy Yum  blog to enjoy my Homemade Lemang.
And while you are there, do check out Rosa's exciting photographs of her mouth-watering food and her beautiful homeland of Switzerland... Everytime I look at her beautiful photos .... I was somehow lost in the land of my imagination... and kept on seeing Maria singing away with Von Trapps children... (nevermind that Sounds of Music was filmed in Austria...)

Click here for Beef Rendang Recipe...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken Coated in Yoghurt and Sourdough Breadcrumbs


This post will be my 'Almost Wordless' post.. After 2 lengthy posts..and another due soon... I think my brain and fingers deserve a break....feeling beat up
Let us sit back and enjoy photos from my garden...
Spring 2011...

Eucalyptus Macrocarpa ~  Red Pom-Pom flowers
Anemone

Daisies

Tahitian Lime Flower buds

Lemon Meyer flowers and the Bee
Recipe
1 tub of light natural yoghurt
1kg chicken breast - slice into 1.5 cm thick
1 Sourdough baguette
1 teaspoon dried herbs
salt
  1. Marinate the chicken strips in yoghurt for at least 3 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Process sourdough baguette in food precessor into breadcrumbs.
  3. Season breadcrumbs with salt and some dried herbs.
  4. Heat up frying pan and pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  5. Coat chicken strips with breadcrumbs.
  6. Spray oil onto the chicken strips and place onto the hot frying pan.
  7. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side to seal the juice.
  8. Arrange on baking tray and baked for about 15-20 minutes until it is cooked.
  9. Serve with roasted vegetable.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nasi Minyak/ Savoury Rice

savoury-rice

In my previous post, I mentioned that Ayam Masak Merah is a special dish for Malay weddings... and I shall continue with another 'Wedding Dish' ~ Nasi Minyak or Savoury Rice to compliment Ayam Masak Merah.

In villages or kampongs... Malay weddings are celebrated as a community activity. Relatives and neighbours would get together to help out in the preparations, cooking, serving as well as cleaning up after the big event.
Men are assign with back-breaking task such as chopping fire woods, put up tents, arrange tables and chairs while ladies help out in peeling onions, removing rice husks from the rice grains, clean and cut-up chickens and kilos of beef, boil hundreds of eggs, make litres of syrup.
Some would be in-charge of decorating the dais for the happy couple to sit and be blessed by elders and guests, and some would be in- charge with decorating the 'bridal' suite...
Big woks and pots are put to good use. Frying and sautéing would be done on the eve.. with major cooking are done early in the morning on the wedding day.

My nieces in their traditional wedding attire...

Left ~ the beautifully decorated dais for the happy couple. Right ~ the bridal suite...

A typical Malay wedding banquet in small villages...
Left ~ a beautiful diamond ring for the bride.
Right ~ traditional Malay musical instrument known as 'Kompang' to welcome the bride and groom 

As a kid, I loved to tag along my mom to weddings. I remembered Mom would put on her best Baju Kurung (traditional Malay attire for ladies), adorned in her finest jewellery. Then we would make our way to the wedding...
I would sit with my mom at the table... waiting anxiously to eat. The 'Mentara' or waiters/ waitresses would placed the dish... one by one... 
I would go 'eyeing' each dish... a typical wedding feast would have Beef Korma, Ayam Masak Merah, fresh salad of cut-up pineapples, cucumber, onions and chillies, Beef Dhal Curry or Dalca... and finally plates of Nasi Minyak or Savoury Rice would be placed in front of me...  

The aroma of Nasi Minyak wafting through the air was so irresistable....
The sweet aroma of ghee... creamy savoury taste of the rice would make my tummy go wild. But I had to exercise self-control and refrained from reaching out... must not start eating before the adults... and if I 'accidently' did... I would get a good 'secret' pinch on my thigh....
ouch!! shame on you

Bunga Telur signifies Fertility... guests wishing the newly-wed ~ a happy marriage and be blessed with offsprings
Finally... when everyone done feasting and chatting... the host would  present us with their token of appreciation by handing out 'BungaTelur' ~ a nicely presented hard boiled egg wrapped in a beautiful sachet filled with 'Bunga Rampai' (Bunga Rampai is made out of semi dried finely sliced screwpine leaves mix with rose petals and few drops of rose water.. its the Eastern 'Pot-Pourri').

I would go home, happy and contented that I had my fill of wedding feast... and proudly carrying home my fragrant Bunga Telur...
-------------------------------------------------------
Last but not least.... I am submitting this to Sharon of Test with Skewer for her Muhibbah Malaysian Monday.
My thanks to my nieces and nephews for the wedding photos...
Recipe (for 4-5) 
2 inch ginger julienne
2 tablespoon ghee
1 can evaporated milk (375ml)
1 screwpine leaves knotted
2 cups of rice (500ml)
1 cup of water (additional 1/4 cup if required)
3 cardamons
4 shallots - thinly sliced
a pinch of saffron
Bouquet garni
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 star anise
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
  1. Wrap fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and cinnamon in muslin cloth. Secure with cooking string.
  2. Wash and drain rice.
  3. Place the rice in Rice Cooker with the knotted screwpine leaves and Bouquet Garni.
  4. Heat up pan and  melt the ghee.
  5. Saute cardamon and shallots until fragrant.
  6. Add in julienne ginger.
  7. Add evaporated milk, water and season with salt.
  8. Gently pour the mixture in the rice cooker. 
  9. Add saffron on few spots on the 'about to cook' rice (approximate10 minutes before the rice is done) for the 'yellow' tinge.
  10. Gently fluff up the rice.
  11. Serve.