Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kuih Cara Berlauk/ Savoury Bites


Hi... I am back... happy
Computer is all good again. VGA card was the culprit... giving me a headache and heartache. It didn't take long for the computer guy to fix it, max 15 minutes to get it running again... What a relief!!!

However, everything happened for a reason... right?
Those 2 weeks hiatus was good... took the opportunity to settle few important tasks... for I had so many things/events requires my undivided attention within that span of time... chasing datelines... at wits' endunfortunately cooking, baking and photography took the back seat. Actually... I have not been cooking or baking, let alone play with my camera much lately...

One of the tasks was... to make sure that my son has everything he needed for his trip to Nepal. Yes... he is away for a month sad and will only be home for Christmas...
I am proud of him to be able to take up the challenge... sleeping rough, eat to live and most of all, he dare to venture out of his comfort zone.
I am not an outdoor type of person... I can't sleep rough and tough (not even in the pitched up tent in our backyard...yes ... I am THAT bad) and I definitely CANNOT live on 3 shirts, 3 pants and 3 undergarments for 30 days... eeeeuuuuwwww

I admire these group of youth, who are there to help out with some basic renovations and maintenance work to the school for the orphans, teach them English...applause before they head out to the lush green foothills of the Himalayas, 12 days trekking the Annapurna Sanctuary, climbing the mountains and peaking at 4300m.
It is very exciting ... lifetime experience, an eye opener and hopefully they'll come home enrich...

Before his trip, we whipped up  Kuih Cara (pronounce as Koo-eh Char-ra) or Savoury Bites, one of his favourites Kuihs...
D was delighted ... Kuih Cara has all the ingredients and flavours he loves; Chicken, prawns and spicy...
Before he left... D said to me
'Mom, can I have Beef Rendang when I get home? and NO more lentils please....'

Recipe (from Pasar Malam Delights Cookbook)
150g plain flour
300ml water
1/4 teaspoon salt
100ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon custard powder
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoon meat curry powder
150g chicken - diced
500 g cooked prawns - peeled and devein
1tablespoon water
Batter ~
  1. Combine all the ingredients under 'batter' in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk and mix well.
  3. Put it aside.
Filing ~
  1. Heat up oil in wok and saute the chopped garlic and ginger until fragrant.
  2. Add diced chicken.
  3. Keep stirring and add curry powder with 1 tablespoon of water.
  4. Stir until the chicken is cook.
Kuih Cara ~
  1. If you have the 'Kuih Cara' mould ~ heat up the mould (stove top), brush with oil and spoon the batter half way up the mould. And if you dont have one... use frying pan instead (make into pikelet size).
  2. Top up the batter with the cooked chicken and cooked prawns.
  3. Cover and cook using low heat until 'Kuih Cara' is cooked through.
  4. Serve with thinly sliced spring onions and chilli. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


My 1000s apologies for the 'No Post' this week. My beloved computer has decided to go on strike... will be back as soon as I can get it up and running again...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turkish Delight Slices

Try walking into a Travel agency, pick up some brochures, take them home, arrange them neatly by your bedside table and before you go to sleep, flip some pages.... what do you think will happen the next day when we woke up from our slumberland? Yep... You have been bitten by the 'Travel Bug'...

Travel Bug bit me decades ago, when I was in Uni...

I passed by Thomas Cook Travel Agency...enroute home from class. I loved to see what they had on display.... nice places and some travel deals. Then one day... not too sure what came over me...I decided to step in and picked up some brochures: package tours to France, Germany or even to Scandinavia ambitious me... Scandinavia was out of my budget... and still is... and among many brochures... only one that got me going...

It was Turkey love struck.

The places and photos were amazingly beautiful... my heart was set that I wanted to travel to Turkey for the summer. I wanted to see the Blue Mosque, I wanted to experience and be in Pamukkale and many more...
Since none of my Malaysian friends were interested to backpack with me to Turkey, I forward the idea to my Iranian friend, Yasmin. She agreed to travel with me to Turkey, enroute to Switzerland, where she was schooling before headed home to Iran.
I was so excited... plans were made, Visa applied and approved... but sadly, our plans didn't take off, because Yasmin had to go home as soon as our summer holiday started (Iran was in turmoil at that time)... I understood what she went through... I wished her safe journey home... I didn't see her again when semester resumed in October...and I wish and hope for Yasmin's good health and safe with her beloved family... and Yasmin (1st year Economics at King's College London... and you were head over heels over Rob Lowe),  if you are reading this... do keep in touch so I know that you are OK... 

Eventhough my travel plan to Turkey didn't take off broken heart....I have not given up hope ....praying one day I will visit Turkey...
But for now.... lets enjoy my Turkish Delight /Turkish Slice love struck

Recipe (adapted from AWW winter favourite 2011)
185g unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/3 cup (50) self raising flour
4 teaspoon gelatine
2 tablespoon water
1/3 cup(80ml) water, extra
1 1/2 cups(330g) white sugar
1/3 cup (50g) cornflour
2 tablespoon rosewater
red food colouring
icing sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease 20cmx 30cm rectangular pan and line base and long sides with baking paper, extending 5cm over the sides.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until combined. Stir in sifted flours. Press mixture evenly over the base of the pan; using fork, rough the surface. Bake base for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Put aside to cool.
  3. Sprinkle gelatine over water in a heatproof jug. Using double boil method, stand the jug in simmering water and stir until gelatine dissolves.
  4. Add 1/3 cup of water (reserve 1 tablespoon) and sugar into the saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Boil, uncovered without stirring until temperature reaches 116C on candy thermometer. Reduce heat to a simmer, uncovered, and simmer for 5 minutes without stirring, maintaining the heat at 116C. Remove from heat.
  5. Blend cornflour with the reserved 1 tablespoon water, gelatine mixture, rosewater and few drop of food colouring until smooth and stir into the sugar syrup. Return to heat, simmer and stir for 3 minutes or until the mixture is opaque.
  6. Strain over the ready cooled base. Skim any scum.
  7. Stand overnight.
  8. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blood Orange Marmalade

When you read a book ... do you have that feeling... that you ARE in that book? Living, breathing, eating with the characters? I do...I meant 'story' books/ novels, not text book... the later makes me go to sleep...sleepy

Remember Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Secret Seven, Mallory Towers, Naughtiest Girl in School, Magical Faraway trees, Enchanted Woods and many more...? I used to live, breathe with these characters... pretending I was the 6th member of the Famous Five, bestie with Elizabeth Allen, joined in the fun and be one of many Enid Blyton's characters...
I went on adventures, go to bed when they do.. and when the sun rises...I was there waiting at their breakfast table... and many a times... they would have toast and Marmalade....

I liked the sounds of the word 'Marmalade'... didn't have the slightest clue what Marmalade was at that time... let alone the taste!!! Dictionary didn't help much either...  I so desperately wanted to have a taste... I could find bottles of jam in the supermarket but not marmalade... (Alor Setar was a small sleepy town... nothing much happening...)waiting

Not until years later... when I stepped foot into Sainsbury's in Derby... to my delight, I found bottles and bottles of Marmalade on Sainsbury's shelf... if only you could see my expression back then... just like I stumbled upon a pot of gold or won a mega sweep lottery!!dancing

Phew...I could finally taste MARMALADE...
I loved it since...  Elizabeth Allen, I could tell you what marmalade and toast tasted like... and we could be hyper and 'wreck havoc' in class after high dosage of sugar together ....

Dont you just love the vibrant colours of these gorgeous Blood Orange?
After umpteenth years of gorging myself silly and nearly drown in one....winking I decided to treat myself to homemade marmalade... My first attempt ~ making Blood Orange Marmalade...

Oh!!! by the way ...

this is exactly how I imagined them (Enid Blyton's characters...) on their 'Beach' holiday in the South of England..... the photo above was taken on a gorgeous sunny day at Trigg Beach, Perth.

Recipe (adapted with changes from Homemade Preserves)
500g blood oranges
1 medium lemon
1 liter water
300g sugar
  1. Wash, scrub the wax off and dry the fruits.
  2. Halve the fruits and squeeze out the juice with the pips into a muslin cloth lined over a strainer (with bowl underneath the strainer)
  3. Remove pith from the peel.
  4. Reserve the pith.
  5. Cut the peel into thin strips.
  6. Add the reserve pith to the pips into a muslin bag to make a loose bag.
  7. Place the bag in a large pot with shredded peel, juice, and water.
  8. Measure the depth.
  9. Slowly bring the mixture to boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the peel is very soft and the water reduced by half in depth.
  10. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bag.
  11. Put it aside and leave it to cool enough to be able to handle the bag.
  12. Squeeze as much liquid as possible into the pan. 
  13. Add sugar and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
  14. Bring the mixture to a boil for 10 minutes until the setting point has reached 105C on sugar thermometer.
  15. Remove any scum.
  16. Leave to cool until skin starts to form on the surface of the preserve.
  17. Stir to distribute the peel evenly.
  18. Ladle into a sterilised jar, cover and seal.