Vegetable And Pasta soup

Time to watch the diet again after 'chow down' of the glorious festive food!
The Vegetable and Pasta Soup is so light and lovely ... to go with crusty bread.... lots of fibre too...

  • 300g cauliflower - cut in florets
  • 1 carrots - chunky cut
  • 1 zucchini - chunky
  • 1 tomato - chunky
  • 1 cup of pasta - any shape
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 2 garlic - crushed
  • 2 celery stick - chunky cut
  • 1 canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 litre beef stock (water + cube stock)
  • 1 teaspoon dried herb mix
  • seasoning
Saute onion and garlic in 2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the chunky cut vegetable with can tomatoes. Stir for few minutes. Add the mixed herb and stock. Bring to boil and add pasta. Season to taste.


We had a 'small get together' for Raya ... last Sunday... The weather was kind to us... the sun was shining with gentle breeze ....It was brilliant!! The bonus for the day was the 'less of the buzzing, annoying flies' .. We were able to dine with comfort in the backyard....

The Spread :
Nasi Kunyit
Prawns in Sweet Chilli Sauce
Ayam Percik
Our heartfelt thanks to our friends with their 'Buah Tangan' (our Malaysian customary when visiting, to bring something along eg food, fruits etc)

Creamy Fish Pie

The whole family love pot pies.... Filo pastry gives a nice crispy crunch to the pie...yummmm

  • 400g white fish fillets - chopped
  • 200g smoked fish - chopped
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 400g potatoes - chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 20g butter
  • 4 pieces filo pastry*
Saute the onion in butter. Add flour and mix well. Add milk and keep stirring... until well combine. The mixture will thickens and add peas and potatoes. Keep stirring for few minutes. Once the mixture bubbles, add the smoke fish and chopped fish fillets. Season with pepper.
Divide into grease ramekins. Top with scrunch up filo pastry and give it a good oil spray. Bake at 200C for 5 minutes or until golden....
Tip: the recipe stated to use puff pastry, then cut the puff pastry to fit the top of the ramekins. Brush with egg and bake for 20 minutes at 200C.
* I had filo pastry in my fridge and if I dont use it it will go mouldy!!!! Why waste...

Coconut Cake with Passionfruit Icing

Baking cake has never been as easy as this... need not 'cream' the butter with sugar etc...
One of my favourites cook cum chef cum author... learnt a lot of cooking tips from Ms Janelle....this one is from her new cook book....

  • 2 1/3 cups dessicated coconut
  • 1 1/3 cups caster sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour - sifted
  • 2 2/3 cups of coconut milk
  • 2 eggs at room temperature - lightly beaten
Combine dessicated coconut, flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add coconut milk and eggs. Mix well. Pour in a greased cake pan. Bake at 170C (no fan) for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes in the pan before turning onto a wire rack.
Passionfruit glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 fresh passionfruit - halved
Sift icing sugar into a microwave safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoon of passionfruit pulp. Stir to form a very thick paste. Microwave uncovered for 30-40sec on high until warm and runny.
Pour warm glaze over and leave it to set.
~Fast, fabulous and fresh by Janelle
Note: could do with less sugar in the cake and icing....

Beef,Noodle,Veg stir fry with Black Bean sauce

This simple noodle stir fry would make a nice change to the festive food like rendang, ketupat and briyani...

  • 1 packet of Hokkien noodle 800g
  • 400g beef - thinly sliced
  • 1 small capsicum - thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot - julienne
  • 250g mushroom - thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves - crushed
  • 1 small brown onion - thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon of Lee Kum Kee Black bean sauce with garlic
  • coriander to garnish
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add half of the beef and stir fry the beef until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the other half of beef.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same wok over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until softens. Add carrots and capsicum. Stir fry for 2 minutes then add the black bean sauce. Toss in mushroom with 2 tablespoon of water. Add beef and noodle. Stir fry until the noodle is cooked and not mushy. Season with freshly ground black pepper and garnish with fresh coriander.

Selamat Hari Raya

Wishing Everyone....
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri...
Maaf Zahir Batin

showing off my lavender .... blooming in my garden....
photo... courtesy from google image
oooohhhh.... I miss ketupat daun palas......

Pineapple Tart/ Pineapple Roll

My million 'thank you' to my sister, Kak La, for her wonderful 'melt in the mouth' Pineapple Tart recipe. The whole family just can't get enough of this pineapple tart...Yummmm
Miss E was commenting that My Version of this Pineapple Tart/Roll~ taste like one but does not look like one ... and looks more like sausage roll!!

  • 250g butter
  • 40g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 350g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • Extra egg to brush the top of the tart.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale. Add in vanilla essence and egg yolk. Lastly add flour. If you have a pineapple tart mould, make use of it. Since I do not own one, therefore, I roll the pastry into 2-3mm thickness and cut into strips and fill up with jam. Brush the top with egg... Bake at 180C for 15-20minutes.
Come to think of ... Miss E may be right... this little morsels do look like sausage roll .... hmmm.. has to order the acuan (mould) from my sister... the next trip to Alor Setar....

Kuih Makmur or Ghee Cookies with Peanut Filling

In Malaysia, where almost everything is just an 'order' away... I'd have no initiative to find out how to cook or bake anything....especially for Raya. My sister, Kak La, she's brilliant in making scrumptious Raya cookies, so why bother.... she'd make extra for me to take home... thank GOD for my wonderful sister....
Kuih Makmur is one of my favourite Raya cookies... every Raya, I'd order at least 800 pieces...of course, not all were consumed by me! I'd have problems if I did....they'll ended up in my 'tooshie and thigh'....
Now that the luxury of 'ordering' cookies is history.. I learned to make my own...kuih makmur. Found some recipes through the internet, my first attempt of kuih makmur was a disaster...the mixture - as a Malay would say ~ 'tak boleh pakai' ....crap (oops pardon!!)...
So this is my version of Kuih Makmur... it has the same texture, that soft..crumbly dough that melt in the mouth...

Photo by Miss E

  • 500g flour
  • 200g ghee
Mix well into a soft pliable dough.
  • 150g peanuts - roasted
  • 40g sugar
Ground until fine.
Icing sugar for coating.
Pre-heat the oven 190C. Roll the dough into a marble size ball. In your palm, flattened the dough with your finger. Place the Peanut mix. And gently enclose the peanut mix with the dough.. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly brown. Cool on a rack.. Once completely cool, coat the Kuih Makmur with icing sugar....
Photo by Miss E

Pineapple Jam

yummy... pineapple jam for the pineapple tart or pineapple roll ...

  • 2 canned pineapples (big can) - drained
  • 3/4 cup sugar - check how sweet is the canned pineapples.. then add or less the sugar as desired..
If you are using any form or shape of pineapple except for the crushed pineapple in a can, then place the pineapple in the food processor and blend.
In a non-stick pan, place the crushed pineapple and sugar ... bring to boil. Then simmer until the jam is thickened ie all the moisture has evaporated...


We were looking through some holiday photos ...and chanced upon a photo of Pekan Rabu in Alor Setar. We were drooling over the kuihs and other goodies on display ... Mr H was saying that the only thing he missed ... would be savouring the dodol on Hari Raya!
So we started to 'Google' for the recipe... and voila!! we found one and we 'modify' the ingredients and the measurement slightly...
Verdict: Not too bad for a beginner... eventhough it took 2 hours to cook, but cooking in a non-stick pan helps heaps..otherwise somebody will wake up with a very sore arms!! And that person will not be moi!!

the big brown..gooey... blop known as Dodol

For syrup -
  • 500g dark brown sugar
  • 2 screwpine leaves
  • 125ml water
mix and boil on slow heat until slightly thickened. Leave it to cool.

The Flour mix...
  • 1 cup glutinous flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 400 ml coconut cream
  • 100 ml water
Mix the flour with water and coconut cream. Sieve mixture onto a non-stick pan. Add in the syrup. Keep stirring for the first half hour or until the mixture has combined and thickened. Cook on low heat and stirring periodically....The dodol is ready when the mixture is glistened ...and gooey.


This is a special treat for Mr H Jr... he's only allowed to have this beverage once a year, during puasa month, he loves his syrup bandung...

  • White sugar (I used raw sugar)~ about 500g
  • cinnamon sticks
  • fennel
  • red colouring
  • 2 pandan leaves or screwpine leaves - knotted
  • water - just enough to melt the sugar ... fill up the same level of the sugar.
  • optional - may add some rose water if you wish...
Mix the above and bring to boil for 5 minutes or until the flavour of the spices and pandan leaves infuse with the sugar.
Voila... you have syrup... and for Syrup Bandung...just add milk. Sorry ... I was outvoted to put the photo my syrup bandung...

Buah Melaka or Onde-Onde

Nice Malay delicacy....
Mr H Jr and Miss E requested for this kuih ... a nice chewy texture with sweet palm sugar that 'burst' in your mouth.... but you may be the unlucky one.... and happened to pick up my 'no palm sugar filling' aka my BOMB...

I usually throw in 1 or 2 without the palm sugar... and see who was unlucky that day!!

  • 250g of glutinous flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 8 pieces daun pandan or screwpine leaves
  • dessicated coconut mix with a pinch of salt
  • palm sugar - cut into small cubes
In a blender, blend the daun pandan with water.... squeeze the pandan juice. Pour the juice into a mixing bowl of glutinous flour. Mix well... may have to add water so that the dough is pliable and not to dry. If the dough is a bit dry, the buah melaka will turn out hard... and if too soft, it may not hold the sugar inside....tricky...but you'll get there by the first few try....

Fill up the saucepan with water half full... Bring to boil....

Roll the dough into a 'ball' slightly bigger than a marble, flatten and place the palm sugar and roll again into a ball.... and make sure that the sugar is well concealed...

Gently place the ball into the hot boiling water.... The buah melaka will float up once it is it out and place it in the dessicated coconut mix. Roll....

Note: Moisten dessicated coconut with a little bit of hot water ...if you can't find the freshly grated coconut


one pot beef briyani

If you ever visited Alor Setar... you must try this Nasi Mamak... the shop is located opposite the old market, near Kilang Ais... behind our ex-PM's childhood house...not the first shop near the traffic light junction!...

Whenever we were in Alor Setar, we would request this nasi mamak for breakfast ... especially Mr H and Mr H Jr! Both father and son can have this nasi mamak everyday!! Unbelievable...

This one pot beef briyani is not nearly as good.. but then beggars can't be choosers!!

  • 500g beef - cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds - grounded
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seed - grounded
  • 1 brown onion - thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic and 1 inch ginger - pounded
  • 1 carrots - diced
  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cup water or chicken stock.
  • salt
  • Fresh coriander for garnishing
Saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and the grounded spice and stir until fragrant. Add in the beef strips. Stir for a while to seal the juice. Then add in the basmati rice and season to taste. Transfer the mixture into a rice cooker. Add in water and diced carrots.
Garnish with fresh coriander..before serving

Sweet Chilli Salmon

This is a lovely dish.... simple but yummy... and easy to cook....

  • 4 salmon cutlets
  • 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • spring onion and coriander to garnish
Mix the sweet chilli, fish sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. Place the salmon in a heatproof plate. Pour the sweet chilli mix over and steam for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with spring onions and coriander. Serve with steamed rice.

Cheat ...Mee Mamak

This is one of our favourites... Miss E once commented that my mee mamak is not as good as her father's mee should we still call this mee mamak??? The title of the blog would do ~ Cheat Mee Mamak! Taste like Mee Mamak but not cooked by a mamak... (by an Apek!!)...

  • Yellow noodles
  • 2 chopped garlic
  • 2 potatoes - cube and microwave
  • fish cakes - thinly sliced
  • 2 beancurd - deep fried and sliced
  • eggs - omellette and thinly sliced
  • chicken breast - cut into 2cm (optional)
  • 300g fresh prawns - shelled and deveined but leave the tail on
  • sauces - agak2.... 1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce, 1/6 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoon oyster sauce, thick dark soya sauce, light soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Maggi belacan granules
  • vegetables : 2 tomatoes - cubes, 200g beansprouts and choy sum (optional)
  • Garnishing: spring onion, sliced chilli and golden fried shallots, lime and sprigs of fresh coriander
Heat up 4 tablespoon of oil in wok, saute the garlic till fragrant. Add in the chicken until cooked, then add in sauces, belacan and vegetables....and stir for a minute. Then add in the potatoes, fish cakes, prawns, beansprouts and noodles. Stir thoroughly.....until prawns and noodles are cooked.... Season to taste...lastly garnish with spring onion, sliced chilli, sliced omellette and fried shallots.
Tip: Add the beansprouts last if you desire the crunchy taste of mee mamak!!

Tepung Talam

This is one of my favourite afternoon delight... Love that creamy salty taste of the top layer and the sugary sweet bottom layer.... My mom used to make this and hers was perfect ...but whenever I tried.. her way of cooking (which is agak-agak...) it turned out horrible....

Lucky me.. that I found the recipe with exact measurement.. in metric....yay!!! My Tepung Talam has never failed me since then.....

Prepare the steamer.....

Bottom layer:
  • 50g rice flour
  • 30g green pea flour
  • 40g tapioca flour
  • 700 ml water
  • 230g dark brown sugar
Dissolve the sugar with water over medium heat, leave it to cool. Then add the dark brown sugar syrup into the flour mix. Stir well and strain into a saucepan, and over a medium heat, stir until the mixture thickened. Pour into a greased round mould and steam for 20 minutes or until it is cooked.
Top Layer:
  • 40g rice flour
  • 20g green pea flour
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
Mix all together and strain into a saucepan. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the mixture thickened. Gently pour over the brown layer. Steam for another 20 minutes,

Leave the kuih to cool for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving.....
~nonya cookbook

Kari Kai... or Chicken Curry

This is a beautiful chicken curry... the flavour... the taste... the aroma... is just so heavenly...

Not like the ready made curry powder that we buy off the grocer shelf... The taste of this Kari Kai is very different... you just have to try it.... you'll want more with every bite.... Its good to go with Nasi Kunyit too....

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 300g potatoes cut into wedges
  • 400ml thin coconut milk
  • 100ml thick coconut milk
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Spice paste - blend all ...
  • 15 dried chillies - soaked
  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 garlics
  • 20g belacan
  • 2cm tumeric
  • 3 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1tsp fennel
Heat oil over meduim heat and saute star anise and cinnamon stick. Add spice paste and stir well. Add 2 tablespoon thick coconut milk and fry over low heat until oil separates.
Add chicken and potatoes....pour thin milk. Simmer until chicken is tender and potatoes are cooked. Lastly add thick coconut milk and season to taste.
~nonya cookbook

Asam Pedas Utara

The Northern Asam Pedas is very liquidy... compared to the Southern Asam Pedas...
Mr H prefer the Southern Asam Pedas, for me~ either one is long as it is spicy and sour...
My mom used to cook this quite often, when we were young.... she'd add 'kacang sepat' (sorry... dont know the English name for it), the best Asam Pedas would be the one with ikan pari or stringray cutlets.... yum... serve with sambal belacan ...I know its puasa (fasting)month.... I am drooling too...

  • Fish cutlets or fillets
  • 1/2 brown onion
  • 5 dried chillies - soaked
  • Tamarind peel or asam keping or asam gelugor
  • a handful of vietnamese mint or daun kesom or daun laksa
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 zuchini or cucumber
  • belacan
  • bunga kantan - ginger flower if we can find one in Perth
Blend the dried chilli together with onion.... in a pot... mix everything (except for fish), leave it to boil, then simmer for few minutes to fuse the flavour of the spices. Season with salt. Add fish and bring to another boil and remove from heat...