Monday, August 30, 2010

SOTONG MASAK HITAM (SQUID IN BLACK INK)


For long long time, I have eaten this dish cooked by my mum. It is so special because it is the only gravy that uses black ink obtained from the squid.

It is quite simple to prepare but you need time to clean the squid, from removing the outer film off the skin, eyes and hard substance found on the head but retaining the ink sac. If more ink is used it turns more darker tone.

The squid is simmered in a spicy gravy using dry chili, onion, garlic, turmeric and lemon grass. Do not overcook squid, it will become rubbery.

INGREDIENTS

500g medium squid cleaned
1 stalk lemon grass crushed
3 T oil
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
salt to taste

GRIND
10 dry chili, soak to soften
1 big onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1 cm turmeric root
1/4 C water

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METHOD

* Clean the squid, rub off thin film, remove hard substance from the head, cut away the eyes and retain the ink sac. Wash and drain.

* Heat the oil, fry ground ingredients together with lemon grass until fragrant.

* Add the squid and salt, stir then cover for 1-2 minutes. Add some water.

* Press the ink sac with spoon and add this to the gravy, it turns black in color.

* Stir for few minutes, add salt if needed, remove from heat. Do not overcook, it will become rubbery. Add lemon juice and stir.

* Serve hot with steaming white rice.


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Saturday, August 28, 2010

BINGKA PISANG

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If you have over riped banana and don't know what to to do with them, I suggest you should try making this Malaysian/Singapore popular baked kuih. The recipe below uses over riped bananas as the main ingredient. It is mashed before adding the flour, sugar, coconut milk, butter and salt.

It is very simple to prepare, just need a mixing bowl to combine and stir until well incorporated then pour into greased pan to bake. No washing up of extra dishes involved. Let the cake to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy this as your delicious dessert or serve them for snack.


INGREDIENTS

2 C mashed banana
1 and 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C coconut milk
3 T melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
oil to grease the pan

MEHOD

* Preheat oven @ 170 C and grease 7 in pan.

* In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, coconut milk, butter, salt and banana, mix well.

* Gradually mix in flour, stir until well blended.

* Pour into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Let set in the pan for 5 minutes, transfer onto rack to cool.

* Slice to bite size pieces to serve.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SESAME AND OAT COOKIES II

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Cookies is all time my family favorite tea time snack, I have baked various type of cookies but this time around I stick to rolled oat and black sesame seed. Besides snacking I make sure it contains health benefits and not overly sweet.

It is quite simple to prepare, first you need to cream the butter and sugar before combining the rest of the ingredient. After baking let them rest 5 minutes in the pan, do not try to remove since they are still soft. Within minutes of whipping up the dough, crunchy and healthy treat is ready to be enjoyed by your family.


INGREDIENTS

1 C all purpose flour
1 C rolled oat
1/2 C black sesame seed
1/2 C fine sugar
140g softened butter
2 T fresh milk
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD

* Cream butter and sugar until creamy, add vanilla essence. Preheat oven @ 160 C.

* Combine flour with baking powder, mix well. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture.

* Add oat and milk, forms into pliable dough. Roll into small ball then flatten slightly, place them into baking tray.

* Bake for 12 minutes and leave on pan about 5 minutes. Remove onto wire rack.

* Store into an airtight container when completely cool.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SAMBAL GORENG (FRIED TOFU & TEMPEH)

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This is a vegetable dish made of soya bean cake, tempeh (fermented soya bean cake), long bean and spices simmered in aromatic coconut based gravy. It is so popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia easily obtainable from food vendors around these countries. Normally fresh prawn or beef slices are added along with the vegetables but am omitting them in my preparation.

It is served along piping hot white rice or during Eid to accompany lontong (rice cake). The tofu and tempeh are cubed then lightly fried before cooking this dish. Besides the vegetable, dry chili, red and green chili, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, lengkuas and tamarind juice are used for making this delicious and spicy food. Do adjust the chili needed according to your preference.

This is how I make my sambal goreng:

INGREDIENTS

4 hard tofu cubed and fried
4 tempeh cubed and fried
1 tsp tamarind mixed with 1/2 C water
1 big onion sliced
3 red chili sliced
3 green chili sliced
1 stalk lemon grass bruise
1 sm piece galangal (lengkuas) bruise
10 long bean sliced diagonally
1 cup coconut milk
salt and sugar to taste
cooking oil

GRIND

10 dry chili soak to soften
8 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1/2 in ginger
1 tsp shrimp paste (optional)

METHOD

* Heat the oil in deep frying pan, fry ground ingredients together with lemon grass and lengkuas, add salt and sugar, fry until fragrant. Add some water.

* Add fried tofu and tempeh, stir and mix well.

* Pour in coconut milk and tamarind juice, simmer till gravy is fairly thick.

* Add sliced chili, onion and long bean, cook till almost dry.

Linking to  Culinary Smackdown Battle Chile .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

KUIH SAGU/ SAGO CAKE

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Sago is a natural food which is in existence for centuries. During the period of East India trade, it was a product traded in the region and even considered to be superior substance when it was first imported to Britain in 18th century. It is used to be added to soups and made into puddings and desserts.

This yummy dessert of Malaysia and Singapore is really easy to prepare. Made of pearl sago, water and sugar, boil using medium heat and constantly stirring to avoid it sticks to the bottom of the pan, once the bubble appears you can safely remove from heat. Transfer this into rinsed pan or small cups to cool. To serve, roll them with grated coconut with salt added. Simply great for dessert or as a light snack. This is my mum's favorite dessert. She  used to serve  this after school  but  now I have to prepare myself to enjoy them..


INGREDIENTS

1 C pearl sago
1/2 C sugar
2 C water
red food coloring
1/2 of fresh coconut, grated
3/4 tsp salt

METHOD

* Soak sago pearl for 15 minutes, rinse and drain. Wet the 7 inches pan with water. Mix some salt to the grated coconut and keep aside.

* Place sugar and water in a deep pot and bring to boil.

* Add a drop of food coloring and stir.

* Now add the drained sago pearl and stir until the bubble appears on top.

* Transfer the sago into rinsed 7 inches pan and leave to cool.

* Slice and coat with grated coconut to serve.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

BANANA AND OATMEAL CAKE

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Another great eggless recipe using banana and oatmeal. I used rolled oat then pulse them to get finer meal. It's really nutritious and moist. Can be served as your breakfast or as afternoon snack along with a cup of hot tea.

Vegetable oil is being used but for richer taste, butter is recommended. Here is the list of ingredients in case you want to try out this yummy cake.


INGREDIENTS

2 C all purpose flour
1 C oatmeal
1 C sugar
4 bananas mashed
1/4 C oil
1 C and 2 T milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

METHOD

* Preheat oven @ 160 C. Sift flour, soda and salt in a mixing bowl, add the oatmeal and stir.

* Combine sugar, banana, oil milk and vanilla, beat until well incorporated.

* Mix the wet ingredient onto flour mixture, stir until well combined.

* Pour onto greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Cool on pan for 10 minutes, transfer onto wire rack.

* Slice and enjoy with your favorite drink.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SAMBAR (LENTIL CURRY)

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Essential dish of South India, made of toor dhal flavored with special blend of spices, tamarind, garnished with curry leaves, mustard seed and fenugreek. It usually serves with plain rice, vada, dosa or iddly. There are various types of sambar available in Indian meal.

I'm using ready made sambar powder for this recipe which is quite tasty and simple to prepare. Vegetables like drumstick, carrot, brinjal or potato could be added to the gravy. How runny the sambar is depending on the quantity of water added during the process but I liked mine to be not too thick nor too watery.


INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup toor dhal boiled
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tomato chopped
1 T chili powder
2 T sambar powder
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon urad dhal
curry leaves
2 big onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 T tamarind paste add 1/2 C water
pinch of asafoetida
2 T cooking oil
1 cup cut vegetables
water

METHOD

* Heat the oil, fry mustard seed and urad dhal until fragrant, add the onion, curry leaves and asafoetida, fry until onion turns brown.

* Now add garlic, salt and tomato, cook until tomato turns soft.

* Mix in sambar, turmeric and chili powder, add little water, cook until fragrant.

* Add the tamarind juice, water and dhal, bring to boil, add vegetable and cook until soft..

* Sprinkle with coriander leaves, ready to serve.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

BREAD PANCAKE

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Pancake is very simple and easy to prepare, there are so many varieties to choose from. It is just a perfect meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner, can be served with sauce or your favorite chutney.

This is quite different from the normal one since milk and egg are absent in this recipe. It uses cubed bread, onion, tomato and green chili for making the batter, pancake turns out superb and ate them as it is. Do adjust the chilli used according to your preference.

If the batter is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons more water or until you get the right consistency. For the recipe below you will get 7 pieces.


INGREDIENTS

6 slices bread cut into small cube
2 big onion chopped
2 medium tomato chopped
1 teaspoon ginger minced
4 green chilli sliced
handful of coriander leaves chopped
1 and 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 and 1/4 C water
salt to taste
cooking oil

METHOD

* Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, gradually add water, mix well.

* Add in the onion, ginger, green chili, tomato and coriander leaves to the flour, stir until well combined.

* Heat and grease the flat pan, pour few tablespoons of batter and spread into round, fry until both side turn golden brown, drizzle oil when needed.

* Serve hot with sauce or chutney.

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

COCONUT MILK JELLY



As requested my by son, I have prepared this popular jelly using agar2 powder. Really refreshing and yummy. If you are unfamiliar with agar2 powder, do check out here. Agar is the best substitute of gelatin and as thickening agent for custards, sauces, puddings and candies.

This quick and delicious can be prepared in a jiffy.  What you need is to stir the mixture of agar2 powder, sugar and coconut milk until boiling and thicken, pour into your favorite mould and once it comes to room temperature place them in a refrigerator to chill.

Beside coconut milk, you can add canned fruit, corn, cocoa or even fruit juice to the jelly, the choice is endless, just use your imagination to explore this versatile dessert.

This handwritten recipe is my family favorite dessert. It was given by my aunt and I have made them on regular basis when we need a dessert in a jiffy.



INGREDIENTS

1 pack of 12 g agar2 powder
1 liter water
230 g sugar
200 ml coconut milk
food coloring
jelly mould

METHOD

* Dissolve the agar2 powder with one liter of water in a deep pot.

* Add sugar and bring to boil, stirring constantly, add a drop of food coloring, mixed well.

* Now add the coconut milk and bring to boil again.

* Pour into rinsed jelly mould and let them come to room temperature.

* Place the jelly in a refrigerator to cool.

* Serve cool.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

CHOCOLATE PASTA PUDDING

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I have created this recipe out of the leftover spaghetti rather than dump them into a freezer. It is so easy to prepare, I used whatever ingredients available in my pantry.

Simply serve this pudding as dessert after you main meal or as a midnight snack or for breakfast. At the time of serving, you can add fresh fruit if you like.

For your information, the pasta unlike the bread does not absorb so much liquid thus I have added extra flour to make it thicker and obtain the right consistency.

Here is the recipe in case you want to try, do let me know how it turns out. I just love this yummy pudding, definitely will prepare it again.


INGREDIENTS

270g boiled pasta cut into shorter strand
1 C water
1 C evaporated milk
1 T heaped unsweetened cocoa powder
8 T sugar
2 T corn flour
2 T all purpose flour
2 slices bread cut into small
1/2 C raisin
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt

METHOD

* Preheat oven @ 180 C and grease 7 inches pan.

* In a mixing bowl, combine water, milk, cocoa, sugar, both flour, vanilla essence and salt. Whisk until well mixed.

* Add in pasta and bread, leave for 15 minutes.

* Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Serve hot or cold.

MY TRICK

* If the top turns brown quickly, cover with aluminium foil and continue baking until fully done.

* Make sure the raisin is not seen on top otherwise it gets burnt and dried out.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BANANA YEAST BREAD

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I have baked various types of bread but not this one, it's a typical yeast bread but mashed banana is added to the dough. This recipe truly is great, have no problems getting this bread to rise. It is one of the simplest recipes I've found and the end result was not disappointing at all, the texture was perfect, remains soft even the next day.

It is actually healthy for good breakfast or just as dessert or snack, you can serve it with butter, cheese or anything you like. It is the best bread I ever baked!


INGREDIENTS
Yield   :  12 rolls

3  cup  all purpose flour
2  tablespoon   melted butter
3/4  cup  warm water
1/2  cup  mashed banana
2 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
4  tablespoon  sugar

METHOD

* Combine 2  tablespoon sugar, warm water with yeast. Keep for 10 minutes until frothy.

* In a mixing bowl, add together flour, salt, remaining sugar, butter, mashed banana and yeast, gradually add the water to form pliable dough. Knead about 10 minutes by hand or use stand mixer.

* Oil the bowl and rest the dough for 2 hours covered.

* Deflate the dough, divide into 12 balls. Place them on baking tray and let rise for 45 minutes.

* Towards the end of raising time, preheat the oven @ 190 C. Bake the bread for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

* Remove from the oven and brush top with butter. Enjoy!

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

KUIH BOM/SESAME SEED BALL

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 Normally this fried snack is made of mashed sweet potato and glutinous rice flour. I used  rice flour and plain flour instead since the glutinous rice flour is not available. After mixing they are stuffed with red bean paste or sweetened coconut then coated with white sesame seed.

Since sometime it explodes when you fry them that how it got his name. Anyway I have fried mine safely and turns out perfect despite the change of its shape.

When frying, use medium heat and constantly turns the kuih so it cooks evenly. Really pleased with the result of my experiment, it  turns delicious..

INGREDIENTS

250g potato boiled and mashed
6 T rice flour
6 T plain flour
4-5 T water
salt to taste
oil for frying
1/2 C sesame seed
red bean paste

METHOD

* Roll the red bean paste into small ball, slightly smaller than ping pong ball.

* In a mixing bowl, combine mashed potato, rice flour, plain flour and salt.

* Gradually add the water until pliable dough is formed, knead well.

* Divide the dough into 10 balls. Stuff each ball with red bean paste, shape into ball and coat them with sesame seed.

* Heat the oil, when the oil is hot, slide the balls and fry the golden brown, do not crowd the pan.

* Remove and drain on paper towel. Serve hot.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

BLACK PEPPER CHICKEN

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One of the easiest dish you can prepare and tastes great too. As you know, black pepper is known for its health benefits, improve digestion, promote intestinal health,antioxidant and antibacterial effects. It contains vitamin K, iron, dietary fiber and manganese.

This is not the typical black pepper chicken that uses soya and oyster sauce, the addition of freshly ground black pepper really enhances the taste of this chicken.

Best taken with bread, roti or even rice.


INGREDIENTS

500g chicken pieces (fat and skin removed)
2 onions chopped
2 T ground black pepper
1 T chicken curry powder
1 T ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tomatoes chopped
1 stick cinnamon
2 cloves
2 cardamom
salt to taste
2 T oil
coriander leaves for garnish

DIRECTION

* Marinate cleaned chicken with ginger garlic paste, salt and turmeric.

* Heat the oil, add in cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Put in the onion, fry until light brown.

* Now add the tomatoes and salt, cook until soft. Add in the black pepper and curry powder, stir until fragrant, add water if it is too dry.

* Add chicken pieces, stir until well coated, add some water and cover the pan.

* Once the chicken turns soft, remove from heat and sprinkle coriander leaves.

* Best eaten with naan, capathi or rice.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

PEANUT COOKIES

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I'm in the mood for baking, this time another easy way to bake peanut cookies. The only tedious process is preparing the ground peanut, have done it from scratch but you can also purchase ready made ground peanut from bakery or supermarket.

The dough is easy to handle and shaping can be done in no time. For decoration purpose, egg glaze can be applied and dot with half peanut or cherry.

After baking, let it sits for a few minutes since the cookies is still soft, gently removed onto wire rack to cool.

INGREDIENTS

1 C al purpose flour
2 C cornflour
3/4 C fine sugar
1 C softened butter
1 C ground roasted peanut
1 tsp vanilla essence
egg yolk for glazing (optional)
peanut halves/cherries for topping

METHOD

* Cream butter and sugar until well blended, add vanilla essence.

* Gradually add flour and peanut to form a pliable dough.

* Preheat oven @ 170 C. Shape the dough into small ball then flatten or use cookie cutter to shape. Place on a baking tray and top with peanut/cherries.

* Bake 15-20 minutes @ 170 C.

* Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then only transfer onto wire rack.

* When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Linking to Cornflour Recipes

Monday, August 2, 2010

ROTI MARIAM

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This flat bread is once on demand in early 80's during holy month of Ramadan, it was on sale during this particular month only but now it's no longer available.

Since the fasting month is just around the corner, I tried this and it turns out excellent. This bread now becomes our new favorite on our dinner table.

Care should be taken, when adding water, do not pour all but little at a time until a soft pliable dough is obtained. Another tip is, the dough requires at least 10 minutes of kneading than only the bread will be soft. I did without egg too.


INGREDIENTS

2 C plain flour
1 T melted butter
1.5  T cooking oil
1/4 C warm water (not to finish all)
oil for frying
1 egg (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

* Put the flour, butter, oil, egg (if using) and salt into a mixing bowl.

* Gradually add warm water to form a soft pliable dough. Knead about 10 minutes.

* Divide dough into 4 balls. Roll each ball into round pancake about 1/4 inch thick.

* Deep fry or shallow fry until golden brown.

* Remove and drain with absorbent paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

* Serve hot with your favorite gravy.

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