Thursday, 28 October 2010

Over the years, the recipes for the batter that coats fried bananas have evolved with the introduction of new ingredients, discovered to add lasting crunchiness to the batter. New deep -fried ideas came about to create greater varieties giving us bigger options. This deep Fried Mushroom is the latest trend, combined with the latest long-lasting ultra crunchy batter to coat it!

Oyster Mushrooms
3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup self-raising flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup grated coconut
3 cups of oil for deep frying

1. Whisk together all the ingredients above except the mushrooms, grated coconut & oil for deep frying.
2. Heat frying oil in a pan.
3. Add the grated coconut into the batter and mix well.
4. When the oil heats up, dip the mushrooms into the batter and deep fry it quickly for about 3 minutes, constantly turning it around.
5. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
6. Serve while hot!

My grandmother used to make the batter for Fried Bananas using
very basic, simple ingerdients.....the main being rice flour, which resulted in a lovely crunchy batter while it is hot. Being a traditionalist at heart and a passion in upholding simplistic recipes using unprocessed ingredients as they did during my grandmother's generation, I share with you my Tok Mak's recipe........

1 bunch pisang nipah
1 cup rice flour
1 pinch slaked lime/kapur
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
3 cups of oil for deep frying

1. Peel the bananas and slice it in half, lengthways.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the rice flour, kapur, salt & water all together till well combined.
3. Heat about 3 cups of oil in a pan for deep frying.
4. When the oil is hot, dip the bananas quickly into the batter and directly into the oil.
5. Do not fry too many bananas at the same time.
6. Keep turning the bananas to evenly brown it.
7. After approximately 3 minutes or until golden brown, remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.
8. Fantastic eaten immediately!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I ate the best Karipap Putar EVER recently! The layers were not too crumbly, not too tough, it was perfect. The filling... My, my... The taste was unbelievable! I loved loved loved it! Thank you for making this Karipap Putar... Salwa Ali. Thanks especially for sharing a step-by-step heirloom recipe with us!
Ingredients for Yellow Pastry:
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp margarine
Ingredients for White Pastry:
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cool water enough to bind the flour (I would personally use almost 1/2 cup of cool water)
Method for Yellow Pastry:
  1. Rub the margarine into the flour.
  2. Knead till well until a smooth dough is formed.
  3. Roll into 6 small balls.
  4. Leave to rest.
Method for the White Pastry:
  1. Combine the flour & salt.
  2. Pour the cool water in a gentle flow into the salt & flour combined.
  3. Knead to form another soft dough.
  4. Make 6 small balls out of the dough.
  5. Allow to rest.
Method for the Spiral Pastry:
  1. Flatten the white dough with the palm of your hand.
  2. Place the yellow ball dough inside the white dough and close it up.
  3. Allow to rest briefly....for maybe 10 minutes.
  4. Roll the dough balls.
  5. Cut a straight opening from the center of the flattened dough toward the outer side of the dough.
  6. Start rolling the pastry from the cut opening into a croissant looking cone, until you reach the other end of the pastry circle.
  7. Flatten the croissant cone with a rolling pin.
  8. Roll it again into a short fat cylinder.
  9. Rest it again for about 5-8 minutes.
  10. Cut the cylinder into 1/2 inch thick, coin-looking circles.
  11. Flatten the circles with a rolling pin.
  12. Put aside till ready for use.
  13. Place a teaspoon of filling into the flattened pastry.
  14. Top with a sliced egg.
  15. Seal these karipap/pasties by pinch twisting the edges.
  16. Deep fry in hot oil using low fire, until golden brown.

Filling ingredients to blend:~
8 shallots
4 garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2 lemongrass

Filling ingredients:~
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 big yellow onions, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
1 cup diced chicken meat
1 tbsp chili paste

1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 pinch sugar
2 tbsp chinese celery

~Method for filling~
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Sautee all the blended ingredients till fragrant.
3. Add in the chili paste & curry powder.
4. Put in the onions & potatoes.

5. Cook till potatoes are done.
6. Flavour with salt & sugar.

This recipe is shared by Salwa Ali on her Facebook page. She has given me permission to share it on my blog. The step-by-step photos are taken by Salwa. However, as with the majority of home-made recipes, exact amounts of the ingredients are not indicated. The amounts stated here are my own estimation on the amounts most likely used. Therefore, it may not be the true indication of the actual amount used by Salwa Ali.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

This is such a simple dish but the taste is just exquisite. The crispiness of the ikan bilis, the soy sauce coating the ikan bilis lightly and the big dynamite heat of these bird's eyes chillies.....all combined together makes for perfection!! I could have this 4 times a week and still not be bored of it....I'm telling you, it's addicitve!!!

1 handful/1 cup of anchovies/ikan bilis, cleaned & deep fried till crispy
2 tbsp oil
2 large onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 red chillies, sliced
15 birds's eye chillies/ cili api, sliced
2 tbsp sweet thick soy sauce
1 tsp salty soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Sautee the onions & garlic for 1 minute.
3. Add both the chillies.
4. Pour in both the soy sauces & salt.
5. As soon as the sauce bubbles, toss in the anchovies.
6. Quickly switch off the flame but continue tossing the anchovies around making sure it's evenly coated.
7. Remove from heat & serve.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Sardine Masak Asam

Sardines from the can has always been my saviour! Whenever I'm lazy....Sardines cooked in every way possible is the answer. I'll share a little secret with you, when I was a student in Australia cooking for me & me alone.....I made Laksa Johore using sardines from a tin and it tasted perfect!
Yesterday, I allowed myself to be lazy again and asked my teenage daughter to take notes on how to cook Sardine Masak Asam. This is the first time she has cooked this dish entirely on her own, without my guidance. The whole family enjoyed it so much, I almost didn't get anything!! I'm soooo happy she's got it in get the right taste!! Woohoo!!

1 can of Sardines
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 bulbs of medium sized onions, sliced
5 garlic, sliced
1 tbsp chili paste
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup water, strain
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tomato, quartered
1 large onion, cut into rings
8 birds-eye chilies
6 belimbing buluh

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Sautee' the onions & garlic briefly.
3. Put in the chili paste & tomato sauce.
4. Pour in the sardines & tomato gravy as well.
5. Pour in the tamarind juice.
6. Flavour with salt & sugar.
7. Add the tomatoes, birds-eye chillies, onion rings & belimbing buluh.
8 Eat straight away with rice, roti chanai, bread or cream crackers! Cream Crackers would be my choice! Yummy!


Monday, 11 October 2010

Black Pepper Sauce

There are so many recipes and so many ways to cook Black Pepper Sauce, but this is my personal favourite. I especially love the use of cream that makes it exceptionally rich which is such a wonderful contrast to the sharp taste of black pepper. The coarsely crushed black pepper is also according to my personal love of rustic textures. If you prefer a smooth sauce with strong peppery taste, please feel free to use finely ground black pepper.

4 tbsp oil
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1 tsp thyme
3 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock (or 2 tbsp beef stock granules diluted in 1 cup of water)
2 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup cream (optional...but I love this richness)
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a heavy pan on medium high heat.
2. Sautee shallots & thyme till it begins to brown.
3. Put all the flour in and stir quickly for 1 minute.
4. Pour in the stock in a slow steady flow while incorporating it into the flour, using a whisk.
5. Reduce the heat. Keep stirring for about 15 minutes.
6. Add the vinegar, cream & black pepper.
7. Keep it aside. Use when needed.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Soto Ayam is a typical Johorean dish mostly enjoyed during functions. My family enjoy this dish as it is soupy and light. With all the rich food we eat during Hari Raya, this dish is exceptionally refreshing. If you cook this dish often enough, you will realize that it’s not so difficult to make, and you don’t need to wait for festivities to enjoy cooking and eating this dish!!

To blend:

  • 12 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
Other Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, washed & cleaned
  • 1 inch galangal, bruised
  • 4 stalks lemongrass, bruised
  • 10 cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cardamoms
  • 1 tbsp white ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 8 cups water

1. Boil water in a huge pot.
2. Put all the above ingredients as well as the blended items into the pot of boiling water.
3. As soon as the chicken is cooked thoroughly, remove it from the boiling soup and place it on a baking tray. Turn off the fire for the soup.
4. Roast the chicken in a preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
5. When cool, shred the chicken into strips. Put aside in preparation for a magnificent meal!

Accompaniment ingredients:

  • A handful su-un, deep fried
  • 2 handful beansprouts, cleaned & tailed
  • 1 handful birds-eye chilies(pounded coarsely & mixed with 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce & 1 tsp vinegar)
  • Nasi Impit (Compressed Rice)
  • 2 stalks Chinese celery, sliced finely
  • 2 stalks Spring onions, sliced finely
  • 15 shallots, sliced finely and deep fried till crispy

Bergedil (Beef Patties):

  • 5 large potatoes (skinned, sliced thickly & deep fried)
  • A handful minced beef
  • 2 tsp white ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced finely
  • 15 shallots, sliced finely
  • 1 stalk Chinese celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 stalk spring onions, sliced thinly

1. In a bowl, put all the ingredients above except the egg white.
2. Mash them till all the ingredients have totally interacted with each other.
3. Make into patties, dip into the egg white and deep fry till golden brown.
4. Lift from oil & drain. Delicious eaten on it’s own……but soto can’t be eaten without it!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Lodeh is a meal in itself and is normally eaten during Hari Raya. However, the simpler improvised versions are sometimes made for breakfast. For Johoreans, this dish is a must for Hari Raya. I absolutely love lodeh, especially if it’s eaten with sambal kacang or even with sambal goreng jawa. It has a somewhat refreshing and soothing effect on the tummy just as a wholesome soup does to you.


2 large bulbs red onions, slice finely
20 bulbs shallots, slice finely
8 cloves garlic, slice finely
4 inch ginger, cut into thin strips

4 inch galangal, bruised
5 stalks lemongrass, bruised

1 tbsp chilli paste
2 tsp tumeric powder
2 tbs dried prawns, soaked & pounded

1 cup cooking oil
6 cups water
1 ½ cup fresh medium sized prawns, cleaned but leaving skin and head on
1 large cuttlefish, cut into rectangles
1 medium sized sweet potatoes, cut into irregular sizes
1 carrot, skinned and cut into large cubes
1 chinese turnips(sengkuang),grated
3 cakes bean curd, deep fried & cubed
3 cups coconut milk
1 piece tempe, cubed and deep fried

15 long beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
2 long brinjal, cut half horizontally, then into 1 inch length, slanted
½ a handful Su-un, soaked & cut into short lengths
5 pcs Dried bean curd, soaked and cut short

1. Heat oil in a large pot. Sautee the onions, shallots, garlic and ginger till it softens.
2. Put in the chili paste, tumeric powder and dried prawns. Continue cooking.
3. Put in the galangal and lemongrass.
4. Pour the water in. As soon as it boils, put in the sweet potatoes, chinese turnips and carrots. Let it cook.
5. Add the prawn, cuttlefish, tempe, bean curd and coconut milk. Let it gently boil.
6. Finally put in the dried bean curd, su-un, long brinjal and long beans.
7. Add salt to taste.
8. Must be eaten with compressed rice and sambal kacang. Perfection!


authorMarina Mustafa. Author of ten cookbooks.

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