Saturday, June 30, 2018

Amma's Mutton Varuval

Amma's mutton varuval (dry style curry)

To me, this dish represents the quintessential taste of family Deepavali feasts! Also perfect with a peg of whisky (or those thani sessions)... ;)

500g mutton or lamb meat - cubed
8 shallots, 2inch ginger piece, 4 cloves garlic - all ground into a paste
2 onions - finely sliced
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 star anise
3 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon chilli powder (spicy version)
1/2 cup (approx. 125ml) thick coconut milk
Juice from half a lime

1. Marinate meat with the ground paste.
2. In a wok, heat a bit of oil/ghee and saute sliced onions, curry leaves, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom pods.
3. Add meat and close with lid for a few minutes. The juice will come out from meat.
4. Add turmeric, chilli/curry powder, cumin powder, fennel powder and salt. Mix well.
5. Add coconut milk. Let it cook until gravy is dried out and coats meat. Oil should form on edges. Keep stirring so that it evenly dries out. 
6. Take off heat and squeeze lime juice. Stir well and it is ready to serve.

For a less spicy option, replace 1tbsp chili powder with 2 tablespoons meat curry powder + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

On a roll... peanut dipping sauce

Vietnamese rice paper rolls, to me, are one of those things that seem easy to pull off then end up being so finicky the cuss words come out! The saving grace tonight was this amazing decadent peanut sauce - that totally encouraged a double dip for each bite! 

Peanut dipping sauce
2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
1 tablespoon cider vinegar / lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons coconut milk (can be omitted, but really adds decadence level)
2-3 tablespoons warm water (depending on consistency you want)
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar / honey (adjust to taste)
Optional: sprinkle of chilli flakes

Method: In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Sauce should be smooth with a runny consistency. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Zesty seafood marinade

Since learning of an intolerance to ginger, have had to rethink a lot of my go-to marinades... this fresh and zesty green chilli marinade for grilled seafood (followed by a spritz of lime juice) is seriously outta this world... already craving another batch!

10 prawns or 500g mixed seafood
1 green chilli
4 cloves garlic
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from half a lime
Salt to taste or 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

Method: In a food processor or blender, grind chilli, garlic and salt into a rough paste. Marinade seafood in paste for half an hour or more. Cook seafood either on a grill or roasting pan in pre-heated oven (about 15-20mins at 200c). Once done, take off heat and spritz with lime juice.

Note: Do not add lime juice to your marinade as the acid may start "cooking" the seafood and it will end up rubbery/tough once it hits the grill... 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Thai cabbage stir-fry

Over the past two years living in Bangkok, I haven't had much interest to attempt cooking any Thai food at home. After all, I could just get it from the street corner or uncountable restaurants in the neighborhood.

This one dish has been a fave though - large crunchy cabbage leaves with a smoky, salty flavour - and it seemed simple enough to give it a shot at home... all I had to do was invest in a bottle of fish sauce!

Thai cabbage stir-fry

1 small cabbage - usually cut into large pieces, but I preferred it slightly smaller.
3 cloves garlic - sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
Dash of white pepper

Method: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in wok until sizzling. Throw in garlic and fry until browned on edges. Keep heat high and throw in cabbage. Add fish sauce and pepper. Keep stir-frying on high heat until cabbage is cooked but still crunchy.

**note: I had leftover broccolini and corn which were on their last legs, so threw that into the wok too. 
** note 2: The stir-fries at Thai and Chinese restaurants have this beautiful smoky flavour (or "wok hei") that comes from cooking on high flames... imho its fairly impossible to replicate at home on a induction stove & non-stick pan! So usually I leave the garlic to brown as much as I can. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Baked soft tofu

The humble steamed tofu dish which I posted in 2008 has since undergone a facelift over the years. These days its more fuss free too than watching a steamer over the stove - just load up the ingredients on a tray, push into an oven and walk away till the bell dings.

Baked soft tofu
1 block soft tofu
A handful of minced pork or chicken
Few stalks spring onions - chopped
About a cup of finely chopped veg (i've used carrot, brocolli and edamame)
Black pepper powder / half finely chopped chilli
1-2 tablespoon light soy sauce (depending on how big your tofu block is)
Liberal dash of sesame oil

1. In a food processor, finely chop vegetables and spring onions.
2. In a bowl, combine mincemeat, chopped veg, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper. Mix well. 
3. Cover baking pan with foil and lightly oil base with some sesame oil. 
4. Slice soft tofu into thick slabs and lay out on baking pan. 
5. Top tofu with mincemeat mixture, pressing down into any crevices so that tofu absorbs juices when it cooks. 
6. Pinch ends of foil together so you have a "sealed package". 
7. Bake in pre-heated oven at 200C for 30mins or until meat is cooked. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Panfried chicken, cumin omelette and cucumber salad with garlicky yoghurt dressing

Everytime I resolve to have a "healthier" week (usually following holiday gluttony) it ends up being 1) research through a whole bunch of low carb / low GI recipes, 2) conceptualize a list for the week, 3) make first dish look really fancy... all of the time that I should really spend on working out! This plate is from one of those weeks but hey, it turned out absolutely yummy that I looked forward to packing leftovers the next day.

Pan-fried chicken with a soy-chilli marinade
1 chicken fillet - cut into strips
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon worchestire sauce

Method: Marinade all of the above. Heat pan with a little oil and add chicken strips. Cook until meat is done and you get a nice caramellisation on edges.

Cumin-carrot omelette
3 eggs
1 cup chopped carrot
Spring onions - chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste

Method: Beat all of the above together in a bowl. Heat pan with a little oil and fry omelette until done.

Cucumber with garlicky yoghurt dressing
1 cucumber - cut however you prefer
1 cup yoghurt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon mint flakes
3 cloves garlic & 3 shallots - both roasted or sauteed

Method: Blend yoghurt, soy sauce, mint, garlic and shallots until you get a light dressing. Drizzle over the cucumber and serve chilled.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

"Popcorn" chicken

Popcorn chicken

1 Chicken breast - cut into bite size pieces
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon Light soy sauce
Dries italian herbs
White pepper
Parmesan cheese

1. Marinade for 10mins chicken pieces with mustard and light soy sauce.
2. Beat egg and keep in a bowl.
3. Prepare breading by mixing breadcrumbs, herbs, parmesan cheese, pepper in another large dish.
4. Take chicken piece and dunk in egg then coat with breading mix.
5. Place on lightly oiled tray. Bake for 15mins at 250C.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pork rendang

I've only recently started cooking pork meat at home so its like venturing into unchartered territory with surprises in store. In Malaysia, rendang is traditionally halal, but the thought of combining pork and rendang turned into a eureka moment; a taste-bomb with the pork standing up to the explosion of spice flavours... Now, why didn't I think of this before?

Pork Rendang

A) for rendang paste (adapted from Chef Wan):
4 large red onions
3 cloves garlic
4 stalks lemongrass
About 1.5cm thick piece of ginger
About 1.5cm thick piece of galangal (lengkuas)
5 red chillies
6 kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 heaped teaspoon cumin powder (jintan putih)
1 heaped teaspoon fennel powder (jintan manis)
50ml water

B) Other ingredients
Pork, cubed
200ml coconut milk
60g roasted grated coconut (kerisik)
4 kalamansi limes (limau kasturi)
 Salt to taste

1. In a blender, grind all the rendang paste ingredients until smooth.
2. Heat oil in wok, add rendang paste and fry till fragrant and oil seperates. 
3. Add pork meat and coconut milk. Season with salt. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, until the gravy is almost dry. 
4. Lower heat and add in roasted coconut. Stir well and add in juice of kalamansi limes before turning off heat.
5. Serve with white rice.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Oven-roasted veggies

So simple, so addictive... my latest food craze especially coming home after work!

Oven roasted veggies

You don't really need a recipe, just chop them up into bite-sized pieces, drizzle olive oil, sprinkle some herbs, salt and pepper, then push into an oven at 180celcius for about 30-40mins. 

Go wild! There's probably tons of flavour combinations that would work. Here's some of my personal faves:
1) Mushrooms with chopped garlic and parsley
2) Butternut squash / pumpkin sprinkled with paprika and cinnamon
3) Broccoli and cauliflower with Italian herbs, roasted till broccoli tops caramelise and become crunchy
4) Red capsicum with Italian herbs

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fruity Moroccan couscous

A potluck go-to, I have been tweaking this recipe over the years and finally settled on one inspired by Chef Michael Smith's which adds subtle hints of spices for a more complex flavour. 

Fruity Moroccan couscous

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 cup couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, very finely chopped 

2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
About 1cm-thick piece of ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1 red capsicum, chopped 
2 cups orange juice
1 lemon, zest and juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 handful coriander leaves, chopped (for garnish)

1. In a large pan, heat olive oil and saute onion, garlic, ginger. Add the spices and saute till onions are translucent and spices fragrant. 
2. Throw in all the other ingredients. Bring to a simmer then lower heat and cover the pan. Cook until couscous absorbs the liquid (about 10-15min). Turn off heat and leave to rest for 5 mins. Use a fork and fluff up the couscous. 
3. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Egg roll-up with spinach & bacon

Diets and me just don't get along. I've lost count how many times (predictably it all starts after New Year's or Birthdays) I've tried to start one, went out and spent loads of $$$ on "healthy" ingredients and then ended up falling off the wagon within a week. After having hormone stuff go bonkers due to weight and much nagging from my doc, I'm trying to go low-carb. Key word - trying (since it's only been day two). But going through recipe books has inspired me back to blogging, so thought I'd share this simple lunch I had today.

Egg roll-up with spinach & bacon (makes 2 servings)

2 eggs
A dash of milk
Salt to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups Spinach
5 slices of black pepper loin or lean bacon
Some grated cheddar cheese
A sprinkle of paprika
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)

1. In a frying pan, cook bacon till you see the fat render, then add chopped garlic. Add spinach when garlic is golden.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs with milk, salt and paprika. Once spinach mixture is cooked, place it to a separate bowl and stir in flaxseed. In the same frying pan (without adding oil, as it should still have the bacon grease), pour in egg mix and move the pan so that you get a "pancake".
3. Add some grated cheese on top of the egg and let it melt, before spooning in spinach-bacon mixture. Fold egg in half. Add a dash of paprika on top.

P/s: I did not add salt to the spinach mixture as usually bacon has its own saltiness. Also no oil apart from the fat from the bacon was used.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kurma Rice (a.k.a cheater's biryani)

I love a well-prepared biryani but it is time-consuming. While not exactly the same, this "Kurma Rice" is just as fragrantly spiced, addictive (seriously, i have been caught sneaking spoonfuls directly from the fridge... it somehow tastes better as a leftover) and so much quicker/easier to whip up.

Kurma Rice (adapted from Maggi, original recipe here)

2 cups rice, preferably basmati
2 cups water
3 tablespoons ghee
1 large onion, finely sliced
Some garlic, chopped
1 small knob ginger, sliced
1 packet Maggi kurma powder or about 5 tablespoons kurma powder
200ml milk
1 box raisins
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom
1 star anise
5 cloves
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste

1. Wash and drain rice. Heat up ghee in a wok and saute spices (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, bay leaves) as well as onions, garlic and ginger. 
2. Once fragrant and onions are translucent, add in the rice and mix well.
3. Transfer mix to a rice cooker. Stir in water, kurma powder, milk, salt and leave to cook. 
4. When the rice has cooked, stir in raisins (and nuts if you like) and leave covered for 10 minutes before serving.

 p/s: I prefer a stronger spiced rice, so I added extra spices compared to the original recipe.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Homemade soy milk

One of those lunch time conversations with the colleagues turned into how much sugar was being put into soy milk drinks that you get from the vendors or boxes... So, when I stumbled across the recipe to make it at home (in a new blender's manual of all places), was eager to try it. Have to say, it def was a little time consuming than pouring it from the box, but I guess you could just make a big batch and store them in bottles in the fridge (note: for up to three days).

Homemade Soy Milk
1/2 cup Dried white soy beans
2 1/2 cups Water + 3 cups water
Organic brown sugar - to taste
Fine sieve or cheese cloth

1. Soak soy beans in a bowl of water (make sure the beans are covered with water) for at least four hours or better yet, overnight.
2. Pick out any discoloured or not-expanded beans, rinse and drain.
3. In a food processor, put in soy beans and water (roughly the ratio is 1/2 cup beans : 2 1/2 cup water). Puree until smooth and milky.
4. Transfer the mixture to a large pan and add additional 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, constantly stirring and skimming off the foam. Turn heat to low and simmer.
5. After about 15 - 20 mins (you will start getting the "sweet" soy milk smell), take off heat and strain through sieve / cheese cloth.
6. Add sugar to taste.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Duo of fresh deliciousness

I am not a salad-type of person. But recently, I've been reinvigorated to venture afar from my typical go-to butterhead-balsamic/olive oil (and maybe an apple/carrot tossed in) and give other types of salads a go. These two were so addictive that I just had to come back and post them on the blog!

Pickled Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber - cored
1/4 red chilli - diced finely
2-3 sprigs of mint leaves - chopped
1 clove garlic - crush and chopped finely
1 tsp - Light soy sauce
2 tablespoons - Cider vinegar
1 tablespoons - extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon - Honey (or to taste)

1. In a small bowl, make dressing with chilli, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, olive oil and honey. Note: you may have to adjust to taste the soy sauce, vinegar, honey. Keep it aside for 5 - 10 minutes to let the flavours combine.
2. Toss the dressing together with the cucumber (cut it anyway you want) and mint leaves. Put in fridge for at least half an hour to allow for the dressing to soak into the cucumber.

Chickpeas Salad (inspired by Antipodean Cafe's)

1 can chickpeas
1/2 a red onion - finely diced
1/4 red chilli - finely diced
1 tomato - diced
Mint leaves - chopped (note: the original used coriander leaves, but I'm not a fan of them so subbed it)
Juice from 1/2 or one lime (depends on the size)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

1. Toss everything together and serve chilled!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Prawn Sambal - updated version!

Originally posted the prawn sambal blog on 19/5/08, but have since upped the ante on this classic with the addition of fragrant bunga kantan, serai and lime leaves, and figured out chilli amount (thought this is completely subjective to a heat-lover/non-heat lover)...

This was so good that by the end of the meal, my nose was blocked and tears almost ran down my cheeks... well, that and because I misjudged the amount of chilli (lesson learnt: diff types of chilli - those thin long ones vs the thicker shorter ones have diff heat levels and when the vegetable vendor at the market says its perfect for sambal - be prepared for damn hot ones!)...

Prawn Sambal
1 bowl Large prawns - I pref to have it shelled but with the tails left on so it doesn't curl too much
3-4 chillies
1 large onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
About an 1/2 inch Ginger - sliced
1/2 torch ginger bud (bunga kantan) - sliced
1 serai stick - sliced
4 lime leaves (daun limau purut) - middle stem removed
1 cup Thick coconut milk
1/2 cup water mixed with Tamarind paste
1/2 lime
A handful of shallots - sliced
Salt to taste

1. In blender, grind chillies, large onions, garlic, serai, bunga kantan and lime leaves with a little water.
2. Heat a bit of oil in sauce pan. Saute sliced shallots, ginger and cubed tomatoes. Add blended paste and fry till aromatic. Add tamarind water to dilute the paste and cook till the sharp raw chilli smell reduces.
3. Add in prawns. Season with salt. When prawns get half cooked, add coconut milk and allow it to thicken. Remove off heat and squirt lime juice. Give it a good stir and serve.

P/s: The perfect accompaniment for this is cucumber or other "cooling" vege that tempers down the heat. Sambal is also one of the accompaniments of the Malaysian national dish Nasi Lemak (Milk Rice).

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chicken biryani

It started off with one of those craving-driven lightbulb moments... There we were trying to figure out the dinner menu for our family's post-deepavali get-together and I come up with the "brilliant" idea of doing the biryani. And then, I actually did some google research and the daunting feeling of experimenting a new dish for 15 people started getting magnified. It ended up going pretty well once I figured out the basic steps (marinade chicken > soak rice > cook chicken halfway > cook rice & aromatics > combine > garnish) and the end result received some compliments...

I drew elements from several different recipes, but mainly the chicken marinade is from the doyenne of Indian chefs - Madhur Jaffrey (original recipe here - though this is a time-consuming one...).


Step A) Spiced Chicken marinade
6 chicken legs (cut into half = one drumstick, one thigh)
5 garlic cloves
3 medium onions
1 piece (2-inch) fresh ginger
10 cloves
20 black peppercorns
8 cardamom pods (use the seeds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cup yogurt

Method: Remove skin from chicken. Prepare the marinade paste by grinding all the other ingredients in a blender till smooth. Combine marinade with chicken, mix well and leave in refridgerator for a minimum of 2 hours (preferably overnight).

Step 2: Soak 2 cups of long-grain basmati rice in water for at least an hour.

Step 3: Cook chicken
Method: In a pot, heat some vegetable oil. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and cook in the pot till all sides are browned. Add in rest of marinade and leave till chicken is 3/4 cooked. Once done, remove chicken pieces in a separate bowl. Continue boiling down the marinade until the paste becomes very thick. Taste the paste, if you feel it needs to be spicier - add 1 teaspoon curry powder.

Step 4: Cook rice
3 medium onions - diced
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cardamom pods
2 tablespoon ghee

Method: Mix turmeric/saffron with warm milk in a separate glass. In a non-stick pot, melt ghee and saute onions, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom till fragrant and onions have browned. Drain the soaked rice and add to the pot. Mix the rice well until each grain is coated with ghee. Add in 700ml water, salt to taste, and cook on high heat until it boils.

Step 5: Combine both Chicken & rice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric OR 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons warm milk

Method: Add two-three tablespoons of thickened marinade and mix rice. Next, bury the chicken pieces in the rice (put a spoonful of the marinade paste on top of chicken before you cover it with the rice). Mix turmeric/saffron with warm milk and pour over the rice, streaking it yellow. Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil and the pot cover. Cook on LOW heat for 15 minutes till rice is cooked.

* Rule of thumb: 250g long-grain rice : 350ml water

Step 6: Garnish
Chopped cashew nuts
Fried onions
Coriander (optional)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Deepavali - a time for churning out those cookies!

This blog (and my personal one too) has been dreadfully neglected these last couple of months since I returned home to KL and hit the career ladder once again. The workload and hours at my "new" job are practically triple what I put in with the old one, combined with spending 3 hours of my daily life in a traffic jam made even the idea of even cooking anything more than a slapdash dish exhausting! But I'm back with renewed inspiration (we'll see how long this lasts... lol) after re-reading the first post I ever wrote here while scouring for some old recipes.

Anyways enough of the moaning and groaning - to the main event - new recipes! :) I usually hate doing cookies since I always end up burning them somehow... but having missed Deepavali with the family for the last two years, was eager to do something. And hey hey, they turned out great (good thing I finally learnt that cookies need to be cooled before they harden/crisp up)!

Left: Melting Moments, Right: Sugee Biscuits

Sugee Biscuits
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
200g ghee or butter
150g icing sugar
150g semolina flour
(note: I added about 50g more as my dough was too sticky)
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat over to 180C.
2. Sift plain flour and baking soda.
3. In mixer, cream ghee/butter, icing sugar together. Add in semolina and salt, and fold in sifted ingredients.
4. Divide dough into balls (I used a half teaspoon as a measure), put on tray and flatten slightly.
5. Bake for 12 minutes.


Melting Moments
100g salted butter
75g unsalted butter
1/4 cup heaped icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. In mixer, cream butters, sugar, vanilla until smooth and light.
3. Stir in sifted flour, cornflour and lemon zest.
4. Fill dough (it has a very soft consistency) into piping bag and pipe rosettes onto baking-paper lined tray or little paper cups. Top with sprinkles.
5. Bake for 9 minutes (small ones) or 12-15 minutes (larger) at 180C.


The infamous hoax "Famous Amos" Chocolate Chip Cookie

This was from one of those emails revealing that someone was trying to get back at being charged hundreds by FA for asking for the recipe. But, still it is pretty darn yummy!

Ingredients (makes a lot, so half the recipe for 2 trays):
250g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups sifted plain flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
340g chocolate chips
100g nuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven t0 190C. Note: the cookies baked at this temperature will have a chewy centre. If you prefer them crumbly, bake at 195C.
2. Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanila.
3. Fold in rest of the ingredients.
4. Roll into small balls (I used a teaspoon measure)
5. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes at 190C (chewy soft middle) / 195C (crumbly).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tweaked Kung Po Chicken

Kung Po Chicken has been a family favourite at chinese restaurants, but decided to "indian-ize" it a little tonight and loved the highly fragrant results!

Tweaked Kung Po Chicken

Chicken - diced into bite sized pieces
5 Dried Chilli
Curry leaves
1 onion - sliced
Ginger - sliced
3 cloves garlic - quartered
Handful of cashew nuts
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Light soy sauce
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Oil to fry

1. In a bowl, marinate diced chicken with light soy sauce (depending how much chicken you have) and corn flour
2. Heat oil in a wok and fry the onions, garlic, curry leaves, dried chilli, cinnamon and star anise till golden brown and aromatic. Remove from oil and place in a bowl.
3. Add in chicken mix and fry in the seasoned oil till cooked.
4. Drizzle in dark soy sauce and honey. Return onions mixture to wok. Add cashew nuts. Mix everything well to coat over chicken. Taste and add salt/light soy sauce if necessary.
5. Best served hot.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Italian-style veggie soup

I'm finally winding down in the last few weeks of the last semester my Masters degree. The weather in Sydney this week has been unpredictable - hot sun then suddenly rain cooling down the rest of the day. And the weekend has unfortunately been mostly rainy (spoiled a day out on Manly beach), so as soon as I got home, decided a nice hearty, wholesome piping hot pot of soup was in order. Plus, I can easily picture someone's Nonna out there making this...

Italian-style veggie soup (updated)
A handful of diced chicken breast
1 medium potato - diced
1 zucchini diced
1 red onion diced
3 cloves garlic - smashed
About 5cm of ginger - sliced thickly
1/2 red capsicum - diced
A handful of rice
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon condensed chicken stock
2-4 cans water (to begin with, you can keep adding as it cooks to the consistency you want)
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2 small bay leaves
Salt & pepper to season

1. Add a little oil in a pot and saute garlic, ginger and chicken till brown. Add in veggies and cook for a bit, before adding in water, uncooked rice, bay leaves, chicken stock.
2. Once veggies are slightly softened and rice half cooked, add in diced tomatoes and herbs. Taste and season with salt&pepper. Add in more water if necessary.
4. Leave to cook for about 30 minutes until the veggies are all soft.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spicy Tuna & Onions

Since I started an internship and the other weekdays are filled with classes/ research for assignments, I have been feeling super-lazy to cook anything "proper" after coming home from a long day out. Sometimes its either slopping some spread & ham between a bread of some sort (or the latest "craze" - an english muffin), those one-person caesar/greek salads from Woolies or frying up two sausages or fish chips. But there are days when I feel like something spicy with rice. And this is where I end up... (since defrosting "real" meats takes too darn long)...

Spicy Tuna & Onions
1 can Tuna Chunks in Olive Oil
1 onion - sliced finely
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder (
chinna chiraham)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to season

1. Heat some oil in frying pan and fry onions till translucent and soft.
2. Add in chilli, turmeric and cumin powder. Mix well with onions and cook it for a minute or two till aromatic. Lower the heat slightly so it doesn't burn.
3. Add in tuna. Mix well. Break down chunks into smaller pieces. Season
4. Fry it up a bit until you get some crispy bits.
5. Serve with rice.