Daal is the staple diet of punjabis. Back home, my mother would make daal daily and we would have it with rice and fried anchovies for lunch. For dinner, we continued to have daal but with chapatis and pickle instead. Thats how much daal was featured in my home.
Ingredients: 1 cup yellow lentils
1 potato (cubed)
minced onion, garlic and ginger
coriander leaves and spring onion (chopped)
Masala spices: 1 tbs curry powder, 1/2 tbs tumeric, 1/2 tbs chilli powder and 1/2
tbs coriander powder
1. Wash lentils in water and boil with water covering 1/2 your index finger.
2. After 30 mins, add vegetables. Then add masala spices.
3. Add onion, garlic and ginger. If you want to make it 'tarka' method- you can fry the onion, garlic and ginger for 10 mins seperately until softened and then add in. I usually just add it in as it is.
4. Simmer for another 20 mins until vegetables are fully cooked. Then garnish with coriander and spring onion.
In all my 26 years living in Singapore, I have never seen a dishwasher. And here in Denmark, I see one in almost every home I visit. The dishwasher is an amazing invention- you can stack 3 days of dirty plates in there and it all comes out clean, dry and ready to put away. I think its the one invention I love most in my kitchen.
These cupcakes were really easy to make and tastes wonderful too. A perfect sweet finger food.
15o g butter softened 150 g icing sugar 175 g self raising flour 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract cranberries
1. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add cranberries. 2. Sift flour and fold in with a metal spoon. 3. Pour into cupcakes and bake at 200 degrees for 20 mins. 4. You can put a dot of cranberry jam on top of vanilla cupcake for decoration.
1. Marinade chicken cubes with yogurt and tandoori masala powder. Bake in hot oven of 200 degrees for 40 mins until chicken is cooked.
2. Heat oil and fry onions until soft. Add garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant. Add the spice mix and fry powders until the oil and aroma is released.
3. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
4. Remove chicken from oven and add to the pot. Stir briefly and ensure that the dish is fully heated.
5. Add cream and coriander.
Verdict: Thomas kept talking about how good the dish was, even 5 hours later after eating it. I think the method of baking the chicken first before it was placed into the pot really gave the dish a good flavour. I have attempted to make butter chicken 5 times before this final successful attempt. Admittedly, this is a decadent dish to make and takes up a lot of time!
I made some Asian noodles with lovely greens and mushrooms. This is a very popular dish in Singapore. I bought all the ingredients from Min Anh Vietnamese shop next to Bruuns Galleri.
Ingredients: 1/2 packet of vermicelli (otherwise known as bee hoon)- thin rice noodles
dried chinese mushrooms (soak in water for 1/2 hour to soften)
leafy green chinese vegetables (known as chye sim)
1 clove garlic (chopped finely)
2 tbs dark soya sauce
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs chilli sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil a large pot of water. When it is boiling, remove from heat. Soak the vermicelli in the water to soften. It should only be soaked for a maximum of half hour or else it will get too sticky. You can use a large scissors to slice it into smaller strands after it softens.
2. Heat oil in a stir frying work and fry garlic until fragrant. Add sliced mushrooms and green vegetables. Add 3 tbs of water and cook thoroughly.
3. Add the softened vermicelli. Season with soya sauce, ketchup and chilli sauce. Add salt and pepper. Make sure to stir well and that all the water is dried up.
4. When the noodles are fully cooked and fairly dry, remove from heat.
Verdict: The noodles came out very well- the mushrooms I bought had a nice strong flavour to it and this complemented the garlic in the dish. It is common to add beansprouts to the fried vermicelli and you can do so, if you desire. I was happy to have large portions of this dish, it reminded me of home.
Since I married an European man, I decided to try making more European dishes. And its all turning out quite well. Also, I bought a lot of beef this week.
Ingredients: Lean beef 1 tbs flour (seasoned with salt and pepper) 1 red onion (sliced) 1 clove garlic (chopped) 1 cup sour cream 1 tbs tomato paste salt and pepper
1. Cut beef in thin strips. Coat with seasoned flour. Heat oil and fry the beef. Set aside. 2. Heat oil in pan and fry onions and garlic until softened. 3. Add 1/2 cup water, sour cream and tomato paste. 4. Cook for 5 minutes, and then add beef. 5. Season to taste. The sauce would have thickened and then set aside.
Verdict: I thought this dish was really very good. The sourness of the cream complemented the tomato paste quite well. The recipe calls for button mushrooms to be added but I didnt have any in the house. All, in all this was a successful first try at beef stroganoff.
My friend Edel, made really good spring rolls at the International gathering in my home. I am going to get her to teach me the technique of rolling them properly. The ones I made in the past kept opening up in the deep fat fryer.
This is a nice slow cooking dish, ideal for the weekend when you have time on your hands.
Ingredients: lean beef (chopped in pieces) 4 tomatoes (chopped) 1 white onion (sliced) 1 clove garlic (chopped) 2 stalks celery (sliced) 2 carrots (sliced) red wine or balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp red paprika 1 tsp cornflour (mixed with water) salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil and cook onions and garlic until translucent and soft. 2. Add beef and cook thoroughly until the meat is browned. 3. Add 2 cups of water and add carrots and celery. 4. Allow to simmer for 45 mins. 5. Add tomatoes. 6. Allow to simmer for another 30 mins. 7. When vegetables are softened, add either wine or balsamic vinegar to taste. Season with paprika, salt and pepper. 8. Add cornflour paste to thicken the soup before serving.
Verdict: I started out with a dash of wine in the soup and it tasted quite good. But afterwards, I reheated the dish with balsamic vinegar and it had a much more sharp, tarty taste. This dish would go well with chopped red bell peppers, which I didnt have in the fridge. Also, the inclusion of bay leaves would have been good for the sauce. Overall, it was extremely tasty although I could have cooked the beef much longer and it would have been more tender. I would recommend that the goulash is left to simmer for 2-3 hours so that the meat becomes extremely tender.
I was in the mood for Asian fare, so I made sweet and sour chicken. This version follows the Malaysian version where the meat is not deep fried before hand. The Chinese version usually calls for the meat to be deep fried in breadcrumbs before the sauce is placed on it.
Ingredients: chicken breast (diced) 3 pineapple rings (sliced) 1 white onion (sliced) 1/2 red pepper (cubed) 3 tbs tomato sauce 1 tbs chilli sauce 1 tsp soya sauce 1 tsp of cornflour (make into a paste with water) salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in work and fry the onions. When onions are softened, add the red pepper. Add 5 tbs of water and allow vegetables to cook. 2. Add chicken breast and allow to simmer for 10 mins. 3. When water is drying up, add tomato sauce, chilli sauce, soya sauce and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. 4. Add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick. 5. Add pineapple. 6. Use cornflour paste to thicken the sauce before turning off heat.
Verdict: The version I made was a little too sweet because I added some pineapple syrup to the sauce. Usually, the recipe calls for a bit of vinegar which I didnt have with me. Overall, I could have done a better job of it.
I was in a baking mood so I whipped up some lovely cookies.
Ingredients: 12 tablespoons (175g) unsalted butter, 3/4 cup (160g) firmly packed light brown sugar 2/3 cup (130g) white sugar 1 large egg1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups (170g) rolled oats 1 1/4 cup (160g) plain flour 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups (200g) raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5.
2. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
3.In a separate bowl combine oats, flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Mix into butter mixture until just combined. Stir in raisins.
4. Drop the dough by heaped tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving a 2" gap between each mound.
5.Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on sheet for at least a minute before transferring to a rack.
Verdict: The cookies came out really large so do leave a lot of space between each set. It was crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. I added some cinnamon powder as an afterthought before placing the cookies in the oven, and it made it smell heavenly.
Me and Thomas are going to be very healthy in the year 2007. And what better way to do that than to eat our greens!
Ingredients: chicken breast (chopped) chinese spinach (sliced) 1 red onion (sliced) 1 red chilli (sliced) 1 tbs oyster sauce 1 tsp soya sauce salt to taste 1/2 tsp cornflour
1. Marinade chopped chicken breast with oyster sauce and soya sauce. 2. Heat oil and fry onions until soft. Add chilli and chicken. Cook on high heat. Then add a little water and allow to simmer. 3. Add spinach. Allow to cook for 15 mins. 4. Add seasonings. Make a paste with cornflour and water and add to the mixture. This will thicken marinade into a sauce. Remove from heat after 5 mins. Serve with rice.
Verdict: The food was delicious- the spinach was warm and thick and complemented the chicken very well.
I made around 80 spring rolls for the New Year. I did not end up taking a picture of the final product but here is the recipe for the filling.
Ingredients: 1/2 large cabbage (shredded) minced pork 3 carrots (finely chopped) 2 white onions (finely chopped) 1 cup peas 1 cup corn 2 red chillis (sliced) 2 tbs soya sauce 2 tbs oyster sauce 1 tbs sesame oil salt and pepper
1. Marinade pork with 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp soya sauce and 1 tsp oyster sauce. Cook over low heat in saucepan until the pork is cooked well. Drain and set aside. 2. Heat oil and fry onions until soft. Add cabbage, chilli and carrots. Put in 1/2 cup of water and let vegetables simmer. When water dries up, add corn and peas. Add sesame oil, oyster sauce and soya sauce. 3. Pour the meat into the mixture and give it a final stir. Season to taste. 4. The filling should be cooled for 1/2 a day before being used for spring rolls.
Verdict: The filling tasted good and complemented the spring roll wrappers. Spring rolls go very well with sweet chilli sauce.