Friday, 30 June 2006

From My Rasoi # 6 - For The Love of Rice

Glutinous rice, often called sticky rice is uniquely delicious, tasty and sweet rice. It is starchy and yields attractively sticky, moist, firm and dense rice when cooked. Thus it does a great job of filling the stomach. Glutinous rice can be easily distinguished from other varieties by its short grain and milky colour.

Glutinous Rice

Despite the misleading name, glutinous rice does not contain dietary gluten. Therefore, theoretically it should be safe for gluten-free diets. The sticky consistency of the rice is derived from two kinds of starch in the kernels, namely amylase and amyl pectin.

As an entry for FMR # 6 – For The Love Of Rice, I have chosen to make wajik which is steamed glutinous rice braised in palm sugar and coconut milk syrup.


What do we need:

1 cup glutinous rice
1 blade pandanus / screw pine leaf

1 cup thick coconut milk
1/3 cup palm sugar (as per desired)
2 blades pandan / screw pine leaves

How do we do it:

Wash the rice and soak the rice at least 4 hours. It is important to wash the rice before soaking to ensure that the rice do not break. Drain the rice and mix with salt. Place a knotted screw pine leaf on top of the rice. Steam for 5 minutes or until half cooked. Remove from heat and using a fork, scratch to lossen the rice.

Palm sugar and coconut milk syrup at soft ball stage

In a heavy bottomed pan, boil the coconut milk with palm sugar and knotted screw pine leaves. When the syrup reaches soft ball stage, add the rice. Stir continously to prevent from getting burnt. Remove from heat when the mixture does not stick to the sides of the pan. Discard the pandan leaves. Transfer to a greased mould. Cool completely before cutting into desired shapes.

Sunday, 25 June 2006

Weekend Baking Session # 18

Pandan/Screw Pine Leaves

Yesterday was my special day. So, I felt like cooking and baking everything that I like. One of which is .......

Pandan Chiffon Cake

What do we need:

1 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
4 blades pandanus/screw pine leaves

3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

How do we do it:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

Wash and snip the pandan leaves into smaller pieces. Blend them with coconut milk. Strain and make sure the quantity is 1/3 of a cup. To the pandan coconut milk, add the egg yolks, sugar, oil and the flour mixture. Mix until well blended.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar little by little and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the beaten egg white into the pandan mixture to lighten it. Then, pour the lightened coffee mixture into the remaining beaten egg white. Fold gently but quickly and thoroughly to combine both mixtures.

Pour the batter into an ungreased 8" round cake pan. With a flat knife, quickly cut through the batter a few times to get rid of any very large air bubbles. Bake in a preheated oven at 175° C for about 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and immediately invert the cake pan and let it cool.

When the cake is completely cool, run a knife or a thin spatula around the sides of pan to loosen the cake from the pan.

Fill and frost the cake with your favourite frosting. Decorate as per desired.

Friday, 23 June 2006

Tag World Confessions

Yet another meme. This time I was tagged by Vaishali of Happy Burp and SudhaV of Samayal. Here we go.....

5 Items in My Freezer

Herbs - Curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass.
Vegetables - Green peas and spinach.
Meat and Seafood - Prawns, fishes and chicken.
Homemade Doughs - Puff pastry, short crust pastry and bread dough.
Egg Whites - Each time I come across a recipe that uses only egg yolks, I safe the egg white by tying it up in a little plastic bag, separately for each egg white.

5 Items in My Closet

Clothes - Each of us have our own closet. Therefore, our clothes are separated. There are more hangers than clothes in my closet. I gave up all my office wardrobes to my sisters when I left Malaysia. Just brought 3 sarees which I use once a year during Malaysian National Day function held by the Embassy.
Handbags - I have a few but use only one. Hardly use the others.
Perfumes - I was a perfumes collector, once upon a time when I was a single. With the high standard of living in Switzerland, had to give up the hobby.
Cosmetics - All of them are from home. Mom sends them every now and then. I had to really hide them away from Mahisha as she is now into grooming.
Jewelries - Never used them ever since I moved to Switzerland. Very sad :(

5 Items in My Car

A Road Map of Bern - Just in case if we could not find a place.
Tamil Audio Cds - For me to listen and for Mahisha to sing and dance along.
Water Bottles - A big bottle for hubby and I. A small bottle for Mahisha.
Gummy Bears - That is the weapon that we use to calm down Mahisha whenever she freaks out in the car.
Tissue Box - Mom brought a pretty cover for the box when she came to Switzerland.

5 Items in My Purse

Malaysian Identity Card - Too used to carrying it around when I was in Malaysia.
Driving Licence - This is the twin sister of my IC. They never part.
ATM Cards - Both Malaysian and Swiss banks.
Shopping Cards - Been collecting the points but never redeemed them. Same happened when I was in Malaysia. Only collected, never redeemed.
Money - Well, the main purpose of carrying a purse is to keep money.

I would like to pass on the meme to:

Boo_licious of masak-masak
Zuraini of Zu's Kitchen
Shilpa of Aayi's Recipes
Paati of En Veetu Samayal
Priya of Priya's Kitchen
Garam Masala of The Spice is Right

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

The Summer Sensation # 1

Finally, the most long-awaited season is here. Today is the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. It is the longest day of the year. Unlike living in Asia, we hardly get to see the sun here. Therefore, people tend to appreciate summer so much on this part of the world.

In line with the season, PuSiVa'S CuLiNarY StUdiO is celebrating the sensation of summer. Food connected to summer will be featured throughout the season as it is the season in which many fruits and vegetables are in full growth.

To kick start the event, I made jelly. Jelly or agar-agar is actually dried seaweed. It makes a good cooling agent especially on sunny days.

Yam Jelly

What do we need:

5 g agar-agar strands
3 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp yam paste/flavouring

How do we do it:

Soak the the agar-agar strands in water for an hour. Wash and drain. Cook with water. When the jelly strands have dissolved, add sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolve.

Strain the jelly and divide into 2 equal portions. Add 1/4 cup of milk into 1 portion of jelly (A). Mix well. Into the other portion of jelly (B), add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and the yam paste. Mix thoroughly and return to low heat.

Pour jelly mixture (A) into little jelly moulds or a big mould. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Now, scratch the top of the jelly with a fork. Pour jelly mixture (B) on top of the set jelly (A). Chill the jelly until well set.

Serve yam jelly cold.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

Weekend Baking Session # 17

It is Father's Day today. This edition of Weekend Baking Session pays a tribute to fatherhood. To celebrate the day, I baked a peanut butter cake because hubby loves peanuts and peanut butter. Frosted the cake with chocolate icing as chocolate makes the best pair with any nuts.

Peanut Butter Cake

What do we need:

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

How do we do it:

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Set aside.

Beat butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Stir in vanilla essence. Fold in the sifted flour mixture alternately with the milk, starting and ending with the flour.

Pour batter into a greased and lined 7 inches round pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 175° C for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Fill and cover the cake with your favourite frosting. Decorate as per desired.

Happy Father's Day To All The Fathers

Friday, 16 June 2006

10 Things I Miss Of Mom's Cooking

Revathi of En Ulagam and Sonali of Spicehut have tagged with this excellent meme. It is a great theme that has took me back to the times that I was living with my mom. Many thanks to both of them for making write this nostalgic and mouth-watering meme.

Everyone’s mother is his or her best cook. My mom is no exception. Even all my friends fondly remember her for the delicious food that she serves them. Here is a list of the 10 Food That I Miss Most of Mom's Cooking

Fish Curry
Being the topper is definitely amma’s fish curry. My ex-office mates back home used to adore the aroma of her fish curry. I sometimes just scoop the curry and drink it like soup. Irresistible!!!!

Fish Sambal
I have tried cooking it many times. Not even once have I reached her level. Just too good.

Prawn Sambal
Amma cooks prawn sambal with diced potatoes. The sambal would be that delicious that even the potatoes taste like prawns.

Crab Curry
Amma very rarely cooks crab. Probably just once or twice a year. When she cooks, she will make a big portion. She uses lots of ingredients and grinds them to cook the curry. The taste is remarkable.

Chicken Braised in Soya Sauce
This is a family secret recipe that was passed to amma by my late aunty who was my father’s elder sister. Chicken pieces braised in dark soya sauce and honey with lots of ginger and a few dried chilies. It is a family favourite.

Fried Mee Hoon (Fried Rice Noodles)
Amma uses ingredients such as onions, dried anchovies and dried chillies ground into coarse paste to fry the noodles. It tastes incredible.

Vegetable Soup
Very rich and health packed. I used to wonder if vegetable could be that much tasty. I have never cooked my soup to her level.

Eggy Potatoes and Anchovies
This is amma’s very own creation. Her comfort food at times she do not know what to cook. Whenever she cooks this, she had to cook an extra portion of rice as the normal portion would not be enough.

Semolina Puttu with Dal
Semolina fried with ghee and then, steamed together with coconut. Later, mixed with boiled dal and sugar. This is my favourite. I have tried making it thrice but of no luck of getting the same texture as how amma does it. She makes it so perfectly.

Black Gram Vadei
Amma is a professional vadei maker. She is very famous for her vadei that she used get orders to make them. Now she no more makes for others. My siblings and I have never ever bought vadei from shops because no vadei can beat the vadei that amma makes.

I would like to pass this meme to:
Mike of FooDcrazEE
Boo_licious of Masak-Masak
Rachel of Tham Jiak
Indosungod of Daily Musings
Sumitha of Kitchen Wonders
Vasundhara of What to cook today

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

My Comfort Food

Mahisha has not been feeling well. As any other kids who are sick, she clings to me all the time. So, I had to cook up something really fast. Whenever I am in a hurry, my comfort food is.....

Tomato Tuna

What do we need:

1 can tuna in brine or oil
1 can tomato chunks
2 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic pips, sliced
1/2 inch ginger, sliced
1 sprig curry leaves
1-2 tbsp fish curry powder
a pinch of sugar

How do we do it:

Sauté the sliced onion, ginger, garlic and the curry leaves. When it is aromatic, add the diced potatoes, tomato chunks and curry powder. Cook covered until the potatoes are cooked.

Add the drained tuna and peas. Season with salt and sugar.

Tomato Tuna goes very well with bread.

Sunday, 11 June 2006

Weekend Baking Session # 16

Today I had some guests for high tea. I made an array of goodies. One of them is something that I had wanted to make for a long time. Finally, found the right time. Here it is.....

Cherry Tartlets

What do we need:

Short Crust Pastry
1 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt

1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp custard powder
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 can cherry compote
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp water

1 tbsp cherry preserve

How do we do it:

Grate cold butter into the flour. Add salt. Rub lightly with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk. Knead very lightly to form smooth pastry. Wrap with a cling film and chill the pastry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Divide the pastry dough into 8 portions. Press each portion evenly into greased tart mould. Trim edges to remove excess pastry. Prick base of each tart with a fork. Cover and chill again for about 15 minutes. Then, blind bake the pasty cases in a preheated oven at 200º C for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place the tartlets on a wire rack to cool.

Combine all the filling ingredients together in a heavy bottomed pan. Whick contantly until the mixture thickens. Let the filling to cool completely.

Simmer the cherries together with the syrup. When the syrup reduces to half, stir in the corn flour mixed with water. Stir briskly until the mixture thickens. Set aside to cool completely.

To assemble, lightly spread the cherry preserve in the pastry shells. then, fill with a tablespoon of the filling. Finally, top with the cherries.

Friday, 9 June 2006

Nibbles For My Toddler # 5

Been such a long time since I posted an entry on this title. As usual I have chosen all the healthy ingredients for my toddler. She loved it.

Oatmeal Yoghurt Muffins

What do we need:

1 cup plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup rolled oatmeal
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 chopped nuts

How do we do it:

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Toss nuts and raisins with 1 teaspoon of flour mixture. Set aside separately. Stir oats into remaining flour mixture.

Grease the muffin tray with butter or simply place paper cups into the muffin holes.

Beat together butter and sugar. Beat in the egg. Stir in yoghurt and milk mix until blended. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until evenly moistened. Fold in the floured nuts and raisins.

Fill muffin holes with three quarter full. Bake in a preheated oven at 180° C for 20 minutes or until golden in colour.

When baking muffins, always place a bowl of boiling water in the oven. If there are unused holes on the muffin tray, pour boiling water into it. The reason is that the steam from the boiling water creates moist in the oven to prevent warping.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

The Food That I'd Die For # 6

I have been craving for sambal ikan bilis or anchovies sambal. Sambal is a popular accompaniment either as a condiment or as a side dish cooked in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Sambal ranges in hotness from mildly sharp to incendiary. Belacan or shrimp paste is an essential ingredient in sambal. It enhances the taste of sambal. Tamarind gives a citrus tang. A touch of sugar boosts up the taste of sambal and suppresses the hotness. Sambal is a uniquely delicious and goes well with any food.

Anchovies Sambal

What do we need:

2 cups anchovies
1 big tomatoe
4 dried chilies
2 big onions
3 garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1/2 tsp belacan granules
1 tsp tamarind
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp sugar

How do we do it:

Peel, wash and drain the anchovies. Set aside.

Combine water and tamarind to prepare the tamarind juice. Set aside.

Grind 1 onion, the garlic, ginger, dried chilies and belacan into coarse paste. Heat oil and fry the ground paste until it is very aromatic the oil rises on top. Pour in the tamarind juice. Add the anchovies. Fry for a while. Add chopped tomatoe and thickly sliced onion rings. Season with sugar and salt.

Anchovies sambal with rice, stir-fried vegetables and baked potatoe wedges.

Serve hot with rice, roti, bread, thosai or idli. I just love it with idlis.

Sunday, 4 June 2006

Weekend Baking Session # 15

I was asked to bake 4 chocolate cakes for a function held by the Embassy of Malaysia in Switzerland. I was extremely happy as it is the 1st time ever I received an order to bake cakes. At last, my baking is recognised and being favoured.

I had to go on a baking marathon the day before the function. Hubby dear helped a lot. Many thanks to him. I received thumbs up from those who ate the cake. I felt very much honoured when his Excellency the Ambassador said that the cake was delicious and he thanked me for baking it.

I would like take the opportunity of sharing the recipe with everyone thru our Weekend Baking Session.

Moist Chocolate Cake

What do we need:

1 1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp instant coffee powder or granules

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

3/4 cup water

How do we do it:

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

Dissolve the coffee with hot water. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well. Beat in the coffee and vanilla essence. Gently fold in the flour mixture alternating with water. Start and end with the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into a greased baking pan. Bake at 175° C for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before serving or frosting it with your favourite cream, as per desired. The cake tastes better the next day.
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