• Oct
  • 19
  • 2011

Islamic art and design

kids islamic frame

Assalamualaikum dear readers, I have just launched a new lifestlye and design blog called ‘in my studio’.  It basically covers things I do such as cooking (sharing recipes with you), photography, art and design and some islamic ahadiths/ quran verses.

These two images are just a glimpse of what I offer (to order) but please hop on to my blog here for some daily inspiration and to purchase, please view my shop on etsy

kids islamic frame


  • Oct
  • 18
  • 2011

spring spaghetti with basil, chilli & garlic

I love this weather. Currently sitting at 24.3 degrees, I couldn’t ask for a better start to a perfect week ahead, inshallah. Inspired by my fresh garden (thanks to hubby!) and the wonderful sunshine we’ve been getting lately, I whipped up this quick meal in no more than 15 minutes. Can I tell you about the flavours? Well they just bursts in your mouth: left, right and centre! Thanks to a few powerful ingredients; garlic, chilli and basil…with a dash of extra virgin olive oil is all you need to turn it into an absolute flavoursome meal. Trust me, its really that good.

organic cooking oil

Ok, lets be honest. I need to give credit to where it all originated from. Secret Recipe. That’s where I first had it (i’ll post a review of this place soon). But for $16.90 a plate, ouch! I seriously felt guilty. Not to my palate but to my husbands pocket. So I decided to try and replicate this and oh la la, what a dish we have here for just under $5 per person. You can substitute prawns with chicken for an even cheaper meal. Hmm, now I really do sound cheap don’t I? yikes!

Slice the vegetables. Slice the garlic. Don’t chop them finely. You want to be able to taste the garlicky flavour.

Sautee the marinated prawns in olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper and chilli flakes.

And you have yourself a winning dish. Say hello to Spring!


RECIPE FOR SPRING SPAGHETTI
Inspired by Secret Recipe’s Thai spaghetti

Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients

2 cups cooked spaghetti
10 prawns (marinate with salt & pepper for an hour)
1 bulb garlic, sliced
1 green capsicum, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
10 mushrooms, sliced (I didnt have any but if you do,add them)
1 red chilli, cut
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
Handful of basil leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp basil infused olive oil
1 tsp chilli oil, for dressing (optional)
100g feta cheese, for dressing (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. In a saucepan, sautee the marinated prawns in olive oil for 2 minutes.

2. Add garlic and stir until prawns are evenly cooked. This should take another 2 minutes.

3. Add all the vegetables and chilli flakes. Season well with salt and pepper.

4. Add pasta to the sauce mixture and pour over with basil infused olive oil. Toss to combine.

5. Finally, topped with some feta cheese and drizzle with some chilli oil.

Click ‘read more’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




  • Oct
  • 02
  • 2011

thai pineapple fried rice

On special occasions, my family and I would dine at Sawasdee (I’ll post my reviews of the restaurant soon).  Whenever we’re there, we’d never fail to order their pineapple fried rice, so much so, that I keep telling myself I’d try and replicate this dish (they used to serve it in a pineapple boat, like above, but now they just dish it in a large bowl).  So anyway, as I was doing my groceries at the local market, I spotted pineapples. Cheap, whole, fresh pineapples. Yum. I grabbed one. I should’ve grabbed two *sigh*.


Here is my attempt at making a pineapple boat. If you need to know how to take the flesh out, just youtube it. That’s what I did.  Try it out and let me know!

And don’t forget to serve it to your husband like this, in bed! This makes an impressive brunch on a Sunday morning noon. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.


THAI PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE RECIPE
Inspired by Sawasdee

Serves: 3
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

1 small pineapple, carve flesh out into small cubes
2 cups leftover rice, medium grain
6 cloves garlic, sliced finely
1 chicken thigh fillet, remove fat and cut into small cubes
100g shelled prawns
1 carrot, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
3 tbsp pineapple juice, reserved from the fresh pineapple
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp oil
2 tsp shrimp paste
A few coriander leaves, for garnishing
A handful of spring onions, cut thinly for garnishing
A handful of cashew nuts, for garnishing
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Put your wok on a high heat and add the oil, garlic, shrimp paste, chicken and prawns. Then add the pineapple juice.

2. Put the rice and vegetables in. Stir fry for a bit more then add dark soy sauce, fish sauce and stir until the rice is evenly coated.

3. Finally, add the pineapple pieces, cashew nuts and season well with salt and pepper. Give it one last stir before garnishing it with spring onions and coriander leaves.

4. Serve in a pineapple boat* that you have carved out earlier to impress your guest!

*1 Half carved pineapple boat only serves 1.



Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.





  • Sep
  • 19
  • 2011

Tawheed for Children (Level One) Knowing Allah

This is a free ebook written by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh that teaches children very basic knowledge about tawheeed.

Here is a small extract from the book:

Allaah is my Rabb
Allaah is the Rabb of everything we see around and that which we do not see, like
Angels and other creatures, the Jinns.
Allaah created the Angels from light, and Allaah created the Jinns from fire.
All the Angels worship Allaah, and don’t disobey him in anything.

This ebook looks very appealing to children in that it is very colourful, contains many pictures and puzzles and is written in very simple language.

Download PDF 3.7 MB (right click and select “save as”)


  • Sep
  • 17
  • 2011

chicken and veg salsa dip

As part of my healthy and balanced diet, I bought some plain rice crackers. I have been munching on them with some sliced cheese and tuna or cream cheese and cucumbers. A few weeks later, I was getting a bit bored with that combination and wanted something a little sexy and spicy. As I was making the Mexican Inspired Rice, I got the idea of a homemade  salsa dip. That would be a perfect combination for a healthy lunch snack, with proteins too. Yum.



RECIPE FOR CHICKEN & VEG SALSA DIP
Inspired by this post

Makes: 1 medium sized serving bowl
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

1 small ripe tomato, diced
1 small green capsicum, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp corn (or a handful)
1 chicken thigh fillet, fat and skin removed then cut into small cubes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 small onion, diced finely
1 tbsp corriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
0.5 tsp chilli powder
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Saute onions, garlic and chicken in some oil. Stir until chicken is just cooked.

2. Then add spices and stir until aromatic. Add in the tomato paste, vegetables and water.

3.Put on a low heat and cook until softened and gravy has thickened a bit.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print this post and leave a comment.




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Categories: Chicken, entree, in my kitchen
  • Sep
  • 15
  • 2011

chicken curry laksa

I love noodles. I could eat them everyday. Stir fried or soup based noodles. Both are Yum! Curry laksa is one of my all time favourite meal. Whenever I dine out in a Malaysian restaurant, this is what I’d order. There were times where I have been so dissapointed and times where I’d go back again just to eat laksa. My family knows I’m a crazy laksa girl. Sometimes they would stop me from ordering it and tell me to try something else. I should write a post about these laksa joints, where to get yummy laksa and where not to order not-so-yummy laksa.

In Malaysia, there are so many kinds of laksa. Curry laksa (uses curry powder), Asam Laksa (uses fish), Johor Laksa (uses fish too but very dense and has coconut milk) and so on. Just do a google search and you’ll find heaps of variants. My sister made laksa using this recipe and I loved it. So I tried it at home for some lovely guests we had coming from Sydney and they loved it too. Once you try this recipe (from scratch) you’ll never want to buy the laksa paste at the supermarket again. This tastes no where near that bottled stuff.


RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY LAKSA
Adapted from Almost Bourdain, with slight modifications

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
20 Asian shallots
10 cloves garlic
10 dried chillies, soaked in warm water for 30mins
3 tsp toasted belacan
3 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 5 mins
6 candlenuts (buah keras)

Other ingredients:
2-3 tbsp curry powder (I used Baba’s Meat)
1 kg egg noodles (hokkien noodles), blanched
24 shelled prawns, deveined
2 chicken thigh fillet, cooked and sliced
2 big bunch of choy sum, cut
3 stalks lemon grass, bruised
1 sprig curry leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut cream (use coconut milk for a lighter version)
200 g tofu puffs, halved
300 g bean sprouts, blanched and tail removed
3 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 packet fried fish cakes, sliced thinly
5 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Fried shallots, for garnishing
Spring onions, for garnishing

Method

1. To make the paste: Mix all ingredients and pound into a paste using a blender.

2. Heat up oil in a medium sized pot, and stir the prawns for 5 mins until cooked evenly. Remove prawns and set aside.

3. Saute the blended paste, lemon grass and curry leaves until the oil separates and is fragrant. This should take about 7 – 10 mins.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. Add the coconut cream/milk and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.

6. Turn of the stove and add tofu puffs, fish cake, choy sum and some salt to taste then give it a final stir to coat all the ingredients.

To serve:  Divide noodles into individual bowls. Pour the hot curry laksa evenly ontop of the noodles into each bowl and then spread the prawns, chicken, eggs and the garnishes. Serve immediately.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1-2 hours

  • Sep
  • 13
  • 2011

mexican inspired rice

I’m always here when I need a quick and healthy meal.  This blogs owner is a friend of mine. She does healthy stuff, which I like. And easy too, double like. I saw this recipe and instantly fell in love. I have never tried Mexican apart from Doritos and Buritos, so I wanted to give it a go. I had all the ingredients too which made it even better. So do check out her blog for amazing recipes.



MEXICAN INSPIRED RICE
Adapted from My Recipe Stash with slight modifications

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 cups rice (I used medium grain)
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 small green capsicum, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 chicken thigh fillets, fat and skin removed then cut into small cubes
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 large onion, diced finely
1.5 tbsp corriander powder
0.5 tbsp cumin powder
3 tsp sweet paprika
1 chilli (or 0.5tsp chilli powder – both optional)
1/4 cup long beans,cut into 2cm long
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup corn
3 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Saute onions, capsicums, garlic and chicken in some oil until fragrant.

2. Then add spices and stir again until fragrant.

3. Add tomatoes and cook until softened. Then add rice, water and all the vegetables. Cook for 30 minutes until the rice is done.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




Tip: You can add more tomatoes or tomato paste for a more intense colour and flavour.
Click ‘read more’ below to print out this recipe and leave a comment.




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Categories: in my kitchen, Rice
  • Aug
  • 31
  • 2011

raya madness // malaysian vegetarian lontong

Yet another Eid/Raya favourite,  a vegetarian soup dish with rice cubes (I only say vegetarian as its served with no meat pieces but theres shrimps paste and chicken stock in it!).

My version is a little bit red as I went a bit nuts with the chilli, but technically the colour of the soup is supposed to be yellow.  Usually I’d make the rice cubes/nasi impit myself, but ever since I found them at the asian grocers, I no longer make them. I don’t usually take shortcuts, but its just rice and they all taste the same, no?


RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN VEGETARIAN LONTONG
Adapted from 3 Hungry Tummies, with slight changes

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
10 dried chillies, seeds removed and soaked in hot water for 30mins
2 red chillies
6 candle nuts
4 garlic cloves
6 shallots
1.5 tbsp turmeric powder
1cm piece of shrimp paste (belacan), toasted
30g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for a couple of mins
4 cm knob of ginger
4 cm knob of galangal or 1.5 tbs of galangal powder
2 lemongrass (white part only), chopped

Other ingredients:
15 small packets of rice cubes
1 cup long green beans, cut into 5cm long
1 large carrot, cut into 5 cm thin strips
1/2 cabbage, cut into pieces
400ml coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 packet bean curd sticks, softened with boiling water for 5mins
3 tbsp oil
salt, to taste


Method

1. In a medium size pot with water,  boil rice cubes  for an hour (follow instructions on packet). Remove and leave to completely cool before refrigerating for 2 hours. Rice cubes need to set firmly before cutting.

2. Cut all the vegetables and blend the ingredients to make the paste.

3. In a medium pot, heat up oil and saute the blended ingredients until oil separates.

4. Add coconut milk, chicken stock and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil.

5. Put the vegetables and bean curd sticks; and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes. Season well with salt.

6. Serve with some cut rice cubes for a one pot meal.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.






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Categories: asian, in my kitchen, vegetarian
  • Aug
  • 30
  • 2011

raya madness // malaysian chicken curry rendang

‘Rendang?, Errr..’ That’s what I would say a couple of years back had you told me to make it. It never crossed my mind to even have a go at making rendang. Then one day, after picking my sister up at the airport (her trip back from Malaysia), she casually mentioned that she had written down a rendang recipe from our cousin’s grandma, Tok Ye, whilst she was staying with them. My reaction; “what? where? pleaseee give it to me!”. We all know she’s a good excellent cook. I tried it straight away. Kinda failed the first time. Tried again. Getting better. Third time, ‘wow nice’, forth attempt, ‘I have mastered this dish’ *insert proud face*. You’re probably wondering why it took me a few go’s before perfecting it? It aint easy! No two rendangs taste the same. Once you make this, you’ll never want to eat from a packet again. An original, from scratch, this rendang is truly authentic. And please don’t take any shortcuts or leave out any ingredient. Rendang is a sensitive dish. Have I scared you off?

This aromatic-absolutely-delicious-mouth-watering-jam-packed-full-of-flavour dish originated from Malaysia/ Indonesia. The usual rendang is made with tender juicy beef, but since I was cooking for mum and she doesn’t like beef,  I made it with chicken instead. It taste just as good if you’re into chicken. Who isn’t :p



CHICKEN RENDANG
Adapted from Tok Ye, with slight modifications

Serves: 4
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1-2 hours

Ingredients

Part A (Blend till it forms a fine paste)
12 small shallots
7 cloves garlic
1 knob ginger, 4 cm
1 knob galangal, 4cm
3 lemongrass, end part only and sliced thinly

Part B (Dry fry the first 3 ingredients untill fragrant, and then blend all together)
2 tbsp ketumber (coriander seeds)
1 tsp jintan manis (cummin seeds)
1 tsp jintan putih (fennel seeds)
15 dried chilli, soaked in hot water for 30 mins

The rest of the ingredients are:
1 kilo chicken curry pieces, with bones
2 tsp ginger paste (to marinate the chicken)
2 tsp garlic paste (to marinate the chicken)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp black pepper
1.5 tbsp curry powder (brand:baba’s meat curry powder)
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
100g kerisik (dry fry shredded coconut untill golden brown)
1 can coconut cream
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water

Method


1. Marinate chicken with a bit of salt and the ginger & garlic paste. Stand for an hour.


2. Put oil and add the ingredients from Part B, fry until fragrant and you see the oil separates. Should take about 7-10 mins.


3. Add part A, turmeric, tamarind and curry powder then fry again until oil separates. Another 7 mins.


4. Put the chicken and water in then cook covered for an hour on low heat. Stir regularly to make sure it doesn’t burn.


5. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coconut cream, kerisik (shredded coconut) and season generously with salt, pepper and sugar.


6. Cook for another half hour or so until it dries out and the colour has darkened.


7. Serve with warm steam rice.


Click ‘Read More’ below to view my tips on how to concoct a wonderful pot of rendang.


  • Aug
  • 24
  • 2011

raya madness // peanut cookies

Its Eid! If you’re a traditional malay, you’d probably spent hours in the kitchen making traditional Eid cookies. Growing up in Malaysia, you’ll find hundreds of variety of cookies. From the traditional  bahulu and kuih bangkit to the more modern ones like chocolate marble and london almonds, you could not celebrate Eid without at least having one of each, after all, they are only tiny bite size cookies!

So for this Eidul adha, I decided to go somewhere in between. Not too traditional and not too modern. Something easy and simple to make. Of course my all time favourite – peanut cookies…the ones that melt in your mouth, yum!


PEANUT COOKIES
Adapted from Do what I like with slight modifications

Yields: 40 cookies
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

200g peanuts
200g plain flour
100g icing sugar
100g veg oil or peanut oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk,lightly beaten with 1 tsp water for eggwash

Method

1.Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease and line a baking tray.

2. Put 200g peanuts in a wok and dry fry over low heat till just about brown. Then put into a blender and blend till it forms into a smooth powder.

3. Mix flour, baking powder, ground peanut powder, icing sugar and salt in a big mixing bowl till well combined.

4. Add in 100g oil and mix till a piable dough is formed. Shape into a small 20cent piece coin.

5. Apply egg wash and put in the oven for 20mins or until golden brown.

Note: These cookies are meant to be very soft due to the icing sugar used. Once you remove them from the oven, do not disturb them. Let it cool down.





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Categories: cookies, desserts, in my kitchen

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