The only thing I made in this ensemble is the hummus. Okay, I did partake in flavouring the chicken too. But, the rest was out of a bottle or was ready made. Having said that, the thing that made everything just bind together and bring the flavours intertwined is the hummus.
Hummus is a simple and easy dish to make. If you are throwing a party, you can make loads of this and stash some turkish bread in baskets for perfect party bites or starters.
1/2 packet chickpeas (you can use canned ones, but I just prefer the real deal)
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Soak your chickpeas overnight or at least 3 hours in a pot of water.
Dish out the water you soaked the chickpeas and fill in your pot with new water to boil the chickpeas. The level of water should be slightly more than the level of chickpeas
Boil boil boil for about 30mins or so with the lid on, till your chickpeas are soft and easy to mash. Don’t be alarmed if your water has reduced. No need to add more water.
Towards the last 2mins of boil, I add in the garlic into the pot just to steam it a little.
Once your chickpeas is ready, blitz the chickpeas with all the garlic. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Add the water from the chickpeas to lubricate the blending process.
The amount of olive oil varies from 3 tbsp to 1/2 cup. You just add the oil as you go on till the blitz results is a silky looking hummus
You can serve the hummus with more olive oil and toasted pine nuts and cayenne pepper. Or, you can just eat it just like that.
The middle eastern recipe calls for the use of Tahini. I have never used it because getting this was a little difficult. Fret not. The hummus tastes just as delicious without it.
For my kebab… I really used left over grilled chicken that I shredded and pan fried till golden brown with a little salt and pepper. I added 2 big spoons of hummus onto my wholemeal wrap, english spinach, grated mozzarella cheese, black olives, the chicken and nando’s peri-peri sauce. What happened after was almost poetry because the motion of me wrapping it up into a fat roll and bringing it to my mouth and taking a big juicy bite off this….ohh… All I can say is that, it was super yum!! Almost tastes like the kebabs you get from a middle eastern stall. *pats on my shoulder*
This is a Malaysian favourite and it’s pure sin on a plate as it’s full of carbs, oil and would easily total up to 700 calories per serving. If you are too concerned about the dial on the weighing scale, then don’t even bother trying this.
The term “mamak” is referred to the Indian Muslim clan that created this dish. “Mamak” can be a derogatory term if used in that manner but somehow when you say “mamak” and “mee goreng” it is completely acceptable. The indian muslims in Malaysia are exceptional entrepreneurs. If you had been to Malaysia, you’ll know why. There’s a “mamak” restaurant or stall almost in every part of Malaysia. It’s the biggest food chain business and soon you know it, it’ll be heavily franchised too. One of my fav mamak shop called Ali Maju can be found in most township and is running 24/7 and even at 3am, their business is running well with the shop swamped with customers. And the guy making the mee goreng is constantly at his station, frying up plates and plates of mee goreng all night long…
Now that you know how famous this plate of noodles is, maybe you’d like to try it. The original mamak mee you get from the stalls is just plain noodles with fried prawn tofu, sawi and egg. My version of course has the goodies – prawns and fishballs or fishcakes (whichever that is in the fridge).
1 packet of yellow noodles (If you are buying this in a chain store, it would say Singapore noodles)
2 cloves of garlic sliced thin
6~8 prawns, shells removed and deveined
4~6 fishballs sliced to 3 (that’s 2 hemisphere and 1 flat circle)
4 stalks of sawi cut into 3in lengths (If you can’t get sawi, you can use Kailan or choy sum)
4~6 small sized pre-fried tofu sliced to halves or threes (you can alternatively deep fry regular tofu if you can’t prefried tofu. It’s just a lot of work and oil required. I would recommend buying this ready made from the asian shop)
2 tbsp of sambal chili with prawn (This is the most important ingredient. If you can’t find this, you might not get the similar taste. Use ground chili instead)
Dark soy sauce for colour
Salt to taste
Fry the garlic in a wok with some oil before adding the prawns and fishballs
Add the sambal chili with prawn and fry some more
Once the prawns and fishballs are cooked, add the noodles and top it with the dark soy sauce
Using your mad skills, stir in the noodles in the wok like a pro till the noodles is covered with all the sambal and dark soy sauce. The noodles takes about 5~10mins to cook. You can add in your salt now or wait after step #5 to salt
Once noodles is cooked, beat 2 eggs in a bowl. Make some space in the centre of the wok and pour in the egg mixture. Give it some 10 seconds before stirring the noodles with the egg. The idea is to coat all the noodles with egg.
Once egg is cooked, add in the tofu and sawi. Give it another minute for the sawi to get some heat. Don’t forget to check for seasoning one last time. And then you are done. Get ready with the fork to dig in! Yummm…
Nothing like a little scent of home and comfort of pastry puffs…
I do owe an apology, more to myself rather than to you un-judging people, for not posting here in almost a week. I know for some bloggers, a week is perfectly normal but I was doing a daily post and suddenly having to go on a break like this seemed weird. I have been extremely tied up with friends visiting, the election drama in Malaysia, heartache that followed and etc.
The only thing that is comforting is food, what else. And this is the easiest thing to make which is quintessentially Malaysian.
1 can of Sardine (you should be able to get this in any asian shop)
1 red onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp lime juice
2~3 Pastry sheets
1. Remove the skin and bones of the sardines. Do not throw away the tomato sauce
2. On a pan, fry the onions and garlic with some oil till softened. Add the chili powder and the sardines together with all the tomato sauce
3. Break up the sardine into pieces and add salt to taste. Once it’s cooked, turn off the heat and add the lime juice.
4. Cut your pastry sheets in a reasonable rectangular size (I cut 1 pastry sheets into 6 rectangles)
5. Add a good spoonful of the sardine on the pastry and roll up
6. Beat the egg and use as egg wash on the top of the pastry. Bake pastries on a tray with baking sheets in the oven on 180 deg C for about 20~25mins till they become golden brown.
Being born Sri Lankan, did not expose me much to sambar since sambar is not on the menu. However, being in Malaysia exposed me to other Indian food and sambar is a staple side dish for banana leaf rice (yum) or thosai. My personal favourite is with rawa thosai as shown in the picture. My mother tried making the sambar on several occasions and sadly for her, it didn’t turn out very well. I don’t blame her since she has been cooking Sri Lankan dishes all her life.
Lucky for me, marrying into a Malayalee family imparted me with a few good recipes and one of them is the sambar (dhal curry). I never knew how simple it was to cook this up till I actually tried it myself. Okay, maybe I modified this recipe a little and it’s not entirely the Malayalee fashion but it’s just as good or better than restaurant standards. First and foremost, you will need the split Toor Dhal (yellowish) and sambar powder (preferably Baba’s) which you can get in any Indian groceries. Once you have this two basic ingredients, you can cook up a sambar in no time. The vegetables that go in doesn’t have to be as per recipe. You can tweak it with whatever vegetable you have in hand. There was a one time that I made a pumpkin sambar since I ran out of carrots and potatoes. Let me tell you, the pumpkin sambar was out of this world. So, don’t be too rigid with recipes, alright?
3 tbsp of grated coconut (ground very fine) – optional
1 tsp of tamarind paste (you can add more if you like it more sour)
Salt to taste
Special for tempering:
1 tsp black mustard seeds
4~5 curry leaves
3 dried chilis
1/2 red onion diced
If are making sambar with brinjal or okra, instead of putting it in the sambar, you can fry it together with the tempering ingredients and dump into sambar in the end.
Firstly, rince the dhal thoroughly and then boiling it in a pot under a medium flame with double the amount of water. Boil the dhal till it’s soft to mash with your fingers.
Most of the water would have evaporated. If you still have some water left, you can chose to keep this or just pour out the excess water.
Add more water till it’s triple the amount of dhal. Dump in all your onions, chili, vegetables and sambar powder into the sambar. Let this cook till you have cooked your vegetables through. Good idea to check the potato as it usually takes the longest. You want your potato to be soft and easy to mash so that when you eat, it just melts in your mouth.
Once your sambar is cooked, add salt, tamarind and coconut. If you feel your sambar is not thick enough, add more sambar powder. And if it’s too thick, add more water. Let the sambar simmer for another minute or two and then you can turn off the flame.
Assuming you are an excellent multi-tasker, while your sambar is cooking, you can fry all the tempering ingredients in a another pan till the onions are caramelized. If you are frying brinjal or okra with this, start frying the vegetable first before adding the tempering ingredients as the vegetables take a while to cook.
After your sambar is done, add the tempered ingredients into it. And walla! Sambar is done. I’re sure if you make a dilute version of this, you can turn it into a soup!
Trust me, this is easy peasy. I do cheat a little. Because I use ready made puff pastry sheets. But really, it does save me a LOT of time. And in the end of the day, it’s how it tastes that really counts, doesn’t it?
You’re welcome to substitute the bacon with minced chicken or even make it without meat if you’d like that. It really is a matter of personal preference. Feel free to tweak the recipe as you like. Before you get started make sure you have a non stick muffin pan. I used a 7 x 2.5cm cup size to make this. Personally I feel if the tart is any smaller, you will not be able to savour the filling just as much. And if it’s any bigger than this, it’s no longer a “mini”. Having said that, I’m not going to judge if you make it any bigger or smaller. Maybe, bigger is better? You tell me, ok?
2~3 puff pastry sheets (1 sheet typically can make 9 tarts for a 2.5cm cup size)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 whole garlic, chopped fine
2 cups of diced mushrooms
1~2 cups of diced bacon (or any meat of your choice)
1/2 cup of cream (if you want to skim on the cream, you can also use evaporated milk – I did!)
2 tsp of italian mixed herbs (dried)
Salt to taste
Grated cheddar cheese (as topping)
Cut your pastry sheets into 9 squares (it’s ok if your squares are not perfect. I doubt anyone would notice)
Grease your muffin pan before carefully placing your squared sheets into it and lightly molding it into a cup. The corners of the squares will be slightly out of the pan. If the corners are touching the adjacent tart, it means your squares are too big for the pan -resize!
Heat oil in the pan and start by adding garlic and fry till it’s a light golden shade. Add the mushrooms and bacon till they’re almost cooked. Add the cream, salt, mixed herbs and pepper (optional). Turn off the flame as soon as your cream starts to simmer and set your pan aside
In a separate bowl, beat your eggs with salt. The amount of salt you add should be slightly lesser than how much you would normally season it. Once it’s beaten, add in your creamy mushrooms and bacon into this bowl and mix it well
Probably a good time to turn on the oven now and preheat it at 200 degC
Scoop your creamy eggy mixture into each cup, filling it only almost full this is because filling does rise when you bake. Lastly, top the filling with grated cheddar cheese.
Once you’re done, bake your tarts at 180 degC for 25~30mins till your tarts turn golden brown (or when your kitchen is filled with the baked cheese scent). You can serve the tarts for tea as it is, or with a side of salad as an entree for dinner.