Monday, May 18, 2015

Cabbage Kootu

Cabbage Kootu

If you want something quick and easy to prepare - a 2 in 1 dish combining dhall and vegetable.  You can use any

Ingredients that you require
1/2 cup of toor dhall/split moong dhall
1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
1 medium sized tomato - quartered
1/2 tsp of turmeric for boiling dhall + 1/2tsp for frying cabbage
4-5 green chilly - slit into half
200 gms of shredded cabbage
1/4 cup of milk + 1/2 cup of water ( or 3/4 cup of medium thin coconut milk)
1 tsp of fennel powder
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

For Tempering
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of urad dhall
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
3-4 dried chilly
1 sprig of curry leaves
a dash of asofetida
1 large onion - sliced thinly
3 tbs of oil


1.  Wash and boiled the dhall with salt, ginger garlic paste, tomato, turmeric and green chilly into fine soft.

2.  In a wok, heat oil, once hot, add in mustard seeds and once splutter, add in urad dhall and cumin seeds.  Once the urad dhall turn brown, add in asofetida and chilly. Fry for a few seconds.

3.  Add in onion, salt and curry leaves and fry till the onions are soft.

4.  Add in the cabbage, turmeric and fennel powder, stir well and cook further.

5.  Once the cabbage is cooked, add in the cooked dhall, milk and water, mix well and cook till the it starts to boil.  I prefer my cabbage kootu to be not too thick or thin.

6.  Remove from fire and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.  Serve with hot rice.



Coconut Cake in a Bundt

Coconut cake in a bundt.  

Soft and crunchy.



Malaysian Style Green Bean Sweet Porridge @ Bubur Kacang Hijau

On a recent trip to a newly open supermarket, I found green bean which was split.  The first thing that came to my mind is my childhood tea time snack.

My mum used to prepare us on weekends and during school holidays many tea time snacks and one of it is Bubur Kacang Hijau.

She gets the whole green beans, dry roast over a pan till aromatic and give it a slight crush and removing the skins.

There are times she makes Ice Cream Malaysia - freezing the left overs or freshly made in long plastic case.  Sweet memories of our childhood.

This sweet porridge is so ideal especially during the hot season/summer for cooling down effect.
Picture courtesy of

1 cup of green bean
200gm palm sugar - adjust according to your likeness
300ml of coconut milk - I used canned coconut milk
3 tbs of sago - soaked for 1/2 hour
a pinch of salt
1 screw pine leave (daun pandan) - either knotted or cut into 3
1/2 tsp ginger grated - optional

1.  Dry roast on slow fire the green beans and crushed it slightly. Dry roasting will enhance the flavour while cooking.  You can opt out if you do not wish the to crush the beans to split it.

2.  Soak overnight or at least 6 hours (I skipped this)

3.  Boil with water, salt, ginger and screw pine leave till the beans are soft and mushy.  Add in water accordingly till beans are cooked.

4.  In a separate pot, cook/dilute palm sugar with 1 cup of water.

5.  When the beans are ready, sieve in the diluted palm sugar.  Add in sago.  Stir well.  Cook till the sago turns translucent. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.  Adjust the thickness required by adding water little at a time.

6.  Add the coconut milk.  Cook till it boils.  Adjust the sweetness and the thickness required.

7.  Serve warm or cold.

Far Left - Green Bean Popsicle & Bubur Kacang Hijau



Saturday, May 16, 2015

The making of Basic Ground Chilly Paste

Chilly Paste

Back home, you can buy ready made chilly paste or chilly boh as it is famously known, in supermarkets. grocery shops and wet markets. It is cheap and also ready to be use in a jiff.

However, since moving to the middle east, I always made my own.  I try to make them in bulk and packaged in small bottles (used jam jars/pickles etc  that I try to save every now and then).  I keep one in the fridge and the rest in a freezer, taking it out when one bottle is done.

When you have a pre-prepared chilly paste at hand, you can always use it for any thing from sambal, to frying spicy noodles or fried rice.

The level of heat that you get all depends on the type of dried chilly used.  Some can be really really spicy and some  has no effect at all.

The use of candlenut is optional.  Candlenut is widely used in Malaysian Malay and Indonesian cuisine.  It gives a creamy sort of flavour to the dish.  Macadamia nut can be used as substitute to candlenut, however macadamia nut can be costly.

Ingredients for Basic Chilly Paste
100gm dried chilly
1 big size onion - quartered
8-10 cloves of garlic
thumb sized ginger
5-6 candlenut  (optional)  
1-2tbs of vegetable oil - I normally use olive oil                                                                                                            


1.  Cut dried chilly into small pieces.
2.  Soak dried chilly in boiling water for at least 1/2 hour.
3.  Put all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend till fine paste.
4.   And the paste is ready to be used.

Happy Cooking


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Instant Rava Idli

Idli or steamed indian dumplings has many variations.

When you run out of idli batter, the best is make an instant idli batter that does not require any soaking,grinding and fermentation.  It is your quick fix either for breakfast and dinner.  The idli itself is a complete meal with nuts and vegetable.  It is soft and crunchy because of cashew, goes well with coconut chutney and sambar or dhall fry.

Preparation Time : 20 mins + 5 mins resting of batter + 10 mins cooking
Quantity : 18 medium sized idlis
Serves : 3-4 person

2 cups of rava/semolina/suji
8 whole cashew nuts - break into small pieces
6 tbs of yogurt - whisked
3 tbs  thinly sliced carrot
2-3 green chilly- sliced finely
1 tbs sliced finely ginger
1 sprig of curry leaves - finely sliced.
Water enough to make a batter

2 tbs of ghee
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of urad dhall
a pinch of asofetida

1.  Prepare your idly steamer

2.  Dry fry rawa.  Make sure not to burn the rava.  Keep an eye and constantly stir till slightly brown. Remove into a bowl to cool down.

3.  In the same pan, heat ghee. Roast the cashew nut till brown on low fire, remove only the roasted nuts into the rawa leaving behind the ghee.

4.  Into the hot ghee, add in mustard seeds.  Once splutter, add in urad dhall, once it turn brown and add in asofetida frying for a few seconds.

5.  Add in the chopped chilly, curry leaves and chopped ginger.  Fry for a few more minutes till aromatic.

6.  Next add in the sliced carrots and fry till the raw smell of carrot is disappears and it become soft and crumbly.  Remove from fire and add into the rawa mixture

7.  Add in the whisked yogurt and salt and mixing well .  Add in water slowly mixing at the same time.  The batter should be neither too thick nor too thin - medium consistency.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chicken Hyderabadi Briyani

Late post  of Kiren's birthday lunch treat - Chicken Hyderabadi Briyani

The first time I prepared this briyani was long before I started blogging, actually when we first move to Doha.  You have to marinate the chicken and set aside for a short while.  Prepare the rice separately.  Put them together and cook and you get a nice aromatic briyani.

Typically Malaysian briyani's  comes with in a set of briyani rice, chicken/mutton/beef either as a thick gravy and side dish like raita or acar buah- @ fruit pickle

So when I was cooking this briyani, I keep thinking that I need a gravy to go with.  But you will surprise there enough gravy once you get it all done.

I cant remember whose recipe I had used previously, but this time I used Chef Sanjay Tumma of

My portion consists of 1kg of chicken thigh drumstick part which I cut into two ending up with 12 pieces altogether.

As for the rice I used 3 cups about 480gm - it was more than enough for 3 of us for lunch.

Ingredients Required
3 cups of basmati rice or any long grain rice
1kg of chicken - cut into medium size
6 pc - peppercorn
3tbs oil/ghee
1.5 tbs of lime juice - I used lemon instead
1 tsp - coriander powder
1 tsp - cumin powder
2 bay leaves
4-6  green chilly  - slit diagonally
3-4 of cloves
3-4 of green cardamon
2 small sized cinnamon
2 large fried onion
Salt to taste
2 black cardamon - I did not use this
4-5 tbs chopped coriander leaves
1-2 tbs of mint leaves -
3-4 tbs of ginger garlic paste
2-3 pcs of mace
2.5 cups of yogurt
1tsp of tumeric
pinch of saffron soaked in 1tbs of hot water and let it dissolved

Preparation Method

1.  Put all ingredients except rice, fried onions and safron.  Set aside some coriander leaves and mint leaves for rice   Mix well and set aside to marinate.

2. Wash and soaked basmati rice for 1/2hour.  This will ensure the rice be long and fluffy..

3.  In a pot, add some oil  to the boiling water and salt to taste.  The right amount of salt will give you a good taste of the briyani,  You will it is the the right amount of salt is when you taste the water it is salty.   Add ingredients like whole cardamon, cloves and cinnamon, if desired.
Rice being cooked

4.  Add in the soaked rice into the boiling water and half cooked the rice.  To know what is half cooked rice is when the rice is boiling about 50% done.  The grain of rice is crushed but not fully cooked - that is perfect for the rice.
Strained rice before adding to marinated chicken

5.  How to cooked the briyani - In a deep, thick based bottom, lay the marinated chicken, lay evenly and spread well.  Next spread in the half cooked rice. Spread evenly.  Sprinkle the remainder coriander and mint leaves, fried onions and sprinkle the saffron liquid.  Cover the briyani tightly and cooked over medium heat for about 20 mins and the remainder 10 mins on low fire.
Rice spread over marinated chicken with the remainder fried onions and herbs

Note : This is a tip from my friend, on how to avoid the meat from the sticking to the bottom of the pan (thats what happened to me though not to much), place a tray of water over the stove and then putting over the pot in the tray - in the other word - bain marie 
The final product served with onion raita

Chicken Hyderabadi Briyani


** Sathiarani**

Kerala Egg Roast

Recipe credit from This is a Keralite speciality that is best eaten with appam, idiyappam or even ghee rice.  I u...