Friday, July 22, 2016

Lemon Rice - Our Way with lemon grass

The weather is slightly turning cooler over here in Kuala Lumpur with occasional rain and heavy downpour, much needed break from scorching summer days. As school holidays have started here, I have to find ways to keep my daughter engaged .Today as we were going for a walk, it started to rain heavily, luckily we had an umbrella with us. Since we were sharing one umbrella between us, no matter how hard we tried, we were still getting wet. While my daughter was holding the umbrella for us, I was holding our grocery bags. She says she doesn’t like doing grocery- ‘’not at all’’ as her words quoting here, it’s just that she is doing it for me only, to give me company and also to help me carrying things. I really don’t know, how suddenly my eyes became moist, and my vision blurred, as I saw a young girl, who soon will be starting her secondary school education, trying to hold the umbrella properly,so that her mum doesn’t get wet…... Where does the time flies, and why?

Lemon rice is one such fragrant way of making delicious rice. We often make it, sometimes also with fried peanuts. However I have found out that the rice which are pre-cooked turns out more nicer and fluffy. This time my slight variation was addition of lemon grass, and this is a hidden gem, as this gave that extra and nice aroma to the light, fluffy rice grains. Here is great variation of lemon rice with lemon grass. I am sure this can be great as a crowd puller in small-gatherings.

Lemon rice – our way
Serves 3-4 people
4 large cups of cooked rice
½ tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of salt
3-4 tbs of cooking oil
For tempering
2 tsp of chana dal
 1tsp of white urid dal
2 twigs of curry leaves or 10-12 leaves
1 tsp of mustard seeds
2-3 dry red pepper
 1 tsp of lemon juice
Lemon grass- 1 twig chopped roughly
green chillies for hotness
Soak rice grains in water for about 10-12 mints. Discard water and sprinkle turmeric powder. Mix in rice and turmeric powder and leave aside for 5-7 mints.
Cook rice and drain the starch.
Now in a big enough fry pan/kadai, which can hold entire rice content, add in cooking oil
Temper the oil with mustard seeds, dry red pepper, urid dal and chana dal.
Add in curry leaves and chopped lemon grass. Add in lemon juice.
Now add in cooked rice grains and slowly mix in the rice mixture.
Cover and leave aside for half an hour.

Serve with yogurt or any gravy type dishes. This is absolutely aromatic and delicious.

Happy Cooking 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mackerel Fish Curry

The only thing which is constant in this world is change. And it’s up to us, how we embrace the change itself or that change affects us on a longer term. When we shifted to Malaysia, we were ready for a change, but the ripples that it created, can still be felt. There are changes, which leads us to make us more aware of our needs, passion and goals. Hopefully, this change will be well perceived and will create more spaces for new experiences and fresh memories, after all life is a beautiful and colourful collage of bitter-sweet memories, and it should be treasured.

Now coming to the recipe- Mackerel fish curry, a fish preparation with coconut milk is one staple food in many southern parts of India. I have come across many fresh fish varieties in our local grocer, and Indian Mackerel ( Ikan Kembung as in Malay language )  is one such fish which is a staple fish for many Malay and Indian decent people here.
Till now, I have never cooked or eaten mackerel. But over a period of time, we slowly have developed a liking for this fish, more if we make it with coconut milk. I don’t know if this is the correct way or should I say traditional way of making coastal Mackerel fish curry. This turned out a delicious fish gravy with right amount of hotness due to red bird eye chilly – (considered one of the hot chilies in the world). We liked it with even rotis as well.
Now to the recipe

Mackerel fish curry – our way
Recipe requirements- serves 3 people
 6 whole mackerel fish –cleaned and gutted
 1 medium size onion
3-4 garlic cloves chopped finely
 1 medium tomatoes chopped or 8-10 ripened cherry tomatoes slit in between
3-4 red bird eye chilies/Thai chilies
 1 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of turmeric powder
 ½ cup of thick coconut milk
For marinating fish
¾ tsp of turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
For tempering
1 tsp of cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies
5-6 tbs of cooking oil/mustard oil and bit more for frying fish
  1 tsp of Salt or as per taste

Clean mackerel fish well in water. Marinate them with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for about half an hour.
Heat up a fry pan/wok/kadai, Add in cooking oil to it and slowly add in fish and fry both the sides well. Each side will take 4-5 mints at medium-high flame. Take them out in a plate.
In that oil itself, add cumin seeds, dry red pepper, finely chopped onions and garlic.
Stir/fry it for 4-5 mints at med-high flame.
Add in red chilly slit in between and finely chopped tomato pieces.Or if you are using cherry tomatoes.
Add in all the dry spices- turmeric powder+red pepper powder+salt in a cup of water, mix it well.
Add this spices mixture to the above fried mix and keep on stir/fry for about 3-4 mints.
Add in fried mackerel fish. Do not disturb them once it is added to the gravy. Add in ½ cup of water.
Add in coconut milk and cover. Let it cook for 8-10 mints at medium-low flame.

Serve and enjoy with warm cooked rice.

Happy Cooking 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nutella and Chocolate Cupcakes

I don’t have to write poetry and poems to brag about how Nutella has changed my life. It’s here, now a recipe in my blog and that shows itself. Jeez what I am writing, as if I am talking about my new crush- new crush or old crush- or whatever crush, I am now on a Nutella crush.  So my life is Nutella this ….Nutella that …Nutella how… Nutella why …..Nutella oh! where …..There you go. Nutella fever has risen….you all would say, can you stop being a drama queen. Yes, yes I can try, so now to the recipe.

Nutella Chocolate cupcakes  
Recipe requirements
 1 and 3/4  cup of flour
½ tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
 2 tsp of vanilla essence
2 eggs
½ cup of fine granulated sugar
 ½ cup of plain yogurt
 ¼ cup of melted butter
½ cup of Nutella
½ cup of chocolate powder
 2-3 tbs of chocolate syrup- Hershey or any other brand
In a big mixing bowl. Sift flour, add in baking soda and baking powder. Mix well.
Now in a separate bowl, mix together butter and sugar well. Add in eggs, one at a time and whisk in gently. Now add in vanilla essence. Add in Nutella (Keep Nutella at room temperature for about 10-15 mints. This will help in mixing with butter and eggs. We will just need to mix in, and if it doesn’t mix, don’t fret, with Nutella everything is delicious.
Add in plain yogurt and gently fold in.Add in Hershey chocolate syrup.
Now add the flour mixture from time to time to make the cake batter. Use up all flour mixture to mix in with the above mixture.
Preheat oven at 175 deg C. 
Prepare the cup-cake/muffin tin. Brush butter evenly and then sprinkle flour to coat it well. Tap the cake tin so that the flour gets distributed evenly. Or use cupcake liners/moulds.
Pour the cake batter in to the prepared muffin tin with a spoon. Bake the cup-cakes in the middle rack for about 20-22 mints or till the centre of the cake is cooked through well. Check by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean or even if some crumbs are there, cup-cake is baked well.
Take out the cup-cakes and let it cool. I haven’t made the Nutella cream frosting but if you wish you can do so. Enjoy Nutella cupcakes.

We came across Hari Raya decorations here in Kuala Lumpur. I haven’t carried my camera with me but had my smartphone…


To all the readers who are celebrating Eid. Wish you all a very happy Eid. And as in Malaysia people say – ‘’ Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri '' .....

Happy Cooking