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Archive for September, 2011

I remember one evening over 8 years ago, I cooked curry chicken for dinner. But right after cooking I just didn’t have the appetite for it at all, and even had a little nausea. I didn’t know what had happened, until a month later I found out I was pregnant with our first child Alexander. I stayed away from this food during that pregnancy. Even after I gave birth to Alexander, there was a period of time I was hesitated to eat curry chicken again. Thank goodness the fear went away!

Curry Chicken

Curry Chicken

Malaysian Curry Chicken Recipe (serves 8-10 people)

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs– cut each thigh into 3 pieces
8 chicken legs– cut each leg in half
4 tbsp meat curry powder
2 tbsp salt
1.5 lbs potatoes
2 cloves garlic– chop finely
2 small cans (165 ml/5.6 fl oz each) of coconut milk– stir well
salt to taste

for curry sauce (for 3-4 serving, can be prepared ahead and kept frozen):
1 pack “A1 Best Globe” brand curry paste
1 big can (400 ml/13.5 fl oz) of coconut milk– stir well
3 buah keras– chop very finely
2 stalks fresh curry leaves
2 tbsp sambal chili

Method:

  1. Prepare curry sauce: Heat up 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan over high heat. Saute buah keras and curry leaves briefly until aromatic. Add in curry paste and sambal chili, stir for a few minutes. Pour in coconut milk and turn down to medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning at the bottom. Cook until the sauce bubbles with red oil sipping out from the bubbles (I call it “volcano eruption” :-)). At this point the sauce should be aromatic. Continue stirring curry sauce for a couple of minutes. The consistency of the sauce will look like oily mud (I call it “lava” :-)– see picture below). Set aside. The sauce can be prepared ahead and kept frozen in batches.
  2. Clean chicken pieces and rinse well. Rub chicken with 2 tbsp of salt and curry powder. Season for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into big chunks. Soak potatoes in lightly salted water to prevent browning. Drain when ready to cook.
  3. Heat up 3 tbsp oil in a wok over high heat. Add potatoes and stir for a few minutes (potatoes are partially cooked). Dish out but maintain high heat. Add in 2 tbsp oil and saute garlic briefly. Add in chicken pieces, stir constantly until there’s no more blood coming out from the bones. Pour in coconut milk, potatoes and 3 tbsp of curry sauce, cook until chicken are cooked and potatoes are soft, stir occasionally. When these is little liquid, add in more curry sauce (adjust to personal preference) and salt to taste. The sauce should be of thick consistency. Serve with steam rice.

Regina’s Note:

  • If there’s still lots of liquid in the wok when chicken are cooked and potatoes are soft, remove chicken pieces and potatoes then cook down the liquid a little more, so chicken and potatoes are not overcooked. However, if there’s too dry then add in some hot water.
  • Always to stir constantly especially when the sauce thicken, to prevent burning at the bottom of the wok.
  • A slightly thinner curry sauce is always good for dipping bread.
Making curry chicken :-)

Making curry chicken 🙂

Curry sauce

Curry sauce

Making curry chicken :-)

Making curry chicken 🙂

 

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In Malaysia there are lots of “kuih” (cakes sold in small pieces) made with glutinous rice and coconut– “pulut inti” is one of them. People eat it as breakfast, tea time snack or dessert. Traditional pulut inti are glutinous rice with sweetened grated coconut on the top, then wrapped with banana leave to a pyramid shape with a square or rectangle bottom. I cheated by using cling wrap instead of banana leaves :-). Also, some pulut inti sold in Malaysia are bluish in color– this is because people sometimes use blue pea flower to dye the rice. I don’t have such flower here for the coloring, but I do have pandan extract that gives green color. The first time I made these treats, I over mixed pandan extract into the rice, so the rice came out very evenly green. So this time I just slightly mixed in pandan extract, and it turned out very beautiful with that marble look– just like a piece of jade with all kinds of green and shade.

Glutinous Rice Packets with Coconut "Pulut Inti"

Glutinous Rice Packets with Coconut "Pulut Inti"

Pulut Inti Recipe (makes about 38 bite size pieces)

Ingredients:

for Glutinous Rice:
5 cups glutinous rice– soaked for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans (5.6 oz/165ml each) coconut milk
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp green pandan extract (Butterfly brand preferred)

for Coconut topping:
1 pack (4 oz) desiccated coconut
1 cylinder block coconut sugar (“gula Melaka”)– about 3 inch diameter
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
200 ml water

Method:

  1. Prepare glutinous rice: drain the rice, then add salt, coconut milk and water. Mix well. Drizzle in green pandan extract and stir briefly. This is to create a marble look on the rice so don’t over stir it. Lay rice evenly on a deep dish steam tray, steam for 20-30 minute over high heat. Set aside.
  2. Prepare coconut topping: In a small sauce pan dissolve sugars in water, then strain to remove impurities in coconut sugar. Return sugar syrup back to the pot, add in coconut and salt. Cook on low heat until coconut is tender and fragrant, and the liquid is almost dry. Stir to prevent burning at the bottom.
  3. To assemble, line mini muffin molds with small pieces of cling wrap. Put in about 1 tsp of coconut at the bottom of muffin molds, then pack in about 2-3 tbsp of glutinous rice on top of coconut. Wrap up with cling wrap. Invert the packets so the coconut is on the top of the rice.

Regina’s Note:

  • Preparing coconut topping: taste for sweetness. Add in some brown sugar if necessary for sweetness and darker brown color.

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I don’t like to eat banana as a fruit, but I do like banana in food. As a child growing up in Malaysia, fried banana was (and still) my favorite tea time snack. Anyhow, back to banana fritters– Although there are banana fritters selling in Malaysia, I never had one before until I was in US. There was a Jamaican food vendor selling (plantain) banana fritters at a local farmer’s market. I like their fritters but somehow it was not as crispy as I expect. Ever since I was successful making fresh corn fritters, I thought why not try it on banana? My first trial on banana fritters turned out pretty good– when the fritters were fresh and hot, they were crispy on the outside, and tender (almost tender like a funnel cake) on the inside. But when the fritter cooled down they were denser– still good but not great.

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters Recipe (makes about 34 bite size pieces)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large banana)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rice flour
3-4 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water

oil for frying

Method:

  1. Heat up enough oil in a deep medium pot over high heat (I like to use a old medium pot for frying– deep enough for the food to “swim” inside, and also less chance for oil to splash onto the stove). Insert a bamboo skewer/chopstick into the oil. When there are lots of bubbles forming quickly around skewer/chopstick, the oil is ready for frying.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. With the help of two spoons, quickly but carefully drop a tablespoon of batter into the oil (one spoon for scooping out batter, the other spoon for pushing batter into the oil and also catching any batter dripping). The batter will sink to the bottom of pot then float and puff up. Turn down to medium heat, and turn over the fritters to brown evenly. When fritters are golden brown, turn heat back to high for a few seconds before removing fritters– this is to make the fritters extra crispy and less oily. Serve immediately.

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