It has been a while since i last wrote, predominantly, it is because i have been running errands and cooking for iftar for my family. Exhausting, i must say. I am not sure how moms and helpers do this everyday. Not that i am complaining. But it is a soothing feeling to see my entire family being seated together at our dining table, conversing with one another while they partake of the food that cost me my legs and backbone. The sight is a rarity because we don’t usually eat dinner at home. But it is nice to have brothers who would devour everything i cook no matter how bland it could be. A blessing indeed.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that cooking is my passion but i enjoy it, very much. I can still bring back that moment where i almost burnt down the house because my butter was on fire and that moment where i almost set off the fire alarm because of my burnt toast. Looking back, perhaps, I have improved a lot since then. Maybe, a little. It’s not to say that my technique is refined. I am sure, dropping the fish into a pool of oil and running out of the kitchen to save yourself from hot oil splashes isn’t how chefs do it. However, no one has had stomachache from my dishes, so far. If that isn’t an achievement, i do not know what is.
I reckon, that is a good way to look at life. Nothing is ever easy when you first started. You’ll cut your fingers, you might burn your face and eyes from the chillies you just pounded as you ran around asking for help from your mom only to have her laughing at your face and worse, there will be moments where you find yourself so close to becoming homeless as you stare at your burnt butter in utter bewilderment while your maid screams in terror and comes to the rescue like a true superhero and you’re just that idiot in the movies who do not know how to run when the villain throws a truck at you. And yet, you learn from your mistakes and such mistakes won’t be repeated… I hope. There are moments where you feel like giving up because it definitely seemed as though you have yet to inch forward and everything seemed obscure and you were somewhat certain that you will never be good enough. But what i have since realised is that, a little progress is still a progress and indeed, it’s worth celebrating. And if you persevere and be patient enough to keep on trying, at the end of the day, you will realise how minuscule your worries once were. Importantly, you just have to ‘begin’.
ANYWAY, some of you have asked for the recipes of dishes i have posted on my Instagram story! These are definitely easy to make especially for beginners like moi. I am only sharing the ones that my family loves. Don’t forget to tag me. Enjoy!
TOM KHA GAI ( SERVES 2)
Photo & Recipe by Rasa Malaysia
I personally love Tom Kha Gai instead of the normal Tom Yum. I can eat this everyday and not get bored. I have made this a few times and everyone seems to like it, mom especially. You should give this a try and let me know if you like it as much.
226 Grams of boneless and skinless sexy chicken busty breast
1 can of straw mushroom, drained
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
1 cup Water
1 Stalk Lemongrass ( Cut 3 – inch and pound)
6 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Halal name: Daun Limau Purut) Lightly bruise it like how you want to bruise your husband jokingly… with a pestle.
6 Slices of Galangal
8 Bird’s Eyes Chillies (Lightly Pounded)
3 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Limejuice
1 Tablespoon of Cilantro to garnish (Because you want to feel like you are a professional chef)
- Add water, lemongrass, galangal, chilies, kaffir lime leaves into a pot and bring to boil.
- Once it boils, add mushrooms and chicken and boil it on medium heat. If you dislike chicken, you can add prawns, or your annoying cat or anything you desire. No one will judge except… God.
- Once your chicken is cooked through, add in your coconut milk and let it boil.
- Turn off the heat and add in lime juice and fish sauce and cilantro. Try to taste it before serving. Somehow, i always end up putting more lime juice because 2 1/2 tablespoons don’t seem to be enough.
- Et voila!
BUTTERMILK CHICKEN (SERVES 2)
Photo By Purple Bowl
About 400 Grams of Sexy Chicken Breast, Skinless and Boneless (Diced)
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
4 Bird’s Eyes Chilli
2 Sprigs of Curry Leaves
2 Tablespoons of Condensed milk
375 ml Evaporated milk
100 grams tempura mix
300 ml Water
1 Cornstarch + 1 Teaspoon of water
- Add salt and pepper to the mixture of tempura mix and water. Mix until thickened. Afterward, add in your chicken and deep fry it. Remove from the heat, pat it dry with your kitchen towel and double fry.
- Melt butter. Sauté garlic, chilli and curry leaves until aromatic. My sinus really messes up my nose so i had to have my maid smelling it and letting me know if it’s ready. “Udah bik?” “Belum” “Bik, udah?” “Ya Awllah belum la goblok!”
- Add in milk, condensed milk and season! Let it bubble while you stir through. Afterward, add in cornstarch to thicken your sauce and finally, add in your chicken and stir.
- And you are ready!
SALTED EGG SQUID (SERVES 2)
My absolute favourite dish. Fun fact. My first time doing this, i did not know that you had to wash the salted egg beforehand. I am sorry if it sounds like a foolish thing but it was a genuine mistake. So i ended up cracking the egg into my pan and everything turned to black. As black as my soul. Jk, my soul is pure. hehe.
200 grams of squid cut into rings
5 Tablespoons of plain flour
5 tablespoons of corn flour
3 salted egg yolk (WASH IT beforehand. No joke.)
1 fresh egg
1 tablespoon of butter
2 bird’s eyes chilli/ chilli padi
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 Teaspoon of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
spring onion to garnish
- Season your squids/prawns/chickens with pepper, salt and garlic powder.
- Beat egg and coat your squids. Leave for at least 15 minutes.
- Mix plain flour and corn flour. Coat your squids.
- Deep fry for 2 – 3 minutes until your squids turn golden brown.
- Transfer to kitchen towel.
- Steam salted egg yolks for 15 minutes and mash it!
- Add butter and melt it on low heat. Add the mashed salted egg yolks, curry leaves, sugar and salt. Swirl around the wok till the mixture turns foamy.
- Finally, add in your squids.
- Stir, stir, stir and you are done, my loves.
BLACK PEPPER BEEF
250 grams of tenderloin beef
2 1/2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch ginger
1/2 small green bell pepper
1/2 small red bell pepper
1 teaspoon of black pepper
salt to taste
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Maggi Seasoning Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Soy sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Oyster Sauce
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Cornstarch
1/2 Teaspoon Sesame oil
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
- Marinade beef for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of Oil on high heat. Stir-fry beef until it is brown on the outside, but pink from the inside. Take it out and put it aside.
- Heat remaining oil, stir-fry garlic, ginger until aromatic. Add green and red bell pepper, onion and black pepper.
- Transfer beef into the wok and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- And that’s it.