Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Versatile Housewives

This is going to be my last post on this blog.  I have merged '' with my new website

  Thank you for your support and do join me on my new site.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Simply Sedap Baked Brinjal

Baked Brinjal

Brinjals have never been a favourite vegetable of mine.  I detested it, I deplored it, I simply would not consider eating it until I ate this delicious version.  It is so simple and delicious that vast quantities vanish in one sitting and you can never have too much of it.
The Recipe:
500gms baby brinjals, washed; ½ tsp Pink Himalayan Salt dissolved in 2 cups water; 2 tbsp olive oil; Pink Himalayan Salt to taste.
For The Garlic- Curds Dip:  1 large clove of garlic, peeled washed and crushed; ½ cup home made curds; 1/8 cup whey; ; Pink Himalayan Salt to taste.
For Garnish:  A few coriander leaves; a pinch each of chilli powder and coarse pepper powder
Preheat oven to 225 C.
Slice the baby brinjals in half lengthwise, retaining the stalks.  Soak in salted water for 10 minutes.  This is to drain away the bitterness and prevent excessive dis-colouration.  Drain and pat dry with kitchen towels. Mix the olive oil and pink Himalayan salt to taste in a bowl.  Place the brinjals, cut-side down in a baking pan (lined with foil) and drizzle the mixture all over.
Grill in  centre of oven 5-7 minutes each side until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve within 10 minutes with the Garlic- Curds Dip.
Garlic- Curds Dip:

Whisk the curds, whey, crushed garlic and pink Himalayan salt to taste until smooth. Serve with the Simply Sedap Brinjal, garnished with coriander leaves, chilli powder and pepper powder.

Simply Sedap*
*Sedap means delicious in Malay and that’s what this recipe is.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Indian Ratatouille

                                                         Ratatouille, The Indian Way
The only reason, I decided to try out this recipe is it's glorious colours.  I was browsing on Pinterest and came across this attractive photograph of the finished dish.  It looked so good that I had to make it.  However, instead of the tomato puree and paste, I decided to use curds (yoghurt) instead.  The trick is to get vegetables of similar size, so that the baking time ensures perfect cooking.  Drench it with curds and you have an appetising main or side dish- as you discover for yourself.

The Recipe:

1 zucchini; 1 purple or green brinjal; 3 medium size tomatoes.  Make sure the vegetables are the same size.
1 cup home made curds; 1 large clove garlic, smashed; salt to taste; 1 green chilli, minced; herbs of your choice; spring onions; 1/4 cup olive oil.

Slice the zucchini, tomatoes and brinjal into thick rounds after washing and drying them.  Soak the brinjal rounds in salted water ( enough to cover) for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness and avoid discolouration.  Drain and keep ready for use.  Mix the olive oil and salt together.  Grease an ovenproof dish and arrange the zucchini, tomatoes and brinjals in rows, side by side.  Pour the olive oil over the vegetables and Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 200 Celcius or until tender. Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes.  In the meanwhile, whisk the curds and smashed garlic together until smooth, adding salt to taste.  Pour it over the baked vegetables.  Scatter the herbs, spring onions and minced chilli over the cuds.  Serve as a main dish or with the rest of the meal.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pineapple Rice

Pineapple Rice
During the last week of December 2016, I was going through my collection of recipes, wondering what to do for New Year and I came across this recipe that I had saved years ago.  I happened to have all the ingredients at home and so decided to make a vegetarian version of the delectable Pineapple Rice.  New Year is a time to celebrate with family and to give thanks for the blessings of the past year and the dawning of a New Year. So after church we came back and enjoyed a wonderful time together.

The Recipe:

2 cups cooked low GI basmathi rice ( I used stock to cook the rice); ¼ cup each of peas and corn; 1 carrot, grated; 3 large cloves garlic, minced fine; few spring onions for garnishing; 1 cup cubed pineapple; 1 extra slice pineapple for garnishing; 10 roasted  cashew nuts, halved (I forgot to add them) 2 tbsp thick coconut milk; ¼ tsp turmeric; pepper and salt to taste; coriander leaves for that extra zing; 2 tbsp olive oil.

NB:  It’s best to use rice cooked the day before for this recipe.  If you do have to cook the rice on the same day, make sure it is cooled before using.

Heat the oil in a large wok, medium high and stir fry the garlic for a few minutes to golden brown.  Add the peas and corn and stir fry without adding water for 2 or 3 minutes.  Next add the carrots and stir gently for a minute.  Add the turmeric and pepper and the pineapple cubes.  Mix together and add the rice spoon by spoon until all the rice is used.  Sprinkle the coconut milk all over the rice and add the cashewnuts, half the coriander leaves and spring onions reserving the rest for the garnish.  Mix together and remove to serving dish.  Garnish with pineapple, spring onions and coriander leaves or tomatoes like I did.  Serve immediately with any side dish of your choice.

Non vegetarians can add chicken or prawns as desired.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rose Petal Jam Cake

Rose Petal Jam Cake
My sister gave me a bottle of Rose Petal Jam on my last visit to India and it took me back to the days when most Bangaloreans had dark pink and yellow roses in their gardens.  We were no exception.  My Dad was very interested in gardening and cooking and there was something interesting to learn every day.  Early morning, when the roses were in bloom, he would go into the garden and carefully check the roses and other blooms.  He taught me to collect these rose petals, wash and dry them very gently and layer them in a large glass bottle with sugar.  Every other day, one of us would add more rose petals to the bottle and within a month to 6 weeks, we had the most exquisite jam I have ever eaten.  More often than not, we ate it plain and thoroughly enjoyed every luscious spoonful.

This year, I decided to add it to a cake and see what happens.  The result- a tempting, enjoyable, fragrant very unique Christmas Cake.

The Recipe:

2 cups fortified wheat flour; 40 gms maida; 1 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 20gms sooji; 270 gms milk powder; 16 cardamoms, powdered; 2 cups milk; 1/2 cup caster sugar; ½ cup Rose Petal Jam; 1 cup butter at room temperature; 2 tsp vanilla essence; pinch of salt; ½ cup ghee residue (optional).
Sieve the flour, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, sooji and salt together in a large bowl.  Mix the milk, caster sugar, oil, cardamom powder, ghee residue and vanilla extract in another bowl.
Add the dry ingredients by the spoon by spoon to the wet ingredients and gently mix to a smooth glossy texture.
Grease and line 7 inches by 3 inches foil cake pans ( 3) and divide the mixture between them.  Bake in a preheated oven at 180Celcius for 35 minutes or until metal skewer inserted in centre of cake comes out clean.  Cool, pack and give to your lucky friends. 
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Ginger Two Ways Candied And Preserved

Ginger Two Ways - Candied and Preserved

The making of Ginger Preserve every year  in August was a family ritual.  That was the time tender ginger appeared in the market and my Mum would buy a couple of kgs from Russel Market, to last the whole year and to give as gifts to all her cronies.  This is a recipe she got during her stay at Nazareth Convent, Mangalore and one we all loved.  The whole family would sit around the table and skin and fork the tender ginger under my Mum's eagle eye.  The process took a few days and after that we would all stand and gloat at the jars of Golden Ginger Preserve carefully arranged on the shelves in the store room, the key to which was always with her. Most of the bottles were given away and used in cakes and sometimes as a treat, we had a piece with thick, cream after dinner.  

In Malaysia, tender ginger is available throughout the year, so I stock up during December and this year, I decided to make Candied Ginger as well which is an ideal tit bit after an appetizing lunch.

The Recipe:

Ginger Preserve
1 1/4 kg tender ginger; 1 medium raw egg; 6 cups (250ml x 6) water; 1,100gms white sugar ( I used brown for a gorgeous colour); juice of 1 lime.
12 cups water ( 250 ml x 6)
6 cups water (250 ml x 6)

Discard the fibrous parts of the  ginger and scrape off the skin.  Wash well.  Fork both sides of the ginger pieces and place in water to cover.  Change the water everyday for three consecutive days.  On the third day, squeeze the ginger well, discarding the water and pressure cook the ginger in 12 cups ( 250 ml x 12) for 45 minutes.  Cool and drain completely.  Spread the ginger on a cutting board, place a clean kitchen towel over it and place a heavy weight on it over night for the water to drain. ( I used my cooker filled with water as a weight).  Next day make a sugar syrup with 6 cups water and sugar.  Add the egg (broken with the shell) and bring to the boil.  (Boiling the egg with the syrup will make the syrup very clear).  Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Cool and strain through a muslin cloth, discarding the egg.  Return the sugar syrup to the heat, add the ginger and boil till a honey like consistency is reached.  Just before removing from the flame, add the juice of 1 lime.  Stir well, boil for a minute and remove from heat.  Cool overnight and bottle in sterilized glass jars or bottles.  Label and store for as long as they last.  Use in cakes, ice cream or serve with cream as a decadent indulgence.

NB:  I used less sugar and the preserve was still good.

Candied Ginger
I acquired a taste for Candied Ginger thanks to my love for Ginger Preserve.  When I came to Kuala Lumpur, I used to buy it whenever I saw it until I decided to make it myself.  The results were successful and the rest is history.  We now have our supply of Candied Ginger all year long.

The Recipe:

500 gms tender ginger; 6 cups water; 500 gms brown sugar ( I prefer brown sugar as the ginger gets a glorious colour); juice of 1/2 lime

I used less sugar.

Scrape the skin off the ginger, discarding the fibrous parts.  Wash and cut into equal sized pieces and then pressure cook in 6 cups water for 45 minutes until tender.  Place in a collander to drain off the liquid, reserving 1/8 cup of the ginger water.
Next add the ginger, sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil on medium high heat, stirring frequently until the liquid has almost evaporated.  Add the lime juice and boil till for a couple of minutes.  As soon as the sugar begins to crystalize.  This takes about 30 minutes.  Transfer the ginger to a tray lined with baking paper and spread out to separate the pieces.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container, using as desired.  Keep the  remaining sugar crystals for use in your tea or coffee or as a topping for ice cream.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Carrot Cake Breakfast Squares

Carrot Cake Breakfast Squares
Carrot Cake is a favourite of ours, so whenever we pass by a cake shop we indulge in a large slice even though we know how to make it ourselves. While browsing the internet a while ago I came across this healthy version which is a delightful, fragrant version of a popular dessert cake.  Have it for breakfast or at any time you choose without feeling guilty.  And oh yes, you can eat a double helping every time!

Original Recipe from

However, I have tweaked it and made it my own.

The Recipe:

1 cup instant oats; 2 tbsp Herbalife Protein Powder;1/2 tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp cinnamon; 1/8 tsp nutmeg; pinch of salt; 1 large egg; 1/2 cup homemade curds; 1 tsp vanilla essence; 1/2 cup carrot, grated; 2 tbsp honey;2 tbsp walnuts, chopped; 2 tbs cashew nuts, chopped; 5 large dates, stoned and chopped ;1 tbsp raisins.

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and grease a non-stick baking tray.  Mix the oats, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, curds, vanilla, grated carrot and honey.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix to combine, then stir in the cashew nuts and dates.  Scatter the raisins and walnuts on top and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the mixture is coming away from the sides of the tin.  Cut into squares and enjoy for breakfast or as a snack.  Serves 3.
Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.