Saturday, 18 July 2015

Nasi Lobak Merah (Carrot Basmati Rice)

I prepared a totally different rice dish for Eid Mubarak. I had second thoughts about preparing it because our younger son is not a fan of carrots.  But to my surprise, he loves this dish and I haven't had the heart to tell him that he is eating Carrot Rice! For this dish, I added Basmati Rice and cooked it in the rice cooker.  Of course, you may cook it the traditional way over the stove.

Ingredients (serves 4):
500 g basmati rice, to be washed and strained
2 medium-size carrots, to be peeled and grated into sticks
1 big onion, to be peeled, halved and finely sliced
1.5 cm fresh ginger, to be peeled and finely pounded
4 pips garlic, to be peeled and finely pounded
1/2 tsp jintan manis (cumin), to be coarsely pounded
4 cm cinnamon stick
2 pcs cardamom
2 pcs cloves
150 g tomatoes, to be finely minced
550 ml water
salt to taste
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp ghee

Add grated carrots to basmati rice and leave aside.  Prepare the rest of the ingredients and set aside.

In a medium-size pot, heat oil and ghee over medium heat.  Stir-fry onion slices and all pounded ingredients until fragrant and slightly light brown in colour.

Add minced tomatoes, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves and water.  Bring to a boil. Add salt to taste.  Add basmati rice and cook over stove as you normally cook your rice.

If using a rice cooker, add basmati rice and pot contents to rice cooker.  Switch on rice cooker.

Once rice is done, fluff up rice by using a fork or wooden spatula.  Serve hot!

Bon Appetit!


This side dish is normally served together with Lontong.  It can also be used as a filling for savoury malay kuihs or snacks.  Dessicated coconut or fresh coconut can be used but the latter is better because of its fresh tangy taste.

1 fresh coconut (or 200 g dessicated coconut), to be skinned and grated
1 tbsp fresh tamarind, to be mixed with a little water
salt and sugar to taste
some palm sugar
cooking oil

Blended Ingredients:
2 stalks dried chillies, to be cut into pieces and soaked in warm water
2.5 cm fresh turmeric, to be peeled and sliced
2.5 cm galangal, to be peeled and sliced
2 pcs lemon grass (fat ones), to be sliced
5 cloves of garlic, to be peeled and sliced
2 big onions, to be peeled and sliced
1 tbsp coriander seeds, to be soaked in warm water
1 tsp fennel seeds, to be soaked in warm water
1 tsp aniseed, to be soaked in warm water

Fry freshly grated coconut (or dessicated coconut) in a wok without oil until dry. Remove and leave aside.

Heat oil in wok and add the blended ingredients.  Stir-fry until fragrant.  Then, add in tamarind juice, sugar, palm sugar and salt to taste.  Bring to a simmer.  Then, add in dried coconut and reduce heat.

Mix thoroughly and cook until almost dry.  Remove from heat and leave aside for later use.

Bon Appetit!

Ayam Masak Merah Menyala

For our Eid Mubarak celebrations this year, I prepared a simple fare instead of the classic Lontong and its complementary dishes.  Apart from Rendang Daging Berempah, I also prepared Serunding and this dish to be served with Nasi Lobak Merah (Carrot Rice) and Instant Lemang & Ketupat Palas. All food are now gone and that thought brought a smile to my face!

Ingredients (serves 4):
5 chicken drumsticks or any preferred chicken parts (note:  I prefer to remove the skins)
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup red chilli paste (from soaked dried chillies)
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp ghee
sugar and salt to taste

Pounded Ingredients:
5 pips garlic
2 medium-size onions, to be peeled and sliced
3 cm galangal, to be peeled and sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, to be sliced

In a medium-size pot, heat oil and ghee over medium heat.  Add pounded ingredients, chilli paste and 2 tsp of sugar.  Cook until oil separates from the spices.

Add chicken drumsticks and tomato puree.  Stir well and bring to a slight boil.

Then, add coconut milk and stir well.  Cook until chicken is tender.  I prefer a thick gravy.  If you want a thinner gravy, just add more coconut milk.

Serve hot with rice!

Bon Appetit!

Rendang Daging Berempah

Another beef rendang recipe which has been in my collection for years.  I prepared this dish one day before Eid Mubarak in order that the flavour infused itself.  All ingredients are dumped into the wok and simmered gently until thick and the oil separates from the rempah (spices).  One must have patience to cook it over low heat.  I must say that it is worth the effort because the taste is delicious! My hubby has requested that I cook this dish again next week!

Ingredients (serves 4):
800 g beef, to cut into medium-size cubes
400 ml coconut milk
2 pcs daun limau purut (kefir lime leaves)
1 pce daun kunyit (turmeric leaf)
1.5 cm lengkuas (galangal), to be peeled and lightly crushed
1 thick stalk serai (lemon grass), to be lightly crushed
2 tsp serbuk jintan manis (cumin powder)
4 tbsp serbuk ketumbar (coriander powder)
3 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Pounded Ingredients:
8 shallots
12 stalks dried chillies, to be cut into pieces and soaked in warm water until soft
2 tbsp gerisik (grated coconut which was dry-fried and pounded)

In a large wok, add beef cubes and pounded ingredients.  Add coconut milk, kefir lime leaves, turmeric leaf, crushed galangal, crushed lemon grass, cumin powder, coriander powder, sugar and salt to taste.

Cook over medium heat until the gravy is thick and the beef is almost cooked.  Stir occasionally.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until dry and oil separated.  Don't forget to stir occasionally.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Once done, transfer to a medium-size pot.  It is advisable to cook this dish the day before.  Tastes great when served with lemang, ketupat or just plain rice!

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Biskut Sarang Semut

Literally translated as Ant Nest Cookies, these are normally served in many Malay homes during Eid Mubarak. To create the look of a nest, the prepared dough needs to be refrigerated, then grated and filled into mini paper cases and sprinkled with dark chocolate rice before baking.  It is simple to prepare and tastes awesome!

Ingredients (yields about 100 pcs):
350 soft butter (at room temperature)
460 g cornflour
170 g icing (confectioner's) sugar
115 g plain flour
2 tbsp custard powder
100 g chocolate rice

By using a mixer, combine all ingredients except the chocolate rice.

Form dough into balls and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

By using a fine grater, grate the refrigerated dough balls into a bowl.

Add a teaspoonful of grated dough into each mini paper cases and sprinkle a little chocolate rice on top.  Arrange on a baking tray.

Bake in a preheated fan oven at a temperature of 180° C for about 15 to 17 minutes. Once done, leave to cool down completely before storing in an airtight container.

Happy Baking!