Saturday, 11 June 2016

Pineapple Muffins

A simple & quick to prepare recipe which uses pantry stock ingredients.  I baked some two days ago and my two boys loved the taste and left me only two muffins.  It was very sad indeed because I loved the moist texture and taste.  So this morning, I baked another batch as per their request - actually, I made double recipe.  This time, I made sure that I set aside a few pieces for Iftar (breaking of fast) later.

Ingredients (yields about 12 - 15 pcs):
1 can (150g) pineapple rings
3 tbsp rum (optional - I omit this ingredient)
2 eggs
130 g fine sugar
80 ml vegetable oil
150 g joghurt
250 g plain flour
50 g dessicated coconut (Kokosraspel)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder

125 g icing sugar
2 - 3 tbsp pineapple juice

Strain pineapple & its juices through a sieve into a bowl.  Do not throw away the juice. Cut the pineapple rings into small pieces and add to a small bowl.  Add 50 ml pineapple juice and 3 tbsp rum (if used). Mix well and leave aside.  In another bowl, mix flour, dessicated coconut, baking soda and baking powder together.  Preheat oven to a temperature of 180° C (Fan:  160° C).

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs lightly.  Add sugar and mix well.

Then, add both joghurt and vegetable oil.  Mix well.

Lastly, add pineapple pieces and its juice.  Mix thoroughly.

Then, fold in 2 tbsp flour mixture at a time until all are used up.

By using an ice cream scoop, add portions (about 1 1/4 scoop) into the muffin cases.

Bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

In a small bowl, mix icing sugar and pineapple juice together.  Ensure that there are no lumps.  Glaze the muffins and decorate them according to your heart's desire. Instead of glazing the muffins, just dip the tops in the icing mixture.  For these muffins, I still have balance of heart-shaped chocolates. You may also sprinkle some other decorations which I did before (see last picture).

Happy Baking!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Oven-baked Chicken Biryani

A simple and quick to prepare Indian rice dish which does not involve any pounding or blending of rempahs.  In this recipe, there are no instant rempahs used except the minced garlic & ginger paste which you can buy from any Indian or Asian shop.  No ghee was added as I find that it makes the rice dry.  Instead, only normal cooking oil is used which resulted in the rice having a moist texture.  The next time I prepare the chicken gravy, I will serve it with baguette or roti as the taste is awesome!

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 kg (4 pcs) chicken legs (boneless & skinless)
2 large onions, to be peeled & thinly sliced into rings
1/2 cup cooking oil
3 tsp minced garlic & ginger paste
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tsp (level) salt or according to taste
150 g yoghurt

Dry Spices:
2 pcs star anise (bunga lawang)
4 pcs cloves (bunga cengkih)
3 bay leaves (daun salam)
1 pce (thick) cinnamon stick (kayu manis)
6 pcs cardamon (buah pelaga)
1 pc black cardamon (buah pelaga hitam) - optional
12 pcs black peppercorn
1 tbsp cumin seeds (jintan)

3 tomatoes, to be washed, dried & cut into huge chunks
a small handful of fresh mint leaves, to be plucked
a small handful of fresh coriander leaves, to be plucked

3 cups Basmati rice, to be washed, pre-soaked (15 mins) & drained
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 pcs green cardamon
2 tsp salt
orange food colouring

chopped mint leaves
chopped coriander leaves
fried onion rings
cashew nuts
fried papadums

Wash and dry chicken legs.  Cut each leg into four portions.

In a wok or pot, heat cooking oil over medium heat.  Add sliced onions and shallow-fry until golden brown.  Remove half of fried onion rings for garnishing.

Add minced garlic & ginger paste and stir-fry until fragrant.  This will take about 2 minutes.  Then, add chicken pieces and stir-fry until the colour changes.  Add dry spices, chilli powder and turmeric powder.  Mix well and then add yoghurt.  Mix well and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until oil appears on the surface. Check seasoning.  Preheat your fan oven to a temperature of 160° C.

In a large pot, add enough water, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, green cardamon and salt. Bring to a boil. Add pre-soaked Basmati rice and cook until about 3/4 cooked - cooking time will be about 5 minutes. Do not overcook.  Pour rice into a sieve and drain completely.

In a large baking tray, add chicken & its gravy and spread evenly.  Add chopped tomatoes, mint and coriander leaves.  Spread evenly.

Add cooked rice on top and spread evenly.  By using the handle of a spoon, make indents in the rice in order that steam can escape during baking.  Sprinkle a few drops of orange food colouring and seal tray with aluminium foil tightly.  Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

Once done, remove from oven and by using a large spoon, mix rice gently.

Before serving, garnish with chopped mint & coriander leaves, fried onion rings and cashew nuts. Serve with fried papadums.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Fried Bee Hoon

This dish reminded me of my younger days where we would go to the old Hawa Restaurant in Geylang after the movies.  A simple & easy to prepare noodle dish which has become my younger son's favourite.  You may add cabbage instead of pak choi - the choice of ingredients are up to you.

Ingredients (serves 4 - 6):
1 pkt (400 g) bee hoon (rice vermicelli), to be soaked in cold water for an hour & then strained
2 pips garlic, to be peeled & finely minced
300 g pak choi or chye sim
200 g rumpsteak, to be thinly sliced
250 g prawns, to be deveined
2 medium-size calamari tubes
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp light soy sauce
ground white pepper & salt to taste
hot beef or chicken stock
cooking oil

Note:  You may add bean sprouts and sliced carrots if you wish.

Wash pak choi or chye sim thoroughly.  Slice the stems and cut leaves into bite sizes. In a small bowl, marinate beef slices with 1 tbsp each of cornflour & light soy sauce. Leave aside for ten minutes.

Cut open calamari tubes and wash under running tap water.  Dry & then cut open. Make slight incisions on the inside of calamari tube & then, cut into bite pieces as shown below.

In a wok, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry beef slices until they change colour.  Remove to a bowl.  Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil and stir-fry prawns until they change colour. Do likewise to the calamari pieces.

Clean work by wiping with kitchen paper.  Heat 2 tbsps cooking oil in the wok over medium-high heat.  Stir-fry minced garlic until fragrant.  Add the pak choi stems and stir-fry for 2 minutes before adding the leaves.  Then, add oyster sauce, ground pepper and light soy sauce.

Add sliced beef slices, prawns and calamaris.  Mix well before adding the bee hoon. Add some hot stock to keep the noodles moist.  Check seasoning again.

Serve with sliced green chillies in soy sauce!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, 25 March 2016

Green Chillies Chicken Curry

If you are looking for a simple chicken dish to eat with NaanRoti Prata or rice, do try this recipe out. Do not be alarmed by the amount of green chillies which I added.  You can adjust the spiciness by de-seeding some of the chillies.  I prepared this dish together with Naan & Spicy Cucumber Raita for lunch yesterday and my two boys really love the taste, taking into consideration that our son dislikes anything which is green in colour.  An excellent dish to serve as a side dish as well.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 kg chicken thighs (without bones), to be washed, dried & cut into bite pieces
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp salt

Ingredients to be blended:
8 to 10 green chillies, to be washed, dried & coarsely chopped
(Note:  De-seed the chillies if you want your curry to be less spicy.)
1 medium-size onion, to be peeled & coarsely chopped
1 pip garlic, to be peeled & sliced
5 cm fresh ginger, to be peeled & sliced
50 g coriander leaves
20 g mint leaves
2 sprigs of curry leaves

Ingredients to be sautèed:
1 medium-size onion, to be peeled & finely sliced
a sprig of curry leaves
150 g yoghurt
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter

In a bowl, add chicken meat, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt.  Mix well and set aside.

Add the blended ingredients to chicken mixture and mix well.  Leave aside for about 20 minutes.

In a medium-size pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add sliced onion & curry leaves and stir-fry for about 2 or 3 minutes.  Then, add chicken mixture and mix well.  Lastly, add yoghurt and mix well.

Slowly simmer chicken without lid until the gravy becomes a bit dry.

Serve with rice or any Indian bread!

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, 24 March 2016


A soft, flat Indian bread which is traditionally baked in a tandoor oven, where the dough is slapped onto the interior wall and quickly baked over an open fire. Fortunately, we can still prepare this bread at home by using either an oven with a pizza stone or a frying pan.  Tastes excellent when served with any Indian curry dishes!

Ingredients (yields 6 pieces):
260 g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
a pinch of baking soda
3 tbsp yoghurt
2 tbsp corn or vegetable oil

1 tsp dry yeast
140 ml lukewarm water

extra flour for rolling of naans
2 tbsp melted ghee, for brushing

Dissolve dry yeast in lukewarm water and leave aside for about 10 to 15 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Mix well.  Add yoghurt and oil.  Mix well. Then, add the yeast mixture and knead to form a firm dough.  Knead dough until smooth.  Cover bowl and leave aside in a warm place for about 3 to 4 hours until almost double the volume.  As the dough rises, the texture will become soft.

Heat your conventional oven (without fan) with a pizza stone placed on the middle rack to a temperature of 260° C for about 30 to 45 minutes.  The pizza stone will lend almost the same kind of heat as the clay tandoor pot.  Once the right temperature is reached, switch on the "grill/broil" mode (maximum temperature).

Divide dough into six equal portions.  Dust worktop with a little flour.  Take a portion of dough and roll into an oval shape, making sure that it is dusted with flour in order that it does not stick to the worktop.  Repeat procedure with the rest of the dough.

Lightly wet your hands and flip the rolled out naan between your hands.  Place two naans on the pizza stone at a time.  Bake for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.  Once done, remove from oven and brush lightly with warm melted ghee.  For garlic naan, add minced garlic to warm ghee before brushing.  Reheat oven again before baking the rest of dough.

Alternatively, you can cook naan in a hot & dry non-stick frying pan.  Cook naan until air bubbles appear on surface & the underside is slightly browned.  Turn over and cook until the underside is slight browned.  Remove and brush lightly with melted ghee.

Serve hot or warm with any kind of Indian curry!

Bon Appetit!