Saturday, 30 June 2007


Paella is a one of the world's most famous rice dishes, and this version is a seafood extravaganza. Traditionally, paella is prepared in a paellera (a wide, shallow pan with looped handles) and cooked over an outdoor fire. However, it's easy to cook paella to authentic perfection in your own kitchen over the stovetop. The following paella recipe serves 4.


  • onion, finely chop
  • 1 red capsicum (red pepper), dice
  • 5 garlic, finelly chop
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat parsley, finelly chop
  • 2 cups of canned peeled tomatoes, mashed with a fork.
Preparing the safrito:

Sofrito is a Spanish tomato and onion sauce which is used as a flavor base for a variety of dishes, including paella. Put in 2 tbsp extra virgin oil in a pan over a medium fire. Add in chopped onion, flat leaf parsley and 3 of the finelly chopped garlic for 6 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add in the pureed tomatoes and and 2 tsps of smoked paprika and cook until all the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the safrito has the consistency of jam.

Preparing the seafood:

While the sofrito is cooking, place the mussels in a saucepan with half a cup of simmering water. Cover and steam on a low heat for 5 minutes. Remove mussels and set aside, discarding any that haven't opened.

Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the paella pan over a medium-high heat. Add the remaining clove of chopped garlic and the shrimp and cook for 1½ minutes, tossing continuously. Add the squid rings and cook for a further 1½ minutes. Remove the shrimp and squid from the paella pan and lightly season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and set aside.


Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the paella pan over a medium heat and cook the diced red peppers for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the sofrito back to the pan along with 1½ cups of Spanish rice and cook for a minute, stirring to coat the grains.

Add 3 cups of heated fish or chicken stock*, 1½ teaspoons sea salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine, and bring to a rolling simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, uncovered without stirring. (To make sure the rice cooks evenly you will need to regularly move the paella pan around the heat source, or you can stradle the paella pan over two burners.)
Lower the heat and continue cooking

Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 15 minutes without stirring. After 15 minutes, turn the heat up to medium-high for a minute or so until you can smell the rice toasting at the bottom, then remove the paella pan from the heat.

Push the reserved shrimp, mussels and squid into the cooked rice, and scatter with half a cup of defrosted green peas. Cover the pan with foil or a clean cloth, and let the paella rest for 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges

Present the paella in the pan at the table with lemon wedges on the side for drizzling.

*you may make your own fresh stock or otherwise use the ready available stock from supermarket.

Fish Head Curry

Fish head curry is a spicy curried dish made using a fish's head. Mixing the spices of a typical South Indian fish curry with the fish head, a delicacy amongst the Chinese.

Fish head curry is served in both Indian and Chinese restaurants, often brought still bubbling away in a the large clay pot. In Indian restaurants, fresh banana leaves are laid before the diners and steaming rice is scooped onto them. The curry is then poured over the fragrant rice. Usually, the diners are also given crackers or papadam to complement their main course. Typically, other side dishes are also ordered. The first part of the fish head that is consumed is the flesh around the cheeks. Everything else fleshy is then removed, exposing the skull. The final and best part of this gastronomic ritual is the scooping of the eyes.


· 1 fish head, halved (approx 1kg)
· 5-6 tbsp oil

Spices (A), ground and combined:

· 1 tbsp ground cumin
· 2 1/2 tbsp chilli paste
· 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
· 3 tbsp ground coriander
· 4 candlenuts

· ½ can coconut milk

· 1/2 tsp cumin
· 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
· 1 tsp fenugreek
· 4-5cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
· 8-9 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
· 1 onion, thinly sliced
· 10 shallots, thinly sliced
· 1 stalk curry leaves

(D), mixed and strained:
· 150g tamarind
· 1.5 litres water

· 300g ladies fingers
· 3 tomatoes, quartered

· 2 tsp salt
· 1 tsp sugar


Heat oil in a pot, fry ingredients (c) until aromatic.Combine ingredients (a) and two to three tabelspoons thin coconut milk into a paste. Add the paste and continue to saute till oil rises to the top.Stir in tamarind juice and remaining thin coconut milk. Bring to a simmering boil.Add fish head and ladies fingers and bring to a boil until fish and vegetables are cooked. Add seasoning, then dish out and serve immediately.

Pad Thai

  • ½ packet of dried noodles
  • 4 tbspIngredients
  • ½ lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp nampla (fish sauce)
  • 5 pips garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ½ tsp ground dried chilli pepper( can be replaced with paprika)
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind juice
  • 2 tbsp dried prawns, washed & pounded
  • 1 cup of beans sprout
  • ½ cup of Chinese chives ( can be replaced with spring onions), cut in 1 inches long
Method: Prepare the noodles as instructed on the packaging. Use high heat and pour oil into the wok. Add minced garlic & shallots. Fry until lightly brown. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind juice, sugar, fish sauce, chilli pepper and dried prawns. Stir well. The heat should remain high. Make room for the egg by pushing the noodle to the side of the wok. Crack the eggs onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the noodles into the egg. Add bean sprouts. Stir a few times. Add in Chinese chives and stir well. The noodle should be soft and very tangled. Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with the pounded peanuts. Serve hot with a wedge of lime, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts.

Thai Green Curry


  • 3 pieces of chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 5 pieces of kaffir leafs
  • 1 small brinjal, cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsp nampla (fish sauce)
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 3 stalk Thai basil leafs (if available), use only the leafs

To blend/pound together (cut into smaller pieces for easy blending)

  • 6 slices of galangal
  • 3 coriander roots or 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 4 pips garlic
  • 5 shallots
  • green chilli- to taste
  • ½ inch ginger
  • ½ tbsp zest lime skin

Heat pot in medium heat and add coconut milk. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes. Add in the blended ingredients and fry until fragrant. This will take about 10 minutes.

Add in the chicken meat, kaffir leafs, fish sauce and sugar. Mix well with the blended ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the brinjal. Continue cooking until the meat is cook and tender. Stir occasionally.

(Before dish out into a serving plate add in the basil leaves & give it a quick stir. Leave a few basil leafs for garnishing.) Serve immediately.

Pineapple Tart

This is my little prince favourite. He can eat it every day till all of its gone.


  • 250g butter
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 2 egg yorks
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Sifted together:
  • 350g plain flour
  • 50g corn flour
  • 1 pineapple, clean & grated
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small star anise
Prepare the filling:
Cook the grated pineapple, sugar, cloves and star anise over a medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer until mixture is almost dry and thick. Keep stirring at all time (this will take about 45 minutes). Leave aside to cool.
Prepare the pastry:
Cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg york, one at a time. Add in essence and salt and beat until fluffy. Fold in sifted ingredients and mix it into a firm dough.
Take a ball of pastry & wrap the filling. Roll it into slightly oval shape. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Move to wire rack to cool.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Kuih Dadar

I have this sudden urge to eat Kuih Dadar. I was put-off in making this kuih because I do not have a coconut grater to make the freshly grated coconut. I finally decided to try & make it using dessicated coconut. Viola! The coconut filling taste as good as the freshly grated coconut. This recipe will make about 8-9 pieces of kuih dadar.

Kuih Dadar/Kuih Ketayap

Batter for the skin:

  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 100ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • a few drop of pandan paste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • 100g plain flour
  • 1tbsp corn flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 100g gula melaka, grated
  • 25g sugar
  • 1 pandan leaves
  • 125ml water
  • 150g dessicated coconut

Combine (A):

  • 1tbsp corn flour
  • 11/2 tbsp water

To make the skin:

Sift the combined flour and salt ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add in conut milk, water, pandan paste and egg. Mix well to form a batter. Add a little more water if batter is too thick.

Heat a non stick pan over medium heat. Pour in 1/4 cup batter to the pan. Cook till the pancake is lightly brown the flip over and cook the other side.

Remove pancake onto a plate and add a spoonful of filling and roll up neatly.

To make filling:

Bring water, gula melaka, sugar and pandan leave in a pot and boil till sugar dissolve. Add in the coconut and lower the heat. Keep stirring to prevent the coconut from getting burnt. Cook until almost dry. Add in (A) and cook for a minute more or so. Cool before use.