Category Archives: Malaysian

Slow Cooker Black Glutinous Rice Porridge / Bubur Pulut Hitam

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I had an idle moment today so I looked through my pictures and found this. I have made this dessert awhile back. First time for a long time. My husband and I adore bubur pulut hitam (the Malay term which translates to bubur = porridge, pulut hitam = balck glutinous rice) . I did not need to make any previously as it is on the dessert offerings of a Peranakan Chinese restaurant that we used to frequent back in Singapore. If you want to find out more about Nyonya-Baba culture, which is a fusion of Chinese and Malay culture and it isย  local to Singapore and Malaysia, please click here.

This one here was one of my best efforts so far so I’m writing it down here now before I forget. This method is using a slow cooker. I realised it is much easier to use a slow cooker also known as a a crock pot to cook bubur pulut hitam due to the time needed.

I have used some frozen coconut cream ice chips here instead of just stirring it in. That aside, we love to eat it with coconut ice cream too. Over the warm bubur ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just like what we do with warm brownie and vanilla ice cream hee…

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Ingredients

1 cup/200g black glutinous rice, rinsed and soaked overnight
Screwpine/pandan leaves, 4 pcs, knotted (this can be bought at the asian specialty store)4-6 cups of water (more or less water depending on preferred consistency)
About 130g palm sugar (they come in forms of small cakes, I used 3 cakes)
Pinch of salt
Coconut cream

Method
1. Place soaked black glutinous rice, 4 cups of water and screwpine leaves in the slow cooker. Turn on high and let it cook for about 4 hours. The rice should be broken down and soft.
2. Add in the sugar, salt and water if required to adjust the consistency of the porridge. It should be a thick porridge yet smooth with bits of rice.ย  Give it a stir and let it continue cooking for 15 minutes before switching off. Remove screwpine leaves.
3. Serve warm drizzled with coconut cream, plain with a bowl of coconut cream on the side, frozen coconut cream ice chips or coconut/vanilla ice cream.

๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Homemade Naan Bread with Yellow Lentil Dal

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Growing up in Malaysia, my childhood breakfast favourite is roti canai with dhal and sugar. It sounds weird but it is a favourite among many children and for some, their baby steps into the world of spices and curry. It is not surprising therefore that I occasionally still crave for something similar. Since getting my Kenwood Chef kitchen machine and the recipe book that came with it, I have been trying my hand with making bread with the recipe provided. The results have been very promising and confidence boosting. The other day, I saw that the Kenwood recipe book has a recipe for naan. Now, I love naan too, as much as I love my fluffy roti canais and capatis. So it was destined that we will be going to have naan that night. To serve naan, I needed something to go with it and I had immediately thought of dhal, a yellow lentil curry. With a bit of help from Google, I found a great recipe from the Food & Wine website.

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With much appreciation to Kenwood for empowering me in the kitchen and the Food & Wine webby for helping me along the way, I am going to write down the adapted recipes here. This blog has served as a wonderful recipe storage for me until now.

For the Naan Bread (Adapted from Kenwood Recipe Book for Kenwood Chef & Major, by Jennie Shapter)

This makes 6 pieces of naan bread

Ingredients
450g bread flour or Flour 1050 in Germany1 tsp salt, I used Himalayan pink salt
7g dried active yeast
5 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp melted butter (about 15g)
Approximately 210ml warm water
4 tbsp melted butter, for brushing on naan later (about 60g)

Method
1.ย  Put in flour, salt, yeast in a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in yogurt and melted butter (1 tbsp).ย  Slowly mix in water (not all but just enough, so do not pour everything in) to form a dough. If you are using a kitchen machine, use the dough hook to do this work.
2. Let the machine knead until the dough is smooth and springy. If you are kneading by hand, transfer the soft dough onto a floured surface and knead until you get the same consistency. Once done, place in bowl and cover with a kitchen cloth/cling film and place in a warm area. I left it to rise in my oven with the light switched on as it was 22 degrees Celsius. Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat the grill to 200 degrees Celsius. If you plan on using the oven, preheat it to the same temperature but place it nearer to the heat element to get the char. Prepare baking sheets as required. Alternatively, once the naan as fluffed up, grill it on a very hot grill or pan.
4. Punch down the risen dough and knead it for few times. You can use the dough hook for this too, letting the machine knead for 30 seconds. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and divide the dough into 6 balls. Working quickly, roll out the balls one by one. Roll it out to a longish shape, about 0.5cm thick. Roll out the dough as you need it. Cover up the rest with a cloth or cling film. Brush melted butter on the dough before baking/grilling.
5. Transfer the dough into the grill or oven. If using an oven, then bake it on a lined baking sheet. Please do not cluster bake. One baking sheet at a time. Bake/grill till puffed up about 4-5 minutes. Flip it to get an even char on each side.
6. Serve immediately.
(Note: We have used our gas grill for cooking the naan bread and the results have been wonderful)

For the Yellow Lentil Dal (Adapted from Food & Wine. For original recipe, please click here)
Ingredients
1 cup toor dal, yellow split lentils
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 medium zucchini, unpeeled and cut into 3cm long pieces
1 medium carrot, peeled, halved and cut into 1cm thick slices
Salt, for seasoning
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, black if possible, I used yellow ones
1 small onion, thinly sliced and halved
2 pips garlic, thinly sliced and chopped
Sliced fresh chili of your choice, seeded or deseeded (Optional) – I have left this out as I am feeding a toddler
2 tsp cumin powder
5 dried curry leaves
Handful of cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped

Method
1. Boil lentil, 3 cups of chicken stock, minced ginger and turmeric together in a medium pot. Simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are soft, partially covered. Stir often as the lentils will stick to the bottom.ย 
2. Using an immersion blender, partially blend the lentils till the whole mixture is slightly thickened. Or blend 1 cup of the mixture in a blender and mix it back together after blending. Add in the remainder cup of the stock and the vegetables. Season with salt. Simmer for 15 mins.
3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan till hot. Add in the oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add in onions. Cook till softened. Add garlic and chilli (if using). Saute for 1 minute before adding in the cumin and curry leaves. Once fragrant, add in tomatoes and cook till tomatoes are soft.
4. Stir in the tomato mixture into the dal. Simmer for another 5 mins. Taste and season accordingly. Serve.

I am very happy to have discovered these two recipes as they are both favourites of mine. There will be many repeats of these in future ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Acar

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Some time back, I had an inkling for some pickles. Soenke, my husband extraordinaire, loves pickles. Gherkins, to be precise. I only enjoy them in burgers and sandwiches. Never as a snack, never by itself. The pickles I crave for are of a Southeast Asian variety. Memories tell me that the palate sensations of crunchiness, sweetness, sourness, spiciness and nuttiness equals total syokness or enjoyment. At the same time, I needed something to go with our dinner. Thus, letting me narrow down on to acar.

Having not made this before (Mom didn’t make this either in the past), I went to my best friend, Google, for help. Google brought me to this website, Rasa Malaysia, for the recipe. I had followed roughly the recipe for the spice paste (It sounded too spicy to me!) and opted for my own choice of suspects for pickling in my acar. Also made some changes here and there to create the acar as pictured in my head. That said, thank you Rasa Malaysia for the inspiration.

Here is an adapted version of the acar recipe (I apologize for not being able to provide an accurate weight on some of the ingredients, please use the famous Malaysian methodology of “agak-agak”. Heck, even Gordon Ramsay had to learn that!):

Ingredients

1 medium cucumber, cut lengthwise with seeds and skin intact
1 medium carrot, cut lengthwise
200g baby french beans, head and end removed and halved lengthwise
1 small pineapple, peeled and cut into mini wedges
100g roasted, crushed peanuts (Peanutty goodness, still with a bite)
5 tablespoons oil
Salt, to taste
Chinese rice vinegar, to taste
Brown sugar, to taste
Arugula/rocket leaves, to serve
Spice Paste
5 shallots
4 fresh chillies (2 red finger chillies + 2 bird’s eye chillies)
2-3 tablespoons of turmeric powder (This really depends on how yellow you want your acar to be, and of course, too much of it would mean the turmeric taste will be more apparent.)
2 candle nuts
Tamarind Juice
Tamarind pulp, about golf ball size
1 cup of water

Directions

Soak tamarind pulp in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze and extract juice. Set aside.

Blend spice paste and set aside. Heat up wok and add oil. Stir-fry spice paste until aromatic. Add tamarind juice and bring a boil. Add vinegar, salt and sugar to taste. Add all fruit and vegetables in to the wok and switch off the heat source. Add crushed peanuts and mix well.

Dish out and refrigerate for some hours or overnight before serving.

(Note: During the “pickling” process, I had tasted the acar and found the taste not contrasting enough for me. I used about 3 tablespoons of sugar and 5 tablespoons of vinegar to bring out the sweet, spicy and sour tastes. Sugar also help the fruit and vegetables stay crisp and crunchy.)

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Shown in the picture, I had used some arugula leaves to go with the acar. Interesting fusion but it works. The fresh leaves with its peppery flavors go down just nicely with the sweet, sour, nutty, spicy flavors of the acar. Try it!