Thursday, February 28, 2008

Assam fish Curry

This is a recipe that you will be able to cook in a jiffy if you have the bottled sambal paste ready in the fridge. (Refer to recipe below). It should take no more than 30 minutes to get this done. There's not much cutting as everything just need some washing and a few plucking of the leaves and we are ready to go.


4 - 6 Ikan kembong (Mackeral)
3 - 4 tablespoons sambal paste
4 - 5 Daun Limau perut (kaffir lime leaves)
1 tomato ( cut in half)
A few sprigs of Daun Kesom ( a kind of basil)
1 Bunga Kantan ( torch ginger flower)
6 Ladies finger (okra)
About a soup-bowl of water diluted from tamarind paste (assam jawa)

Method :

Fry the sambal paste in about four or five tablespoons of oil and stir till fragrant then add in the tamarind water. When it is heated up, add in all ingredients except the fish and let it simmer till the okra is cooked then add in the fish and should take just under five minutes to cook the fish. Add sugar and salt to taste. An interesting twist to this recipe at this point will be the addition of cut pineapples but this is optional.

Serve with rice and any salad of choice

Freezing tips : If you are going to freeze this dish, do not overcook okra and fish. Dish out into tupperware and let it cool before putting into the freezer. Freezes really well for at least a week or two.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sambal Paste

I always blend sambal paste, cook and bottle them up so that when I want to cook the ikan bilis sambal or the assam fish curry I won't have to peel onions and cut serai so it cuts the cooking time at least by 70% and this is important since we are taking into account that people are always complaining that they need more than 24 hours in a day to have things done properly and most of them will sacrifice a good home cooked meal to finish up office work etc. So here I am going to give you the recipe for two types of sambal to blend, cook and bottle.

Red Chilly Sambal Paste

Ingredients :

4 tablespoons of chilly boh ( about two handfuls of dried chillies)
4 stalks of serai (lemon grass) cut into little pieces
1 inch of kunyit
Approximately 2 thumb size belacan (shrimp paste)
4 or 5 buah keras (candlenuts).......... optional
1/2 thumb -size lengkuas (another form of ginger root)...........optional

Method :

Blend all ingredients. Heat about a soup-bowl of cooking oil and fry until fragrant. Spoon into a clean dry bottle and leave to cool before capping. Needs to be refrigerated.

Note: If using dried chillies, they need to be soaked in hot water till soft.

This is just a base sambal that can be used for several recipes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Freezing food

In today's busy world where everyone is rushing around with all kinds of commitment; work, ferrying children to and fro from school and extra-mural activities, many of us are not having nutritious, home cooked meals due to time constraints. Freezing food is the answer to having wholesome meals at home. A little time management and an interest in cooking simple meals are all that is required. First we will have make sure that we have one day in the weekend dedicated to cooking for the whole week or even for a fortnight. Imagine coming home on weeknights and just microwaving wholesome meals in seconds instead of cracking our heads on where to eat each night. Well, so we go with simple recipes and tips on freezing. We will first start with asian recipes. Let's get organised !