Quorn and Vegetables Yogurt Curried Pasta Twists.

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Ingredients :

2 cups Pasta Twists – cooked al-dente and water drained ( keep some pasta water for the curry).

For the Curry :

A

Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons

3 pips of Garlic – sliced

1 White Onion – sliced

Ginger – grated – 1 tablespoon

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Fennel seeds / powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Mild curry powder – 2 tablespoons

B

1 cup Quorn Chicken style pieces

1 cup Cauliflower – florets

1/2 cup Chestnut Mushrooms – sliced

1/2 cup Green Beans – sliced

1 Red Pepper – chopped

1 large Tomato – chopped

C – to finish

Greek yoghurt – 3 tablespoons

Coriander leaves – roughly chopped

Salt to taste

Method :

  • Heat the oil and fry all ingredients in A until fragrant.
  • Add ingredients in B and mix in some of

    the pasta water, approximately 100ml.

  • Cook the Quorn and vegetables for 6 – 7 minutes until the curry loses its raw taste.
  • Add the pasta twists to the curried vegetables and stir in ingredients C.

    You may add more pasta water if you prefer a wetter consistency in your curry.

  • Plate up and enjoy!

Orange, Apple and Kiwi Smoothie.

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2 Large Oranges – juiced

1 Red Apple – chopped

1 Kiwi – Peeled and chopped

1 Celery Stick – chopped

1/2 teaspoon of grated Ginger

100ml Cold water

Just blend all the ingredients and enjoy!

I love adding ginger to my smoothies. It’s great for blood circulation and helps to rid off toxin from the body.

So, if you are one to suffer from headaches and migraines, try this smoothie or your favourite version with some ginger! Miracle in a glass!

 

Rice – the sweet fruits of labour. An immeasurable owe to the Asian Farmers.

A staple of the Asian community.

It is known by many names; Beras in Bahasa Melayu, Riso in Italian, Kome in Japanese but my favourite – Arisi in the Tamil language, my mother tongue. I love how it sounds almost similar to the word Arasi, which means, the Queen in the Tamil language.

We only pay attention to the outcome but most of us ignore the hard work that has gone into the preparation of a creation.

Everything is easy these days. We go to a local supermarket, pick up a bag of rice, come home, cook and eat. Some even have it easier – just pick up a cooked packet of rice, heat it up and eat. Work is done!

Have you wondered where the rice you eat comes from? The painstaking labour that has gone into putting that polished white gems on your plate. It tastes good, correct? The many transformations it takes and the dishes it could be cooked into, from the pilau to biriyani, to puffed rice and pudding. Even widely used in cosmetics and the beauty industry.

The actual process begins in a village, thousands of miles away from our comfortable couches and air-conditioned rooms. In the fields of India, Thailand, Vietnam, Madagascar, Philippines, Japan and Malaysia. In scorching heat – planting paddy or rice, the crops then harvested and dried, threshing; a process where rice is separated from the straw, then distributed and milled and polished, packaged and sold. Months of sweat and blood that we conveniently acknowledge to ignore.

As I wrote my first recipe on my blog today, I realised the fond memories of having rice with my meals. It was not the eating but the appreciation to hundreds of farmers across the world who made it possible for me to still take a handful of rice which was first introduced to me by my Mother, as food.

And I remember my late Father always reminded us not to waste a grain, not to step on rice, not to throw food. But also a bit of cooked rice on a plate was kept aside and ate with a short prayer before the start of the meal, to say thank you. Was it a Thank you to God for bringing this food to us? I haven’t seen God but I believe what they meant by God as those who made it possible for you and me to have what we have, considered the works of greater humanity. The presence of God or something more in this Universe felt through gratitude. To leave aside one’s own pain and discomfort as a service to humanity for the comfortable lives of others.

You see, what we can easily take for granted is something that another works hard for, and most times just for the same handful for them and their loved ones. Something that we should all be grateful for, especially where people are chasing after material gains rather than what matters most.

So, here I am sharing a bit of love and a lot of gratitude for the Asian farmers for keeping me alive and the memories of my cultural background to go on.

I hope you appreciate them as much as I do and try the recipes.

Lots of Love XX

Cod Kedgeree.

Khichdi – I remember my mum cooking Khichdi when I was a young child.

The combination and aromas of basmati rice with split moong dhal and ghee just brings fond memories of my childhood. This dish often cooked when someone at home is unwell, the mix of herbs and spices such as turmeric, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns and coriander are believed to enhance the medicinal values of this simple dish.

For me, the Khichdi was not just comfort food which was easily prepared and served in a bowl or a plate, but it was a way my Mother showcased her love in order to heal us when we fell ill. Inspite of the conventional medicines prescribed by the doctor, my Mother believed that her cooking has greater healing properties because it was cooked with thoughts and love.

Thank you, Ma. As I haven’t been feeling well in recent times, your cooking brings me comfort thoughts and I believe I’m healing.

For the first time, I cooked Khichdi or Kedgeree as it’s famously known in England with the nations favourite fish, Cod! I made it my own recipe and the outcome was absolutely fantastic! This recipe will be my go-to comfort, one pot, one bowl meal that is easily enjoyed at all seasons!

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Ingredients:
1 cup Brown Basmati Rice – washed and presoaked for 2 hours, drained
1/2 cup Split Moong Dhal – washed and presoaked for 2 hours, drained
1 cup of Cabbage – shredded
1 cup of Carrots – shredded
2 fillets of Cod ( or any fish of your choice ) – seasoned with salt and turmeric powder.
1 large Tomato – chopped
2 tablespoons of Ghee or Clarified butter
Hot water ( enough to cover the rice and lentils to cook )
Salt to taste
To fry:
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Hing / Asafoetida
Thumb size Ginger – chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic – chopped
2 dried Red Chillies – chopped
1 medium-sized Red Onion – chopped
Serve with
Hardboiled Eggs
Greek Yogurt or Pickle
Method :
  1. Melt the ghee in medium heat in a non – stick saute pan. Fry the cumin and fennel seeds till it begins to splutter.
  2. Add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, chillies to this and fry till the onions soften.
  3. Then add the rice and moong dhal to this mixture.
  4. Now add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, hing and stir until well incorporated. You want to fry this for a further 2 minutes in medium heat just to allow the spices and flavours to work its’ magic.
  5. Add the shredded cabbage and carrots and mix in.
  6. Now you pour enough water, just to cover the top of the rice and lentils. This has to cook in medium heat with the lid on for 20 minutes. You can half season it with salt and add later if needed. But allow it to cook and just keep an eye that it needs water to cook.
  7. 20 minutes later, remove the lid and add the fillets of cod and chopped tomatoes. You want to cover it, give it a gentle burial into the rice. Cook it further for 15 minutes.
  8. Taste for salt before you turn off the heat.
  9. And your Cod Kedgeree is ready to be served with any salad of your choice. I enjoyed mine with hardboiled eggs, yoghurt and red chillies!

 

Almost – All – Green Smoothie.

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1 cup Broccoli Florets

1 Green Apple – chopped

1/2 cup Cucumber – chopped

A handful of Parsley

Juice of half a Lemon

1/2 cup of Cold Water

Add all the ingredients into your favourite blender, ( mine is a Nutri Bullet, it’s amazing, versatile and bullet fast) and enjoy a super fast and super yummy drink!

Spice, sour and salty. Sweet, tangy and creamy. Let’s talk food!

Food – we all love it.

From home cooked meals to fine dining. Speak about food and you will definitely get anyone’ attention.

I’m a Malaysian and we Malaysians love our food! In fact, we greet you by saying, ” Hi, Sudah makan kah belum?”  – “Hi, Have you ate, already?”. It’s a simple theory, really. If you have eaten and the reply is Yes, then we know you are well but if it’s a No.. it’s time we ate before we uttered another word!

Growing up in Malaysia gave me a childhood which celebrated an array of cuisines – Indian, Malay, Chinese, Thai and the introduction of the far, far…West.

Most dishes were cooked at home as this was the supreme ruler of the household. No matter what time you came home, food will be served!

Of course, occasionally we ate out at family-style restaurants or kept it simple by visiting our Colonel Kentucky (this was the beginning and end to the western food influence of my childhood) downtown.

Regardless of the cuisine, we made sure we ate together! This is the importance of food and the role it plays in Asian culture. We don’t need a special occasion or festive season to gather around the table to enjoy a nice meal with the family. And, if you are a friend, you need no invitation!

Because it’s about sharing. Sharing a meal with another member of your family and friends. If you have travelled to Malaysia, Singapore, India, China or Japan, you will notice how food is served to the oldest and the youngest persons in the table first before filling their own plate, even at a restaurant. This is what food means to us. Respect and appreciation for the bonds we share amongst people we love and care, regardless of age and gender.

But when it came to food, to us, it was just not about eating. There’s more… something magnificent about the entire experience of dining, whether if you are seated on a table or on the matted floor, on fine china or banana leaves – food always brought people together and to me, it brings back the fondest of memories.

The greatest of cultural diversities and wonders of traditions. What better way than the sound of laughter that fills the air, that could possibly replace this form of happiness. And what better way to convey your identity if not by the simplest contraction known and enjoyed by us from the beginning of time.

I hope you try my recipes and enjoy them as much as I do. So, feel free to join me for a meal and a conversation. We shall speak about food!