Showing posts with label Zen Cuisine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zen Cuisine. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2024

A Taste of Burma: Masoor Dal and More Lentil Delights

Lentils and dal are essential staples in my kitchen, celebrated globally (PERTH CULINARY EXPERIENCES) for their versatility and nutritional value. These legumes are always stocked in my pantry, used widely in kitchens worldwide and cherished in South Asian cuisine for their protein, fiber, and nutrients (CHANDIGARH URBAN MARVELS). In Myanmar, they have been integral to Indian communities since ancient times, their presence strengthened during the British colonial era with significant settlements in Yangon and Mandalay. While exploring Myanmar, I unexpectedly encountered samosas with dal gravy - a delightful fusion of Indian and Burmese flavors that thrilled my adventurous foodie spirit. 

Friday, July 12, 2024

Classic, Marble & Lemon Butter Cakes: Baking Satisfaction

Baking butter cakes is deeply fulfilling for me - how about you? There's something heavenly about their rich, buttery taste and subtly vanilla-flavored crumb. Their moist, tender texture makes them a comforting delight, perfect for any occasion (CHEESECAKE INDULGENCE).

Butter cakes have evolved over time, offering a myriad of varieties beyond the classic. They're adorned with beautiful butter and sugar icings, often in demand for weddings and birthdays alike - though these decorations can come at a cost (EASIEST BANANA CHOCOLATE CAKE).

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Cantonese Yee Mee: Chinese Style Noodles Simplified

Making Cantonese Yee Mee might seem like a culinary revelation (MEE SIAM), but it’s actually quite simple. While some may treat cooking as a grand affair (MALAY STYLE PRAWN NOODLES) Ms. Nava takes a more straightforward approach. It's not about impressing others with complex techniques; it's about making delicious food effortlessly (FRIED NOODLES ESCTASY). So, let's skip the stories and dive straight into Seafood Yee Mee. The key to this dish lies in the stock. Once you have a good stock, everything else falls into place. Here’s how you can prepare the essential stocks.

Vegetable Brown Stock

For a vegetarian option, which also works for Seafood Yee Mee, you can make a vegetable brown stock. Sauté carrots, oyster mushrooms, onion and garlic in some butter or oil. Then, add water and let it simmer over low heat to extract the flavors. This creates a rich brown stock.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Sujee Cake Elegance

Baking isn't exactly my superpower, but hey, diving into it is a fun ride. It’s all about the experience, right? Let me tell you, baking demands heaps of patience, precision, and time. On this particular day, with time on my side, I decided to whip up a sujee cake. Easy peasy, right? Well, sort of. Having tasted sujee cakes made by others, I had a decent idea of the texture and taste I was aiming for. 

Now, here's a funny thing: have you ever met those women who brag about their baking skills, but when you taste their creations, you're left speechless? And not in a good way. Yet, they’ll insist you rave about their so-called ‘fabulous’ baking. They crave validation and praise, and trust me, telling them the truth can lead to some intense glares or even outright hatred. So, sometimes, it's best to just zip your mouth and nod along.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Fried Fish with Soy Sauce

Home-cooked food holds a special place, especially considering the time taken by our careers and the hours spent driving in city traffic. Whether it's men or women doing the cooking, eating out or ordering takeout has become common due to hectic careers that leave little time for cooking. Despite these challenges, many still cherish the simplicity and satisfaction of a homemade meal - even a single dish with rice and a side of salad or sliced cucumber can provide a sense of comfort and fulfilment.

Given the value placed on homemade meals, let me share a recipe that embodies this simplicity and flavor: fish (SOUTH INDIAN FISH CURRY) with soy sauce. As the fish fries, the preparation of the remaining ingredients is straightforward. Only ginger requires slicing; the rest are added to enhance the dish's taste and aroma.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Mee Siam Kuah/Gravy (Vegetarian)

Shall we cook mee siam? Why not! I have two delightful Mee Siam recipes for you: one with a rich gravy, known as "kuah," and the other in a dry style. These dishes are part of Peranakan cuisine, which beautifully blends Chinese and Malay influences. In the Peranakan community, women are called Nyonya and men are called Baba. This is why recipes are often labeled as Nyonya cuisine rather than Baba cuisine.

Now, let’s dive into these recipes. I’d love to hear your feedback, so please let me know if you try them. You can reach out to me on our social media platforms. Thank you in advance

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Sardine Varuval (Dry Style)

Canned sardines - you either love 'em or hate 'em. Some folks hear "canned sardines" and start ranting about how unhealthy canned food is, throwing in wild tales about worms. Ironically, the loudest complainers often have their own health issues. Should we really listen to them? I say, ignore the naysayers! If you’re a true sardine fan like me, this sardine varuval recipe is for you. And while we're at it, here are a few more quick and easy sardine recipes for when you're pressed for time.

Chili Sardine
Pat dry canned sardines and fry them.
Remove from heat, then add chopped chilies (red, green, or bird’s eye), shallots, a pinch of salt, and a drizzle of lime juice.
Lightly toss everything together for a spicy, tangy treat with a crispy outer layer and a burst of heat from the chilies, balanced by the zesty lime.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Karaikudi Kozhi Kuzhumbu/Chicken Curry

Karaikudi chicken curry, a delightful South Indian dish from Tamil Nadu's Chettinad region, is famed for its bold, spicy, and aromatic flavors. But have you explored "Ms. Nava's" take on this classic? Isn't cooking more about infusing your unique touch than simply following recipes? While I stay true to the essential spices for authenticity, my Malaysian Karaikudi Chicken Curry offers a distinct twist (CHANDIGARH MARVELS & NEW DELHI SOUL).

Imagine relishing tender chicken pieces in a luscious, spicy, and tangy curry atop fragrant saffron rice, alongside Cabbage Kootu (Cabbage Dal). Doesn't it tempt your palate with its myriad of flavors and enticing aroma? Ready to give it a try and perhaps send a heartfelt thanks to Ms. Nava for her delightful recipes? 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Mutton Recipes: Diverse Delights

We're nearing the end of our mutton dish journey (MUTTON MARVELS & MUTTON MEDLEY) While a few more recipes exist, they simply tweak ingredients, not warranting sharing. Yet, here are three essential insights:

Mutton Dish Hues
Notice how some mutton dishes boast vibrant reds, while others are deeper in tone? It all boils down to the type of chili and curry powders used. Different brands incorporate various spices, so peek at the ingredients to pick your preference (CHENNAI INDIA AWAITS & CHANDIGARH MARVELS).

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Chloe Palak (Spinach & Chickpea Curry)

Chole Palak, or Chana Palak, is a popular dish from northern India, typically enjoyed with roti or naan. Interestingly, even though you can find it in Northern Indian restaurants in Malaysia, it’s not commonly cooked by Malaysian Indians. I’ve never seen it at potlucks, gatherings, weddings, or other events. Do you know why? I’m curious! If you have any idea, please drop a comment.


At first, I didn’t cook Chole Palak either, but after trying it once, it became a regular dish in our home, especially loved by my husband. If you haven't made chickpea and spinach curry yet, now's a great time to start. I always use canned chickpeas—they save a lot of cooking time and are very convenient. It’s funny how some people, those who believe they are health gurus, avoid canned foods, believing they’re unhealthy. They insist on simmering or pressure cooking raw chickpeas.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

South Indian Style Fish Curry

Fish curries are a delightful explosion of spices, tantalizing our taste buds with their vibrant flavors and tender fish pieces immersed in rich, savory sauces. Across the globe, fish curries come in countless varieties (MUTTON MEDLEY COLLECTION), each with its unique blend of spices and ingredients. Even within South India, there is a diverse array of fish curry recipes, each with its distinct characteristics.

As a Malaysian, cooking fish curry is not just about showcasing the fish. It also involves adding vegetables like okra (ladies' fingers), brinjals (eggplants), and white radish, transforming the dish into a wholesome one-pot meal that often eliminates the need for additional vegetable sides. The choice of fish typically depends on the local catch or personal preferences. As we explore different fish curry recipes, you'll discover a range of options beyond this South Indian Style Fish Curry. (CHENNAI & MYSURU) So, sit back, browse through the recipes, and choose the one that will bring the flavors of a fish curry into your home.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Vegetarian Nyonya Recipes: Contrasting Flavors

Once upon a time, cooking Nyonya Cuisine (NYONYA CUISINE: REDISCOVERING HERITAGE) meant pounding ingredients in a mortar. Today, it's all about convenience with food processors and blenders. But there's still one old-timer, Ms. Nava, pounding away now and then. While some women prefer showroom kitchens, she cooks in shorts, bringing Nyonya vegetarian recipes to life with flair! Unlike those reliant on helpers or fancy kitchen setups or cook for seeking validation and praising from others for occasions, Ms. Nava stays true to tradition, cooking for her family. She after using her Nyonya cooking knowledge, blends the old with the new, converting classic Nyonya dishes into delightful vegetarian versions, proving that culinary excellence knows no bounds.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Mutton Medley: Culinary Creations

Welcome back to my mutton recipes (SAVOURING MUTTON). If you’ve tried my dishes before, you’ve probably noticed my love for certain ingredients (INDIAN DESSERTS) that make them special (MUTTON MARVELS).


Potatoes are a staple in almost all my mutton recipes. They add heartiness and soak up the flavors, making every bite delightful. Soft and tender, they become little pockets of curried goodness. If you prefer your mutton dishes without potatoes, that’s okay. But if you enjoy the comfort they bring, you’re in for a treat.


Tip: You can pre-simmer or boil the potatoes before adding them to the dish for added convenience.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Tom Yam Temptation: A Taste of Thailand

Life without Tom Yam feels like a story missing its climax - a culinary journey left unfinished. Visualise the lively Thai flavors awakening your taste buds as you savor a hot spoonful of Tom Yam soup. My love for Tom Yam knows no bounds; during my adventures in Thailand (KRABI/PHUKET), I couldn't resist its tempting allure (BANGKOK). Though not every bowl was perfect; some packed a spicy punch that left me reaching for tissues. But those truly delicious ones - each sip brings the comforting and satisfying taste of authentic Thai flavors, warming both the mouth and the soul.

Let's Bring Tom Yam Home 
Now, I am going to share with all you foodies how we can make Tom Yam in our homes.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Fried Noodles Ecstasy: Recipes for Every Taste

Hey Home Chefs! Ready to whip up some amazing fried noodles? I've got you covered with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. But before we dive into cooking, let's talk about some handy tips and different types of noodle dishes. That's what I'm here for – to share delicious recipes with you all.

And here's a little reminder about honesty. If you share these tasty dishes with others, why not mention they came from Ms. Nava? It's also all about sincerity and being genuine. Even if you use my recipes for your catering business, being honest will bring you peace of mind and help you avoid sleepless nights over small fibs. So, let's cook up something great together and keep it real!

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Pada Salted Fish Pickle: Authentic Eurasian Taste Sensations

Can you still recall my recipe for Portuguese Vegetable Pickle? You might be wondering why I’m bringing it up. Well, this recipe for Pada Salted Fish Pickle comes from the same person who shared the Vegetable Pickle recipe. She told me it’s a Eurasian/Portuguese recipe, and I believe her since she’s Eurasian. Pada Salted Fish Pickle is truly delicious, especially if you love salted fish and the spicy kick from green chilies like I do.

Now, before we get to the recipe, here’s what you should know:


Quantities are flexible, especially for the salted fish and green chilies.

Adjust them to your liking.

Malay Chicken Recipes: Tempting Varieties to Try

Did you know I absolutely love Malay food (MALAY DESSERTS). Yep, it's my go-to. You'll often catch me at the Malay stalls digging into their dishes or bringing some home (PUCUK UBI MASAK LEMAK & MASAK TEMPEH). My Malay pals joke that I'm more Malay than them when it comes to food! I've tried it all - Petai, Jering, Tempoyak, you name it (PETAI RECIPES). And I grow those raw salad fixings in my fitness Zen, Nava’s Zen. I've cooked up various Malay dishes over the years, learning from my Malay friends. Not to copy, but to understand the flavors better.

I'm all about spicing up my Malay dishes, finding new twists to add in. Malay food, you know, it's all about those bold Asian flavors - spicy, sour, salty, sometimes a bit bitter. Oh, and a quick tip: chicken cooks fast, so watch it carefully to avoid it getting tough. These recipes I'm sharing aren't your usual ones, they're my own take. Simple, straightforward, and tasty. People who've tried them love how easy they are to follow and how delicious they turn out. So, ready to dive into these tempting Malay chicken recipes? You'll love them too, I'm sure (NASI GORENG & NASI KERABU).

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Nyonya Cuisine: Rediscovering Heritage Through Home Cooking

Nyonya food in Malaysia is a unique and flavorful cuisine that combines Chinese and Malay cooking (MALAY DESSERTS) styles, with extra influences from Portuguese and Eurasian foods in Melaka. This delicious blend comes from the Peranakan community, where Chinese immigrants married local Malays. Nyonya dishes use lots of spices like lemongrass and turmeric, along with coconut milk and pandan leaves. When the Portuguese ruled Melaka in the 16th century, they introduced new cooking methods and ingredients like vinegar and more spices, which became part of Nyonya cooking (PETAI SAMBAL).

Additionally, Eurasian cuisine, which blends European and local flavors, has also influenced Nyonya food, adding to its rich and diverse taste. Dishes like Devil’s Curry (MUTTON DEVIL CURRY) show how Nyonya food has mixed different cultural flavors to create something special and tasty.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Vietnamese Cuisine: The Quintessential Tastes

Are you a fan of Vietnamese cuisine? I certainly am. These days, Vietnamese restaurants are not rare anymore in Malaysia (DING XIANG), and you can even find Vietnamese food stalls in Chinese coffee shops. My former neighbor, who lived just two doors down, was a Vietnamese lady married to a local Chinese man. Thanks to her, I gained valuable insights into cooking authentic Vietnamese dishes.

Furthermore, my travels in Vietnam (HANOI) provided me with the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the local cuisine. Here are some of the delightful Vietnamese dishes I had the pleasure of enjoying during my time there.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Tempe Orek (Indonesian Spicy Fermented Soy Beans)

Fermented soybeans, known as tempeh or tempe, are a fantastic meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans. Packed with health benefits, tempeh is a staple in local Malay and Indonesian dishes. I'm a huge fan of tempeh and use it all the time in my cooking, especially because I love Malay and Indonesian food. You’ll often find me at Malay stalls, loading up on their delicious offerings.


Today, I'm featuring a tempeh dish - an Indonesian recipe that's perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Let me share my passion for tempeh and show you how to incorporate it into your savory dishes.

A Taste of Burma: Masoor Dal and More Lentil Delights

Lentils and dal are essential staples in my kitchen, celebrated globally ( PERTH CULINARY EXPERIENCES ) for their versatility and nutritiona...