Friday, April 17, 2015

Dubai - One Day Tour


Plan all your want for an uninterrupted holiday, whether on your own or in a tour, sometimes somethings are bound to happen for catching us off guard. Believe me. I honestly know what I am talking about, I hope you are not doubting me. Look, I am in no way trying to brag. Of course not, for someone like me who have already trigger started seeing the world, I do come with my share of the interrupted and unexpected. It all started during my first ever, yes, my first, across the sea Italy holiday (Rome 2 Days) with my other half-half whereby the interrupted caught up with us when our coach broke down. By the time help came and coach was back like a transformer, we had to ditch aside Milan sightseeing (Verona & Milan). Akin gone forever, unless I make another trip to Milan. Then came my Malacca holiday (Philea Resort). Another first time ever, yes, my first out of my house exploring another place compared to all the years of staying put on my familiar ground, the couple I travelled with did open my mind on why it is important to travel with the right people. They of course were not, hell, not only I had to spend my money, the worst of it was putting up with their antic (Malacca Malaysia Part 2). Nevertheless, I must thank them. Otherwise, I wouldn't even have considered travelling on my  own. Solo and Nava K.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pudina/Mint Chutney

I must take off my hat to my mum and her cooking. She can be hours in the kitchen for pounding, grinding and doing whatever it takes for preparing a meal for us. But lemme tell you that I don't think I want to be like her. Not in the sense of cooking a meal for the two of us, but hours in my kitchen can literally kill me softly and slowly (Chilli Hummus, Tamatar ki Chutney, Avocado Dip & Mango Chutney). Honestly, unlike those days, try being in your kitchen for just an hour and see how you sweat drip? The weather. Climate change and the heat is on forever even when its raining or thereafter. Moreover, I think I am one of those who sweat for no apparent reason and twenty fours a day just like that. Thus, I keep it as short as possible in cooking. Take this Pudina/Mint Chutney as an example. Made in the jiffy in the blender. Into the blender went sauteed together mint leaves (Mint Chutney), dried chillies and white dal. Next, tipping in oil, yogurt (Curd Chutney) and salt before pulsing for this minty and tangy Pudina Mint Chutney (Nasi Pudina/Mint Rice). An accompaniment as a side for our rice meals or have it your way.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Malaysian Rava/Semolina Kheer

The Indian side of me is out today (Sardine Varuval/Dry Style & Pepper Garlic Rasam). Actually, not really today, I made this Indian dessert (Mango Kulfi) two months back. As usual, my recipes are, sadly ditched aside due to blogging time constraint. Trust me, who ever said blogging is as simple as perceived? It is not. My plate is forever filled up with endless chores at one go. One minute is cleaning, the other minute cooking, so on and so forth. Not easy right? I know. There is no end to housework right? I know again (Curry Leaves Hummus, Indian Chicken Curry & Bitter Gourd Prawn Curry).  So, how can I park myself right in front of my laptop constantly, and mind you too much of laptop staring is also ruining my health (Gobi 65, Chilli Potato, Indian Fish Achar, Tapioca Poriyal & Black Lentil Vadai).So, I have no other choice but cut down on blogging.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Istanbul - Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar (Turkey)

A full circle from this end to the other, akin we went around Turkey's full moon, for returning to  Istanbul where arrived on the first day (I Conquered Istanbul). In all fairness, its been absolutely a joyous trip-travelling throughout the last 7 days. Indeed. But that packing almost every other day for moving from one hotel to the hotel, trust me, in some way or rather did get to us (Canakkale/Kusadasi/Pamukkale, Cappadocia & Ankara & Bolu) . Tiring. I too was caught in the web of winter. My first ever winter experience, I didn't come prepared because I relied on the tour agent's advise. I was told that thick jackets will do, when in factual fact, let me tell you that winter literally killed me. No other choice, I had to buy two winter coats during our visit to the retail outlet, thank god my credit card saved me. Otherwise, I can't imagine how would I have coped. But fortunately though, winter in Istanbul was rather tolerable. I didn't had to three or four times layer my body.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Turkey – Ankara & Bolu (I Conquered Turkey)

Routing out of Cappadocia, the first stop for the day, supposedly another knowledge thirsting visit, when it actual fact the catch was another marketing and sales gimmick (Cappadocia Turkey). No doubt, sincerely, this visit of ours in Hanem Arts Centre, in all fairness, I must say did expose us on semi-precious and precious as Nava K gemstones from beneath Turkey. (Canakkale/Kusadasi/ Pamukkale & Istanbul) Honestly, we did gather some knowledge on how stones are carefully harvested and cut-shined-polished, thereafter either sold as individual pieces or mounted in/on jewelries. The best part of it all was that there’s no hold barred to picturing. Yes, you can put your phone or camera to use compared  to those outlets I have visited in other countries (Krabi ThailandPerth Australia & Bangkok Thailand). Took me by surprise until I made it a point for checking with the staff. He reaffirmed it. Such an unorthodox liberal business think-tank I believe must be looked up at. Respect and thumbs up to these people. Having said that, no matter what, I am not gamed for precious gems. Not at all. Unsure I am if the rest bought, but I can vouch that all of us did marvel over those impressive glittering gems.   

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sardine Varuval (Dry Style)

Tuna or Sardine? Sardine mostly. Fresh sardine or canned sardines? Both goes strongly and tremendously (Mathi Achar & Nadan Sardine Curry). But stocking up canned sardines has become a habit I can't let go. Basically like if I don't stock up, seemingly my grocery doing is not complete. How about you? You are like me? You must have sardines in cans in your pantry? Actually, its a good thing because canned sardines will never ever let us down (Sardin Masak Lemak & Sardine Rolls). Unlike our husbands who sometimes can drive us up the wall? Even canned tuna as well (Tuna Thoran, Tuna Burgers & Tuna Cutlets). I mean, canned tuna being our cooking saviour. What's the story to me making this Sardine Varuval (Sardine Sambal & Sardine Potato)? The same food story in fact. Always a favourite (Jeera Aloo/Potato & Meen Puttu) and imagine sardine varuval alongside rice soaking or fully flooded by rasam or sambar. Heaven called easily fab meal right? I know (Udupi Sambar & Pepper Garlic Rasam). We Indians and our fingers to eating for happy tummy sardine varuval meal? What more should I possibly say? Nothing. Dive into Sardine Varuval at your pleasure (Chicken Varuval & Mutton Varuval). 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Kuih Sagu Kukus (Steamed Sago Cake)

Kuih-Muih was my all time growing up years memories. Not to say I don't indulge in our local delicacies anymore (Wajik Pulut, Kuih Buah Melaka, Malaysian Sago Pudding & Bingka Pisang) but, sparingly and mostly during occasions instead of making at home, or sometimes I do buy from the Malay shops. Why not making at home? Basically, no takers. My other half-half need to control his sugar intake due to he must keep his diabetes in control, whereas myself. I am without a doubt free from more sugar in my body, but sugar by itself, I am quite cautious. My concern primarily is, what if I become a sugar victim if I don't limit my sugar intake and the other reason, sugar can lift my weight higher. As it is, I easily put on weight and if I don't exercise? Worst and what about what sugar doing further disaster (Honeydew Sago).

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Peach Raisin Bread Pudding (Eggless)

Who ever said writing is easy? Maybe it is for those professional qualified writers, editors or journalists. Then again, who ever said you can't polish or work on your writing skills by practicing on your own? Remember, perseverance, determination and will power? I definitely am not doubting, but the hours of practicing by sitting in front of the laptop has almost broke my backbone and my reading glasses. Glasses power ranger sincerely have gradually gone up, and mind you, some days writing is really a major struggle. Maybe we should call it writer's block or blogger's block? Today is one of those days I am still till this moment constantly staring at my laptop and at the sky, hoping god will shower me with words of wisdom (Pandan/Screwpine Poached PearCream Puffs, Soft RollsAlmond Brownies) . Even so, words just won't roll out of my mind and with too many people calling out to god, I think god is being selective on who he should help first. What about me and god right now, are you asking? 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Turkey - Cappadocia (I Conquered Turkey)

How did this day go by? Pretty much a day taken up by road travelling. Right after breakfast and till we arrived late evening in Cappadocia ( Canakkale/Kusadasi/Pamukkale  & Istanbul Turkey ). Of course loo and meal breaks were not compromised, thanks to our pleasant tour guide who made it a point in enlivening us by sharing his knowledge on Turkey. This adorable guide also gave us a five minutes quickie break at the roadside where by right stopping is not allowed, but he still went ahead since we couldn't contain our excitement of seeing snow for the first time. I made sure a candid shot of me snow playing was captured, and within the next jiffy, we dashed back into the coach. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mandarin Orange Marmalade

The next chapter to Mandarin Oranges? Mandarin Orange Marmalade (Mandarin Orange Sorbet & Mandarin Orange Cake). Not bad me right? Me being not someone who is not a waster. Me trying to save Mandarin oranges from rotting or giving me flu and cough, or the heat is on, on my body? Mind you, too much of anything is not good and too much of Mandarin oranges eating can lead to? I think you know it or I have already indicated. Making Mandarin Orange Marmalade by the way can be a killer. It can be killing to your time and can literally put struggle to your arms. Furthermore, you got to watch for preventing marmalade from being burned at the bottom. Other than that, you only need two ingredients. Oranges and sugar basically for this jam which can show the way to toast or a tiny bit of Mandarin Orange Marmalade atop ice-cream or waffles (Nescafe Chocolate CakeChocolate Genoise  & Milo Cake).

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Canakkale/Kusadasi/Pamukkale - I Conquered Turkey

On the same day itself, by 5.00pm (I Conquered Istanbul) we journeyed to Canakkale. Quite a long tiring journey, imagine sitting put in the coach for approximately 5 hours? Basically, patiently journeying and none else. None potentially, neither can you see anything outside because, believe me when I say that winter darkness will set it latest by 6.00pm, In fact even earlier. Wish there are internal flights in Turkey for flying us from one city to the other, hopefully there will be in the near future, but I guess for the time being, you don't have much choice except coach driven or if you self touring, you may consider hiring a car. This coach driven I think is sincerely a whole lot better because it does ease you from tiring yourself for no apparent reason and if you are sleeping beauty, better still. Some people I know can literally shut down anywhere, not me though. I did catnap in between, movie watching was also going on and tour guide did try to keep us entertained by speaking for the first half an hour. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Istanbul, Turkey - I Conquered Istanbul (Part 1)

One of the things I learned about this whole composite of globe seeing is that I have so little tolerance for people who just simply must complain about everything and anything under the sun while travelling. In fact, I am yet to bump into someone who actually can be, lets not expect perfection, but even an adaptable travel companion is really hard to come by. Everyone I have traveled with before, somehow or rather, end up showing their ugly colours. Some really must branded as pathetic stingy idiots, whereas others, sorry guys, I have call them hard-core bitches. I guess the more we companionship travel, the more we discover different peculiar characters and behaviours. What else is new? Experiences without a doubt are major lessons to life. Trust me, I have already gathered suitcases of it by my fifties (Hanoi Vietnam). Additionally, I must thank those who post loving friendship travelling pictures on social media, yet in return, they do, wonder why, call me thereafter for massively bitching about travelling friendship disasters. Reality versus fake social media world. Indeed, the truth is out there, maybe some just refuse to accept. Travelling with family, let me warn you can be worse than hammer house of horror. Logically why I will stick to travelling on my own, now and forever (Chonburi & Pattaya - My Solo Trail). 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mandarin Orange Sorbet

Guys, you still remember my Mandarin Orange story? I told you (Mandarin Orange Cake Vegetarian)? Seemingly I am not done and over yet with oranges literally forced on to by my Chinese friends. They can be quite stubborn, don't you think so? You tell them enough, yet, they still insist you must take more than enough oranges from them? I actually wonder. Nevermind to the two or three you receive before and during Chinese New Years, but when they basically load you with more thereafter? I think they are trying to clear their stock or maybe in marketing terms we call it dumping to the third world countries. God! Honestly, I couldn't escape apart from the oranges my other half-half had to bring back up. So, what was the other door to the oranges? This Mandarin Orange Sorbet and I have one more recipe on the line as well later. Mandarin Orange Sorbet? Ohhhh! Refreshing, tangy sweet and such a smooth pleasure to our mouth senses (Mango Kulfi, Eggless Molten Lava Cake & Nescafe Ice Cream).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Banana Chocolate Cake

Baking is still tremendously progressing. I know. I myself can't believe it. Me and baking! Unbelievable actually. Guess one of those things you yourself can't comprehend or you don't know what got into you? Potentially. Also, remember I told you? The big box of cocoa powder I bought? Right (Nescafe Chocolate Cake Eggless, Eggless Molten Lava Cake & Chocolate Genoise). Seemingly too, I really don't what to say, why I am mostly option for eggless cakes. Maybe due to market trend whereby aplenty people these days prefer being eggless? Possibilities are there or just that I am also beginning to love eggless cakes (Mandarin Orange Cake Eggless & Milo Cake Eggless) and I might as well include the other  types of chocolate pleasures (Cocoa Butter Cake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Rum Tart & Marble Cake). But this Banana Chocolate Cake is not in the grouping of eggless. Eggs are a must (Lemon Bars, Traditional Butter Cake & Sujee Cake) for this no-butter cake which I vouch you will fall in love the moment you have the first bite. An absolute lovable not overly sweet, banana and cocoa pride (Easy Banana Bread).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mee Siam Kuah/Gravy (Vegetarian)

Anything is possible these days. Of course. I'm not in denial by the way that anything can be a matter even for food intake. In fact, considering that many are jumping into the back wagon of being a vegetarian, only god knows why, Indians on the whole we shouldn't speak about, there are many possibilities to a vegetarian meal these days. What about me, are you asking? Neh! Never have I thought of being a full blown vegetarian (Maggi Goreng Mamak & Mee Rebus Vegetarian). Of course every now and then, in fact every once a week, I am in the making. The making of a vegetarian meal (Chinese Vegetarian Noodle Soup & Mee Rojak Vegetarian) for my other half-half, and me, I can basically go with the flow. Out came this Mee Siam Kuah/Gravy Vegetarian on this particular Saturday from my kitchen and to our dining table. Mee Siam? I have already spoken about before (Nyonya Mee Siam, Singapore Mee Siam & Mee Siam)? I did. Mee Siam Vegetarian? Nothing is short coming or going. Still a delightful and really slurpy delicious, complete wholesome meal. Oh, for those of you who are anti-egg vegetarian, ditch egg aside and Mee Siam I think must have originated from Thailand? I don't know. You tell me please (Thapthim Krop, Tom Yum Noodle Soup & Siamese Laksa Lemak).

Eco-Friendly Delights on Banana Leaves: Nava's Zen Culinary Harmony

I feature my culinary creations on banana leaves, courtesy of the cultivated banana trees in Nava's Zen ( Cultivating Sustainable Living...