Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Golden Triangle Boat Ride (Chiang Rai - Thailand)

Myanmar (Myanmar Across The Border Of Mae Sai) literally ran over me like a big hot furnest bulldozer. Massive traffic in all directions between the cluttered roads, motorbikes and cycles, dust flying all over and weather really got to me. Sweat dripping soaking wet within the few hours, no, no, don't get me wrong. I am not sulking nor complaining. After all, what is travelling if you can't put up with expecting the expected or unexpected? There's by the way no guarantee to none while travelling, I guess we have to make do with it for the best or worst which in return does do a whole lot of good by exposing us to seeing and understanding how different parts of the world is functioning differently than ours. But if by any chance you are not someone who is apt for exploring the not nice context of travelling, I suggest you sit at home Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai Day 2 & Chiang Mai Day 1) and grow old as a grumpy pot. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pulut Inti (Glutinous Rice With Sweet Coconut)

It is one thing for cooking, the other is whether you must have all the ingredients? What then? What happens when you can't get certain specific ingredients? You are going to ditched aside the idea of making the dish? Or my question is, are you still going to go ahead by making do? Making do basically meaning, are we going to go ahead with the dish. If you are asking me, I am quite a good cooking runner. I always make do. Take this pulut inti for an example. By right, you need banana leaves, then again? So what? What about re-looking at how can we still make without the leaves. I definitely did fine. My pyrex showed me the way and I hand-crafted Pulut Inti for the serving style. See, I already told you? Nothing is absolute and you can still be a food hero in your own way. What is Pulut Inti? Clue already given. Glutinous rice with sweet coconut which must placed alongside our kuih-muih or local delicacies (Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly, Kuih Kosui & Malaysian Sago Pudding). Our Kuih-muih (Bingka Pisang, Bubur Chacha & Honeydew Sago Dessert)? The treasures of Malaysia and will forever remain as our propelling sweet treat, sweet delight and our sweet moment  (Wajik PulutKuih Buah MelakaKuih Sagu Kukus & Pumpkin Sago Dessert).

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Myanmar - Across the Border From Mae Sai

Pretty much an effortless crossing over to Myanmar from the border of Mae Sai. Thanks to our adorable tour guide, we paid her I think RM200.00 and she did the rest. Pass for crossing over and where and where we should head to for the next few hours, all of it sorted out by this lady. While she got moving to getting the pass, we waited, and within the next less than 1/2 an hour, we walked from the arch that separates Chiang Mai and Myanmar (Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai Day 2 & Chiang Mai Day 1). My-my, what a interesting travelling moment. Crossing over to another country by walking. Hundreds of others were also walking from and across the border, I hardly noticed any tourists though, subsequently, we hopped into our van and there we were already on the busy and quite a messy any way is your traffic way in Tachilek, Myanmar. Weather on this particular day lemme tell was killer heat. Really really hot. Literally unbearable and the dust simply flying at its whims and fancy made it even worst. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Chiang Mai (Day 2) - Thailand

What a start for the day. Couldn't have been any better (Chiang Mai Day One). No better in fact for a traveller like me who love nature all things nice, our first stop for the day in Bai Orchid And Butterfly Farm was akin Nava K tinkle bell nature. Awesomeness. Utterly. Still memorable till this day. Rows and rows of colorful and different species orchids which were in my imagination smiling and greeting me naturally brightly. Though, honestly, I have never so far had any luck in growing orchids. Orchids I grow eventually depart to heaven happily or sadly. Strange that for someone like me who is into some serious stuff of gardening in my tiny plot of garden, I am yet to horn my orchid growing skills. I suppose its one of those things you still can't gasp despite trying over and over, until I think I have given up on growing orchids. Therefore, this trip of ours to Bai Orchid And Butterfly Farm sincerely was a fantastic eye opener to propagating orchids and what else you can do with the orchids flowers you have lovingly cultivated. Those hair clips and accessories you can buy indeed caught up on me until I couldn't resist picking up a few pieces for remembrance as well.   




  
Butterfly farm in Bai Orchid too was another interesting nature discovery, but it wasn't something totally new to me (Malacca Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary). Having said that, nature splendour is still an appreciated splendour wherever it may be. Departing from Bai Orchid & Butterfly Farm, we then arrived in Chiang Mai Karen Hilltop Long Neck Village. I can't tell you if there's other long neck villages in Chiang Mai or if this is the only one, maybe yes, maybe no, I really can't confirm though, what became a tiny bit of question mark in Karen Hilltop Long Neck Village is paying RM50.00 as the unofficial entrance fee. Didn't make sense, honestly, I wasn't expecting it, then again for the benefit of the doubt, considering that its a source of income for the people, we didn't mind paying. After all, tourism is a big money chunking business in Thailand, additionally, nothing is free when you travel? Karen Hilltop Long Neck Village by the way I must admit was quite an intriguing culture of discovery the moment we started walking right to the further end. Not really a big area though, but definitely the ladies and young girls donning the long heavy gold metal piece on their necks I reckon are the spoken must do attraction in Chiang Mai. Of course, you are allowed to picture alongside them, and the scarfs and handicrafts are a buying pleasure of yours.   



An hour most to most in Karen Hilltop Long Neck Village, actually more than ample time, next on our itinerary was Maetaeng Elephant Park. Elephants bathing, elephants that won't stop eating bananas you feed them and elephant playing football and painting. Marvelous. We enjoyed every bit of our visit to Maetaeng Elephant Park, for the first time ever I tried the elephant ride which of course no doubt trilled and excited me, but stopping you every now and then for buying sugar cane and bananas for feeding I thought was corny money ripping. Subsequently, we browsed through the products in the souvenir shop, we had lunch in one of the restaurants and off we left for Chiang Mai Snake & Monkey show.   




Monkey show and snake show I believe will be included if you are in a tour, but honestly, since I have done it before (Krabi, Thailand), my enthusiasm while watching the monkey tricks and man to snakes wrestling didn't pierce right into my travelling heart neither mind. If you have not done it before, I suppose you won't stop being impressed.    

Two more stops for the day, touristy stops I must say. Silver and royal jelly and birds nest cottage industry visits. Pressure to buying was not so bad in the silver outlet, but at the latter, royal jelly and birds nest both in one outlet, the young doll sales staff was quite a forceful smiling humble thing until my guy friend didn't mind paying a couple of hundreds. Anyway I am in no way disputing the health power of royal jelly or birds nest. Go ahead, buy all you want, pay a couple of hundreds for healthy is wealth attraction in Chiang Mai. 
  

Day 2 in Chiang Mai ended with dinner and back to the hotel. Quite a fun-fantastic day I must say. In store for us tomorrow is Chiang Rai here we are coming to get you. 

To be continued................









Sunday, November 29, 2015

Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly

Have you heard of Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly? You know? Or you don't know what I am talking about? If you are Chinese (Honeydew Sago), I think you should know. Nevermind, if all of us are as blank as each other. But I am not blank. I quite know it. Otherwise, how could I have made? Back then, years ago, Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly was a popularity. Don't know if it is still, but I can still remember and today, my food and cooking mission is to show you how we can make Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I should dwell too much. Everything you need to know and see? Clearly listed below. Follow me and you can't go or do any wrong. Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly. The yesteryears sweet delight. Outstanding for its uniqueness.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Vazha Koombu Thoran

The last time we meet, we hit it at Sri Lanka cuisine (Miris Malu). Today, we are hitting back to another round of Kerala cuisine. Kerala cuisine (Mathi Achar, Nadan Meen Curry, Meen Puttu, Parippu Pradhaman)? I quite know it right? Well, I must admit I quite have it at the back and in front of my cooking hands (Malabar Fish Curry & Kerala Fish Curry). What is Vazha Koombu Thoran? Vazha Koombu is vazhaipoo, or banana flower or banana blossom. How about thoran? Basically, a stir fry (Tuna Thoran, Beans Thoran & Cabbage Thoran). To make Vazha Koombu Thoran? All clearly listed below and quite a simplicity, but cleaning the banana flower? You better get ready with time and some oil for rubbing and removing its stickiness while, maybe at removing the flowers and thereafter for cleaning your hands and fingers. Other than that, Vazha Koombu Thoran is our yesteryears and forever appeciated by my generation side dish delightfulness alongside rice (Carrot Poriyal & Tapioca Stir Fry).  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mutton Rendang

Do I? Must I? Should I? About what? Introduce rendang to all you Malaysians? No need right? I bet you know. Unless of course if you are still blur (Rendang Ayam & Vegetarian Mutton Rendang). Aside to rendang, the other that need no introduction is? Mutton by itself. Don't we Indians just so love our mutton (Shahi Mutton Curry, Aloo Gosht, Mutton Parathal & Masala Mutton Curry)? I don't know about you, but definitely in my house, a mutton dish must hit our dining table, let's say every fortnight or at least once a month (Mutton Keema, Devil's Curry, Mutton Bone Marrow Curry, Easy Mutton Curry & Mutton Kurma). And when we dine in Indian restaurants, what shall I say? Somehow, as much as we hold ourselves back, a plate of mutton dish? Mostly for us. Alright. Let's get down to making Mutton Rendang. Not a mind boggling matter like some people make it sound. Quite simplified actually if you are asking me. Follow this recipe of mine and I bet you won't be disappointed. Mutton Rendang? What a delight. The mutton way to our famed Malaysian rendang. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Jiu Hu Char (Stir Fried Jicama)

 
The central ingredient for Jiu Hu Char? Jicama, aka, yam beans and in our local Malay language, sengkuang. Thus? Obviously? The birth of Jiu Hu Char which is by far one of the looked forward to dish during or while tucking into a Nyonya meal. Yep. Me and my Nyonya cooking (Ikan Buah Keluak, Nasi Kerabu, Kerabu Taugeh, Nyonya Mee Siam & Nyonya Hot Sour Noodles in Fish Soup)? Usually, as far as I know, the other key ingredient for Jiu Hu Char is cuttlefish. But I decided to do it my way with dried shrimps. Furthermore, I gave Jiu Hu Char a twist by adding button mushrooms. Why can't we? After all, like I always say, its our cooking and its the comfort of the ingredients we want instead of replicating recipes blindly? Sure. Of course (Nyonya Lam Mee & Nyonya Curry Laksa). The pairing for this delightful Nyonya style to Jicama or yam beans? Trust me, you need our power lashing Sambal Belacan or Sambal Terasi. Just so sensational for immediately waking up your palates (Kangkung Belacan). 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kuih Kodok (Mashed Banana Fritters)

Modernised, trendy, healthy and the latest trend Kuih Kodok/Mashed Banana Fritters. Why not? Why shouldn't we modify or tweet our back then been existing for years recipes? I have no qualms actually. After all, there is no limit to cooking invention (Wajik Pulut, Pumpkin Sago Dessert, Malaysian Sago Pudding & Bingka Pisang)? Otherwise, we won't be moving forward and we shouldn't praise those who modify recipes in cooking shows? Pretty much. In fact, for this my Kuih Kodok version, instead of frying the mashed banana (Banana Chocolate Cake & Easy Banana Bread), grated coconut and sugar batter in round balls, which by far can be soaking in oil, I decided I will do the grilling on the, over the stop portable grill. Plus, coconut and sugar not incorporated in the batter. Instead rolled over grilled fritters. Basically, for not overdoing it with sugar loading. That's it guys. The grilled and modernised Kuih Kodok. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nasi Bunga Telang Serai /Blue Pea Lemongrass Rice

I threw some bunga telang, or blue pea flower seeds in my garden and they grew. They literally grew without even me realising and without even any tender, loving care. Just like that. By the time I knew, bunga telang which can be addressed in other names greeted me. Beautiful. They are such bluish beauties and me after a few days, getting down to making this Nasi Bunga Telang Serai /Blue Pea Lemongrass Rice. I did. And rice by far, do I have say anything furthermore? Me and my love for nasi or rice. For this typical Malaysian who must have rice at least once a day though usually its plain rice, of course, every now and then, the easy varieties, cooked in the rice cooker are such a delight for breaking free from the monotony and boredomness of our daily meals (Tomato Rice PilafRice Pilaf, Coriander Rice, Turmeric Rice, Dhal Rice & Lemon Cashew Rice). What's the cooking story to Nasi Bunga Telang Serai? Such an easy uncomplicated story. Just a couple of ingredients. In fact, just five. Basmati rice, bunga telang/blue pea flowers, serai/lemongrass, salt and water. The best part of all is, I will and must vouch that you will simply love the floral scent of bunga telang and lemony scent of lemongrass in, and around cooked to the right texture rice. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ikan Goreng Asam

The other side to the previous Ikan Goreng Kunyit/Turmeric Fried Fish. The other side which is my favourite as well. Speak about sourness, me, myself and I? Honestly, I so love sourness to every bit. Any kinda sourness in our Malaysian dishes (Nyonya Acar Fish, Asam Curry Fish & Fried Kembung With Assam Sauce). Sourness from our local fruits (Sambal Belimbing Bilis & Masak Lemak Nenas) and of course, lime or asam jawa/tamarind are the other two for streaming into curries or our sambal dishes (Tamarind Prawn Curry, Ayam Masak Tiga Rasa, Sambal Udang PetaiAsam Pedas Ikan), or maybe I should include vinegar as well. For this Ikan Goreng Asam, its tamarind. Tamarind juice and salt as the marination for fish, followed by fish being fried and of course, we need a dip right? Dip which must be spicy, salty and along a touch of sweetness? Potentially (Fried Fish with Soy Sauce, Ikan Masak Kicap & Crispy Chilli Fish). Ikan Goreng Asam? Sourness is definitely our Malaysian food appreciation.   

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Terong Balado Pedas Manis

Terong Balado Pedas Manis is? Fried Brinjal in Spicy Sweet Sambal/Sauce. Says it all right? I am back to my Indonesian cooking and back again to eggplant, aubergine or brinjal? Admittedly. My previous balado cooking lingo (Ikan Balado) and other Indonesian dishes (Sate Kambing, Indonesian Grilled Fish, Sambal Goreng Teri & Sambal Terasi)? Plus, we did speak to a certain extent about terong? The bright purple sparkled fruit or veggie or said as warna ungu in Indonesian language and even in our Malay language?  A popularity in fact. Terong being a take for any cuisine around the world for the matter (Thai Style Eggplant). We too quite fancy terong (Japanese Eggplant Saute). Perhaps why I have already rolled out a couple of dishes and whatever said, brinjal in sambal must be one of the food prides. I don't know about my other half-half, most probably for him will still be Indian style to brinjal (Bengali Begun Bhaja, Baingan Bharta, Eggplant Tikka & Brinjal Stir Fry) but me myself can't be separated from sambal (Sambal Belimbing Bilis & Kacang Buncis Belacan). Terong Balado Pedas Manis? The modern twist or a modified version and according to Malaysian ingredients for a satisfying and fabulously exquisite Terong Belado Pedas Manis.   

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kuih Kosui Gula Melaka

The other jiggly and wobbly kuih-muih. Remember the other? Kuih Sagu Kukus (Steamed Sago Cake)? That's right. Kuih Kosui Gula Melaka on the other hand? Like I have already told you, jiggly and wobbly, but made from flour. The rest of the ingredients? Gula Melaka, white sugar if you wish,  pandan leaves, coconut, salt and water. See, I told you? Our Malaysian ingredients for another type of our Malaysian sweet delicacy (Wajik Pulut, Kuih Buah Melaka, Bingka Pisang & Malaysian Sago Pudding)? What else is new. Nothing much I can think of, except, can we get cooking to Kuih Kosui Gula Melaka? We shall. 

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.

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.

Hanoi, Vietnam: Unveiling Urban Wonders and Timeless Culture

From Ha Long Bay to Hanoi, our journey unfolded with anticipation ( HCMH , Angkor Wat & Siem Reap ), culminating in our arrival in the...