Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cape Town - South Africa (Part 3)

Another itinerary already lined up and prior being informed (Cape Town 1 and Cape Town 2), more importantly, glad I was that weather, as we were told to get ready, didn't bite deep into my skin. In fact, such a waste to carrying my thick jackets, because by this third day, I felt as though I am in Malaysia. Not cold, neither sweat dripping hot, supposedly the blessings of Cape Town's weather god, our day began once we journeyed for approximately 50 minutes. Luckily, the big rock which flew by to hit one of the back windows of our coach while we were journeying didn't hurt any of us. It did however shatter the glass, we still arrived in one piece in Nederburg Wines. One of the older vineyards in Stellenbosch, my-my, what more could I have asked for. Walla! For someone like me who gets tipsy over wine, like once a fortnight, I was grinning from one end to the other end of my mouth. How aptly, none could have been better for starting off our tour except warmly welcomed to the section where we were briefed, as well as we sampled the different types of wine. Temptation ran wild, mind you. As much as my mind indirectly sounded me, no Nava K, you should hold back, my heart and wine palate nonetheless literally wouldn't let me go. What the hack, I told myself. I went ahead and tasted, albeit, honest to goodness, I couldn't differentiate which is which in regard to the wine varieties. Others I think put on a drama as if they knew, maybe some really knew, yet, I clearly noted there were pretenders too, while the lady was explaining and also wanted to hear it out from us. I of course didn't utter no word. Frankly speaking, lemme tell you that if a wine can get me tipsy, its a fab wine. The best!       

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cape Town - South Africa (Part 2)

Day One in CapeTown was just a gist kick start to what else is in store for us. By two day, it just affirmed that Cape Town is a stunning beauty. Sincerely. For those of you who have already made your mark in Cape Town, I speak no further, but to those of you who are gonna explore Cape Town in the future, I bet you will not at all regret. Believe me. I clearly know what I am talking about. Cape Town by far is a nature paradise. Incomparable to the rest of places I have been to so far. Maybe I shouldn't compare because each is still its own wonder pleasure travelling gram, porn or lust (The Golden Triangle Chiang Mai, Istanbul Turkey, Norway, Fremantle Perth & Phuket Thailand), yet I can't help telling you that Cape Town is class of it own and one which I personally witnessed by the second day. Fun fantastic nature mesmerizing start and till our sightseeing curtains were drawn at end of the day. We started off with the drive from high up and cutting through the mountain slope that unveiled nature bounciness and bountifulness. Eye catching and eye gripping ultimate spellbinding view from the coach for approximately half an hour, in addition to a stop for admiring the beach, shores, ocean, hills and mountains, stretching from Mouille Point to Muizenberg. Chilly and wind lusciously blowing, we almost went berserk. Indeed. Later along the way, we had another stop at Karbonkelberg, a small peak forming part of Table Mountain National Park, a prominent landmark overlooking Hout Bay Harbor and famous for its short treks amongst mountain bikers.  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu (Brinjal Curry)

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu! In layman's terms, Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu is a kind of brinjal curry. Simply as that and let's keep it that way instead of complicating our food cooking matter. And when I speak about brinjal or even aubergine on the whole, pretty much quite a regularity in my house. Brinjal can be considered as our favourite and any which way it is cooked (Thai Style EggplantJapanese Saute Eggplant, Eggplant Tikka & Brinjal Stir Fry), we love it. But seemingly, its like a habit of mine in adding brinjal into curries or gravies (Nadan Meen Curry, Goan Prawn Curry & Vegetable Kurma). Of course, the stir fried styles (Terong Balado, Bengali Begun Bhaja & Baingan Bharta) does come into our food picture as well. Today, obviously, brinjal in curry. A vegetarian curry. Overall, a spicy, tangy, attractive, vibrant and exciting to your palates curry. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cape Town - South Africa (Day 1)

Another love rekindling travel of ours, trust me, I didn't expect South Africa will be where I will be landing (Copenhagen & Bergen). Never, not at all in my slightest moment I would have imagined I will be stepping foot in South Africa. Oh-my! What a joy. A joy which kept playing on my mind for the last one year or so, ever since we started planning for here we are coming to get you South Africa (Rome & Verona/Milan). By the way, lemme tell you that exploring South Africa was not bestowed because we knocked on heaven's door. Knocking on heaven's door may have gotten to god's ears, but without us relentlessly working our butts out, South Africa most probably would have remained unshaken forever as our life long travelling mission. Basically, we saved as much as we could. Saving and not by fluke shot for this rather pricey South Africa 10 days 7 nights holiday. 

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).

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).  

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. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kuih Kosui Gula Melaka

Ingredients
1/2 cup gula Melaka/palm sugar
White sugar  - as needed (if you want to add. I didn't)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
A few pandan leaves - knotted 
Fresh grated coconut mixed with a pinch of salt.
Method
Simmer gula Melaka with pandan leaves and water for a thick syrup.
Remove from heat and cool it down slightly. 
Sift all purpose flour and rice flour over the gula Melaka syrup. 
Whisk and stir so that there's no lumps of flour.
Pour on a steaming tray or individual moulds.
Steam to cook.

Thereafter cut and roll over grated coconut.







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.

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)

Canned sardines - love 'em or hate 'em, right? Some folks hear "canned sardines" and start ranting about how unhealthy canned food is. They'll go on about all the horrors lurking in those little tins, even throwing in wild tales about worms. Funny thing is, it's often the folks who seem to have their own health struggles who shout the loudest. Go figure! Should we really take their word for it? I say, forget the naysayers! If you’re a true sardine fan like me, this sardine varuval recipe is just for you. Get ready to enjoy some tasty goodness - Yipppie-Yeh!

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. 

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). 

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...