Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Johannesburg (South Africa) - The Best Out Of The Rest

From Cape Town to Johannesburg (Cape Town Part 3Cape Town Part 2 & Cape Town Part 1). South Africa’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, also commonly known as Jo'burg or Jozi, our two hours flight obviously landed us at the airport. Subsequently, while journeying for another approximately 45 minutes to North West, Lanseria, I made sure I peeped out from the coach for glimpsing at this economic hub of South Africa and capital of Gauteng. At the same time, I gasped the fact that Johannesburg is not a safe haven for wondering around on our own due to its crime rate primarily, as narrated by our born and bred South African tour guide. Nothing really bad so far I have encountered for the past three days, but I must mention that I had a hard time with the immigration officer at the airport who insisted I greet him and I couldn't help but wonder why he was picking on me by asking a string of unwanted questions. I went like, what's going on. Baffled me. Why, why on earth? Trust me, I was so close to giving him a piece of mind when he rudely throw my passport back. Nonsense! A chip on his shoulder I suppose. The other person I must mention is our bus driver who wouldn’t stop complaining how unfair life is in South Africa. Nonstop he went on, each and every time I bumped into him. As if, we don’t have our worst share of unfavorable policies towards different races in Malaysia? Looks like people all over the world do come in different packages, you meet the good and the ugly as well. In fact, I was already forewarned by my social media South African friends what to expect in South Africa. Crime rate, people sulking and unwelcoming behaviour, which by far played on my mind prior to us stepping foot in Lion Park.

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.  

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.







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!

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).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fried Fish with Soy Sauce

How easy sometimes it can be. Not always though and unless and until you decide you want easiness. Easiness by far can take place in your and my kitchen as well (Mapo Tofu & Fried Prawn Wanton)? Of course. Without a doubt when we don't feel like rolling aplenty pots and pans and we actually yearn for simplicity. Take this Fried Fish with Soy Sauce (Ikan Masak Kicap) as an example. I actually got the fish monger to clean the fish  (Yong Tau Foo) and when I returned home, I gave fish a good rinse in lime water, prior to moving on to cooking (Fish Ball Noodle Soup). Cooking basically meaning dusting fish with corn flour, rice flour and seasoned by pepper and salt, thereafter deep fried and removed from wok. Up next? Frying ginger till crispy (Thai Crispy Fish & Chilli Lime Fish) and kept aside, before making the easy sauce and this sauce, as well as fried ginger going over fried dish and spring onion garnished. Over, over. Our Fried Fish with Soy Sauce is ready (Nyonya Acar Fish & Teochew Steamed Fish).

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mapo Tofu

Mapo Tofu! As far as I know, Mapo Tofu is Sichuan coming and calling dish. Most probably. Me and Sichuan dishes (Sichuan Chilli Prawns & Sichuan Noodle Soup)? In fact, Chinese food on the whole for the matter (Fried Prawn Wanton) and do I have speak about tofu? A favourite in my house. Always and forever. Any which way will do for tofu which comes in different made these days (Tofu Manchurian, Tofu Green Beans Stir Fry & Tofu Scambled Eggs). For Mapo Tofu, I actually opted for Japanese Tofu instead of the white ones. Why, are you asking me? No particular reason. I just thought I want to show you that you can make Mapo Tofu from Japanese egg tofu (Tofu Katsu) and this my version is a totality on it own. Basically different and outstanding due to me wanting to use my at home ingredients instead of? Why buy ingredients when you can make do with what you already have stocked up? Potentially. Mapo Tofu? Tad bit of spiciness, tad bit of saltiness, spring onion garnished and soft tofu (Chinese Tofu Soup, Spinach Tofu Stir Fry & Indian Tofu Curry).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fried Prawn Wanton

Fried Prawn Wanton. My-My! Such a fab kinda crunch and munch right? I know. Fried stuffs especially on the whole? You tell me. In fact, when these wanton skin parcel filled with prawns came out from my wok, a few actually went missing immediately. Not anywhere far, but our tummy tucking actually. By themselves, or when dipped into chilli sauce prior to having a ball of a time and as many as we want till all the fried prawn wanton are over and done, perhaps within a short while, what a delight. How do we make these prawn wantons? I think I have already alerted you. In fact in my previous recipes as well (Hong Kong Wonton Noodle Soup & Chicken Wanton Soup) and this latest variety is sort of the cousin of the previous Fried Shrimp Wanton. Only that, the tedious thing for me when prawns are a concern (Mee Goreng Udang, Hokkien Hae MeeMongolian Prawns, Goan Prawn Curry, Butter Prawns & Prawn Coconut Milk)? The peeling and cleaning, especially the time taken pulling out the veins. Otherwise, all is fine with prawns though I must say we are not the biggest fans of prawns (Sichuan Prawns & Chinese Prawn Fritters). Of course, there is always the once a while and these Fried Prawn Wanton, trust me, are super yummy, super crunchy and super beautifully plated up. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Nescafe Chocolate Cake (Eggless)

Buying ingredients is one thing, the other of course is making sure we use or finish them up. Potentially we should right? Otherwise, don't you think its such a waste to our money? I know. I in fact have been trying to finish up the box of quality cocoa powder I bought and seemingly there is no end (Eggless Molten Lave Cake, Chocolate Genoise & Cocoa Butter Cake). Greedy me actually. Instead of buying a small box, me the hero bought a big box. Henceforth, I am like racing in finishing it up and thank god, I decided to let go of the brakes towards this Nescafe Chocolate Cake (Milo Cake Eggless). But instead of getting excited again by buying coffee, I told myself. What the hack. I will make do with Nescafe which is by our favorite coffee brand. Not at all a regret. Nothing in fact was regrettable. Obviously, Nescafe instead of coffee, plus cocoa powder (Chocolate Cheesecake, Marble Cake & Chocolate Rum Tart) and the rest of the ingredients listed below for this eggless cake (Eggless Mandarin Orange Cake). Nescafe Chocolate Cake? Like a dark knight splendid attractiveness. Coffee and cocoa in one, super moist (Easy Banana Bread, Traditional Butter Cake & Sujee Cake) and vanilla scented winning eggless cake. 

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 aroma...