Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kochi/Cochin - (Kerala Day 4 & 5)

From the distance of St Francis Church (Kochi/Cochin - Kerala Day 4), we crawled. I mean traffic crawling, not as in we literally knee or leg crawled prior to us arriving in Kumbalangi Chinese Fishing Village at about 6.00pm. Late. As per our scheduled itinerary, we were late. Then again, what other choice did we have? Nothing none. Except staying put in the van and watching Cochin daily hectic life passing by. Hecticness? Indeed yes. Traffic hustle and bustle, one of Cochin's underpinning reality unveiled right in front of us. Come to think of it, quite an experience actually. Otherwise, we wouldn't have known, neither have anyone who have already visited Cochin told us. People generally as you know, will share and speak about the best things a country has to offer instead of preparing you for the unexpected across the travelling loop? What goes on behind the scene in other parts of the world? Culture, social norms, life's madness, daily struggle and what not? Precisely (Trivandrum Part 2, Trivandrum/Kovalam & Kerala Alleppey Houseboat).  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kochi/Cochin - Day 1 (Kerala Day 4)

Mouthwatering, tummy filling, absolutely splendid Kerala cuisine in Travancore Court (Trivandrum Part 2). Whether I have been enjoying Kerala sightseeing so far besides the point, I definitely can't put a stop to blowing big hot air balloons on Kerala cooking (Allepey Houseboat & Trivandrum/Kovalam - Kerala Day 3). Food love Kerala deliciousness I must stress is most probably the other side to Kerala hailed as one of the best tourists spots in India. Of course. I am not at all doubting. By far, a close cousin to my another favourite Sri Lankan cuisine (Colombo Sri Lankaand unlike not so favourable Western array of dishes (Norway/Denmark & Italy). So, we ate. Up next? Obviously, finding out what's in store for us in Cochin. Another of the other in this southern tip of Indian Peninsula, overall known as “God’s Own Country”. "God's Own Country? Honestly, I really couldn't compute, neither did our forever smiling, humble but really shy-shy tour guide cum driver could explain. This forever grinning guy I also felt was intimidated by a woman like me who is bold, vocal, loud and outspoken. He just wouldn't make any eye contact neither nor he wanted to communicate with me. Full-stop! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine

Traditions don't die. Not even our Malaysian food tradition. Unless and until, you allow it. Not me though. I actually treasure our Malaysian food like how they used to be even as far as few generations behind (Ikan Buah Keluak). Of course obviously, Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine is not my Indian food tradition, but I am definitely a Malay food loving very much person. I just so love Malay food (Sayur Lodeh). Any whichever (Asam Pedas Ikan). My favourite. Especially budu, jering, petai (Sambal Goreng Udang Pete), sambal (Sambal Tumis Telur), specifically sambal belacan (Sambal Terasi) and tempoyak. Oh-My-My-Me! Kick ass me loving. Tempoyak. Each time I see tempoyak at the wet market, I must buy and on this particular day, at the supermarket, when I saw a bottle of tempoyak cili, god! I had to buy immediately. And tempoyak by far, can be eaten raw. As in as a dip for raw salad, the other of course, adding into masak lemak (Pucuk Ubi Masak Lemak & Masak Lemak Ikan Masin Nenas). How do cook Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine? Ingredients, step by step and all of it. Clearly listed below. Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine (Sardin Masak Lemak Cili Padi). Big balls of our Malaysian food fire.   

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trivandrum - Part 2 (Kerala Day 4)

The start of the day for us to journeying to Cochin, aka Kochi. Cochin and Kochi by the way is the same. Same. Basically. Basically, its up to you how you want to address or call this part of Kerala, I somehow, don't ask me why, prefer Cochin. Cochin indeed as I have already told you, is the jump start, but we will be doing Trivandrum sightseeing first. Those places we didn't cover on the first day, prior to stepping foot in Cochin. My last night sleeping, are you curious in finding out? I bet you are, especially solo women travellers like me? Albeit, remember, I told you? About the couple joining in my Kerala holidaying (Kerala Alleppey Houseboat & Trivandrum Part 1)? Which means, I didn't do Kerala on my own, yet, its me my sleeping alone. Honestly, not a peaceful sleep because as always, my fear of sleeping alone in a new county, in a new hotel is far out, the fear of hammer house of ghost horror. Those horror stories I am assuming you have already been told by sleeping alone solo travellers? Those horrifying stories, trust me, kept popping up on my mind. Back and forth throughout the night. As if automatically striking on my head constantly. What then? I tossed and turned the whole night despite leaving all the lights on. Leaving the lights on definitely I think will help in thwarting evil because basically darkness is our fear and darkness in return will put imaginative scariness on our mind? Wouldn't you agree?  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trivandrum/Kovalam - Kerala Day 3

Blissful overnight splendor experience. Honestly, I loved the whole lock, stock and barrel of Alleppey Houseboat. Except, mind you, no one for the matter I think will enjoy blood suckers mosquitoes and water rationing. Speak about water rationing? God, can you imagine not showering? Before night-night time and hopes were also dashed down again next morning when I realise substantial water is only enough for brushing teeth, washing your face and down there cleaning up as well. Yuks! Then again, anything else possibly? Nothing. Unless you wanna chance yourself into Allleppey backwaters itself? Tipping the houseboat guys, yes we did, not necessarily you must or should, do it only if you feel they truly extended their warmest Kerala hospitality, we moved on for journeying and Kovalam sightseeing. Four hours on the road if I am not mistaken, Kovalam is another must do. In fact, if you are tour travelling, Kovalam will be included because its marketed as “must-see-must-experience” destination for International tourists (Colombo Sri Lanka). Yet to be known to us whether Kovalam will be joy of Kerala, hopefully, we definitely kept our fingers crossed it will add another feather on our traveling cap as another Kerala gem. By the next two hours most to most whilst we travelling, we I think already concluded that Kovalam won't be let down once we passed by the serenity and nature given beauty of Kerala as a whole.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Karaikudi Kozhi Kuzhumbu/Chicken Curry

Kozhi. Chicken. Ayam. My other half-half's, one of his enemies. Enemy as in he does not eat chicken. Why, if you are asking me? As far as I know, like a Tamil movie sentimental and emotional roller coaster story. Back then those days, when he used to follow his mum to central market where he has been seeing how chicken were slaughtered, life chicken of course, from there on, the chicken (Sweet Chilli Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Indian Masala Chicken Curry & Butter Chicken) bulb lighted in him for he himself deciding that no more chicken in his life. What an Indian story right? Beats me. Pretty much says it all why I cook chicken (Cashew Masala Chicken, Chicken Devil Curry & Indian Chicken Curry) when he is away or I cook for my friends. Karaikudi Kozhi Kozhumbu/Chicken Curry. Utterly spectacular. Trust me. And when paired alongside Cabbage Kootu and Saffron Rice, oh my goodness. Mouthwatering right? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Oats Coated Fried Prawns

Every now and then, its nice to go back to yesteryears. The years you were so enthusiastic about cooking a splashing meal to impress your husband. Of course, during the beginning of your marriage steps or even maybe, 10 years down the road? Thereafter, you are only interested in cooking a basic meal. As long as home cooked, you know you are being the good wife. Regardless, the yesteryears does come into your marriage food picture. Not regularly, but like I have already told you, every now and then. Oats Coated Fried Prawns (Thai Prawn Red Curry, Goan Prawn Curry & Butter Prawns). Nothing new for me. Did it before, and today, somehow I thought let's bring back the prawn memory lane (Tamarind Prawn Curry, Sichuan Chilli Prawns & Prawn Sambal). Oats Coated Fried Prawns obviously is the fried stuff. The fried stuff which is really fab when eaten there and then (Chinese Prawn Fritters). As soon as out of the frying pan (Mee Goreng  Udang). Oats Coated Fried Prawns. Grab it while you can. Crunch!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kerala - Alleppey Houseboat Overnight Stay

Galloping time, time travelling forward, tunnel travelling digging again. I did obviously. Within a few months, in fact I think maybe 3 months most to most after returning from my honey bunny love travelling (Hokkaido/Sapporo). Prior to that, solo single travel venture (Sri Lanka) and past tense, another together forever lovey dovey sightseeing (South Africa). Wow! Money graciously of course. Saving is definitely the vital cap for travelling, I vouch, Kerala, my first ever India land landing here I coming for you. Supposedly solo me, all arrangements self made through the travel agent who actually took a while to digest the fact that this lady in her fifties is solo adventurous. However, due to the couple I made friends during one of my solo trips (Vietnam/Cambodia), followed by we small tour travelled again (Chiangmai/Chiangrai & Myanmar), it automatically became 3 in a tour Kerala embarking. Honestly, I didn’t mind because these are the only two people I get along as my tour buddies. Albeit, believe me, I didn't beg and roll on the floor for pessifying them in joining me. I was already solo gamed for, but since they were really keen, I told myself, why not? Nothing to loose anyway. Maybe all for the better?  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Chloe Palak (Spinach & Chickpea Curry)

Somehow! This thing to spinach (Spinach Tofu, Spinach Dal Curry & Tomato Spinach Soup) and chickpea (Chloe Masala) in one? Like married made in heaven? These days however, lemme tell you that not only married, in fact even cooking is made in social media. Nothing new right? Don't believe me? Take a look at social media and you will know what I mean. Having said that, spinach and chickpea do dance and jive together. Whether our married jive and dance over the years, we shall not dwell about it right now. Yet outrightly, spinach and chickpea, chloe and palak, after I made this curry (Tari Wale Aloo, Vegetable Kadhi & Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu), proven. A vegetarian version (Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu) obviously, and chloe palak will be much, extremely loved for rice, roti or as you sincerely wish.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sapporo/Hokkaido - Japan (Day 6) Winter Time

What a disappointment. Duh! Sightseeing crumbled crushed because of heaviest winter lashing. Can you imagine how I would have felt when told sightseeing infinitely has been cancelled? For me personally, travelling is about sightseeing and none other. Not shopping neither even food tucking. But I suppose I had to accept the fact that there's nothing much for us for the day except shopping (Otaru Sapporo). In fact, we were also told to be prepared for flight cancellation and another day, if we have to, staying back due to this one of the worst winter. Yet, I didn't stop keeping my fingers crossed. Hope still continued to flame for "Okurayama Viewing Point", the 1972 Winter Olympic Games sky jumping venue. In the end, hope came crashing down like the massive white snow falling. Confirmed its a no go as well for viewing the entire Sapporo city from atop mountain peak and Sapporo Shrine located in Maruyama Park. Bottom line, no sightseeing at all (Sapporo, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido & Chitose/Hokkaido). Bang! Frankly speaking, I felt as though a shape travelling arrow had pierced into my heart and a big explosion has erupted in my head despite being aware that we shouldn't make matters worst when weather is playing sparks. Being safe definitely must be adhered. tell me about weather ruining our hard earned travelling money? Never mind I then calmly told myself. Was there anything I could have done? Unfortunately and sadly, nothing.     

Friday, November 11, 2016

Vegan Thai Fried Rice

Vegan and vegetarian. Whatever. Both not applicable for me. Though vegetarianism is something for my other half-half once a week. Vegan on the whole is rather a confusing matter to me. Then again, to each their own and of course, sometimes due to health or allergy, I think some people don't have a choice whereas some others choose to be. Whatever again. Thai food on the whole for us? We just so love (Thai Red Prawn Curry). How do we make Vegan Thai Fried Rice (Thai Style Eggplant, Vegan Tom Yum Soup & Thai Vegetarian Tomato Soup)? Simple. Fried Rice? Tell me please? Anyone for the matter can be a fried rice top chef. I have listed the ingredients below, you get them ready and you just do the frying. Vegan Thai Fried Rice! Mouth popping wonder for, in fact all of us regardless whether we are vegans, vegetarians or not.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thai Red Prawn Curry

Let's get the colors of food vibrant and exciting. Let's get going from green to red. Thai food of course specifically I am referring to (Thai Green Crab Curry & Yellow Chicken Curry). The color of their food colours obviously (Lamb Massaman Curry & Thai Vegetable Curry). The start to making? We make the curry paste (Thai Fried Chicken) and while at it, or before it or after it, prawns (Penang Mee Udang, Shrimp Pho & Hong Kong Wonton Noodle Soup) need cleaning don't forget. Thereafter, we getting cooking. Thai Red Prawn Curry. A revelation and role play of the punchy, kicking and explosion of sumptuousness. Yum.   

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Otaru (Sapporo - Hokkaido) - Winter Time

Day 5. Our day in Otaru which is about 45 minutes drive from Sapporo. Waking up feeling really well rested, we, yes, we totally crashed on bed early the previous night due to tiredness already catching up on us (Noboribetsu, Hokkaido & Chitose/Hokkaido). I definitely woke up looking forward to exploring Otaru. Said as must be included in your Hokkaido tour, it will be trust me and like the rest of the tour groups, I knew we will be exploring the same tourist spots. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but slide into my deep thoughts. One one side, I was sort of glad I will returning home in another two days time, on the other, I dreaded the daily grind awaiting me the moment I am home bound. Quite a dwelling matter actually, given a choice, honestly, I would love to travel 365 days, yet, the reality is that unless money fall from the sky, I need to work and I need to save before travel venturing again. Tell me about it. The reality bullet to middle income people like us. Sure. Anyway, instead of wasting more time getting worked up emotionally, I got ready and came down to the dining area for breakfast. Walla! Satisfying favourable Japanese breakfast. Bacon, eggs, Japanese porridge, soups and a cuppa of piping hot coffee for body warming me before we embarked on our journey along the Pacific Ocean to arrive in Otaru.   

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sapporo - (Hokkaido - Day 4) Winter Time

So far so good. No complaints whatsoever. Hokkaido so far has been a favourable travelling gram for all of us. Well planned and executed as per our itinerary and all's well that ended well for the last 3 days (Chitose & Hokkaido, Hokkaido Japan & Noboribetsu). In fact, its been an absolute winter ball of a time sightseeing, except, believe me, as I have already told you earlier, winter in Hokkaido during this tripping of ours was really utterly crazy. One of the coldest we were told and we ourselves had also figured it out, oh-my, never have I experienced this kinda weather nor I want to in the near future. Then again, come to think of it, our Malaysian hot weather too is a killer. But because our Malaysian born and bred blood is quite accustomed to mostly sweating and perspiring, our coping mechanism is pretty much in place. Winter in Hokkaido on the other hand mind you, honestly, almost body ruined me. Anyway, was there anything I could have done? Nothing much actually. Weather definitely is beyond my control. Unless I lock myself in my room and say no to sightseeing? Logically, silliness right? Since we have paid for coming this far for supposedly, recommended by many as Hokkaido winter wonder? Inevitably. Starting off on the same note on day, all that getting ready by showering and what not, and tucking into the fab huge buffet breakfast spread for option between the Japanese and Western items I must tell you was a sincere food pleasure, prior to us departing to Sapporo. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sambal Tumis Telur

And the list goes on and on for egg dishes (Fried Egg Oyster Sauce). All sorts believe me. Eggs being the glistering ingredient in my house (Kiri Hodi/Egg Sodhi, Egg Vindaloo, Egg Curry MasalaEgg Rasam, Egg Potato Curry & Beansprout Omelette). Furthermore, what about sambal? Lemme just quote two. Otherwise, we will all go mad on which to opt for (Sambal Goreng Teri  & Sambal Belimbing Ikan Bilis). Today, its egg and sambal lovingly hugging each other in this Sambal Tumis Telur. Nevertheless, not the ordinary Egg Sambal. Different. Of course. When I myself am a class of my own, so must be my Sambal Tumis Telur. What is different? I added dried shrimps and I also added grown in my garden basil leaves for the beautiful aroma. Power! Attractive, vibrant, spicy, tangy Sambal Tumis Telur. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Noboribetsu - Hokkaido, Japan (Winter Time)

Pop-Yeehah-Yeehah! Here we are coming to winter lust over you Noboribetsu. Indeed. A day in Noboribetsu is indeed the day today. Up from bed, shower time, winter clothing covered from top to toe and breakfast (Hokkaido Japan & Chitose & Hokkaido), off we left for our said destination. Taking a comfort break in between our one hour plus journey, of course much needed mainly for easing ourselves. Winter and often loo calling seemingly is something I can't put two and two together. Then again, even during normal weather, water drinking while travelling is a required unspoken rule for keeping hydrated and mind you, oh-boy, Chinese people can really drink up. Notably amongst our tour buddies, we the only two Indian skin also realise that water drinking is quintessential particularly during winter for preventing skin drying out and flaking. 

Vegetarian Nyonya Recipes: Contrasting Flavors

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