Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Plant Based Breakfast Platters


Looks like I'm back in action! After a little break from this cozy corner of mine, I'm feeling refreshed and ready to sprinkle some culinary magic today. That's right - it's time to share some zen cooking tales with you all. Ta-da!

 

Alright, let's get real for a moment. While the URL (nava-k) remains the same (because who needs the hassle of buying a new one, am I right?), this space is now officially known as Nava’s Zen. Why the change, you ask? Well, it's all part of my new journey as I dive into starting my own business. Currently, it's undergoing some renovation and sprucing up, all while expanding my urban gardening efforts under the Nava’s Zen banner. But don't worry, my dear friends, I'm still here to spill the beans on all my culinary secrets.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Vegetarian/Plant Based Bak Kut Teh: Veggie Bliss Feast


Hey there, beautiful souls! I hope you're all doing splendidly. Me? Well, I just celebrated my 57th birthday a few days back. Can you believe it? How does it feel? Let me tell you, it feels absolutely fantastic. Unlike when I hit the big 5-0 seven years ago, feeling like the world was crashing down on me because, you know, half a century and all. Back then, I was filled with this unnecessary dread, all thanks to the voices around me whispering that life post-50 is just about serving your family. You know, the whole shebang about being the devoted wife and mother.

Those whispers? They came from everywhere - from my mum, my aunts, my in-laws, and even from random encounters. It seemed like everyone had the same script: an Indian woman's destiny is to be married off and become a selfless servant to her husband and kids. But you know what? Over the years, I've learned that I don't have to conform to those outdated notions. I'm breaking free and forging my own path.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Indonesian Vegetarian Red Chilli Brinjal/Terung Kampung Masak Cabe Merah (Vegetarian)

Ahhh! Direct translation of recipes? The names primarily. Quite a thing in instances like for this dish - Terung Kampung Masak Cabe Merah. A vegetarian version (Indonesian Potato Tauchu, Water Spinach Salad, Spicy Fermented Soy Beans & Spicy Sweet Brinjal) obviously as I have mentioned. The thing as well? Even though my formal education till my secondary level has been in our local language, Bahasa Malaysia, which by far, as far as I know, can be regarded as a cousin of Indonesian language? I still struggled in translation the name of this recipe. Furthermore, due to, this dish is my invention based on all my previous Indonesian recipes. Still, the best thing is not to give up. Therefore, I have named it as Indonesian Vegetarian Red Chilli Brinjal.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Indonesian Potato Tauhu/Kentang Tauchu Indonesia (Vegetarian)

Keep your food journey interesting. Keep your food love exciting. And keep your food happiness trilling, frilling and sexciting. Why not? After all, food is the primary reason why we work. For a decent meal on our table, for our hunger and for the ultimate satisfaction to our palates. Of course, we can prefer familiarity. I mean, we may be inclined to our comfort food. But if you are an adventurous foodie or food lover like me, we do have options to other cuisines from all around the globe. And food from the Asian continent personally for me, is my utmost food love . Take for example Indonesian food. Aha! Me! The food hero to Indonesian food and you know what? You can effortlessly convert Indonesian dishes to a vegetarian food trail (Urap Kangkung/Water Spinach Salad, Tempeh Orek/Spicy Fermented Soy Bean & Terong Balado/Spicy Sweet Brinjal). Like this Indonesian Potato Tauhu/Kentang Tauchu Indonesia. Where did the recipe spring from? The mind of this “The Crazy Lover”. Enough said, to the recipe now please.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Bok Lahong (Cambodian Green Papaya Salad)

Bok Lahong. Aka, Cambodian Green Papaya Salad. Indeed. Green papaya from my garden into this, various role play and interlinking, big bold tasting Cambodian Salad. A raw salad by the way. In other words, there is no cooking involved and for a fact, such a papaya salad is also a popularity in other Asian countries as well. Including in Malaysia. Known as Kerabu Betik and suffice to say, you can actually replace green papaya with mangoes (Malaysian Mango Salad) too (Cambodian Green Mango Salad). Ingredients for this kinda papaya salad from whichever part of Asia? Including for this version or variety from Cambodia ? As far as I know, pretty much the commonality. The common Asian ingredients for the burst of spiciness, sourness, sweetness and every now and then, saltiness as well. Now, you must be curious in finding out, how come I know the nooks and crannies in making Cambodian Green Papaya Salad? Aha! On my palates. Not once but a couple of times during my trip to Cambodia (Cambodian Sour Fish Soup) in year 2012. Having said that, I tweeted the recipe to suit and fit those ingredients available locally in Malaysia and those ingredients I couldn’t get a hold on to? Eliminated. Plus, even the cooking technic. Simplified. Which you can see and hear from my YouTube cooking video. Whereby I have spoken in great length on other related and of course, since I like to talk a lot, other correlated matters. All of it, as a package for my version of Bok Lahong. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Urap Kangkung (Water Spinach Salad) - Vegetarian

It’s always been my absolute, my moment to my pleasure to tweeting recipes. Recipes I pick up via my travelling meaningfulness. In other words, at each part of the world I am, I make sure I somehow or rather, either slyly or demurely ask for the recipes at the places I dine or pack food. Including at the streets. Or worst come to worst, I taste the food and figure out for myself what could possibly be the ingredients for those dishes. Of course, suffice to say, there are kind people in any part of the world who won’t mind sharing their recipes. Whereas, I believe it is a known fact that, there are also people who do or die, will safeguard, protect and defend their recipes like nobody’s business. Nevermind. Does not really matter. Because as a foodie adventurous person and someone who have been cooking various types of dishes from various continents for donkey years, furthermore, thanks to my hard earned money which has enabled me to travel to a number of countries as well, I am quite a hero in figuring out the ingredients for the dishes. My food love will without a doubt forever be Asian dishes, but that does not mean I shun away from Western dishes. Indonesian food (Tempe Orek Vegetarian & Terong Belado Masam Manis) particularly for me. Oh my-my and during my trip to Indonesia a couple of years ago (Surakarta & Yogyakarta), I managed to dive into Urap Kangkung, aka, Water Spinach Salad and here’s to the vegetarian version (Sayur Lodeh). Of course, recipe by yours truly, and recipe, ah, from the mind of Nava K.  

Monday, February 15, 2021

Nava K's Palak Paneer (Spinach Indian Cottage Cheese)

Hi Darlings, 
Recipe of the day? Nava K’s Palak Paneer. Palak? Spinach (Spinach Coconut Milk Stew, Spinach Potato & Spinach Chickpea). Paneer?  Indian cottage cheese, which for a fact, you can make at home and homemade paneer without a doubt, is the best. Still, there is such a thing as store bought paneer. Supposedly, homemade, home style paneer you can pick up at the Indian stores for the matter of “convenience for cooking”. Not to say I have not had my hands-on experience to making paneer in my kitchen, yet, these days, since I prefer least time to cooking, I usually settle for the store bought ones. The store ones too, by far, are a great choice. Furthermore, these days, considering that such ingredients have travelled and are still travelling around the globe due to global trading, you get ample choices to various types of paneer at the Indian stores. Including in Malaysia, those made, sealed, embossed and transported from India. For this, my version to palak paneer, yea, store bought, a couple of dollars paneer. To the recipe now darlings. Indian cottage cheese, spinach (Spinach Tofu & Spinach Dal), yogurt and spices for this delightful Nava K’s Palak Paneer.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Chilli Cashew Stir Fried Veggies

I'm still like a yo-yo. Up-down, down-up, back and forth, and to and fro. My colorful life as usual. The things I juggle, remember I told and in case you have not read, click on this link Nurish Organiq Face Essence please. Alright. So much only I want to speak about "MyFiftySixLife" today and without wasting anymore time, let's zoom into the recipe for the day now. Chilli Cashew Stir Fried Veggies. The Chinese cooking style (Chinese Style Eggplant, Stir Fried Oyster Mushroom, Jiu Hu Char, Bitter Gourd Omelette & Mapo Tofu) to a vegetarian Chinese vegetable dish and cashew nuts by far? As far as I know and as far as my cooking skills are a concern, Indians use cashew nuts as a thickening agent for curries or gravy dishes, whichever and whatever dish it may be. Whereas, for the Chinese, cashews are one of the ingredients for their stir fries. Okay. I'm done with the intro pitching for this recipe, because I got to get back to some the pending things I have to complete and one of those things I actually indulge in is, gardening. Not only gardening, but also, what I do with the supply of my gardening supply. Aha! pandan leaves/screwpine leaves for my interior. Watch this video of mine and you will know what I mean. Of course, recipe to Chilli Cashew Stir Fried Veggies will be laid out next. Take care lovings. We will catch up sooner or later. Bye!

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Ponnanganni Keerai Poriyal (Sessile Joyweed/Dwarf Copperleaf Stir-Fry)

Ponnanganni Keerai? Mmmm! Honest to goodness, if I am to translate this leafy green veggie to English, or to another understandable language? I will fail. Fail massively. On the other hand otherwise, after reading from the visual world, which I did of course prior to pitching this recipe, I will crown myself as a  hero. Aha! Ponnanganni Keerai! Known as Alternanthera Sessilis, also as, Sessile Joyweed and Dwarf Copperleaf. You know what? To make this matter easier, later on, if, if, if, if at all you watch me in the video, you will get a clearer, better and easier picture on which leafy veggie is Ponnanganni Keerai. Ponanganni Keerai! The absolute to packing aplenty nutrients. So as well other vegetable dishes I have shared before (Beans Turmeric, Spinach Potato, Murungai Keerai Poriyal, Vazha Koombu Thoran/Banana Blossom Fry, Bitter Gourd Chips & Spinach Tofu) and this veggie, particularly and specifically, oh-my, the valuable nutrients to our eyes. Furthermore, you don’t big bundles of ingredients for this simply, easy to go, easy style to cooking this delicious Ponnanganni Keerai Poriyal. Ah! Sincerely, faithfully and truly appetizing and just cooked rice will be the best soulmate for Ponnanganni Keerai Poriyal. Of course, you can mix and match with other dishes for a fact (Malaysian Sodhi, Tomato Rasam & Udupi Sambar). Please yourself. Whichever and however you want to devour or demure into Ponnanganni Keerai Poriyal. Anything else I want to say? Nothing really. Clock is ticking, time is most precious because I’ve a whole lot of things lined up to do. Signing off and you guys take care. Lots of love.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Mughlai Style Vegetarian Korma

And so? Every now and then, or every often, we yearn for a different cooking style of the same dish. Of course. The same goes in my house. I mean, it can’t be the same cooking style for the same dishes all the time? No. It can’t be. This time, instead of my regularity to a similar Korma, or Kurma Gravy, or Curry, I did a different kinda Korma. Korma or Kurma (Navratan Korma, Vegetable Kurma & Mutton Kurma), I reckon is a popularity amongst the Indian community and perhaps, throughout the sub-continents of India (Hyderabadi Biryani & Vegetable Kadhi), also, other parts of the world. After all, food likings, food delights and food cooking from various part of the world, has, without a doubt, travelled throughout the globe. Therefore, the food of one country is the availability in other countries, and also, cooked by people like me in Malaysia who like to keep their food life interesting, trilling and aha, sex-citing as well. Sex-citing! Aha! If you are a true and true foodie, you will know what I mean. The rest of you? Go figure and I bet you will agree.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Vegetarian Bayam Masak Lemak (Spinach Coconut Stew)

Hi all you amazing and wonderful people.  
How have you been? Hope all is well and extremely positively good. Me? What about me? I am doing good as well. Oh-well! It’s not all perfection, rosy and sunshiny all the time. But, I keep going positively. Even if things go wrong. Even if, every once a while or every now and then I feel the world has collapsed on my head. My life! Hah! A colourful life. Yea. I like to keep my life colourful.Always. The latest colors pop-yea-yea in my life? “Karthigai Deepam” Hindu religious festival. Also known as the “Festival Of Lights”, specifically the lights of Lord Shiva’s enlightenment and this festival, celebrated over a period of three days is about lighting the earthen lamps. For me, been like, in fact, I can’t even recall when was the last time I ushered this festival of lights. Most probably, I think, most probably, 30 over years ago. That too, during my growing up years in Brickfields when I was single and available. This year! Aha!. I just felt vibes. The vibes to lighting the earthen lamps. On the first day, 31 lights lighted up, second day, 51 lights and on the third day, wow, 101 earthen lamps lighted up in my garden. My garden. My pride and joy, and of course, I am the gardener. Gardening. My stress buster and one of those which is part of my colourful life.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Sabah (East Malaysia) - Nava K's Discovery (Part 3)

Day 5 in Sabah. Off for another two, facing the beach sight viewing (Sabah Part 2 & Sabah Part 1). How did it go? By this day. Hah! I somehow managed to put the Sabah jigsaw puzzle into perspective for getting a clearer picture of what is going on. Without a doubt. My smartness. Yea. Mine alright. My smartness concluded that, my so called advisers didn't do their homework about any damn thing in Sabah. Apart from wrong projections on land prices, they had almost nil knowledge about land transactions, nor any clue what soever about the business indicators in Sabah. Damnit! On the contrary, I must thank some of the good people I came in contact with. They actually making it a point in sharing their expertise unselfishly on the hidden, unspoken and nitty-gritty business insights in Sabah. Furthermore, aha, I had also done my fair share of homework before leaving home, particularly on native land purchasing and how complicated it can be. Anyway. Anyhow. As frustrated as I was. I felt like a hero for my learning curve and knowledge on how, to a certain extent, doing business in Sabah can be complicated. Done. Over. Full stop. By day 5, I knew. I must give up. Either temporary or permanently on my future vision and mission in Sabah.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Sabah (East Malaysia) - Nava K's Discovery (Part 2)

Day 3 in Sabah (Sabah Part 1). Hello Kota Kinabalu by 6.30am. Well! Oh well, well, well! Sleeping in a hotel room. Even if its the best room in the world? Even how tired I am. Never been like the best sleep, because, the best sleep for me, has to be my humble bed at home. Furthermore. Over the last  year or so, I've developed the habit to, like some, or all of you, who believe in, early to rise, early to shine is the key to starting your day promisingly. Also, the first thing for me when I wake up. Even before brushing my teeth. Of course. After a glass of warm water. The health is wealth trend. Next will be. Has to be. Must be. The aroma and taste of a cuppa of coffee for a fabulous, positive happy morning start up. Folllowed by, least to least, one full circle and cycle of "Surya Namaskar (Yoga Sun Salutation) gratiifying gratitude to the morning sun. Therefore, this day starting off on the same note. Water, coffee culture, and me the yoga practitioner respecting the sun. Then of course shower, and out of the hotel by 9.30am, for a basic, simple and no frill breakfast. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Burmese Masoor Dal. Burmese Dal Gravy.

Before I visited Myanmar, I was already aware of the deep-rooted history of Indians in the country. So, it was no surprise when I encountered Indians at a street bazaar in Yangon. Despite my colored hair and knee-length pants, some of them recognized me as Indian and tried to start a conversation in Tamil. I nodded and smiled but didn't engage much, being cautious since those three people were males and I was alone, with my two travel companions busy shopping elsewhere in the bazaar.

While exploring the bustling streets, I was drawn to the food stalls. Though my friends were hesitant because the street stalls were not in their best condition, I decided to try a Burmese samosa drenched in a delicious lentil curry. The flavors of that lentil curry lingered in my mind long after, inspiring me to create my own version. Here comes my version of Burmese Masoor Dal/Burmese Dal Curry.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Sabah (East Malaysia) - Nava K's Discovery (Part 1)

Finally! Me and Sabah? Yes. Indeed. Me in Sabah at the earliest date in the month of February. Finally!! Yes. Can you believe it? After Nava K being on or in this earth for the last 56 years. Before. Even before, or whilst Covid 19 was getting upbeat and ready for showing its true colors, and before this virus crushing, crumbling and tumbling on my travelling life and style. Now, what's with me tripping in, on, over, above, under and about Sabah? Aha! The big dreams of mine. The future goals of mine. Which mind you, ending up as a major massive, thundering disappointment. To tell you the truth, I was utterly shattered. I was utterly broken into pieces. Until, I felt like, each and every part of me, including my inner wings of emotional strength, were like, torn and tattered into pieces. Duh! Doomer to whatever I wanted to achieve in Sabah for my future. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Chinese Herbal Pork Soup

I love this, or the whole idea of making Chinese soups. Yes. I do. I do. I do. Mainly because? Chinese soups. They are such an easy Chinese style uncomplicated cooking. Furthermore. Chinese soups. On the whole. Nutritious, healthy, whether the vegetarian versions (Vegetarian Chinese Winter Melon Soup, Old Cucumber Soup, Chinese Tofu Soup & Burdock Root Soup) or non-vegetarian versions as well, and for me personally, Chinese soups, they are such a delightful appetizing food eating world. Basically, I simply adore Chinese soups. Love, love, love and all the loving loved loves in the food world for Chinese soups. Made before. Of course I have. I mean, it has to be when I am also an avid food fan of Chinese food overall. Including the various types of Chinese noodle soups too (Chinese Vegetarian Noodle Soup, Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup, Bee Hoon Soup & Sichuan Noodle Soup).

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...