Monday, November 8, 2021

South African Fish Curry

South Africa! Hah! Won my heart, captivated every bit of my mind and soul. South Africa (Pretoria South Africa). One of the pricey travelling grams of mine. Still, worthy every bit. No regrets whatsoever. Amongst all in South Africa, Cape Town became the winner (Cape Town). Cape Town and coming with it, hills, valleys, slopes, beaches, sea, you name it, all of these as Cape Town’s nature pride. What about South African food? For those of you who know me, you know me not only as a liberal traveler, also, as a liberal foodie right? Of course, wherever I am, no matter where I go, apart from eating at the streets is not a big deal for me. Well, when your tummy is a well-trained Malaysian tummy, have no fear to food liberalization. Worst come to worst, let me give you a clue. In case of food mishaps, swallow the charcoal tablets and all will be good to go, or no go to toilet.   

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.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Indonesian Potato Taucu/Kentang Tauchu Indonesia (Vegetarian)

Keeping your culinary journey vibrant and exciting is key to discovering new flavors that delight your taste buds. While comfort food holds a special place in our hearts, embracing the diversity of global cuisines can open up a world of gastronomic pleasure. For me, Indonesian cuisine (URAP KANGKUNG) stands out as a personal favorite, rich with bold flavors and aromatic spices that always leave me craving more.

 

Indonesian cuisine isn't just about meat dishes; it offers a plethora of vegetarian options that are equally satisfying. Take, for instance, Indonesian Potato Tauhu (Kentang Tauchu), a dish that exemplifies this culinary versatility. It's a creation born out of my perpetual quest to innovate in the kitchen, blending potatoes with chili tauhu (fermented soybean paste) to create a dish that's hearty and full of savory goodness.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Urap Kangkung (Water Spinach Salad) - Vegetarian


When you think of kangkung, also known as water spinach, Kangkung Belacan probably comes to mind. It's a beloved dish among Malaysians and a staple in Chinese restaurants. This tasty treat is also a hit in Indonesia, where it's called "Kangkung Tumis Belacan" or "Cah Kangkung Terasi." Terasi, the Indonesian version of belacan, is something I've learned from my Indonesian friends, and I'll share that recipe with you too.

In both Malaysia and Indonesia, kangkung is enjoyed as a raw salad, boiled and paired with sambal belacan. During my time in Indonesia, I discovered Urap Kangkung and brought the idea back to Malaysia, creating my own vegetarian version. This will be the highlight of today's recipe. But don't worry, I'll also share my tried-and-true Kangkung Belacan recipe. Let's kick things off with Urap Kangkung, the vegetarian version (VEGETARIAN BAYAM MASAK LEMAK).

Monday, February 15, 2021

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


Ah, Palak Paneer - a classic Indian dish that never fails to delight with its creamy spinach and tender paneer. While I appreciate the art of making homemade paneer, these days, I often opt for the convenience of store-bought paneer. It's readily available and saves me precious time in the kitchen, allowing me to enjoy this beloved dish more frequently.

Thanks to global trade, Indian stores around the world offer a variety of paneer options, including those imported from India to places like Malaysia (MUGHAI VEGETARIAN KORMA). This accessibility ensures that no matter where you are, you can still savor the authentic flavors of Palak Paneer with quality ingredients.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Chilli Cashew Stir Fried Veggies


Isn't it amazing how a Chinese-style stir-fried vegetable dish can be so divine? The vibrant colors alone uplift the senses, but did you know each hue signifies unique health benefits? From improved digestion to strengthened immunity and enhanced eye health, the colors of vegetables reflect their rich array of nutrients. Take, for instance, Chilli Cashew Stir-Fried Veggies - a dish that embodies holistic wellness. With its nutrient-packed ingredients, satisfying crunch, aromatic flavors, and a hint of heat, it delights the palate while nourishing the body (PONNANGANI KEERAI STIR FRY). Let's explore how this dish exemplifies the perfect blend of taste and nutrition.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

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


In a world that's increasingly focused on healthy living, eating nutritious meals is more important than ever. That's why I'm excited to share this recipe for Ponnanganni Keerai, also known as Alternanthera Sessilis, Sessile Joyweed, or Dwarf Copperleaf. This leafy green is a powerhouse of nutrients and a staple in Ayurvedic medicine.

 

If you're not familiar with Ponnanganni Keerai, you can see it in the attached video. This green is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent addition to your diet. It has a mild, earthy taste that doesn't require elaborate cooking methods (MUGHAI VEGETARIAN KORMA). In fact, the simpler, the better, to preserve its natural flavors.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Mughlai Style Vegetarian Korma

Ever crave a different twist on a familiar dish? I know I do! In my house, we can't keep cooking the same style of dishes all the time - it gets boring! So, this time, instead of my usual Korma or Kurma Curry, I decided to shake things up with a Muglai Style Vegetarian Korma.

 

Korma, or Kurma, is a beloved dish in the Indian community and has gained popularity far beyond the Indian subcontinent. It's also a favorite in Malaysia, even among the Malay community. Let me not even mention how much Indians love Kurma, whether it's chicken, mutton, or the vegetarian version. Typically, Kurma makes its appearance during festival seasons and wedding functions, rather than as a daily meal, though it does show up occasionally.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Vegetarian Bayam Masak Lemak (Spinach Coconut Stew)


Isn’t it fantastic when you have people like Ms. Nava who can convert even Malay dishes to a vegetarian version (VEGETARIAN ASAM PEDAS)? I can’t tell you exactly how many among the Malays are vegetarians, though within the Malay community, dried shrimp, dried anchovies, and eggs might be considered vegetarian and added into their cooking, such as in masak lemak. That said, they do enjoy a lot of raw salads with sambal belacan, which I love too. 

Among the Chinese, more people are becoming vegetarians, and among Indians, it's quite common. For religious occasions or specific days, many Indians choose to be vegetarian as a way to honor their gods. It’s like a trend - one person becomes vegetarian and influences another. There's also a belief that being vegetarian makes you more religious and that you'll go to heaven, unlike Ms. Nava, who humorously says she might head to hell. But? You can decide what to say after the "but" because I’m done talking.

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. 

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


Are you thinking, "An Indian lady cooking Chinese Herbal Pork Soup?" Yes, she does! I'm one of those Indians who loves pork, even though my husband doesn't. He doesn't mind me cooking it for myself. What's better than a Chinese soup packed with nourishment and goodness? Chinese Herbal Pork Soup sounds fabulous, don't you agree? Plus, it's super easy to cook. I usually use pre-packed herbs from the store, and wow, there are so many choices these days. Just pick your favorite, and let's cook up some soup! I also have a recipe for Chinese Pork Old Cucumber Soup, but let's start with this one - Chinese Herbal Pork Soup.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Vegetarian Asam Pedas (Asam Pedas Sayur)


Let's clear the air before we get cooking. People love to judge at first sight - some see me as a lady of leisure, a glamour queen, and the ultimate non-cook. After I got married, every time I walked into my in-laws' gatherings and mentioned cooking, I'd get sly smiles and those nasty, scrutinizing looks as if they were checking up on my culinary skills. Oh, the expressions on their faces - priceless! Apparently, my appearance didn't fit their cooking connoisseur checklist. How should a lady who cooks look? If only I resembled them, right? Weeeeeee!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Ikan Goreng Asam Jawa (Tamarind Fried Fish)


Ikan Goreng Asam, literally meaning Tamarind Fried Fish, showcases the delightful tanginess of tamarind juice. While Asam Fish can be prepared in various ways, such as in a tamarind sauce, steamed, or as a curry, this recipe focuses on a traditional Malay method of marinating and frying the fish. The tangy flavor of tamarind juice is a key ingredient, giving the dish its characteristic sourness.

 

For tamarind fried fish, the process is simple: soak the fish in tamarind juice with added salt and then fry it to perfection. The accompanying cecah (dip) is equally simple yet unique, featuring kaffir lime leaves for an aromatic twist. For those who prefer visual instructions, a YouTube video is provided.

A Taste of Burma: Masoor Dal and More Lentil Delights

Lentils and dal are essential staples in my kitchen, celebrated globally ( PERTH CULINARY EXPERIENCES ) for their versatility and nutritiona...