Saturday, June 22, 2024

Masi Magam Thiruvizha/Festival, Pulau Pangkor


I am definitely not the most devout person. I certainly don’t look like one, alright? But I believe deeply in my religion, Hinduism. You won't find me in the temple, fervently praying and performing rituals, because my philosophy towards Hinduism is that being a good human is what being religious truly means. Are you a good human?

When I was invited to attend the Pulau Pangkor Masi Magam Thiruvizha, or festival, I thought, why not? It would be my first experience, and I was eager to see what it was all about. My friend took care of all the arrangements, including transport. On Sunday, we departed from Klang Sentral Bus Terminal and arrived in Lumut by late afternoon for the ferry ride to Pulau Pangkor.

Chloe Palak (Spinach & Chickpea Curry)

Chole Palak, or Chana Palak, is a popular dish from northern India, typically enjoyed with roti or naan. Interestingly, even though you can find it in Northern Indian restaurants in Malaysia, it’s not commonly cooked by Malaysian Indians. I’ve never seen it at potlucks, gatherings, weddings, or other events. Do you know why? I’m curious! If you have any idea, please drop a comment.

 

At first, I didn’t cook Chole Palak either, but after trying it once, it became a regular dish in our home, especially loved by my husband. If you haven't made chickpea and spinach curry yet, now's a great time to start. I always use canned chickpeas—they save a lot of cooking time and are very convenient. It’s funny how some people, those who believe they are health gurus, avoid canned foods, believing they’re unhealthy. They insist on simmering or pressure cooking raw chickpeas.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

South Indian Style Fish Curry


Fish curries are a delightful explosion of spices, tantalizing our taste buds with their vibrant flavors and tender fish pieces immersed in rich, savory sauces. Across the globe, fish curries come in countless varieties (MUTTON MEDLEY COLLECTION), each with its unique blend of spices and ingredients. Even within South India, there is a diverse array of fish curry recipes, each with its distinct characteristics.

As a Malaysian, cooking fish curry is not just about showcasing the fish. It also involves adding vegetables like okra (ladies' fingers), brinjals (eggplants), and white radish, transforming the dish into a wholesome one-pot meal that often eliminates the need for additional vegetable sides. The choice of fish typically depends on the local catch or personal preferences. As we explore different fish curry recipes, you'll discover a range of options beyond this South Indian Style Fish Curry. (CHENNAI & MYSURU) So, sit back, browse through the recipes, and choose the one that will bring the flavors of a fish curry into your home.

Norway's Natural Wonders


The next morning (OSLO), we set off for Vossestrand. The journey was long but filled with stops to immerse in the breathtaking scenery, stretch our legs, and enjoy lunch. Untouched nature lined both sides of the road, making the drive feel like a moving postcard.

Friday, June 14, 2024

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 all about convenience with food processors and blenders. But there's still one old-timer, Ms. Nava, pounding away now and then. While some women prefer showroom kitchens, she cooks in shorts, bringing Nyonya vegetarian recipes to life with flair! Unlike those reliant on helpers or fancy kitchen setups or cook for seeking validation and praising from others for occasions, Ms. Nava stays true to tradition, cooking for her family. She after using her Nyonya cooking knowledge, blends the old with the new, converting classic Nyonya dishes into delightful vegetarian versions, proving that culinary excellence knows no bounds.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mindful Eating: The Wise Path to Better Health

We've discussed how what we eat affects our health (THE FOOD TRUTH), even leading to obesity. But staying healthy isn't just about eating salads all day. Enter mindful eating - a method that's more than just chewing. It's about using our brainpower to think about what we eat and make practical and reasonable choices. But what exactly is mindful (MINDFULNESS: NAVIGATING THE MODERN WORLD) eating? Let's find out.

Mastering Meal Planning

Planning your meals is the foundation of mindful eating. It involves making decisions about what to eat ahead of time, rather than spontaneously. Whether you plan a day or a week in advance, having a meal plan helps you be aware of what, where, and when you eat. This practice also kickstarts your grocery planning, ensuring you have the right ingredients.

Oslo Norway: Discovering Heritage Through Sightseeing


Even though we rushed to catch our overnight cruise to Oslo, Norway (COPENHAGEN PART 2 & COPENHAGEN PART 1), we ended up arriving even earlier than expected. Was there anything special about cruising to Oslo? Not really. After a quick half-hour stroll around the ship, I felt like I had seen it all. If gambling is your thing, the casino is there for you, but cruising just isn't my cup of tea. Dinner on board, however, was a delight, with a wide variety of options for those who love to indulge. After dinner, I retreated to my cabin, took a refreshing shower, and gazed out at the dark, mysterious sea before calling it a night.

The next morning greeted us with another fantastic buffet breakfast as the ship sailed on. When we finally docked in Oslo, our adventure began with a visit to the historic Akerhus Fortress. Perched on a hill in the heart of Oslo, Akershus Fortress is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. This impressive stone structure, dating back to 1290, was originally built to protect the city. Once a formidable prison, it has since evolved into a venue for official events and functions.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Mutton Medley: Culinary Creations


Welcome back to my mutton recipes (SAVOURING MUTTON). If you’ve tried my dishes before, you’ve probably noticed my love for certain ingredients (INDIAN DESSERTS) that make them special (MUTTON MARVELS).

Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple in almost all my mutton recipes. They add heartiness and soak up the flavors, making every bite delightful. Soft and tender, they become little pockets of curried goodness. If you prefer your mutton dishes without potatoes, that’s okay. But if you enjoy the comfort they bring, you’re in for a treat.

 

Tip: You can pre-simmer or boil the potatoes before adding them to the dish for added convenience.

Copenhagen's Crown Jewels: Denmark's Frederiksborg and Kronborg Castle


After a hearty hotel breakfast (COPENHAGEN PART 1), we were eager to start exploring Copenhagen. Our first stop? Frederiksborg Castle (Danish: Frederiksborg Slot), an iconic landmark in Denmark. Perched gracefully on three islands amidst a serene lake and vibrant gardens, the sight was breathtaking. It's the largest Renaissance complex in the Nordic region, boasting both grandeur and charm.

As I wandered the expansive grounds, the garden pathways, majestic trees filtering sunlight, and colourful flowers swaying gently in the breeze captivated me. Despite the crisp air, there was a peaceful aura as I made my way towards the castle. Upon reaching its vantage point, the view was nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Tom Yam Temptation: A Taste of Thailand


Life without Tom Yam feels like a story missing its climax - a culinary journey left unfinished. Visualise the lively Thai flavors awakening your taste buds as you savor a hot spoonful of Tom Yam soup. My love for Tom Yam knows no bounds; during my adventures in Thailand (KRABI/PHUKET), I couldn't resist its tempting allure (BANGKOK). Though not every bowl was perfect; some packed a spicy punch that left me reaching for tissues. But those truly delicious ones - each sip brings the comforting and satisfying taste of authentic Thai flavors, warming both the mouth and the soul.

Let's Bring Tom Yam Home 
Now, I am going to share with all you foodies how we can make Tom Yam in our homes.

Fear No Yoga: Overcoming Doubts, Welcoming Wellness


While we can't provide an exact figure, it's evident that a significant number of individuals harbor a fear of yoga. Our inbox is inundated with inquiries echoing this sentiment, with many expressing genuine terror at the mere thought of setting foot on a yoga mat. This fear becomes a formidable barrier, hindering them from embracing yoga practice - a challenge we face head-on. We dedicate considerable time to reassure them, emphasizing that there's nothing to fear. Despite our earnest efforts, however, many remain hesitant (CORPORATE YOGA).

Here's a compelling insight into why people fear yoga, drawn directly from the inquiries we've handled.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Copenhagen, Denmark: Iconic Sights and Beyond


Heading on a nine-day journey through Denmark and Norway, I found myself among a few familiar faces and the rest strangers, all part of a meticulously planned tour. After months of saving and planning, I landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (FREMANTLE & LAKE LUGANO), gearing up for flights to Amsterdam and eventually Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup.

Touching down in Denmark, our first stop was Slotsholmen, nestled right in the heart of Copenhagen. We kicked off with lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant. Though I didn't catch the name amidst the excitement, the delicious dishes set the stage for our dining experience. As the lone Indian among twenty-nine Chinese travelers, I relished the flavors of the ten mouthwatering dishes, shared with ten people at each table.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

The Food Truth: Why People Are Unhealthy These Days


In today's fast-paced world, being unhealthy almost seems like the norm. It's not just a small fraction of the population anymore; it's becoming increasingly common, like a graph that just won't stop climbing. Out of every 10 people, a staggering 6 are grappling with some form of health issue (WEIGHT LOSS ROADBLOCKS). And this isn't confined to one place; it's a global phenomenon.

In the past, it was mainly the older generation who dealt with health troubles. But now, even young kids as young as 5 are facing health challenges. Even young adults in their 20s are not immune. You don't have to take my word for it; just look around when you're at medical centers (CHALLENGES IN HEALTHCARE WELLNESS) or government hospitals. The evidence is right there.

Exploring Krabi and Phuket: Thailand's Coastal Gems


Humans are funny creatures indeed. Despite the increasing number of women traveling solo for various reasons (BANGKOK SOLO TRIP) like business, work-related trips, or simply holidays, people still seem puzzled and ask the same old question - why am I traveling alone? When this question comes from Asians, I can understand their curiosity, as it might be uncommon to see an Indian woman of my age, in my late 50s, traveling solo. 

However, it's quite alarming when I receive the same inquiry from Westerners, especially considering the thousands of Western women venturing out alone. What could be behind this universal curiosity about solo female travelers? It's a question that leaves me intrigued. While pondering over this, let me share my solo adventure, a short and sassy trip to Krabi and Phuket, which are considered paradises for Westerners.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Fried Noodles Ecstasy: Recipes for Every Taste


Hey Home Chefs! Ready to whip up some amazing fried noodles? I've got you covered with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes. But before we dive into cooking, let's talk about some handy tips and different types of noodle dishes. That's what I'm here for – to share delicious recipes with you all.

And here's a little reminder about honesty. If you share these tasty dishes with others, why not mention they came from Ms. Nava? It's also all about sincerity and being genuine. Even if you use my recipes for your catering business, being honest will bring you peace of mind and help you avoid sleepless nights over small fibs. So, let's cook up something great together and keep it real!

Pulau Ketam: A Serene Escape into Island Living


After our tea break (PULAU KETAM PART 1), we were eager to discover more of Pulau Ketam. As we strolled, we noticed the police station and faintly saw the schools. In this village, people mainly get around by cycling, with occasional motorbikes on the narrow lanes, which serve as the main roads.

 

Our walk took us to the other side of the village, where we visited three temples. The first temple was slightly further from the jetty, and the second was officiated by the late Tan Sri Manickavasagam. While at the third temple, we chose to skip seeing the snake in the cage. We also couldn't overlook the captivating murals adorning the walls. Naturally, we couldn't resist snapping photos to immortalize our visit.

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...