Saturday, May 31, 2014

Asian Food Festival - Indian Subcontinent (Round Up)

The month of May comes to an end and that also signals the closure of this month's AFF event which I have the honour to host.

Although most of us, especially Asians, love rich and spicy Indian dishes, we do not cook them frequently in our households. This month's event gives a lot of us the opportunities (or excuses) to stock up lots of Indian spices, equip ourselves with additional Indian kitchen tools and most importantly (at least for me) the chance to read up, experience and be exposed to this wonderful cuisine of the world.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Coffee Walnut Loaf

Using the natural yeast starter, wife decided to adapt bread recipes from 'Tartine Bread' by Chad Robertson given that this is THE book to go to for many baking enthusiasts.  Chad explains the steps clearly and his recipes are easy to follow. The book makes readers understand the principles of the basic ingredients and how they act in combination. After a while, readers can adjust the recipes to gain their own desired results.  

Wife loves coffee and walnut combination. After a successful attempt using Chad's basic bread recipe, she decided to adapt it to bake this coffee and walnut loaf using the same ingredients ratio. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Natural Yeast Starter - Apple

Wife has been on a baking spree lately baking different types of artisan bread almost every day. The spree started when she discovered this method of making no-knead bread using natural yeast starters.

Breads made using natural starters are richer in taste and flavour. Due to over 30 kinds of organic compounds being produced during the fermentation process, the dough is unique and complex in both the flavour and taste. They remain fresh and soft for a longer period of time too as the organic compounds prevent the starch from retrograding and retain moisture in the bread.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Homemade Char Siew V - The Final Recipe

The perfect char siew should be slightly charred, shiny and caramelised on the outside, tender and juicy inside. Once in the mouth, your taste-buds will explode with flavour - sweet and savoury and the right balance of fat layers simply melt in your mouth.

Having experimented with different ingredients and proportion for the marinade, different cooking methods and various cuts of pork, I believe I have come out with my favourite and final recipe for homemade char siew.

This will be my last post on homemade char siew.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pan Sear Scallop, Sautéed Asparagus with Sous Vide Egg

I love to cook scallops and my favourite cooking method is to have them seared. It is simple to cook, elegant on plates and amazingly delicious - sweet, tender, mild, and delectable.

This is a simple and beautiful scallop starter recipe for any occasions.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beef Masala

Indians (Hindus) do not consume much beef as the cow is considered a sacred animal. However beef is eaten by some people in the Northeast, West Bengal (in Muslim majorities) and Kerala. It is also available in North Eastern states where the culture and weather patterns are very distinct from the rest of India.

I had a very successful attempt cooking beef masala using the sous vide method previously. The beef was fork tender after 10 hours in the sous vide machine so cooking time with the masala paste and other ingredients was minimum.

If you do not have a sous vide setup at home, today's recipe will suit you well. Using spices that I have at home and taking reference from a few recipes online, I come out with my interpretation of this meat masala dish. It will take longer time to cook compared to the sous vide method (actually shorter if you consider the 10 hour sous vide time) but just as good. 

Full of flavour and guarantees meltingly tender beef,  this dish will make your taste buds stand to attention with the mixture of fragrant herbs and spices. Serve with rice and naan bread.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sous Vide Duck Breast with Black Berry Sauce

Yesterday was Mother's Day. How did you celebrate this special day?

No celebration is complete without great food, lovingly prepared. Just like previous years, I cooked a proper meal for my wife to thank her for giving me three wonderful gifts that have brought joy, pain, love, pride, and much more into my life.

As we were discussing what to cook for this year’s Mother’s Day dinner, Ashley suggested duck breast and I thought it was a good idea.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tandoori style Cinnamon Chargrilled Chicken (Amritsari Bhunna Murgh)

Most of us who love Indian cuisine adore the hugely popular Tandoori Chicken. Tandoori chicken gets its name from the bell-shaped tandoor clay oven which is also used to make naan, kebabs and many other Tandoori dishes.

Chicken meat is typically marinated in lemon juice, yoghurt and lots of spices and then grilled in the Tandoor. I do not have a Tandoor oven at home but that does not stop me from making Tandoori style grilled chicken at home. Most of the recipes have the chicken skin removed but I chose to have it on as I regard chicken skin as one of the tastiest parts of the bird. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi is a traditional South Asian non-alcoholic beverage and is one of the most popular beverages in Northern India. Mango Lassi is also a favourite at Indian restaurants. Whenever I visit an Indian restaurant, I will order this cold and soothing yogurt drink to go with the spicy Indian dishes.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Asian Food Festival - Indian Subcontinent

Photo source:

I am excited and honoured to host the Asian Food Fest (AFF) for the month of May. The theme for this month - Food and Cuisines from the Indian subcontinent which comprises the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

When Wendy from Table for 2..... or More approached me last year to host this event, I agreed immediately and picked the Indian subcontinent from the list as my choice of theme for the month I am hosting. As a food enthusiast, I have always love Indian dishes for they are typically prepared with a lot of flavour and spices that will have my taste buds sitting up and taking notice. However I must admit, in the past, I did not cook Indian recipes at home regularly partly because I have 3 young kids at home whose taste buds are still not used to the spices in Indian cuisines and also due to the fact that Indian recipes generally use a long list of ingredients and spices which might not be readily available in my neighbourhood market. 

I am sure this will change after this month. So let's get started...
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