Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ayam Nasi Briyani

I'm now in bed, suppose to be resting but got woken up by a phone call. Since I'm awake, might as well make use of the time. Post a entry and go back to sleep.
This is the Ayam Nasi Briyani I tried from the newly added cookbook "The Best of Singapore Cooking". It's the 2nd recipes I tried and I loved it!

This is the picture taken from the book. It looks yummy isn't it? Comparing the appearance of the Chicken dish, it's quite different. Guess that's most probably I didn't really follow the recipe very closely.

For this entry, I'm going to post the recipe on. I love going to food blogs not only to look at photos, finding out where the good foods are. I also love to hunting down recipes and try it out myself. So why not start posting recipes on my own blog too. Right? If I need to cook when I don't have my cookbooks with me, I can just refer from my own blog. How easy is that???

1 thumb-sized piece ginger
3 cloves garlic
4 green chillies 
(left them out during marketing)

1 handful mint leaves
(skipped, because he doesn't like it)
2 stalks coriander with roots,rinsed
(skipped because he think this is poisonous)
2 tomatoes,cut in eighths
2 tablespoons tomato puree
(instead of opening up a big can of puree and used only 2 tablespoons, I put in more fresh tomatoes)

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon msg (skipped, I never cook with msg)

1.6kg chicken quartered
(I used 6 chicken drumsticks)
225g Ghee or 112g butter with 112ml oil
(I used butter and definitely didn't use that much!)
1 teaspoon dry chilli powder mixed to a paste with water
1 level teaspoon garam masala
170ml evaporated milk mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 112ml water
285g shallots, thinly sliced

Marinate chicken pieces with 1 level tablespoon salt for 1 hour.
Heat a large saucepan with half of the ghee. Fry shallots till golden brown. Set aside.
Fry (A) till fragrant. Add chilli paste and garam masala, then add in (B), seasoning and 1/2 milk mixture. Stir-fry till oil bubbles through.
Put in chicken pieces, fried shallots, remaining milk and oil. Cook over high heat for 10 mins,
Reduce heat to low and cook gently till chicken is tender. Drain chicken, keeping oil to cook the briani rice.

1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
4 shallots, thinly sliced

5cm cinnamon bark
8 cardamoms,lightly bashed
6 cloves

600g Basmatic rice, washed and drained
(I didn't measure my rice, I cooked closed to 2 cups. Enough for dinner + CL next day lunch)
55g ghee
(I used butter instead)

1 chicken cube
1.5 teaspoons salt
1.1 litres boiling water

Mix 1 teaspoon yellow food colouring with 0.25 teaspoon Rose essence (skipped, because I didn't have any in my pantry) 
and 4 tablespoons water

Heat wok with ghee to fry (C) til lightly browned, add (D) and stir-fry for 0.5min. Add in the remaining oil and rice. Stir in pan till oil is absorbed into rice.

Pour n the boiling water and seasoning. Cook rice in electric rice-cooker till dry and fluffy. Do not stir while cooking.

Remove lid and sprinkle yellow colouring mixture over rice. Continue to cook for another 10mins. Remove from heat. Loosen rice,mixing colours evenly.

The rice was really fragrant. The whole house was filled with the fragrant smell while the rice was the the rice cooker. As for the Ayam, the gravy was a bit too watery. Maybe if I use tomato puree, it will have thicken it. But I like the taste, not too spicy, can still taste the sweetness of the tomatoes. As it used evaporated milk instead of coconut milk, it very different from Curry Chicken, not heavy. Overall, I feel it's a more healthy alternative.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Went Crazy at Kinokuniya, Singapore

Flipping back thru the past entries, I realised I have being blogging lesser and lesser. That's not because I ran out of restaurants I tried and love, or I ran out of recipes which I tried. It's because I ran out of time! I have being busy with work, trying to juggle 2-3 people workload by myself, running around like a mad dog trying to cater and please all the different project in-charge. It's not easy especially at the end of the day, it seem like workload is piling faster than clearing.

I didn't even manage to blog 1 entry in the month of February!!! *faint* I made some pineapple tarts just before CNY and also flew back to Sing the day before CNY eve to attend to some family matter. It wasn't fun having to hunt air ticket the eve before departure, dumping personal belonging into suitcase + trying not to miss out anything and also dumping all my messy work hoping someone will help me pick it up when I'm away.

The last trip back was more than 2.5 years ago. Because it was such last minute decision trip, I didn't really informed anyone except my family members and my best friend. For 2 weeks, I spend a lot of time with my parents, sister, nephew and my newly addition niece. It was great! I really bonded very well with my nephew on the 2nd week. I also managed to meet up some friends who being keeping in touch with me. I know there are some friends which I missed out but time wasn't on my side. Learned about the current lifestyle of Singaporean, what are the difficulties my fellow mates are currently suffering etc. It definitely triggered the citizenship question which has being in my mind again. This trip has actually help me to make a decision. Now it's only action.

Just before I left for Sing, I came to learn about a set of food manga which I read it from here.  I  know I won't have much luck since the only Kinokuniya Australia is in Sydney and never seen Borders carrying manga. Plus even if they do, it might cost a fair bit. So when I was shopping at Orchard, I went to Kinokuniya to try my luck as I only remember the cover and don't exactly remember the exact title at all! I was lucky!!! I spotting 1 of them once I'm at the manga section and got help to find the rest.

I only picked 1 out of 7 to have a go and see whether do I like them that much that I will carry them all the way back to home. I really did!!! Even my sis was reading it.

 Whole set of Oishinbo. I just finished the last book : Joy of Rice last night. I learned a lot about Japanese food thru the 7 books and wondering is there a full version (100 books) in Mandarin coz I don't understand Japanese.

 In every beginning of a book, there is a recipe related to the book theme with step by step instruction. Definitely something in my list : Things to Try.

On my 2nd trip to Kinokuniya, I went crazy buying books! If it's not because of the baggage limitation, I will have got more!!! Already both 2 story books at Melb airport before I departed.

I also got a Singapore/Nonya style cookbook titled The Best of Singapore Cooking by the Late Mrs Leong. I did tried finding Singapore/Malaysia style cookbook at Borders but it doesn't carry a huge variety. This cookbook cover from Nonya food to hawker food to Kueh to dessert. So far I had tried two recipes and both turned out really nice (I will blog about it on my next entry).

 The next book I got was introduced by a lady which I met at Kinokuniya while I was comparing two different cover of Julie and Julia (just checking they are in fact the exact same content). I love the movie and had watch it twice, 2nd on the flight to Sing. The lady told me My Life in France by Julia Child with her nephew is a much better book to read instead and she highly recommended it!

 Costing only S$13, how can I not drop in into my shopping bag??? Definitely I can fit in into my carry-on baggage.

Pineapple Tarts

Liz's home made Pineapple Tarts

I managed to baked some Pineapple Tarts to satisfy my craving. Didn't really spend much time hunting down a recipe to try. There are tonnes on internet as everyone baking them. It didn't take me long to make. From memory, I spend about 4 hours starting from measuring the ingredients to last tray of pineapple tarts out from the oven. I ended with 130 pineapple tarts....not too bad right???