Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chicken Rice with Pineapple (Nasi Kebuli Ayam)

Chicken Rice with Pineapple Nasi Kebuli Ayam

500g boneless chicken, diced into 1cm cubes
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt

2 cups long-grain rice, washed and drained
1/2 small pineapple, peeled and sliced and cut into small pieces
fried shallot to serve
2 tbsp butter or oil

13 French shallots, peeled and finely chopped
7 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2.5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1/2 tsp cumin
a little nutmeg, freshly grated
8cm cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods, bruised
2 cloves
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised

Heat butter or oil in a wok or heavy saucepan. Add all seasoning ingredients and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and continue sauteing for 3 minutes over high heat. Add chicken stock and salt and simmer until chicken is tender. Strain stock and put chicken pieces aside.

Place rice in a rice cooker or heavy stock pot, add 2.5 cups of the reserved chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover pan and simmer until rice is almost cooked and liquid is absorbed. Add diced chicken and cook over low heat until rice is thoroughly cooked.

Serve on a platter garnished with fried shallots and pineapple.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

“Bad” Foods You Should Eat on a Diet


It turns out that many of the “fattening” foods you avoid while trying to slim down actually have unique fat releasing properties that—in moderation, of course—can help you lose weight more quickly. These are foods we all love to eat, and now there’s no reason to avoid them!

1. Red Wine

Many studies show that a small glass of wine a day is good for your heart, and cutting-edge research suggests that resveratrol, a potent anti-aging chemical found in red wine, is a fat releaser too.

In one study of more than 19,000 women of normal weight, light to moderate drinkers had less weight gain and less risk of becoming overweight than those who drank no alcohol. An animal study found that resveratrol improved exercise endurance and protected against obesity and insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

2. Chocolate

You welcome any new excuse to add more chocolate to your life. You probably know that cocoa is packed with antioxidants, but recent research reveals that they may also help you release fat. A 2011 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that obese, diabetic mice that consumed a diet high in epicatechins, the antioxidants found in cocoa lived longer. The cocoa reduced degeneration of the arteries in their heart and it blunted fat deposition.

3. Cheese

Raise your hand if dairy is one of the first things to go when you start a diet. How can you lose weight and eat pizza?! The fantastic news here is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. One University of Tennessee study showed that eating three servings of dairy a day significantly reduced body fat in obese subjects. And dairy is one of the best sources of calcium, another fat releaser. Research shows that people who don’t consume enough of this bone builder have greater fat mass and less control of their appetite.

4. Coconut Oil

Saturated fats are usually considered no-nos for dieters, but you shouldn’t shun this sweet, rich oil. It was shown to do some nifty things for abdominally obese women in a 2009 study out of Brazil, including decreasing waist circumference and improving the ratio of their good “HDL” cholesterol to bad “LDL.” In populations where coconut oil is commonly eaten, high cholesterol levels and heart disease are uncommon.

5. Nuts

The power of MUFAs—monounsaturated fatty acids—to help reduce belly fat since 2006. They’re found in certain nuts and seeds (as well as olives, avocados, and dark chocolate). But after diving into the most current research, I also discovered the power of PUFAs—polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in fish as well as in many nuts and seeds—to boost metabolism and calorie burn.

Basically, when it comes to a healthy, filling snack, you can’t go wrong with nuts—they’re packed with fat releasing unsaturated fats, filling fiber (another fat releaser), and a host of other healthy nutrients. Although the benefits of nuts are becoming increasingly well known, but people still avoid them because of their fattening reputation. Study shows that far better off munching on nuts than pretzels or any fat-free packaged, processed food.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chicken Marinated with Coconut Milk and Spices Aceh Style (Kari Ayam Aceh)

Chicken Marinated with Coconut Milk and Spices Aceh Style Kari Ayam Aceh

1 whole chicken
coconut milk (from 2 coconuts)
2 stalks lemon grass (bruised)

Blend (add 125ml coconut milk):
4 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
7 red chilies (seeded)
3cm ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp lime juice
salt to taste

Split open the chicken from the breast and flatten it out like a butterfly. Discard loose skin and fat, or you can also cut it into 4 pieces. Broil the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Marinate the chicken in the blended paste for 15 minutes.

Put the chicken in a large wok. Cook over moderate heat for 10 minutes uncovered. Add the remaining coconut milk and lemon grass. Bring to boil and cook for another 30 minutes, basting occasionally, till the chicken is tender and almost all the liquid has evaporated. Serve warm.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spicy Fried Eggplant (Terong Goreng Pedas)

 Spicy Fried Eggplant Terong Goreng Pedas

2 eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1/2 cup peanut oil
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 small chilies, deseeded and finely chopped (reduce to less spicy)
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup water
1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
2 green shallots, sliced

Brush eggplant slices with oil, reserving 1 tbsp of oil. Heat a large non-stick frying pan. Add eggplants and cook 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Remove and set aside. Heat remaining oil.

Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Add garlic, chilies, coriander, tamarind, water and sugar. Return eggplant to pan and cook until sauce reduces. Garnish with green shallots. Serve with steamed rice.

Sunday, March 18, 2012



The winner: Almond butter Almond butter has more calcium and magnesium, a mineral that's often lacking in runners' diets and is important for muscle contraction. While the two nut butters contain about the same amount of fat, the almond variety has 60 percent more monounsaturated fat.

"When consumed in place of saturated fat," says Dulan, "monounsaturated fat lowers harmful LDL levels to help decrease heart disease and stroke risk." Almond butter also has three times more vitamin E, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer risk.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cucumber Sambal (Sambal Selamat)

Cucumber Sambal Sambal Selamat

1/2 cucumber, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 shallots, finely sliced
100ml rice or white wine vinegar

Place the garlic, fennel seeds, sugar and salt in a pestle and mortar and pound finely. Alternatively, grind the ingredients thoroughly in a food processor.

Stir in the shallots or onion, vinegar and cucumber and allow to stand for at least 3 hours to allow the flavors to combine.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Deep Fried Sweet Potato Balls (Onde Onde)

Deep Fried Sweet Potato Balls Onde Onde

Bottom layer :

600g sweet potato, steamed and mashed
50g plain flour, sifted
50g glutinous flour, sifted
1/2 grated coconut (white part only), steamed for 15 minutes
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp castor sugar
6 tbsp sesame seeds, for coating
5 cups oil for deep-frying

Filling, mixed :
1 pc brown sugar chopped
2 tbsp sugar

For the skin, mix all the ingredients (except the sesame seeds, oil and sugar for the filling) to get a pliable dough. Add a little water if it is too dry or add a little more flour if it is too soft.

Divide into 30 portions. Form each portion of dough into balls, make a small hole and put in some filling. Seal and form into ball again.

Dip in water and coat with sesame seeds.

Heat oil and deep-fry the balls on medium heat till golden brown. Dish up and drain, and serve as a snack or dessert.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Steamed Glutinous Rice and Egg Custard (Ketan Srikaya)

Steamed Glutinous Rice and Egg Custard Ketan Srikaya

Bottom layer :
300g glutinous rice, washed and soaked for 4 hours, drained
180ml santan (coconut milk) from 1/2 coconut
2 pandan leaves, knotted

Top layer :
4 eggs, beaten with 150g castor sugar until sugar dissolves
1 tbsp cornflour
250ml thick santan from 1 coconut
4 pandan leaves (screwpine leaves), pounded to extract juice
1/4 tsp salt

Put glutinous rice, santan (coconut milk) and pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) into a steaming tray. Steam over high heat for about 30 minutes till the rice is soft. Remove from heat and press with a piece of banana leaf till firm and level.

Mix all the ingredients for the top layer to get a nice green color. Strain mixture over the glutinous rice layer. Steam over low heat till custard is cooked and firm (insert a fork to check whether custard is cooked). Leave to cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken Stew with Aromatic Coconut Gravy (Opor Ayam Solo)

Chicken Stew with Aromatic Coconut Gravy Opor Ayam Solo

1 whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces)
1 liter coconut milk
3 bay leaves
100g galangal (bruised)
salt and pepper to taste

Spice mixture, blend:
6 shallots
3 cloves garlic
100g candlenuts,
10g coriander
5g fennel

Boil chicken with 500ml. of coconut milk and bay leaves for 20 minutes. Add galangal. Stir occasionally till the oil floats. When chicken is about done, add remaining coconut milk together with the spice mixture.

Stir till boiling. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Food etiquette rules over the world: Thailand

Food etiquette rules

Knowing what the etiquette rules are won't just save you from some awkward situations, it can also help you make friends. Here are few rules to keep in mind.

In Thailand, don't put food in your mouth with a fork.

Instead, when eating a dish with cooked rice, use your fork only to push food onto your spoon. A few exceptions: Some northern and northeastern Thai dishes are typically eaten with the hands—you'll know you've encountered such a dish if the rice used is glutinous or "sticky."

Also, stand-alone items that are not part of a rice-based meal may be eaten with a fork. But, says food Etiquette expert, the worst thing to do at a traditional, rice-based meal would be to use chopsticks, that is awkward and inconvenient at best and tacky at worst.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dried Shrimp Sambal (Sambal Ebi)

Dried Shrimp Sambal Sambal Ebi

3 table spoon ebi (dry small shrimp)
3 fresh chili, thinly sliced (reduce to less spicy)
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbs fried peanuts, crushed
1 cup of hot water
1 tbs fragrant citrus juice
1/2 tea spoon salt
sugar to taste

Soak ebi with hot water for 5 minute, drain Add the rest of the ingredients together with the ebi: fried peanuts, chili, salt, tomato. Add water, citrus fruit juice, sugar and salt. Serve.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Javanese Style Beef Steak (Bistik Jawa)

Javanese Style Beef Steak Bistik Jawa

400 g beef steak meat (sliced, according to your taste)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp nutmeg powder
salt to taste

2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks (or other vegetables you like)
1 small canned of corn
5 potatoes, cut into french fries style
Boiled egg, peeled and cut in half

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tbs tomato sauce
3 tbs sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
1 tbs of pepper
1/2 cup of water

Season the steak with salt, pepper and nutmeg, set aside for 30 minutes. Heat oil, and fry the steak until it turns into golden brown.

Make the sauce by frying the garlic and onion from leftover oil. Add the sweet soy sauce, tomato sauce, pepper and 1/2 cup of water. Cook the sauce until it's thick.

Vegetables: cook the carrots in boiling water until tender. French fries: fry the potatoes. Set aside.

Arrange the steaks, carrots and corn, boiled egg and french fries. Pour the sauce around the steaks.