Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mother's day wish list.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

My mom passed away many years ago and although I miss her terribly, I Thank God for being born to her and having been allowed to spend 25 years of my life with her.

She was a wonderful, loving and caring person. If I were to describe her in one word, that would be "Patient".

Although she had brought up a brood of 6 kids, I had never heard her speak 1 harsh word. (Which really amazes me, when I think back, as I keep having to use "Harsh" words on my 4 kids to keep them in line).

She was a conservative and traditional Indian Muslim woman, born in Penang, Malaysia and migrated to Singapore upon her marriage to my dad.

She was a wonderful cook and I'm listing down many of my favourite dishes made by her. There is a proverb in Tamil which means "No one can cook as well as mom". I'm sure every child will feel this way about her mother's cooking. For me, this is definitely true. I hope my kids would feel this way about my cooking too.

Every Hari Raya, literally translated would mean "Big Day" which is a muslim festive day celebrated twice a year, we have Puttu Mayam with Chicken curry for breakfast. Nowadays, its even possible to buy pre-cooked Puttu Mayam in packets of 10, and having chicken curry is no big deal. But for me, that combination always bring back the memory of those sweet ole days when I was a child. ( My second elder brother, Razak hated to eat anything other than rice with curry. So he always used to eat the Puttu Mayam with red sugar and ground coconut. That's a yummy combination too.)

Here is a picture of how my brother likes to eat his Puttu Mayam
Puttu Mayam

Puttu Mayam

Ingredients

250g rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
325ml (approximately) boiling water
2 pandan leaves, knotted

Method
Steam the rice flour for about five minutes, then leave aside to cool completely.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add boiling water; mix. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture into a dough. (It should be light and not sticky to the touch.)

Put a little dough into a puttu mayam press or string-hopper mould. Onto a saucer, press out the dough into long strands in a circular motion to form a lacy circle.

Place the pressed-out circles on lightly greased rattan steamer trays. Steam for eight to 10 minutes over rapidly boiling water (place the pandan leaves in the boiling water).

Cool the puttu mayam before easing out from the rattan tray.



Curry Chicken
Curry Chicken

• 1.5kg chicken
• 4-5 tbsp oil
• 1 Bombay onion, sliced
• 3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
• 2 Pandan leaves
• 1 Star anise
• 6 cloves
• 2 Cardomons
• 4-5cm cinnamon stick
• 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed
• 500ml water
• 350ml thick coconut milk
• 250g potatoes, peeled and cubed

Spices – mix together
• 3 tbsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp turmeric powder
• 1 tsp coriander powder
• 1 tsp cumin powder
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp ginger paste
• Salt to taste

Clean chicken well and chop into 10-12 fairly large pieces. Heat oil in a pot and stir-fry onion, pandan leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardommons, cloves, lemongrass and green chillies until fragrant. Add mixed spices and fry over low heat till oil separates.
Put in chicken to mix and stir in potatoes. Pour in water and cook covered, until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and tender.

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Idli with potato chutney is my most favourite breakfast dish. My brother, Nagoor, always use to tease me because I used to dunk the idli in the chutney. So although I ate only two idlies, I used up the most chutney :)


Idli
Idli

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup Rice
• 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds (Methi Daana)
• 1/2 Urad Dal
• Salt to taste
• A pinch of Soda Bi-Carb


How to make Idli:
• Soak urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds in water, for about 5 hours.
• After due time, grind the soaked ingredients in a mixer to make a paste.
• Now leave the paste aside, for about 8 hours.
• Afterwards, add soda bi-carb and salt to the paste.
• Pour the mixture into the cavities of Idli Stand.
• Expose Idli Stand to steam for few minutes in a cooker or closed vessel.
• Then, carefully take out the stand and cut out the idlis, using a spoon.
• Repeat the procedure for the remaining mixture.
• Idlis are ready. Serve them with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Potato Chutney

Ingredients:

• 2 Potatoes
• 1 Onion
• 1/2 Cup peas (optional)
• 3 tbsp Oil
• 1 tsp Mustard seeds
• 2 tsp Black gram
• 1 tsp Turmeric powder
• Curry leaves
• 1 Red chilly
• 2 Green chillies
• Salt to taste
• Sugar, a pinch
• Coriander leaves for garnishing
• Grated coconut for garnishing


• Cut the onions and green chilies into long and thin pieces.
• Boil the potatoes. Peel and mash them.
• Heat oil and add mustard seeds, black gram, curry leaves, red chilly, green chillies and turmeric powder.
• When it splutters, add onions and fry until translucent.
• Combine peas and fry for few minutes.
• Add mashed potatoes to it.
• Now mix salt and sugar to the potatoes.
• Garnish with coconut and coriander leaves.

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I just love this combination of food. Dal, Rasam, Sambal Ikan Billis and papaddum with white rice.

Tomato Rasam
Tomato Rasam

Ingredients:

• 1 kg Tomatoes
• 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
• 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
• 3 tbsp Tamarind water
• 2 Pinches turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Lemon juice
• Salt to taste

Make masala powder of:
• 1 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin seeds
• 8 Peppercorns


How to make Tomato Rasam:
• Roast the peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds for a minute.
• Grind them into a masala powder.
• Chop the tomatoes into halves and put in 8 glasses of boiling water.
• Mix the remaining ingredients and masala powder.
• Boil again for 10 minutes.
• Squeeze the tomatoes with the help of a spoon.
• Boil for another 10 minutes.
• Tomato Rasam is ready. Garnish it with chopped coriander.

Tuvar Dal
Tuvar Dal
Happy Mother's Day everyone :)

Ingredients:

• 1 Cup split red gram
• 1 Tomato chopped finely
• 2 tbsp Oil
• 4 Cups water
• 1 tsp Mustard seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp Finely chopped ginger
• 2 Green chillies slit
• 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
• 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Lemon juice
• Jaggery and salt to taste
• 4 Curry leaves


How to make Tuvar Dal:
• Soak the split tuvar dal in water for about an hour.
• Combine turmeric powder, salt and a drop of oil to the gram along with the water in which it was soaked.
• Heat over medium flame until it comes to a boil.
• Now reduce the heat and cook it for 20 minutes, until the gram is fully cooked.
• Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and then asafoetida.
• Fry over medium heat for about 2 minutes till the seeds splutter.
• Mix this with the cooked red gram and let it come to a simmer.
• Add rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.


SAMBAL IKAN BILIS
Chilli Anchovies

Ingredients
½ cup dried anchovies
1 bombay onion, sliced
4 shallots
2 tbsp tamarind juice
Shrimp paste
8 dried chillies, deseeded
1 clove garlic
Salt and sugar to taste

Method
Boil chillies to make them soft and set aside. Fry the dried anchovies until crisp. Set aside. Pound shrimp paste, shallots, garlic and chillies. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry mixture until fragrant. Add in the onion, tamarind juice and salt and sugar to taste. Simmer until the mixture thickens. Add in the fried anchovies and mix well.

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My mother made the Best Mee Siam Kuah - Seriously. I have tried Mee Siam from many shops, but none have the just right combination of the sweet and sout taste.

Mee Siam
Mee Siam


1kg meehoon (soaked & drained) - thin rice vermicelli
1kg fresh prawns (shelled & deveined - reserve shells for stock)
900ml water
salt to taste
1 cup vegetable cooking oil
10 cloves garlic (chopped)
6 yellow bean curd (diced)
2 tbsp taucheo or salted soy beans (rinsed & mashed)
4 tbsp light soy sauce
500g bean sprouts (de-tailed)
125g daun bawang or spring onions (chopped)
6 red chillies (seeded and sliced thin)
20 bawang merah or shallots (sliced & deep fried)
4 hard boiled eggs (sliced)
15 to 20 limau kasturi or small limes (halved & seeded)

Ingredients for Mee Siam Sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
12 cloves garlic (puree to paste)
3 tbsp ground red chillies
3 tbsp taucheo or salted soya beans (rinsed, drained & pounded)
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup thick air asam jawa or tamarind juice
900ml santan or coconut milk
salt to taste

Fill a pot with water and add in the prawn shells to create the stock for the mee siam
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to get 1 cup of thick stock
Strain the shells and season with salt
Discard the prawn shells
Heat oil in a wok and fry the garlic till they become crip (but don't burn them!)
Add in the prawns, bean curd (tofu) and salted soya beans
Stir-fry everything (2 mins) and reduce the heat
Add in the stock and light soy sauce
Simmer covered for 4 minutes
Add the meehoon and fry for about 5 mins
Mix in the bean sprouts and spring onions
Continue to cook everything till all ingredients are done
Add as little or as much salt as you wish
Dish up the noodles on a serving platter and garnish with the chillies, shallots and eggs
Serve hot with lime wedges and the sauce

How to make Mee Siam Sauce: Heat oil in a wok
Fry the garlic, ground red chillies and salted soya beans (1 min)
Add in the sugar, tamarind juice and coconut milk then reduce the heat
Cook till the oil looks like it's separating from the sauce
Add in salt
Dish up and set aside sauce in a separate bowl - let guests take as little or as much sauce to go with their mee siam as they wish

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My Mom used to make two sweet dishes using glutinous rice. One was eaten for breakfast and the other was made specially for Hari Raya Puasa.

Pulut

Ingredients
150g glutinous rice or pulut, washed and soaked for 4 hours
140ml santan from 100g coconut
1/4 tsp salt
3 pandan leaves


Palm Sugar Syrup

200g Palm sugar
salt
pandan leaves
Water

Drain pulut. Add in santan and salt. Place in a 17cm steaming tray, top with pandan leaves and steam for 10 minutes or till cooked.

In another pot, boil water, then add the palm sugar pandan leaves and salt. Stir until all the sugar is desolved and syrupy consistancey is reached.

Serve the rice (pulut) with a topping of the syrup. YUMMY :)


Wajik Pulut

Ingredients

500gm glutinuous rice (soaked overnight)
750ml coconut milk (from 1/2 or 1 coconut)
1 tsp lime paste (air kapur)
2 screwpine leaves
a pinch of salt

Ingredients (B):
350gm brown sugar/gula melaka/gula merah
150ml water

Method:


Wash glutinuous rice and soak overnight with 1 tsp lime paste water.
Then toast and steam with coconut milk, knotted screwpine leaves and salt for 30 minutes or until the milk evaporates.
Once cooked take a fork and turn anti-clock wise and loosen the rice.
Leave it to cool.
Meanwhile, mix brown sugar and water and cook in a pan.
For those who are using gula merah sieve it first.
Leave the sugar syrup to boil at least 5 minutes
Lower the flame and mix in the glutinuous rice and mix it thoroughly.
Stir constantly for 3 minutes and close the flame.
Pour it into a cake pan and leave it to cool before serving.


P.S - There is a problem with blogger right now - I'll Do my spell check and add the photos tomorrow, do check back tomorrow.

2 comments:

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