Friday, 18 March 2011


Servings for 4 persons
25 pieces medium size prawns- do not shell, prawn shells add flavor to the curry. Just cut part of the head and wash clean. If you are worried about cholesterol, chop off the whole head- my  dietician’s advice.
1 small packet of beef curry powder (about ½ cup)
1 stalk curry leaf (optional, may not be available in your area)
2 slices young ginger root        5 cups of low fat milk
4 pieces shallots-slice              2 pieces garlic-slice
6 cm cinnamon stick                1 piece star anis
3 pieces cloves                         3 pieces cardomon seeds
1 red tomato                              2 chilis (optional)- slit once
½ cup cooking oil                     Salt to taste
10 pieces sour belimbing fruit - OR substitute belimbing with:
*1 small size sour green/unripe mango- peeled, seeded and cut into 6 slices,
 if mango is of large size, use only half OR substitute with
*about 20 cm (3/4 ft)low calorie rhubarb stem- peel and slice
Belimbing fruit
It is important to use more oil, to enhance the curry flavor. When dish is already cooked, scoop out the excess oil layered on top of gravy.
Mix curry powder with ginger and garlic. Add water to form a semi thick paste.
Heat up oil in a non stick pot. Add shallots, fry until golden. Put on low fire and add curry paste, curry leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardomon and star anis. Keep stirring until soft peaks appear. Add half of milk and tomato. After 5 minutes, add prawns and salt.
*if use mango: Add half of the milk together with tomato and mango, after 5 minutes add prawns and salt.
Stir for about 5 minutes and add belimbing OR rhubarb. When half tender, add remaining half of milk and let it boil for 2-3minutes and turn off fire. Throw in chilies.
Health benefits:
Mangoes are a rich source of iron. Also contain phenolic compounds, which is rich in anti-oxidants and helps in fighting cancer .
Prawns are low in fat and rich in vitamin b12, which helps protect blood vessel walls and maintain cardiovascular health. The omega-3s in  prawns is rich in selenium.
Selenium inhibits the formation of cancer cell and encourages cell repair. omega-3s found in shrimps and prawns have been found to help lower the risk of age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Ingredients: from  cooking-varieties-nusantara traditional recipes
2 ½ cups wheat flour
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk (OR 2 tbsp milk powder with 1 tbsp sugar)
1 tablespoon flat instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt and water
1/2 cup red beans (small size) or 1 can red bean paste
3 tablespoon sugar for red bean
 Grease paper- same like the one used for lining cakes
Cut paper into 7-8 cm squares. Line one side with a bit of oil.

Soak red beans in water for 4-5 hours. Boil with water until beans break up.  Only when beans are cooked, add sugar (else beans will never soften). Drain away water and blend until beans turn into a paste. Set aside..
Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, add 1 cup of water and knead for about 10 minutes (only) until a dough is formed. The dough should be slightly softer than that of a  biscuit dough. If too hard, add a bit of water at a time. Knead until the dough doesn’t stick to the walls of your mixing bowl. This is a traditional recipe, so I explain how to do it; the great granny’s way too.
Divide the dough into small “ping-pong ball” sizes. Then take each dough piece and place it on the palm of your hand, flatten it (not too flat) and put the red bean filling on top center of dough. Close it up by pulling round the edges towards the center and seal it nicely. Now u have a pau with black bean filling inside.
Put water in Steamer pot and let boil. 
Meanwhile, place each pau on square paper. The part that lies on your palm, should also be the part that you place on the paper. Do not turn it upside down. Arrange pau in a Steamer pan (one layer only) and wait for it to rise for about half hour or until dough has risen. You can use a 2 tier Steamer and cooking time is the same.
When water is already boiling, put the ‘pau-filled’ Steamer pan on the Steamer pot and close with a lid. After 10 minutes, open the lid. Press the pau slightly with your finger, if it rises up again, it means the pau is cooked. Put off fire. Do not overcooked, else the pau turns yellowish, instead of a pretty white color.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Image of Sago-wrapped-in-banana-leaves
Image of cooked  Banana, Coconut, Sago Pudding
Ingredients: from cooking-varieties exclusive recipe
2 cups sago pearls
2 medium size ripe bananas- minced (do not mash
1 cup grated coconut 
3  tablespoon sugar
Banana leaves (about 20 pieces, cut into 11 cm width)
Permitted food coloring- orange  
Here in Malaysia, you can buy banana leaves from the wet market. Banana leaves need to be softened or slightly wilted, so that it won’t tear off, when folded.  To do this, you can heat the leaf over your stove fire for a few seconds. Or u can put it under the hot sun for 30 minutes.
You may substitute this with some other large non-poisonous leaves. The leaf texture should not be too soft. Cooking-varieties use leaves, to ensure that the sago cooks with excellent results and not soften and get ruined if it’s boiled directly in water. This is the intricate part of cooking sago, although the recipe is very simple to follow.
When that is done, cut the banana leaves into pieces, about 11 cm wide and set aside. Leave the length as it is.
 Wash sago pearls and drain away water. Do not use strainer. The sago is wet enough to enable it to soften, and not soggy.
Using a mixing bowl, add in 5 tablespoon water, food coloring and 3 tablespoon sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add in sago pearls, banana and grated coconut. Mix well and ensure that the sugar and all ingredients are properly mixed.  Set aside for 15-20 minutes to allow the ingredients blend together and to let the sago soften a bit.
Boil water in a Steamer pot.
While waiting for water to boil, start wrapping up the sago using banana leaves.
Shape banana leaf into a cone, fill it up with sago and press down the sago using a spoon. Fold the top to close the cone. Place and arrange this cone directly onto the Steamer pan. Repeat this, until all sago has been wrapped up. When water is already boiling, put pan on Steamer pot. Cover with lid and let it cook for about 15- 20 minutes- depending on your steamer size/layers of cones stacked, as in the case of a small-size steamer.
You can open up one cone and check- if sago has turned translucent in color, then it is already cooked. Remove from Steamer and leave to cool. If you like it cold, refrigerate your sago first. When serving, do not remove the leaves.
Health benefits:
Sago is mainly carbohydrates (carbs) with very little vitamins, minerals or proteins. Energy in the form of glucose, is obtained faster from carbs, as compared to glucose obtained from protein intake. Some cell tissues (eg. in the brain) are dependant on glucose from carbs sources, hence low carbs intake can result in slowing down of brain function.

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