I am not a professional cook as in I have not attended any courses in the area. But as a mom and wife I feel that one should know at least the very basic of recipies and cooking styles to feed your love ones like Long (panggilan cinta for hubby) and my askar-askar at home. Reason why I call my children askar (army) coz literraly they are like askar, very active, demanding, commanding, but not very regimented in the areas that I want them to be.
Hence, I have tried to better my skills by following the recipe books, but I find that most of the time there are missing ingredients. With exceptions to those recipes from the mat salleh cook. Tu boleh percaya sikit.
So, what I will do is to share with you all the recipes that I have tried, though non are originally mine, probably adaptations but have been impoved by me that I collect over the years. And I shall start from the very, very basic like how to cook rice....
How to cook rice (Khadijah! Take note!)
If you use the local white rice like the ones produced by Bernas, Jati, Jasmine, etc, cook 1 cup of rice with 1 1/3 cup of water, to have a nice texture, not too soft and not too hard. And the leftovers, when you make nasi goreng, will give a very nice result and of course with the right ingredient, will definitely will the talk of your mom inlaw. (We'll go to resipi nasi goreng later...)
If you use the Siamese rice, use 1:1 rice and water. Because the rice is very starchy, too much water will make it too soft.
For those who take brown rice or mix grain occassionally, that's melah bila teringat pasal all those "spare tyre", cook 1 portion of rice to 2 1/2 portions of water. Actually for someone like me who loves rice, yelah I ni orang bendang from Baling, eating this rice is the best to keep your weight, sugar and cholesterol in check!!
I started cooking fish curry when I was twelve, that time we lived in Taman Nakishah, Alor Setar. I always envy my neghbour Aunt Rohani, whose father in law is an Indian Muslim, she cooks brilliant fish curry, the mamak style. So, here the improved recipe...
Mak's Fish Curry (and improved by using Laxmi's (Thusha's helper) and Devika's (my flatmate in Aberystwyth) recipe)
1/2 cup cooking oil (sinful, yes, otherwise your curry tak "kick")
2 pieces ikan jenahak fillet
(the fishes that are nice for curry are jenahak, tenggiri, bawal, ploktan(that's how it is called in Kedah, difficult to find in KL)
4 small red onions, to slice
3 cloves garlic, to slice
curry leaves, more the better
1 teaspoon rempah tumis, (consisting of fenugreek, fennel and mustard seed) can get this from any mamak shop or supermarket
4 small red onions, to pound with 2 cloves garlic*
2 1/2 tablespoon fish curry powder*
1 teaspoon chilly powder*
(* nowadays I like to use Baba's, when I first learnt I used Peladang, very popular in Kedah, but if you the mamak style curry, use Baba's!)
1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional)*
1 teaspoon tamarind paste, add water
Heat the cooking oil, add the scliced onion and garlic, curry leaves and rempah tumis#. Fry until fragrant, jangan sampai hangit, medium high fire! Mix * together, add a bit of water to make it a paste. Then, add * into earlier ingredients#, slow cook on small fire until you see oil coming out from the paste.
Add tamarind paste (diluted with water), leave to simmer.Probably takes about 15 mins. Add 2 1/2 cups of water. If you want it thick, 1 1/2 cup of water will do. I never use coconut milk in my curry, coz I dont see the need to.
Once the gravy have started to simmer add the fish fillet and salt to taste. One tip, I have been using himalayan sea salt for its mineral contents and believe me it does make my dishes tastes better, try it! You can also add some vegies like tomatoes, brinjal (the round ones tastes better) and long beans (french beans are nicer).
Wulla, have a go!