Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cream Cheese Cup Cakes

This is my favourite recipe and because I bake often, it is also your favourite!!


250 gm margarine softened

250 gm cream cheese softened

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

2 cups plain flour

2 t spn baking powder

1/2 t spn baking soda

1 t spn vanilla essence

Preheat oven at 375 degrees

In a bowl beat the cream cheese and the sugar together. Then add the rest of the ingredients and beat well!!!

( mama never ever sift the flour with the baking powder because mama doesn't own a sieve!! Most recipes ask you to sift the flour and baking powder three times to ensure even distribution of the raising agent!! Well you have eaten all the cookies and cakes mama baked.. they are edible..right??)

Line the muffin pan with paper cups.

Fill the paper cups 1/2 full.

Bake for 15 minutes

Take it off from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 30 cup cakes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

When you were about two years old, you would tell me 'Yaya want Appam now!' and I used to move my hands in the air while reciting "om freem kuttichathan bring appam for yaya". You looked so innocent then, when you try to open my hands to see the Appam kuttichathan brought..Eventually you became more smarter and used to say" Yaya wants Appam, not Kuttichathan Appam"

So here is your favourite Appam recipe


1 packet of rice flour( mama likes elephant brand rice flour)

1 packet coconut powder(santan.. Malaysian Santan!!)
2 t spn yeast
1/2 cup warm water
5 tbl spn sugar
1/2 t spn salt.
1 1/2 cup water

There are three steps to follow.

In a heavy bottom pan mix a table spn of rice flour in 1 cup of water. cook that on a medium fire, stirring often till it is thickened. Take it off from the fire and cool.

In another bowl, take 1/2 cup warm water( not too hot, no too cold) mix a t spn sugar and the yeast. Keep it aside for 10 mints.

In a fairly large bowl, mix the coconut, rice flour, salt and sugar. When the yeast is nice a bubbly, add that to the bowl. Add the cooled thickened rice paste. along with 1 1/2 cups of water and mix well. Keep it covered in a warm place for 6 hours(mama keeps it in the oven with the pilot light on). Your batter is ready.

To make Appam, you need Appam chatti. Unfortunately our traditional wok won't sit on the electric burner, so mama uses a Chapati pan that has a slight depression in the center.

First heat the pan on medium heat. Brush a little bit of oil and pour two table spn of the fermented batter. Quickly tilt the pan and swirl the batter to form a circle

Cover with a lid

Cook till the edge is lightly browned and the center is cooked. Eat with stew or your brother's favourite coconut milk and sugar

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Erachi Choru

I know, You love Erachi choru more than Biriyani..Why? I never knew..


250 gm pork fillet cut in to small pieces

2 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

2 green chillies

1/2 t spn chilli powder

2 t spn coriander powder

1/2 t spn turmeric powder

1/2 t spn pepper powder

1 onion, chopped fine

1 inch piece of cinnamon

4 cloves of cardamom

1 star anise

One handful of coriander leaves, chopped fine

1 tbls spn lemon juice

3 tbl spn oil.

2 cups Basmati Rice

1. Pound ginger, garlic and green chillies fine and marinate the meat with it along with coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and pepper powder for 15 minutes.

2.Heat 3 tbl spn oil in a pressure cooker and fry the onion till it is nicely browned.

3. Add the meat, cardamom, cinnamon and the star anise and continue to stir.

4. When the meat is lightly browned, add a cup of water, enough salt, coriander leaves and the lemon juice.

5. Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Take it off from fire

6. Wash the basmati rice and drain

7. Add the rice to the meat in the pressure cooker

8. Add salt and top up the water. (The water should be 1 inch above the rice)

9. Close the lid. Once you put the weight on, turn off the heat after 5 minutes.

10. Open the lid after 20 minutes.

11. Mix well and serve with raita.

Yaya, remember.. you have to add the salt twice. One when you cook the meat and the second time when you add the rice..
When Mama started to cook, I found it very difficult to follow 'water level should be one inch above the rice' law. I have burned my finger so many times, by dipping my finger in the pot to check the level! Finally mama marked the level on a wooden spoon and used it to meassure! Perhaps you should do the same.. I don't want you to burn your finger!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hainanese Chicken Rice

When we were in KL,was there a single Saturday, that you didn't make me take you to the Chinese shop to eat Hainanese Chicken rice? You loved it so much that the first thing you wanted me to make for you when we came to Canada was Chicken rice.

There are 2 things you must remember

1. You need a pot that is big enough to boil a whole chicken

2.The chicken must be fresh.


1 roasting chicken.( abt 3 lbs)( cleaned)

3 tsp light soy sauce

1 stalk spring onion

For the Rice

3 cups Thai Fragrant rice( Beras wangi)

2 tbl spn oil

1 tbl spn ginger juice

2 cloves garlic

4 1/2 cups of chicken stock

Ginger sauce

I inch piece of ginger

1 tsp chicken stock(knorr powder)

Chilli sauce

5 fresh red chillies( the one from Chinese shop)

1 tsp chicken stock(knorr powder)


1. Clean the chicken and pat dry

2. bring a large pot of water to boil. ( there should be enough water to completely immerse the chicken)

3. hold the legs of the chicken and dip the chicken in to the boiling water four times.

4. Now immerse the chicken fully in to the water, wait for the water to boil, cover tightly and turn off the fire. Do not remove the pot from the burner.

5. After 45 minutes, take the chicken out of the water and cut in to small slices. You don't really have to de bone the chicken, but because you are a fuzzy( yes you are. Don't shake your head!!), I always de bone the chicken.
Pour the soy sauce on top of the chicken and garnish with chopped spring onion.


1. Wash and drain the rice

2. Heat the oil in a wok

3, add the drained rice, garlic and ginger juice and fry the rice for 5 minutes on medium heat.

4. Add 4 1/2 cups of chicken stock( the water you used to boil the chicken, remove the scum before using).

5.Cover the wok and cook on low heat till the rice is done and there is no water in the wok.

Ginger sauce

pound the ginger fine and add the stock mix well

Chilli sauce

Yaya, make sure the chilli is the one we always buy from the Chinese shop, the red plump chilli, not the spicy one you get in Indian shops!

Pound the chilli fine and add the stock.

And you thought it was very easy to make Chicken rice??
BTW: Don't throw the remaining stock in the pot.. strain it and keep in the fridge. Mama usually saves the stock to make the clear soup that goes with the Kon Lau mein!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kesari Bhath and Khara bath.

Yaya, I am sure we are the only two people on planet earth, who eat Uppuma and Kesari together in the same plate. I don't really know how I landed up with the combination. But for a long time, every time I made Uppuma at home, I also made Kesari and you absloutely enjoyed eating both together.( Like mother, like daughter eh??)

Ingredients for Kesari

1 cup semolina

500 ml milk

a pinch of good quality saffron

5 table spoon sugar

2 table spoon ghee

10 cashew nuts

10 raisins

For uppuma

1 1/2 cup semolina

2 table spoon oil

1/2 t spn mustard seeds

One small onion sliced fine

1 inch piece of ginger chopped fine

1 green chilli

1 sprig of curry leaves

10 cashew nuts

3 cups of water.

You can cook both dishes side by side. This is how you do it

In a heavy based pan, take the milk, saffron, sugar and heat it on medium fire. Leave it on the fire and let it boil slowly

Heat the wok, reduce the heat and fry 3 1/2 cups of semolina, stirring often. It takes about 6 to 7 mints to fry the semolina. Do not let the semolina brown

Remove the semolina from the wok and cool it in a plate.

Heat 2 table spn oil in the wok, add the mustard, when the mustard start to splutter, add the onion,green chilli, ginger, cashew nut and curry leaf. Keep stirring. When the onion is slightly browned, add 3 cups of water and sufficient amount of salt. Let it boil.

By now the milk is boiling in the pan. Take 1 cup of fried semolina, add it slowly in to the milk, stirring all the time. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens. When the kesari becomes really difficult to stir , take it off from the fire and cool it.

When the water in the wok is boiling reduce the heat and add the remaining fried semolina. It is important that the semolina is added slowly and you stir it continuously.( use a long handled spoon to stir!!). When the uppuma is cooked and there is no more water in the wok, take it off from fire.

Heat the 2 tbl spn of ghee in a frying pan, fry the cashew nuts and the raisins, add it to the kesari( including the ghee). Mix well. enjoy

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pisang Goreng/Banana Fritters/Ethakka Appam

Remember all the times, we used to go to Bukit Indah market to buy the pisang goreng? You used to wait for me to fetch you from school and the moment you get inside my car you would ask" Can we go and buy pisang goreng?"

There are few rules to follow when you make Pisang goreng.

1. Do not buy bananas if the skin is turning black. Sugar content in a very ripe banana is high and it will make your fritters soggy.

2. slice each banana evenly and pat them dry, by doing so, you are making sure less water comes out of the banana while it is being fried, the water makes the fritters soggy.

3. Use very cold water to make the batter. This is the most important part. the colder your batter, the crispier the fritters!

Ingredients for the batter

1 cup flour

1/4 cup corn flour

1 table spoon rice flour

2 table spoon sugar

1/2 tspn baking powder

a pinch of salt.

Get all the ingredients in a bowl and add very cold water and mix gently with a fork. Mama can't tell you how much water you need to add, as each batch of flour is different. Your batter shouldn't be too thick or too diluted. ie, when you dip the bananas in the batter, it should be able to coat the banana.

Heat oil in a wok( be careful!) and dip each banana in the batter and gently drop in to the hot oil.( don't let the oil splash). Fry till the coating turns golden brown.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Deep fried Mushroom

When you were little, you never ate mushroom, be it on a pizza or in the chinese soup. One day, we went to Uncle Liugi's restaurent to eat dinner and it was very crowded. You were hungry, cranky and crying. So Uncle Liugi made some appetizer quickly to prevent you from chasing away all his customers.

He made deep fried mushroom, and you, my child who never ate mushroom till that day, ate every single mushroom on that plate.
Uncle Liugi had to teach me how to make it!!( Do you think I would leave him alone, if he didn't give me the recipe? Especially when I saw how much you loved the mushrooms??)

2oo gm of button mushroom( choose the bigger mushrooms)

1/2 t spn mustard powder

1/2 t spn pepper powder

1/4 t spn garlic powder


2 tbl spn fine corn meal( not corn flour!)

1 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

oil to fry

Remove the mushroom stalks and wipe the mushrooms to clean. Don't ever wash the mushrooms! Mushrooms absorb the water.

Take the mushrooms in a bowl and add the pepper,garlic powder,mustard powder, salt and the corn meal. Mix it well and keep it aside.
Beat the egg with a fork

Take the bread crumbs in a bowl.
Dip each mushroom in the egg and roll it in the crumbs.

Keep aside for 5 mints.
Dip the coated mushroom again in the egg and roll in the bread crumbs. ( this ensures that you have a thick coating and the water from the mushroom won't come out while frying).

Deep fry.