Archive | October, 2012

Prawn Sardique

Posted on 13 October 2012 by admin

Here’s a unique ‘testworthy’ recipe the Big Rajah offers. It is indeed a most tantalizing concoction for piquant prawns which will bite into your memory.

Pick up a shopping bag to begin this quest for the selection of ingredients and let the connoisseur in you interpret this recipe into reality.

Ingredients:

1 kg prawns
2 stalks lemongrass
5 gm belachan
5 tbs chilli paste
3 tbs tamarind juice
2 bulbs red onions (diced)
1 tbs garlic (blended)
1 tbs ginger (pounded)
1 tbs chilli powder
50 gm tomato (diced)
100 gm cooking oil
1 tbs brown sugar
Salt to taste

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 10 pax

Method:
1. Peel the 1kg prawns without removing the tail.
2. Wash the peeled praws and drain off the water.
3. Heat a pan and add in the cooking oil.
4. When oil is hot, fry the lemongrass, belachan, diced onions till fragrant.
5. Add in garlic, ginger, diced tomatoes, chilli paste and pour in 2 tablespoons of water.
6. Add in the chilli powder.
7. When the mixture becomes a thick red paste, add in the drained prawns and leave to cook on slow fire for about 6 minutes.
8. Finally, add in the tamarind juice, salt and sugar to taste.

When the cooking’s done, you can relish the scent of spice and savour the fruit of your labour, ambrosial cuisine fit for a king.

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Party Secrets: Themes

Posted on 11 October 2012 by admin

A successful party calls for a good plan. But what makes a good plan? What goes into planning? From decorations to food to entertainment, there’s just so much to do! It can be quite a hassle if you don’t get organized.

I think back to the times I had birthday parties and they certainly weren’t great. It was just a bunch of close friends, talking to each other, entertaining themselves with their cool gadgets and chomping away – no plans whatsoever! Of course that doesn’t make it a bad party but if you could bring it up a notch and make these special occasions unforgettable, it’s time to put your party hats on.

A Hawaiian themed birthday party

Today’s party tip is on setting a theme. Once a theme is chosen, most things tend to fall into place. Time to get creative! Vintage 60s, Arabian nights, under the sea, black and white – the possibilities are endless. Personally, I don’t fancy colour themes much because its so general, it doesn’t give parties enough character. Of course, it’s an exception for weddings. Rather, colours can be incorporated into the main theme. For example, blue and green for the theme ‘Under the Sea’.

To choose the perfect theme, you’d have to first consider the occasion and age group. Birthday, anniversary or baby shower? Kids, teenagers, adults or a mixture? Theme ideas can easily stem from:

1.     A hobby
Imagine a Football Frenzy themed party or perhaps, the Music Memoir with musical notes-shaped cookies and some classical music in the background.

2.     A movie/novel
Harry Potter, Pirates of the Carribean, Lord of the Rings, Narnia – oh how fun!

3.     A location
Think countries and cities! New York or Paris. The Carribean or Arabian nights. Perhaps a jungle or safari themed party!

4.     An era/generation
Retro or futuristic! The kampung days with traditional food served or old English with some lovely tea and scones.

Once you’ve decided on a smashing theme, prepare for a smashing party! More great party planning tips to come!

 

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Cooking with Coriander

Posted on 11 October 2012 by admin

Herbs make a world of a difference in cooking. Garnish, sauce, spread – you name it! One particular favourite ingredient worldwide has to be coriander, known as cilantro in the Americas and certain parts of Europe and Chinese parsley in most of Asia. Its leaves, seeds, fruits and roots have a distinct aroma and flavour of its own. A tinge of citrus in its zesty fragrance, this herb can be used both raw and dried in culinary.

Image via 3morganic

Garnish your meats and salads. Use them in your spice rubs for meat and poultry. Add it to your dips, salsa, soup and stew. Coriander almost always gives you the perfect pairing. It is the main ingredient of two south Indian dishes, sambhar and rasam. And what curry goes without coriander seeds? Reasons to love coriander are endless.

Beyond tasting delicious, coriander plants produce certain chemicals to ward off unwanted pests. Some of these chemicals have been shown to deter fungus, insects and even some humans as a minority liken its smell to that of a stinkbug. Some of the chemicals produced are antioxidants. These antifungal and antioxidant properties present in coriander extract serves as a natural preservative in foods. So coriander is not only delicious but also nutritious.

Image via wolvesunion

The health benefits of coriander:

1. Coriander is good for diabetic patients. It stimulates the insulin secretion and can help in lowering blood sugar levels.

2. It has vitamin K which is used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

3. It is known to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

4. Natural compounds in coriander can remove toxic heavy metals from the body without any side effects.

5. It promotes liver functions and bowel movements. It aids the digestive system.

6. The fat soluble vitamin and antioxidant, Vitamin A in coriander, protects from lung and cavity cancers.

7. Coriander has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural remedy for arthritis.

8. Coriander contains high amounts of iron, which is essential for anaemia.

9. It is good for the eyes. Antioxidants in coriander prevent eye diseases and problems. It’s a good home remedy for conjunctivitis.

10. Phytonutrients in coriander such as elemol, camphor, borneol, carvone, quercetin, keampferol and epigenin. These nutrients give protection from free radical damage.

11. This herb peps up the nervous system by stimulating memory.

12. It can be used to treat skin problems such as eczema, pimples, blackheads and dry skin.

13. Coriander also contains fungicide and anthelmintic properties.

14. The anti-bacterial compound in coriander fights against Salmonella which cause typhoid fever and food poisoning and protects from food borne diseases.

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