Monday, April 30, 2012

Kids Fun In Singapore Without The Crowd: 112 Katong

free playground mall
Kids Water Playground in Singapore

I was out on a movie date with hubby last Saturday afternoon and because of our time constraint, the only suitable place to head for was 112 Katong. This is our first visit there since I don't think anyone would really head to Katong if you don't live near the area. The shopping centre has been newly renovated and the tenant mix is really quite good. Not the usual suspects of the various malls in Singapore. There are also a few kids enrichment centre there such as Mind Stretcher Learning Centre, Perching Kids, The Ballet & Music Company, Xue Lin Learning Hub and Z Fencing. 

We managed to check out their free water playground for kids at 112 Katong level 4 too. It's quite big and there is no crowd (look at the picture and it's at 6pm Saturday) since the mall caters to the upper class and expat living around the East Coast area; who probably have like facilities in their condominiums and only head to the free water playground there when mommy has an errand to run or when the kids finish their enrichment class there. Plus, 112 Katong is not really that accessible if you are taking public transportation hence less crowd. So, if you are looking for a place to let your kids have some fun this weekend and would like to avoid the crowd, this might be the place to head to. Although I don't think the place has any fast food chain that you can head to afterwards. And, if you are a muslim, the only halal eating place there might be Bali Thai and maybe if there is a malay stall at Food Republic @ Level 4.

You May Also Like:
Airforce Museum
singapore with kids
Plane spotting and sand playground
changi city point
Changi City Point

Friday, April 27, 2012

Resepi Pencuci Mulut: Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe @ Mahalabiya Recipe

egyptian dessert recipes
Easy Mahlabia Recipe

Mahlabia or milk pudding is my favorite Egyptian dessert back when I was still studying in Cairo. I remember going to a shop near our clubhouse every Thursday before our weekly gatherings for this decadent dessert. It never came across my mind to make it myself back then. But now, since Cairo is hours away by flight from Malaysia, when craving strikes, you just have to turn on the stove. Who knows it is very easy to make this milk pudding? I sure didn't! But easy it sure is. 

Ingredients for milk pudding is as such: 

(serves 3)
4 tbsp corn starch
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups milk
3 tbsp cocoa powder (I used nesquick powder instead) 

How to make this super simple chocolate milk pudding?

Just whisk everything (except for the cocoa powder) in a saucepan, then put on low heat while stirring constantly, add in the cocoa powder and stir till the mixture thickens and it feels heavy when you are stirring. Turn off the heat and scoop into small bowls and refrigerate.  

If you are unsure of when to turn off the heat, you can watch the original recipe's video here.

Malay Version

Mahlabia atau puding susu adalah pencuci mulut kegemaranku sewaktu menuntut di Cairo dahulu. Masih lagi jelas kenangan membeli Mahlabia setiap kali menuju ke rumah pelajar untuk perjumpaan mingguan kami. Tak pernah pula terlintas di fikiran untuk membuatnya sendiri pada masa tu. Sekarang ni bila Cairo dah jauh di mata, terpaksalah belajar macam mana nak buat Mahlabia ni sendiri, rupa-rupanya tersangat mudah!

Bahan-bahan untuk puding susu coklat: 

(untuk 3 orang)
4 sdm tepung jagung
3 sdm gula pasir
2 cwn susu
3 sdm serbuk koko (saya guna serbuk nesquick je)

Cara-cara membuat puding susu simple ni:

Kacau semua bahan-bahan kecuali koko di dalam periuk, panaskan atas api yang kecil, kemudian masukkan serbuk koko dan kacau terus hingga pekat. Padamkan api dan tuangkan ke dalam mangkuk kecil dan sejukkan di dalam peti ais.

Kalau anda tak pasti bila nak matikan api tu, sebab mungkin tak pernah makan Mahlabia ni, lihat video resepi asal di sini.

Selamat Mencuba!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Resepi Ayam Mastika / Spicy Chicken Gravy Asian Style

Asian Cooking : Spicy Chicken Gravy



(Sila skrol ke bawah untuk Bahasa Melayu)

I was cleaning up the drawers that day and came across this recipe copied out from one of my mom's many cooking magazines. Since I had just bought green chilies the day before, I decided to give this recipe a try. It turned out to be similar to the malay dish "Ayam Masak Merah" though this dish uses green chilies and lots of tomatoes instead. I kind of like this chicken dish, so I am going to keep this recipe. 

Ingredients for Spicy Chicken Gravy:

1 large onion
10 green chilies - deseed-ed
6 small tomatoes
3/4 inch young ginger
(blend all of the above)

4 parts chicken
4 tbs vegetable oil
100 gm pureed tomato
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground fennel seed 
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground white pepper
100 ml evaporated milk 
salt

1 large potato - sliced and fried

How to cook Spicy Chicken Gravy:

1. Heat up the oil and saute the blended ingredients.

2. Add in the tomato puree and the other spices.

3. Add in the chicken and water if its too dry. Cover and let it simmer till chicken is tender.

4. Add in the evaporated milk and salt.

5. Lastly, add in the fried potatoes.


Malay Version:



Hari tu, tengah mengemas laci-laci di dapur tu, terjumpa pulak buku nota resepi lama i, belek punyak belek nampak resepi Ayam Mastika ni macam best. Resepi dari salah satu majalah masakan mak i yang memang cukup banyak.  Lagipun, hari sebelumnya, I baru beli cili hjau, jadi bolehlah cuba resepi ni. Rasanya ada macam Ayam Masak Merah, cuma resepi ni guna cili hijau dan tomato. Not bad, so, of course I nak simpan resepi ni :) 

Resepi Ayam Mastika:

1 bawang besar
10 tangkai cili hijau - buang bji
6 biji tomato kecil
3/4 inci halia muda
(kisar semua)

4 bahagian ayam
4 sdm minyak masak
100 gm tomato puree
1 sdt serbuk ketumbar
1/2 sdt serbuk jintan manis
1/2 sdt serbuk jintan putih
1 sdt serbuk lada putih
100 ml susu cair
garam

1 kentang besar - dihiris dan digoreng 

Cara-cara memasak Ayam Mastika:

1. Panaskan minyak dan tumis bahan-bahan kisar.

2. Masukkan tomato puree dan serbuk-serbuk yang lain.

3. Masukkan ayam dan air jika kuah terlalu kering. Tutup periuk dan biarkan renih hingga ayam empuk.

4. Masukkan susu cair dan garam.

5. Akhir sekali, masukkan kentang goreng.

Selamat Mencuba!








Spicy Fried Potato Recipe / Resepi Kentang Goreng Berlada

My simple spicy fried potatoes recipe




(Untuk Bahasa Melayu, sila skrol ke bawah)

Below is a spicy fried potato recipe Malay Style. It's a dish served as an accompaniment to steamed rice. This is the first time I tried making this fried potato dish with my mother-in-law's recipe, it turned out quite nice though it didn't taste exactly the same as hers. I think my dish had too much gravy since I only used 3 small potatoes while my mother-in-law would probably used 10 big ones. I had to take out some of the gravy too before adding in the fried potatoes) since it was too much for my small serving size. I kept the extra gravy aside to use it for next day's dinner with fried chicken haha.. 

Ingredients for Spicy Fried Potato Recipe:

5 large potatoes
1 medium onion
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
8 dried red chilies - blanced in hot water and strained
about 2 tbsp tamarind - mixed with warm water
2 - 3 tbsp sugar
salt to taste

How to cook Spicy Fried Potato:

1. Slice the potatoes about 0.3 cm thick (any thinner and it might break when you mix it with the gravy) and deep fry till done. Strain and set aside.

2. Slice the medium sized onion thinly and deep fry till golden, strain and set aside.

3. Blend the large onion, garlic and dried chilies. Heat up some oil in a saucepan and saute the blended ingredients.

4. Add in the tamarind juice, sugar and salt.

5. Fold in the deep fried potatoes and crispy fried onions and turn off heat.


Malay Version:



Ini adalah resepi kentang goreng berlada ibu mertuaku, hmm.. memang sedap dimakan dengan nasi putih atau dengan roti :) Pertama kali mencuba, boleh lah jugak menjadi cuma tak 100% rasa macam masakan ibu hubby. Rasa-rasa terlebih kuah kot sebab mak hubby kalau masak mestilah guna banyak kentang, kita yang makan berdua je ni, pakai 3 biji kentang kecil je.. terpaksa jugak ketepikan kuah yang berlebihan sebelum masukan kentang tu, boleh simpan buat ayam goreng berlada pulak besoknye :) 

Resepi Kentang Goreng Berlada:

5 biji kentang besar
1 biji bawang besar (sederhana saiz)
1 biji bawang besar (saiz besar)
3 ulas bawang putih
8 tangkai cili kering (rendam dengan ar panas dan toskan)
lebih kurang 2 sdm asam jawa - larutkan di dalam air suam
2 - 3 sdm gula
garam

Cara-cara memasak Kentang Goreng Berlada:

1. Hiris kentang dalam 0.3 cm tebal (jangan terlalu tipis agar kentang tidak hancur apabila dimasukkan ke dalam sambal nanti) dan goreng hingga masak. Tos dan ketepikan.

2. Hiris bawang besar (saiz sederhana) dan goreng hingga garing. Tos dan ketepikan. 

3. Kisar, bawang besar (saiz besar) bawang putih dan cili kering dan tumis hingga garing.

4. Tambahkan air asam jawa, gula dan garam.

5. Masukkan kentang goreng dan bawang goreng dan matikan api.

Selamat Mencuba! :)

You May Also Like:

Foul Madames Recipe

Bubur Cha Cha Recipe

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kids Friendly Restaurant in KL - Marche` at Mutiara Damansara

When eating out with kids, there are a lot of thing that parents consider such as the availability of kids friendly menu, whether the restaurants have sufficient space for the kids to walk about (if not run around) and enough distractions to entertain them.  

Kids Friendly Restaurant : Marche` Indoor Playground

One of the restaurants that we will go to when I am too tired to cook and both my partner and I want to eat in peace and the kids are full of energy is Marche` at The Curve Shopping Centre, Mutiara Damansara.  The reason is not because of scrumptious fare but rather it's because Marche` has an indoor playground in the restaurant. So, we will pick a table near the playground and since the kids are now big enough to play on their own, we can at least enjoy some portion of our food in peace. You still need to keep a lookout for your kids though since the place can get pretty crowded during weekends and if there are some kids with their cousins or siblings along, they can get pretty rowdy and you have to lookout for pushing and hogging. 

Recently, Marche` also introduced kiddies meal to their menu, smaller portioned dishes at a reduced price (perfect for dieting moms :p ) though it is limited to one kiddies meal per kid. 

Children Meal at Marche` - Sausages 


Eating out With Kids in KL : Creamy Pasta with Chicken


The food at Marche` are average though and not really outstanding, the lamb chops and steaks are not the same as TGIF or Tony Romas but the roasted chicken with mushroom crepes are quite ok. Price is also on the high side considering the portion, so this restaurant is only for once in a blue moon visit when mom and dad are really hungry and would like to sit down and eat in peace :)



Our burnt lamb chops : we came on a crowded Saturday night


Monday, April 16, 2012

KL Time Square Theme Park Review


Berjaya Times Square Theme Park: The Roller Coaster
Berjaya KL Indoor Theme Park

It was my kiddo's second birthday and grandma was around so we decided to take the kids to KL Time Square Theme Park at Berjaya Times Square. The last time I went to KL Time Square Theme Park was more than two years ago, pregnant with my second son and the first boy was just a year plus. I remembered that the admission price was a bit high and that my 1 year old didn't really enjoy it that much with cheesy decorations and ear blasting music and so we stayed away for a while after.

Fantasy Trail Train Ride at Times Square KL

Botanic Drive at Times Square KL

Molly's Swing at Berjaya Theme Park

Two years on, the rides haven't changed much but the decorations has been changed, it is much cheerier and thank goodness the deafening music has been changed to something more kids friendly. KL Time Square Theme Park has also added a small playground for the kids that are too young for the rides and for the ones that just love to run and climb.

Indoor Play at Berjaya KL Theme Park

Toddlers' Play Area at Berjaya KL Theme Park

Toddlers' Play Area at Berjaya KL Theme Park 

Admission price is pretty steep to me if you are going in with your toddlers as the only toddler rides are those at Level 7 called Fantasy Garden and only 4 out of the 7 rides allow parents to accompany the kids. The toddlers rides at KL Times Square Theme Park are : Botanic Drive (Jeep drive), Crazy Bus (a bus ride that goes up and around like a slow ferris wheel), Buddy Go Round ( carousel ride), Fantasy Trail (Train ride), Molly's Cool Swing ( A swinging boat - no parents allowed), Flying Bumble Bee (self explanatory - no parents), Honey Bump (bumper car - no parents).

KL Kids Indoor Play : The Crazy Bus

Berjaya KL : Honey Bump

KL Times Square ticket prices are as such:

Off-peak (Mon - Fri): 
RM38 (adults) RM28 (3-11 years old), RM21 (seniors 55 years and above)

Peak (Weekends, PH and Sch Hols): 
RM43 (adults) RM 33 (3 - 11 years old), RM21 (seniors 55 years and above) 

My kad holders get cheaper admission at RM6 less

KL Times Square Opening Hours are:

Off-Peak: 12 pm -10 pm
Peak: 11 am - 10 pm


Times Square Theme Park : Buddy Go Round

KL Time Square: Buddy Go Round
I feel that if you are going with your small kids and not planning on riding the adult rides (since you have toddlers with you), it's not worth it paying such a steep price for just a 1.5 hour stay in the indoor theme park. Even though the admission is for the whole day and you can re-enter any time during the day, I doubt any kids will have to be dragged out of the Times Square Theme Park after staying in for two hours, the four rides gets pretty boring after a while. But, if you don't mind the admission price, it is a nice 1.5 hour spent, in an air-con environment, away from the scorching heat. Afterwards, there are also a plethora of dining options at Berjaya Times Square to satisfy the kids after a tiring day at the Theme Park. 

Berjaya KL Theme Park: The Bumble Bee
The adult rides at Level 5 Galaxy Station looks exciting and I bet that your teenage kids will surely be thrilled, although the rides are also pretty limited at only 6 rides. More info on the adult rides here at KL Time Square's official site.

KL Time Square Theme Park is at Level 5 of Berjaya Times Square which is just a walking distance from MR5 Imbi Monorail. Take the KL Sentral Monorail MR1 towards Titiwangsa and drop at the 5th station. 

Map of Berjaya Times Square:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Indonesian Recipe @ Resepi Sotong Bakar

Indonesian Recipe : Grilled Squids


Untuk Bahasa Melayu, sila skrol ke bawah.

Grilled Squid Indonesian Style..one of my hubby's favorite dish. Decided to try out this Indonesian recipe since it seems quite easy to cook. Ingredients are also quite easy. The recipe turned out quite well and it's definitely a keeper. Now, it sure seems like a waste of money paying big bucks eating this dish in an Indonesian restaurant when you can cook it easily at home. Go ahead try it out.

Ingredients for Grilled Squid Indonesian Style:

400 gm squids
3 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic - blend
1.2 inch young ginger - blend
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp sweet soya sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce


Indonesian Recipe : Grilled Squids Before Grilling


How to cook grilled squids- indonesian style:

1. Clean and wash the squids (get rid of the ink) and soak in water with 1 tsp salt and juice of 1 lime for at least 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat up your saucepan and saute the blended ingredients with the cooking oil until the aroma arises.

3. Add in the chili powder, sugar and sauces and simmer.

4. Add in a bit of water and the squids until the squids are 3/4 cook.

5. Set aside the squids.

6. Heat up your non-stick pan and grill the squids (remember to coat it with the sauce) until done.

Versi Melayu


Resepi Sotong Bakar


400 gm sotong
3 sdm minyak masak
3 ulas bawang putih - dikisar
1/2 inci halia - dikisar
1/2 sdt serbuk lada
1 sdm gula
3 sdm kicap manis
2 sdm tomato sos
1 sdm sos tiram

Cara-cara memasak sotong bakar:

1. Bersihkan sotong (buang tinta) dan rendamkan di dalam air dengan 1 sdt garam dan jus limau nipis selama 10 minit. Tos dan ketepikan.

2. Panaskan minyak dan tumis bahan kisar sehingga harum.

3. Masukkan serbuk lada, gula, kicap, sos tomato dan sos tiram.

4. Tambahkan sedikit air dan masukkan sotong hingga 3/4 masak.

5. Ketepikan sotong.

6. Panaskan kuali non-stick dan bakar sotong yang telah dilumurkan dengan sos sehingga garing.



   

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kids This Weekend in KL

KL Kids This Weekend - Meet The Ice Age Characters


Was walking around Ikano Power Centre (IPC) at Mutiara Damansara while waiting for the kids to finish school and saw that they have Meet The Characters of Ice Age 4, Yogi Bear and Alvin and the Chipmunks  and Star Wars starting 9 April until 22 April 2012 (different characters with different timings - please see below picture)


MBO Cinemas event schedule at IPC

It's at ground level near the elevator at Cold Storage's end. There's also some competition that you can take part in, but prior registration is required. Best Alex the Lion pose seems interesting but my kids are no extroverts. I stayed for a bit to check out Meet The Characters of Ice Age to see whether it's worth it to bring my kids over tomorrow but hmm... the only characters I saw was Manny the Mammoth, Sid the Sloth, who was taller than the Mammoth, and Scrat the Squirrel. I was more interested in the sabre-tooth tiger and mammoth and since the mammoth was well not a mammoth and there is no sabre-tooth tiger, I won't go out of my way bringing my kids to Ikano Power Centre just for that. 

But, if you are staying nearby IPC, and always there for dining, shopping or buying groceries, then you might want to coincide your timing with the schedule to amuse the kids this weekend in KL.  



Monday, April 9, 2012

Applying for Dependant Pass Malaysia

[ Dear Readers, it has been a while since this post was written and the visa department has since set up a division called "Expatriates Services Division" so all things related to expats are handled by this division, its on level 3 of Putrajaya Immigration Department, the queue number counter is right in front of the escalator with no queue lines demarcated and very little space for queuing. This counter is also closed during lunch break. After you have taken your queue number, turn to the right side of the counter and walk to the end where the Expatriates Services Division is. Be warned that seats are limited.

Few things to note : 
1) Passport photo for employment/dependant pass still uses the blue background
2) You can apply for your wife and kids dependent passes without them having to be present.
3) Approval process now takes only 3 working days (am not too sure if its because we are only renewing or this apply to new application as well)
4) All contact numbers listed below has changed. Unfortunately, I do not have the updated numbers.  ]

Sigh.. still waiting for the approval of my dependant pass visa and it has been quite a frustrating experience, from hubby's office staff inexperience in dealing with Malaysia's employment pass and dependant pass procedures, to the agent's "bo-chap" behaviour to the less than satisfying visit to Putrajaya Immigration headquarters. Why is getting a simple dependant pass in Malaysia so difficult?

 By right, it should not be difficult, had we not leave everything in the hands of the people that was supposed to do the work right the first time round. I should have done my homework first and ask questions when things don't seem right. 

First, I should have pointed out to the HR officer - when she asked to submit my husband's passport for Malaysia's employment pass application first without submitting the application of my dependant pass concurrently - that the norm is to submit both application together to save processing time. 

Secondly, when my dependant pass (student) was nearing it's expiry date (as she had asked to cancel the pass so that our dependant pass (employment) can be processed) I should have gone to the immigration office myself and asked for an extension called the s-pass, of course when you are there the officers will probably asked why are you applying for the s-pass and then I would have to explain that I am going to apply for a dependant pass (employment) and they would probably just asked me to submit the application  for the dependant pass called DP11A myself. This would give rise to a stituation where my visit to the immigration office (after a long wait and being pushed from one department to another) to be fruitless due to the fact that I did not download the application form (available here) beforehand and does not have the required documentation along with me. This actually happened to us, except that in our case, we (i.e. my kids and I have overstayed in Malaysia while waiting for the dependant pass) So, the bo-chap agent asked us to go to immigration office to ask for special clearance before applying for the dependant pass when in all actuality, he could have done it for us himself as we had overstayed less than 1 month.

We arrived at Putrajaya pretty early in the morning but we chose the wrong day (Friday, which means extra long lunch hour to accommodate for Friday prayers). With two small kids in tow and parking space only available at the open field diagonal to the building (the basement parking is reserved only for staff, I still can not believe it). Waited for our no for 1 hour, after explaining the reason for us overstaying in Malaysia, had to wait for another hour for the officer to write a letter to submit to another department so that they can work out our penalty for overstaying. Received our letter at 1.00pm and I asked the lady, "What time do they break for Friday Prayers and lunch?" to which she replied: "Oh, the counter is open all the time, they don't go for a break" hmm.. impressed, I proceeded upstairs. 

When we reached the one level up (level 4), we were a bit confused where to go as there weren't any clear signs, after asking around, we were informed that we are supposed to get a number at the counter but the counter is closed for lunch and will reopen at 2.15pm. Ok.. conflicting information. So, hubby went for Friday Prayer at the Putrajaya Mosque while I waited with the kids in the car. 

Came back at 2.30pm, got our no, with our kids getting cranky and wanting to go back home, they fell asleep halfway and we had to stand carrying our kids while waiting in the cramped and crowded waiting area. Luckily, our number came up within 20 minutes, approached the counter and explained our situation and was told by the officer that we should go direct to DP 10 counter (which was at level 3) submit the application for DP10 and the DP10 officers will deal direct with his department on whether to impose any penalty for our overstay.

Went back down to level 3 to DP10 department and was told that DP10 is for EP - employment pass and we have to go to the other side which is DP 11 (Dependant Pass under employment). Finally, nearing the end of the day, we arrived at the correct counter and was informed that all we have to do is fill in the DP11A form, and S-Pass form (for our overstay- only applicable if overstaying less than 30 days and you have to pay RM100) and submit the application together with the relevant documentation required. Oh wow, if only things were clear from morning and everyone in all the various visa department in Malaysia Immigration is clear of the procedures and give correct information to the public first hand, we would not have been pushed from one counter to the other the whole day. Needless to say, we were very stressed out from the visit.

So, to avoid disappointment when trying to apply for a dependant pass (under employment)  these are the things that you need to do:

1. Download and print the DP11A application here.

2. Make sure you have your company's stamp on the form.

3. A passport size photo for each dependant.

4. Photocopy of all pages of each dependant's passport (2 copies each if you are form People's Republic of China)

5. Photocopy of all pages of the principal's passport.

6. Personal bond with RM10 stamp if applying for a dependant pass for your parents / child above 21 years old / step child (please check this requirement if applicable direct with the immigration)

7. Photocopy of birth certificates of your children (translated and certified true copies by your embassy if the original document is not in Bahasa Malaysia or English).

8.   Photocopy of your marriage certificate (translated and certified true copies by your embassy if the original document is not in Bahasa Malaysia or English).

The above process will take 7 working days but mine is taking longer because there is a backlog. Our agent submitted our application on 28 march 2012 and after 7 working days exactly, I called the immigration department up to check on the status (after trying to get through the whole morning and being asked to call different extension numbers) I was informed that there is a backlog and they are still processing applications submitted on 14 March 2012. hmmm..

After this approval process, it will take another 3 working days -supposedly- for you to submit your original dependants' passports and have it stamped with the dependant pass.

Below are some important numbers should you need to call up Malaysia Immigration:

General Hotline (the best chance of getting through):
03-8880 1000

Visa Department Hotline (Very very slim chance of getting through):
03-8880 1571

Direct line to DP11 (slightly better chance than the visa department but most likely be answered by a-couldn't-be-bothered-to-help man who will ask you to call another number all within 30 seconds)

03-8880-1440 (DP10 department)
03-8880-1434 and 03-8880-1444 (DP11A - to check status of application)

Immigration Website address : www.imi.gov.my

Let me know if you have any other direct numbers or further information that will be useful to other readers.

You May Also Like:

Opening A Bank Account (DP holders)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resepi Kacang Pool / Foul Madames

Kacang Pool Recipe @ Foul Madames Asian Style


Untuk Bahasa Melayu, Sila skroll ke bawah

Foul Madames is the easiest breakfast dish to fix and it's one of my favorite dish to whip up when I'm too lazy to cook breakfast or when guests are coming and I'm pressed for time. Just make sure you have a can of foul madames in your cupboard. The below recipe has been tweaked to cater for the Asian tastebud who are used to eating foul madames with egg sunny side up and sauteed sliced onion, red and green chilies as the side. Served with toasted sliced bread or baguette. 

Ingredients for Foul Madames:

2 tbsp butter / clarified ghee (for a healthier version, you can use olive oil)
1 can Foul Madames
80g minced meat 
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fennel seed
1 tbsp canned tomato puree
1/2 heaped tbsp ground red chili
3 cloves garlic
1 fresh tomato
salt to taste
juice of 1/4 lemon

1/2 sliced medium onion
1 sliced green chili
1 sliced red chili 
eggs sunny side up - 1 per person 

How to cook Foul Madames:

1. Mix the minced meat with ground cumin and ground fennel seed and stir fry on the pan.
2. Blend the garlic and fresh tomato together and add it in pan with the minced meat and throw in the butter.
3. Add in the ground chili and tomato puree.
4. Add salt to taste and shut off the fire. 
5. Throw in the lemon juice and mix well. 
6. In a separate pan, saute the sliced onion and red and green chilies and set aside. 
7. Scoop up the Foul Madames, garnish with the sauteed onions and chilies and egg sunny side up. Serve with toasted bread.   














Resepi Kacang Pool:

Kacang pool adalah hidangan paling mudah untuk disediakan. Ia adalah hidangan yang akan saya sediakan jika ada tetamu yang bertandang dan masa agak terhad. Hanya pastikan terdapat satu tin kacang pool di dalam almari anda. Resepi di bawah ini saya tukar sedikit untuk citarasa Asia yang terbiasa menikmati kacang pool dengan telur mata lembu disertai bawang dan cili goreng. Enak dihidangkan dengan roti bakar atau roti perancis.


Bahan-bahan untuk kacang pool:


2 sdm mentega atau minyak sapi (untuk versi sihat, anda boleh juga menggunakan minyak zaitun)
1 tin kacang pool
80g daging cincang
1 sdt jintan putih
1 sdt jintan kasar
1sdm tomato puree
1/2 sdm penuh serbuk cili merah
3 ulas bawang putih
1 biji tomato
garam
jus 1/4 lemon


Bahan digoreng:

1/2 biji bawang merah - dimayang
1 tangkai cili hijau - dihiris
1 tangkai cili merah - dihiris
telur mata lembu - satu biji setiap seorang

Cara-cara memasak kacang pool:


1. Gaulkan daging cincang bersama jintan manis dan jintan kasar dan sangar di atas pan.
2. Kisar bawang putih dan tomato  dan masukkan di dalam pan bersama daging cincang. Masukkan sekali mentega.
3. Masukkan serbuk cili dan tomato puree.
4. Tambahkan garam dan matikan api.
5. Masukkan jus lemon,
6. Di dalam kualai yang berasingan, goreng bawang dan cili merah dan hijau sehingga layu sedikit. Tos dan ketepikan.
7. Hidangkan kacang pool dan hiaskan dengan bawang goreng, cili goreng dan telur mata lembu. Hidangkan dengan roti bakar.




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Recipe Bubur Cha Cha


My simple bubur cha cha


Bubur cha cha.. my favorite dessert, back home, mum would cook it for me whenever bubur cha cha craving hit me, now that I'm a 5 hours drive away from mum. It's time to learn how to cook bubur cha cha myself. 


Surprisingly, bubur cha cha is easy to make. So, after a trip to Tesco to get the ingredients, I am ready for my first attempt of bubur cha cha. 


Ingredients for bubur cha cha - jackfruit, colorful cha cha, a block of palm sugar, coconut milk powder, sweet potato, yam and white tapioca pearls.

Colorful ingredients, I used just a bit so that I'll make a portion just nice for two :)



A close up of the sago (tapioca pearls)

Ingredients for bubur cha cha are as such:

diced sweet potatoes - orange and purple (as desired)
diced yam (as desired)
3 tbsp tapioca pearls (sago) 
3 tbsp cha cha 
1 packet coconut milk
1/3 palm sugar (gula melaka)
1 pandan leaf - knotted
2 jackfruit - sliced
salt

How to cook bubur cha cha?

1. In a separate pan, bring to boil the cha cha until tender - strain and set aside. (The cha cha tends to take longer to cook than the sweet potatoes and yam unless you dice them really big. 
2. Boil the sweet potatoes yam and tapioca pearls with sugar and pandan leaf until 90% tender. (Add in the sugar bit by bit till you get the desired sweetness)
3. Add in the coconut milk (I used coconut milk powder about 3/4 packet- fresh coconut milk is better if you can get your hands on one) adjust the taste to your liking. 
4. Add in sliced jackfruit and a dash of salt. Serve warm.

You May Also Be Interested In:

Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe @ Mahalabiya

Malaysia Nasi Lemak Recipe


how to cook nasi lemak
Malaysia Nasi Lemak Recipe

Today, I decided to cook Malaysia's Nasi Lemak (Fragrant Steamed Rice With Coconut Milk). The most versatile rice recipe in my opinion, the Malaysia Nasi Lemak can be as simple as you want it to be to as intricate as you are willing to slave over the stove for. 

The Nasi Lemak or the rice recipe is the same but the accompaniment vary from the basic, boiled eggs, fried anchovies and peanuts and plain sambal to fried chicken wings / chicken rendang, sambal sotong (chili squids) sambal udang (chili prawns) and so on. 

My simple Malaysia Nasi Lemak consists of the steamed rice, chili prawns, fried chicken and egg sunny side up. 

Recipe for the Malaysia Nasi Lemak:

2 cups rice - preferably Basmathi
2 cups fresh coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 stalk of pandan leaf - shredded
1.5 inch sliced ginger
1 tablespoon cooking oil (this give some shine to the Nasi Lemak)
salt to taste.

How to cook Nasi Lemak:

1. Soak the basmathi rice beforehand as per instructions (usually between 30 minutes - 1 hour)

2. Heat up the coconut milk, water, pandan leaf, oil and salt over low fire just until the mixture slightly bubbles (take care to stir constantly and not to overheat else the coconut milk will separate into small clusters). 
3.  Drain the water that you used to soak the rice, add in the hot coconut milk mixture and compare the liquid with your rice cooking requirement whether it requires 1:1 water to rice or less/more and adjust as such)

Recipe for the Nasi Lemak Sambal (Chili Prawn):

10 stalk dried red chilies (cut, de-seeded and pre-boil first)
1 medium sized onion
4 cloves garlic
1.5 tbsp belacan (dried shrimp paste)
(blend all of the above)
2 tbsp tamarind diluted in water (add in bit by bit to suit your taste)
3 - 4 tbsp sugar (adjust according to your preference)
fresh prawns
salt to taste

Heat up the saucepan with some oil and sautee the blended ingredients. Add in the tamarind juice and sugar according to your sour (tamarind juice) and sweet (sugar) preference.  Simmer till chili turns dark red and oil has a reddish tint. Add in the prawns and salt.

(Note if you still find the sambal to be a bit too hot, add in some more sliced onions)

If you like, you can also add kangkung belacan as accompaniment.


malaysia rice recipe
My Simple Nasi Lemak Recipe



Recipe for kangkung belacan:

4 fresh red chili
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
2 tbsp dried shrimps
1.5 tbsp belacan
(blend all of the above)
1 tsp sugar
some tamarind juice (about 1-2 tbsp of tamarind juice not the tamarind itself)
300gm kangkung

Heat up the pan and sautee all the blended ingredients, ad din a bit of water and let it simmer for a bit then add in the kangkung.

Recipe for fried chicken (for 5 mid joints):
1 medium sized onion
4 clove garlic
1.5 inch ginger
2 stalk lemongrass - thinly sliced
2 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp fennel seed powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
some salt to taste
curry leaves about 2 stalk

Blend everything together (except for the curry leaves) and marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours. Deep fry till golden and crispy.


Note: You can also add in fried peanuts and anchovies and sliced cucumber at the side.

Happy trying!





Sunday, April 1, 2012

SEO Tips from 50 Ways To Make Google Love Your Website

Last year, I picked up a book called "50 Ways To Make Google Love Your Website" when I was running an online wedding favor company and was in the midst of planning our website. The book didn't really cost a bomb but was jam-packed with advice on how to improve your website's visibility to Google search engine and remain my favorite book so far. 

I admit that  I am not an expert in website programming much less a SEO expert but I highly recommend this book to anyone that is just starting out online. Read this book before you design your website and it will definitely make your site visible among the ten of thousands of other local online business competing for the same targeted audience as yours. 

These are just some SEO tips that I gleaned from this book. I am going to make it ultra simplified here, so, if you need further details, pick up the book yourself, you will be doing yourself a great favor.

SEO Tip #1 : Plan your website's name in advance using "Google Adwords, Keywords Ideas" 


Google Adwords Keyword Tool Example


This is the most important part especially for a new start up that has no brand recognition in the market, having the right website name is essential in driving traffic from natural search engine result. For example, if you are thinking of creating a website on Malaysia property market, naming your website as www.propertiesmalaysia.com.my is much better than www.PROPERTYAGENTABCcom.my unless you are a very famous property agent with reputation that supersedes you. 

If you compare the famous Malaysian Property website www.iproperty.com.my which has a monthly local search of 60,500 against properties malaysia monthly local search of 14,800 at least it's not too bad especially for a start-up. Now, you can also do variations with your local language say www.rumah-malaysia.com.my which has a local monthly search of 22,200 and compare it with your website's name local monthly search to see the stark difference. 

SEO Tip #2 : Title Your Page

Title is very important and you must make it as informative as possible both to Google and to the human recipient of Google's search results. You should:

  • Title every page
  • Write in sentence but be aware that only the first 66 characters will appear in Google search results
  • Capitalize All Your Words In The Title Like This

SEO Tip #3: Add Meta Description To Your Site

Meta Description is your chance of describing to the human searchers what they will find if they click on your website. Google don't really care about what appears in your meta description, it's just a temptation for the humans to click, what Google do care about is that click which equals to relevance to Google and that relevance will translate to higher natural google search ranking for your site. Do not tempt users with descriptions of things that they will not find in your website because if they click on your site and then close the browser all within a few seconds, this results in irrelevance to Google and Google will not display your site again the next time the same keyword is queried. 


Clever use of title and meta description


For example look at www.iproperty.com.my search result again. The sentence "Malaysia Property For Sale and Rent" in blue is it's title while the sentence "Looking to Buy, Sell, or Rent Malaysia Property and Real Estate? Search Malaysia's No 1 Property Classifieds for Free Today!" in black is their meta description. Notice the clever use of terms relating to property such as Buy, Sell, Rent, Property and Real Estate? These are terms commonly used when searching for properties. 

SEO Tip # 4: Reference Your Images. 

Sometimes search results comes from Google Images, so do reference your images by:

  • Naming your jpg files with mont-kiara-condo-for-sale.jpg instead of DSC123456.jpg (hint - I name my jpg file using the adwords keywords tool too)
  • Writing an alt text description in HTML like this <img src="/images/mont-kiara-condo-for-sale.jpg"alt="mont kiara condo for sale"/>

Remember Google is essentially blind to images, so you have to describe their attributes to google and the most essential image attribute to Google is its alternate text description which in the example above is "mont kiara condo for sale"


SEO Tips # 5 : Create a site map for your site and submit it to Google, go here for more information.


SEO Tips # 6 : List your business on Google Maps for free for better visibility.

These are just the basics to get you started and the few that I use quite often whenever I write my blog posts. To really unlock the power of diy SEO, I would strongly suggest you pick up this book and make it your dearest companion. 

Get yours from Amazon today!



You may also like:

buat duit dengan blogging
My First Google Adsense Payout



Kuala Lumpur For Kids: Top 5 Places to Visit

This is my personal take on the top 5 places to visit in Kuala Lumpur with kids. 

1) Kidzania Theme Park at Mutiara Damansara

Kidzania KL

The newest addition to Kuala Lumpur's theme parks, Kidzania is an indoor entertainment theme park that allows kids to role-play adult activities and earn "Kidzos". From firefighters, CSI officers, dentists and much more. Independent kids age 4 and above will surely find this theme park a blast. Read more about it on my post here or find more information on Kidzania on their website here.


2) Petrosains Discovery Centre

Petrosains Discovery Centre

Petrosains Discovery Centre is a Science Discovery Centre that uses fun and interactive approach to tell the story of science and technology of petroleum. Occupying level 4 & 5 of both Tower 1 and 2 of the Twin Towers, Petrosains covers a total exhibit area of more than 70,000 square feet and requires at least 2 hours to fully explore the area. Read more about it on my post here or find more information on their website here.


3) Aquaria @ KLCC 

Aquaria @ KLCC


From piranhas feeding, a touch pool of horse shoe crab and bamboo shark, face to face experience with an octopus to seeing giant water rats for the first time, Aquaria @ KLCC offers an exciting time for the little one all near the convenience of KLCC Suria Shopping Centre. Read more about Aquaria at my post here or find more information on their official website here. 


4) Sunway Lagoon Theme Park


Sunway Lagoon Theme Park


So famous that it doesn't need any introduction. Consists of Water Park and Wild Life Park to amuse the toddlers and up and Amusement Park and Extreme Park for the bigger kids and the kids at heart. Get more information on their official website here.

5) Snow City at I-City, Shah Alam


Snow Walk at I-City, Shah Alam


Not too many tourists here, mainly because of it's location (difficult to get taxis here, best to arrange one that will pick you up back) and because of the lack of amenities. Still, if you don't come from a country that has winter as one of it's seasons, this is one place you won't want to miss out. The snow walk is huge with big snow slides and tube rides, igloos, animal ice scultures and what nots. Kids will surely love this place. Do note that you have to come prepared with proper bottoms and shoes as they only provide jackets. Read more about it on my post here. 

Day Trip From Kuala Lumpur:

If you would like to venture further, you may want to consider Sungai Congkak Waterfall,  Genting HighlandsKuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary or Farm in the City.