Cosmopolitan Currymania has come up a long way, with all your support, encouragement and appreciation. I really thank you all for that! We are glad to announce that we will be shifting to our own website very soon, and the new website will continue to bring a lot more new Indian and International recipes for you.
The new address will be www.cosmopolitancurrymania.com. Hope to see you all there very soon! :)
Till then, I am taking a short break, but I shall continue visiting all my bloggy friends' blogs in this period. Have a good time!
Thanks and regards,
20 May 2013
8 May 2013
|Malay curries in Langkawi night market. Which one will you have with some rice or roti canai?|
Sampling Malaysian street food in the night market in Langkawi was much more than a mere eating experience. I could see a mélange of Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Thai and of course, Malaysian food cultures in these stalls. I was one step closer to understanding the amazing food culture in this awesome tourist destination. Watching the locals making delectable foods out of simple ingredients, some of the foods which I had never heard of or seen before, was really a pleasure and a learning experience. I am happy that we took one evening out from our Langkawi trip for the visit to a local night market and it was really worth paying a visit! We actually ended up tasting a lot of dishes and desserts because the prices were very reasonable and the sight of the freshly made food in front of your eyes only makes you craving for more, isn’t it?
Night markets (Pasar Malam in Malay) or open-air street food are not only the places where you can enjoy cheap eats, but these are the places which will give your tastebuds the exact and unadulterated taste of the local cuisine. Night markets in Langkawi are set up in different locations across the island and these locations keep on changing throughout the week. With just RM 15, you and your partner can have a filling meal for sure. You will get a huge variety of hot and cold foods to try, even you can shop for fresh local fruits or vegetables if you like. Malaysian vendors are friendly and approachable. But as with any street food stall, you have to be a bit careful with the hygiene factor. To avoid stomach infection, always eat fresh food being prepared right in front of you, and not those which are already sitting idle for a while.
|These are Malaysian curry puffs or empanadas. Try the sweet potato (ubi) version.|
|We were glad to see Indian samosas here, but we tasted the local popias instead.|
We started our “taste trip” with the Malaysian curry puffs or kind of empanadas with savoury filling, varying from sweet potato, fish, chicken to beef. We tasted the chicken-stuffed one and it was quite interesting. Although a bit spicy for the kids, this makes an excellent snacking option for the grown-ups otherwise. We popped on some popias or Malaysian spring rolls with a Chinese origin, and those were fun. We loved both these treats.
|Malay chicken and fish balls in sweet-n-spicy barbecue sauce. Divine!|
The next visually appealing food to try was sumptuous Malaysian fishballs and chicken balls coated with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. I had tasted similar kinds of balls in Hong Kong street food stalls as well, but the sauce in this night market was something which I really liked to eat with. This package was just “wow” and we could not stop ourselves being a bit too greedy. As we were determined to taste other local delicacies, we left this stall and moved to the next one, only to find something even more tempting!
|A vendor in Langkawi, making the popular Murtabak.|
The Murtabak (or Martabak) was definitely something we wanted to try since the time we planned the Langkawi trip. And it was before our eyes: freshly made with a generous size to suit our appetite. We were progressing towards a phase where we could say that we had a hearty dinner, rather than snacking on! The Murtabak tasted somewhat similar to the Indian Mughlai paratha. Murtabak was tasty, no wonder, but I expected the filling to be richer. As the meat content was rather less, I was a bit disappointed. Time to move on.
|A Malay spicy salad on the left. Then anti-clockwisely, chicken wings, chicken feet, fish fritters and salted eggs.|
The local people were happily trying dishes such as the Nasi Goreng Kampung, Mee Goreng Mamak, Char Kway Teow, Nasi Lemak and Chicken Curry Kapitan. Nasi goreng kampung is a spicy traditional Malaysian fried rice with boxing chicken, chicken satay, fried egg, local pickled vegetables and Asian shrimp crackers. Mee goreng Mamak is Mamak-style yellow mee or bee hoon (vermicelli) cooked with prawns, squids and chicken. The popular Char Kway Teow is wok-fried flat rice noodles with shrimps, leeks, bean sprouts, eggs, lard and sweet soy glaze. Nasi Lemak is actually steamed coconut flavoured rice with chicken rendang (a popular curry), sambal paste, fried anchovies and boiled eggs, served with local picked vegetables and cucumber. Chicken curry Kapitan are slow-cooked chicken drumsticks in local Malay herbs and spices and are best served with fragrant chiang mai rice.
|Fried vegetarian noodles with soy sauce|
|Crisp-fried chicken: cheap and tasty!|
We skipped a few stalls offering these mouth-watering “grab-and-go” dinner options. These were pre-packed and we doubted the hygiene factor. So better to avoid, we thought. As mentioned earlier, we tasted only those foods which were cooked fresh in front of us: no compromise on the quality of course! After passing by a few stalls, we discovered this stall. AN suggested that we should try the crispy fried chicken along with the vegetarian stir-fried noodles and wow, both of them were tasty and complemented each other. The kids tried a few of the grilled, local sausages and enjoyed every bite of these hand-held treats.
|Local Malay sausages. Great for kids too!|
|Lai Chi Kang: a fun package!|
By now, we were full and needed some break. As it was hot, we tried the cold fare in the stalls. We tried iced Lai Chi Kang, a fascinating colourful dessert-cum-drink comprising red dates, dried longan, lotus seeds, winter melon candy, barley pearls and grass jelly. We packed some dorayaki and Srikaya for our late-night dessert and left the awesome and buzzing night market, with unforgettable Langkawi food memories to share with friends back home.
|Dorayaki and Srikaya: yummy desserts from the Langkawi island. Must try!|
24 April 2013
|Vegetarian breakfast hand pies with mildly sweet cottage cheese (paneer) filling|
Sundays are the days when I am in full spirit to experiment and to give in to the urge to bake! So last weekend morning, I baked these cute little heart-shaped, mildly sweet hand pies for breakfast. These hand pies have a flaky crust and the filling is the mélange of a creamy, fruity and nutty goodness. These pies are completely vegetarian. I used edible food colours (Wilton) to make it a little colourful and more exciting. I love hand pies because these are neat and can be hand-held: so even your kid can munch it on their way to school. You can make these hand pies a day or two in advance and store in Ziploc bags in the refrigerator. Whenever you want to eat, just warm a little and you are ready for a quick snack (or dessert) anytime of the day! These sweet pies are especially great for breakfast or brunch.
These sweet vegetarian hand pies with cottage cheese filling are great for picnic and in the kids’ lunchboxes. We have used fresh, chopped Alphonso mangoes in this recipe, as this is the time when Mumbai is raining Alphonsoes. I happened to make some fresh paneer (Indian cottage cheese) on Sunday morning for cooking Palak Paneer, but I changed my mind and used the paneer for this recipe instead. I used pine nuts and dried blueberries for the crunch. I used very less amount of butter, as compared to the conventional hand-pie recipes, as I wanted a healthier version of sweet hand pies.Homemade paneer for the Hand Pies
The homemade paneer is made by boiling (and stirring from time to time) 500 ml milk, lowering the flame and adding 1.5 tbsp of vinegar dissolved in 5 tbsp water.
As soon as paneer separates, add 8–10 ice cubes to arrest the process and to stop the paneer to become harder and drier. Pass the paneer and the whey through a muslin cloth. Drain the whey and sprinkle 3 cups of cold water on the paneer in the muslin cloth. Hang the muslin cloth (with the paneer) or leave it over a perforated sieve for 15 min. The paneer for these hand pies should be very soft and not too dry.
Vegetarian breakfast hand pies with mildly sweet cottage cheese (paneer) filling
Freshly made soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese): made with 500 ml full-cream cow’s milk
Fresh Alphonso mangoes (chopped into small pieces): 1 cup
Small-sized banana: 1
Sugar (unpowdered): 1 tbspPine nuts: 1.5 tbsp
Dried blueberries: 1 tbsp
Chilled butter (grated or cut into tiny pieces): ½ cupAll-purpose flour: 4 cups
Salt: ¼ tsp
Chilled buttermilk: as required (to knead the dough)Wilton’s orange and brown edible food colours: each just enough to smear half of a toothpick
|The healthy cottage cheese-fruit stuffing for the hand pies.|
|Dough for the pie crust.|
Roll out half of the coloured pie dough on a floured surface, ensuring not to roll it too thinly. Using a three-inch, heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out hearts. Do the same with the other dough as well.
Put a little of the filling over one heart and seal with the other heart, using a pie press or the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Transfer to parchment-paper-lined cookie sheets.
Preheat the oven to 220⁰C. When the oven is ready, brush the tops of the pies with a little molten butter and sprinkle some sugar. Bake for 30 min, or until the crusts get light brown at the edges.
Cool for 10 min before serving.
|Have a bite of this!|