Saturday, February 28, 2015

Oven baked Tandoori chicken

I'm still feeling  amiable and socialible ( more than usual, I mean)  from the yuletide season and the countless celebrations with family and friends that came naturally with it. So to keep the spirits high,  I invited FF's family over for lunch .

Although I love  Indian cuisine, I prefer to eat it at the restaurants rather than cook it myself at home. It's still one ground  I still rarely thread. Today, I just kept my fingers cross and decided to give it a try and serve it. My guests are pretty excited about the prospect of eating Indian foods, after all, it rarely make appearances on family lunches and dinners. Just like an adventure, trying something new that they might like....or not.

I made some Indian fish curry, using some spices I bought in Malaysia and this oven baked tandoori chicken. The smell of my kitchen was heavenly! The spices and the aroma welcomed my guests like a sweet embrace . Not only did it smelled good, it tastes fantastic too! Everyone , even the picky kids were raving about it and were actually keen to give Bollywood meal another go! Yeah, you don't need to wear a cape and tight leather speedo to feel like a hero. Watching my family happy and satisfied  faces while eating foods I lovingly prepared and cooked, gave me just the same satisfaction.


6 chicken legs

1 cup jogurt
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp Cheyenne pepper
2 tsp. paprika powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder ( you can add more, if you like it hot)
4 garlic cloves, finely mashed
1 tbsp. grated ginger
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

To Garnish:

Lemon wedges
coriander leaves or mint leaves
onion rings

Cooking instructions:

 1.Remove skin and trim excess fat from the chicken legs. Make some incisions along the flesh so flavours can set in deeper. Pat chicken pieces with paper towel.
 2. Mix marinade ingredients and rub it into the chicken, making sure to lather every inch of flesh, every crease and slit .
Cover bowl with a cling foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours . The longer it marinates, the tastier it becomes. I had mine soaked in marinade overnight. The jogurt also helps tenderize the meat, making it fall off the bone tender and keep it moist and succulent .
3. Preheat oven to 200 ° c. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil. You need to do this. It's going to make your life easier after all the eating and socializing. Trust me. Spray or brush wire rack with your choice of fat. I used coconut oil to grease it. Put sauce lathered chicken on the wire rack  and place wire rack on the aluminium foil lined pan and pop in the oven for 30 mins. After 30 mins, turn chicken and bake for another 15 mins. I flipped the chicken once more and turn oven's setting to ''broil'' and pop it in for another 5 mins. Take out from the oven, garnish and serve!

Finger lickin' good!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Banana Fritters

Once upon a time, there's a  cluster of overripe bananas sitting long enough on kitchen counter. If the visible ugly brown  spots and shrunken skin is not enough to put you off your appetite , then  the overly sweet , earthy smell the comes with it certainly will.  It's starting to look like that lonesome lady at the bar , who was once the hottest girl in class that every guy wants  to date , but is now past her prime  and nobody  pays attention to. Yet, underneath that failing facade is still a promising core. Time for some make over then!


4 over ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
70 g, rice flour
70 g of purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
5 tbsp. dessicated coconut
1/4 cup soda water
oil for deep frying
powder sugar for dusting, optional

Cooking instruction:

 1. Sift together rice flour, all purpose flour and baking soda.  Mix in salt, sugar, coconut  and soda water.
 2. Using a fork, mash ripe bananas and add into the flour mixture.
 3. Carefully fold everything together .
4. Heat oil in the wok until hot but not sizzling. Carefully drop spoonfuls of banana/flour mixture into the oil, make sure to leave space in between to prevent it from sticking together. Fry under medium heat until golden brown. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and set on paper towel to drain. Serve immediately, dusted with powdered sugar or for special occasions,  a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Make over project complete!

From dull and ugly...

 to pipping and can't get enough hot!

So please excuse me, Fairy godmother will  now enjoy the fruit of her labor....

And yes, she did live happily ever after...


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Komaneka at Tanggayuda

''Welcome back home ,Ibu Emily , Bapak Juergen.'' FF and I were greeted, as we step back into the hotel grounds. We were hot and sweaty from our day tour but the welcoming sight of familiar and friendly faces, offering everything that ensure our comfort and satisfaction make me forget what little fatigue I'm feeling.  Every staff, from the reception, down to the waiters at the restaurant are so genuinely warm and friendly , they make me feel practically like a family and yes , right at home.

I have been to many different places, stayed at different hotels and humility aside, thanks to  our sustaining jobs, FF and I , manage to stay at a fare share of luxury accommodations. But,   Komaneka at Tanggayuda has a special place in my heart. Although I have seen more lavish, more luxurious resorts than this , Komaneka , possessing every bit of Balinese hospitality and spirit tops them all. It is all about getting back what you paid for and more. Like most lucky few who have been to this place, I also have stories to tell. 
There's a huge cookie jar at the room that is refilled daily, along with it are fresh local  fruits. There's these delicious Balinese cakes and  other local treats offered every afternoon , a free and comfortable shuttle ride to Ubud centre and other Komaneka properties, parting gifts, free carving lesson, complimentary yoga lessons ,  tickets to Neka Museum  and turn down services. Ooh the list could go on forever! Aside from that, here are some reasons why, it's easy to fall in love with this place.

The room

We stayed at Premier pool villa. Large, spacious, looks and smells immaculately clean, modern yet with Balinese  influences plastered all over.  Tastefully decorated  and equally large bathroom  with indoor and outdoor showers, huge tub with ( gulp) rose petals floating  ,  hers and his vanity sink and large closets and storage for your luggages .  It's beautiful and makes me dream of having one.

Each villa has its own pool ensuring total privacy. Premiere villas however, have bigger lap pools. 

The Grounds

Cocooned within the lush foliage, with a beautiful garden and offering a magnificent  view of  rice terraces, paddies and the River Oss, Komaneka is an oasis of peace and tranquillity . It offers both ultimate comfort and relaxation. Cliches aside , It will definitely  be your home, away from home.

The Spa

Visited the spa every second day of our stay. It was one of the best massages I ever had during my stay in Bali. And yes, I've been to many and more expensive Spas. Pampering was never been this good. You will feel deliciously languid and utterly relaxed after each treatment.

The Foods

You will be spoilt with the choices offered .  The spread below is just a sample of what you can get during your stay. Everything's made from scratch and to your personal preference. It's like having a private cook what will cater to your every whim. 

Breakfast on day 1. Orange waffle. banana cake, chicken murtabak and omelette. Slices of tropical fruits , muesli, freshly squeeze orange juice served with coffee and tea. Feels like 4-course meal. Not a bad way to start a day, eh?

I don't know if I was just hungry or it was the fresh air, the beautiful surroundings, the sound of nature that serenades us that made me eat more heartily than usual.

You can have your breakfast within the privacy of your villa or at the restaurant . There are many breakfast menus to choose from and you can combine or mismatch things offered at your fancy.

 A typical Balinese breakfast for a change. Serving is very generous, you can make it trough the day without lunch! 

Once the clock hits 3 PM, Balinese cakes and sweets, cookies and fruits are yours for the taking. Served with choices of tea, coffee or fruit juices . And yes, it's for free!

Room service . Komaneka has the tendency to make their guests so pampered to the point of being lazy. It constantly  reminds me I'm really on holiday. After lounging and lying around, FF and I, sometimes make a quick call at the restaurant and have our food delivered and served at our room. 

We celebrated our wedding anniversary there. It was a surreal experience. We have one of the  resort's pool to ourselves. It was adorned by flickering lights that illuminated through the night  while being serenaded by soft ballads  . For once, I forgot about the foods . (^-^) Only that it was good and plentiful, I could barely finish anything, making our indulging waiter, Gun, worried. I was giddy and over the moon. Can't blame a girl for being smitten with such treat, no?

The Staff

Certainly what makes Komaneka exceed. The real gems of this resort.  They will show you what real Balinese soul is about. You can't help but fall for these people, for they, with all their honest willingness to please will surely leave a lasting print in your heart. 

Tilthen Komaneka! Hope to see you again, very soon!

Easy Pineapple upside down Cake

It's the girlfriends' monthly rendezvous and we're supposed to meet for afternoon tea. Each must contribute something caloriefic worth sharing. Since the cast is all Pinays, I was vent on showing up with a basket of freshly steamed siopao asado and the proudest grin my maw could muster. Anything to please this crowd, per se. Alas, after working 8 straight days, I was  exhausted and was not really in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, kneading and steaming buns!  I need my beauty sleep more than my friends' praises.  The stress at work is starting to be visible on the crease of my forehead!

Few hours before the meeting , I whipped this simple yet fabulous looking cake. Preparation took only 15 minutes! The result however was much ,much more promising. The cake end up moist, succulent and super delicious. What do yah know, the girlfriends loved it too!


90 g butter, melted
90 g brown sugar
1 large can of sliced pineapple
some glace cherries
140 g all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
150 granulated sugar
80 g desiccated coconut
1 large egg
200 g buttermilk, I used fruit flavoured
3 tbsp. sour cream
3 tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla 

Baking Instructions:

 1. Pour melted butter into the baking pan. Brush to spread butter evenly. make sure to grease the sides of the pan as well. Sprinkle brown sugar over the butter. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries.   Be creative!

 2. Sift flour and baking powder together. Stir in salt, sugar and desiccated coconut. Mix! Mix! Mix!
 3. In a mixing bowl/ cup. Whisk together butter milk, sour cream, egg, vanilla and oil.

 4. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Using a spatula, carefully fold mass together until just combined. Do not overmix, batter doesn't have to be smooth.

5. Pour batter on  the pineapple line baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven ( 180°c)  for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes our clean.

Guess who baked it again this weekend?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thai pumpkin and fish coconut curry

Just when I thought that winter  finally said its last adios this year, it came back ,  unwelcome if I may add, on my weekend off at work. Talks and plans about a nice Sunday walk slipped into the abyss as the day dragged on cold, drizzly and sunless. Well, time to cook something to warm the bones then!

Pumpkin and Fish Coconut Curry Recipe:


800 g fish ( I used halibut and salmon)
600- 800 g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 big red onion, diced
2 tbsp. red Thai chili paste
2 thumb sized ginger, chopped
5 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. lemongrass paste 
1 x 400 ml coconut milk
300 ml water
2 tsp. tamarind pulp
2 tbsp. palm sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 ( or more, if you like it really spicy ) red chillies , chopped
juice of 1 lime/lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

1. Heat coconut oil , sauté diced red onion and ginger until aromatic. Stir in chili paste until well incorporated in oil.
2.  Add coconut milk  and water into the wok,  stir in lemongrass paste and bring to a boil.
3. Add in the sour-sweet- salty and spicy components, which is essential in Thai cuisine.  I used tamarind pulp, palm sugar , chopped chilies and  fish sauce.
3. Put chopped peeled pumpkin into the wok. Cover wok and let pumpkin simmer in curry sauce for about 7 mins or until just tender. 
4. Arrange fish on top.
4. Put chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with lime or lemon juice. Cover and let it simmer just long enough to cook the fish. Takes about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on how thick your filets are. Serve piping hot on white rice.

Ahhhh better than hot chocolate and marshmallow on a snowy day, I tell you.

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