Friday, January 15, 2016

Baked Sweet Potato and Rice Laksa

Christmas came and was gone faster than I could hum and mum my jingle bells song . As much as I love the festivities, I'm relieved that it's all over. Another month of such indulgence and I'm afraid, I completely need a new wardrobe! Like most people I know, I gained a bit of weight during the holiday. All those Christmas cookies, pralines, family and friend lunches and dinner left a noticeable mark on the weighing scale. And I need to loose it   before Easter and the chocolates that come with it, arrives!

One of the gifts I got for Christmas was a recipe book by Jamie Oliver I got from FF. It contains recipes that look both delicious and  healthy. I never count my calories, but good ol' Jamie is a step ahead and do the counting, just to prove his point. Each dish in low in calories . That's the least of my concern though, what I am after  is , how the dishes turn out to be. I've tried three dishes from this book, making some minor alterations as I go along, using and replacing ingredients that are available in my place. So far and all of them were delicious. Never knew, eating healthy could be this fun!

Baked Sweet Potato and  Rice Laksa
 Serves 4


1 lemongrass stalk
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb sized ginger, peeled
1 big red chilies, seeded
2 stalks, spring onions
1 and 1/2 tsp. chopped coriander paste
140 ml coconut cream
some vinegar
fish sauce
Chicken Bouillon cube/paste
750 ml water
200 g rice, preferably a mixture of white and wild rice
800 g sweet potato, peeled and cube
4 chicken thigh, with bones, skin removed
sesame oil
1 tbsp. unsalted roasted peanuts

 1. Using a mortar and pestle/ electric blender, grind together, chopped lemon grass, garlic, ginger , chilies and spring onion. Grind until it turns into a paste.It doesn't have to be overly fine. Add in ground coriander paste. Use chopped fresh coriander leaves , instead of coriander paste , if it's available.

2. Stir in coconut cream, a slush of vinegar and fish sauce. Just eyeball the ingredients. Try and add few drops of vinegar or fish sauce according to your taste.This will be you laksa paste.
 3. Wash chicken pieces and pat dry. Remove skin and excess fat. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1 1/2 in cubes.
 3. Lather each chicken meat and sweet potato cube with laksa paste.Set aside.
4.  Using a big roasting pan with a lid, bring 750 ml water to a boil. Add in chicken bouillon cube or paste.
 5. Add in washed rice. Spread over pan.
6.  Carefully put chicken and sweet potato cubs over rice. Drizzle with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and baked in a preheated oven ( 180°C) for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped onion leaves/ coriander leaves and chopped roasted peanuts . 

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