Friday, September 25, 2009


(pic from umidishes album)

The dish I'd like to showcase this time is a cake. This cake has a lot of memories for me. My late mum learned how to make this cake from her aunt who during her younger days had been a cook with a British planter after World War II. In those days there were no metric system and most Malays were not literate in the romanised writings. They were schooled in the arabic form of writings. Thus measurement of recipes were mostly in cups or bowls which I personally find most convenient.

Consequently the recipe for this cake is in the form of the very tin the butter was canned in. No matter what is the size of the tin, we use back the same tin to measure the ingredients involved. Pretty simple. This cake is a family favourite. During Eid relatives and friends who come to visit would expect this cake to be served :) and would also packed some to take home. So I'd like to share with you this family favourite. Enjoy.



1 tin butter
1 tin castor sugar
2 tins self raising flour
1 tin eggs (5-6 eggs depending on grade)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbs golden syrup or honey
1 tsp baking powder

raspberry jam for centre spread
almond flakes for toppings


1) Whisked together the butter and sugar till white.
2) Add in vanilla essence and golden syrup
3) Beat in egg one at a time till finished
4) Fold in the flour which have been sieved earlier with baking powder.
5) Lined the bottom of the cake tin with rice paper and the sides with butter.
6) Fill in the cake tin with the cake mixture about 1/4 full.
7) Bake at 170 deg celcius for 20-25 mins
8) Turn the cake out of the tin bottom up
while its still warm and spread raspberry jam over it.
9) Place the other cake on top of the cake bottom to bottom, with the almonds topping showing on top.
10) Serve with tea/coffee. Enjoy

(pic from umidishes album; sandwich cakes on the right of plate)

I hope you would try this wonderful cake. In parting I'd like to state that I am just a home foodie and not a chef. What I have shared with you in this blog are dishes that I would share with you had you come to my house as my guest, i.e. the family food. This is how I prepare them and you might have your way of preparing them. Important thing is we love preparing them for our family and friends.

So till we meet again, take care of yourself.


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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ayam Berlada for Eid

Busy busy busy..busy with last minute baking and cooking and for some busy with last minute shopping for cakes and cookies..busy with arranging and rearranging the furniture..busy with getting the china and glasses and cutlery out... .busy with a one and million thing. I guess that will be the scenario in every Muslims home now in welcoming 1st Shawal.

I have managed to put together this video on Ayam Berlada which happens to be the family favourite dish. The fried chicken pieces are cooked in blended Thai and dried red chillies. Hope you can try it. Have to warn you though that it is a very very hot dish. Enjoy.

Ayam Berlada

1 whole chicken (cut to pieces, rub with salt and tumeric and fry)
3 onions (blend)
1 bulb garlic (blend)
3 stalk lemon grass (blend)
2 inch ginger (blend)
2 inch galangal (blend)
1/4 cup vinegar
salt to taste
2 pieces tumeric leaves slice thinly (optional)
4 cups oil
1 rice bowl blended thai chillies
1 rice bowl blended dried chillies

1) Heat oil in wok
2) Fry garlic,onions,ginger,galangal and lemon grass
3) Add in the thai chillies and dried chillies
4) Add in the vinegar,tumeric leaves.
5) salt to taste
6) Add in the chicken and simmer over slow fire until the chillies are cooked.
7) Simmer until the liquid is reduced and the chillies thicken and slightly dry.
8) Remove from stove,ready to serve.

This dish can last for few days if we reheat often. Its good to eat with rice, or nasi impit(compressed rice) or bread.

Till we meet again, take care of yourself.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'd like to wish all muslims here a very happy and barakah Eid al Fitr. I hope all of us have benefited from the month long fasting in Ramadan al Mubarak. For a month we have experienced hunger and thirst. By that we ought to be able to empathise with the less fortunate, who have at times sleep with an empty stomach..not knowing when will be their next meal. We ought to be more charitable because as Prophet Muhammad salallahu alaihi salam (peace be upon him) said "A man's wealth is never diminished by charity." Charity will invoke a feeling of generosity and goodwill among us.

We ought to feel nearer to our creator and be thankful for all the life's blessings that we have enjoyed so far and continue to enjoy for the rest of our life insyaAllah. We are trained via fasting during Ramadan to exercise self control. Through self-control, a Muslim practices good eating habits, good manners, good speech, and good deeds and thoughts. Let us hope and pray that what we have been for one month continues for the rest of the year and the rest of our life.

Eid al Fitr marks our victory over greed and lust. It is a time for happiness, togetherness and blessings. I wish to ask for forgiveness if ever during our interactions here I have slighted or hurt your feelings unintentionally,Wallahu'alam. Once again here's wishing you a blessed Eid.


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Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Time flies. The month of Ramadhan al Mubarak will be leaving us soon. So will the food bazaar that has sprung all over the place throughout Malaysia as is the custom every year. Preparation for Eid al Mubarak is already underway. Top of the list would be the cookies and cakes for guests that would be visiting. For the Malaysians, Eid al Fitr is celebrated for one whole month and as such the cookies must be made in a quantity to last that long.

Gone were the days when the ladies got together to bake cookies in groups. I believe they still practice this in the villages and small towns though, but not in the cities. Its a practice in accordance with the Malay tradition and custom called "Gotong Royong" loosely translated to mean joint bearing of burdens or "tolong-menolong" which means reciprocal assistance, voluntary in nature for the benefit of all. Much of communal work is done in this manner in a Malay society and similarly in the Nusantara of Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

Usually on the eve of the Eid the villagers would get together in groups to cook the special dishes for the big day. Tents would be raised and firewoods are gathered. Big woks are set up over the "tungku" or make shift stove. The ladies would prepare the ingredients for the "meat or chicken rendang" and the ketupat and lemang. The men help with the stirring of the dishes in the big woks and pots and making sure the firewoods are in good supply.

The main dishes are ketupat and lemang eaten with a spicy stew called rendang. Lemang is glutinous rice and coconut milk placed in a bamboo; lined with banana leaf and grilled over fire wood.


Ketupat palas is glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in palas leaf and boiled while ketupat nasi is rice stuffed into a woven coconut leaf satchel or pouch and boiled.




The special traditional cake for Eid would be dodol. It is made of rice/glutinous rice flour, sugar palm and coconut milk and stirred for hours till it thickens.

The best part of this cook out is that neighbours get to taste them too. The food are distributed to neighbours, whether they are Malays or Chinese or Indians or Thais etc. This is the custom that has done more for unity than any other programmed campaign. The way to anyone's heart I believe is through the stomach. A gift of food is the best gift there is. There is so much goodwill in that gesture. My Chinese neighbour never forget to give me cookies and oranges during Chinese New Year and angpau of course.Not forgetting the Indians too. I just love their special dishes during Divali.

I leave you with this proverbs:

Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
- Mark Twain(1)

Confucius (551-479 B.C.) once said that the path to your friend's heart and love goes from your cooking.(2)

Till we meet again take care of yourself.


SIX STREAMS OF INCOME - NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! It takes multiple streams of income to succeed online. We have the TOP six programs online all under ONE roof! Get started now for less than dinner and a movie!

source of quotes: (1)
source of pics: google search

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chinese ala Malay

The plurality of Malaysian society promotes fusion of popular dishes among the races of Malaysia.Its a delight to savour for example "Laksa Asam" chinese style and Chinese stir fried mixed vegetables (with tempe(fermented soya bean)thrown in) the Malay style.

In this outing I'd like to share with you 2 popular Chinese dishes cooked my way a.k.a Malay style. So enjoy guys.



1Kg chicken clean and cut into bite pieces
4 egg white
black pepper and salt to taste
1 rice bowl dried chillies fried in oil till crisp
1 cup cashiew nuts roasted
4 cups cooking oil
6-8 eggs (as you wish)
1 cup diced walnut
2 big onions sliced and fried
1 bulb garlic slice or pounded
1 inch ginger slice or pounded
1 stalk chinese celery and spring onion cut as u wish


1) Rub in the chicken with salt and pepper and mix well. Pour into the chicken egg whites and mix them well. Set aside for half and hour.

2) Use back the oil that you have used to fry the dried chillies and onion. Fry the marinated chicken till it is cooked and slightly brown.

3) Put in the fried onion garlic and ginger and stir well. Put in the fried dried chillies and cashew nuts..Mix them all well.

4) Lastly put in the celerey and spring onions. Remove from fire and serve.

The next dish that is the craze among sea food lovers in Malaysia is Lala Chilli. The Lala or clams can be replaced with crabs if you so wish. So let us cook Lala Chilli umidishes style.



1Kg Lala or clams or crabs as desired
1 rice bowl blended dried chilli
1/2 rice bowl tomato sauce
1/2 rice bowl chilli sauce
salt to taste
5-8 eggs as desired
1 cup walnut chopped
2 big onions sliced
1 bulb garlic sliced
2 inches ginger sliced or pounded
4 cups cooking oil


1) Fry onions, garlic and ginger till soft and aromatic
2) Put in the chilli, tomato sauce and chilli sauce.
3) Put on salt to taste
4) Put in the eggs and stir slightly
5) Put in the lala and mix them all well
6) Put in the chopped walnut
7) Cook until the shells change to a pinky color and remove from fire.
8) Serve.

Till we meet again, thank you for watching and following. Take care of yourself.


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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cooking is like love

(pic from umidishes personal album: Nasi Minyak)

Ever heard of the saying "Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all"(1). It will be an act of love if we treat the eventual dish that we produced as a gift not only to others but to ourselves. So how can we make cooking a pleasant adventure.

The factor that makes cooking a chore and a bore to some is the time that it consumed. Coming home late from work after spending frustratingly long hours in the traffic crawl, the thought of slaving over the stove is certainly not an attractive option no matter how hungry we are. However cooking is not only an art, it is also a science. It started very early; at the time when we design the kitchen. The placement of the sink, the stove/oven, the fridge/freezer and the pantry is important because this is the route that we are going to make often. The position must not only look good from the aesthetic point of view but it must also take into account the efficiency aspect. Time and motion.

Think of what we can do to save time since we are in short supply of it. Prepare in advance what we need before Monday, i.e. before the work days for those who are holding a career or the school days for the home makers with school going kids. Pack meat, fish and vegetables according to serving quantity. Do not lump them into one packet because it takes time to thaw them and repacking them again. Peel onions, garlics and ginger etc and store them in airtight container in the fridge ready for use when required without us having to peel them in the dead of the night after work or early morning when preparing breakfast for the family. Wash and scrub potatos and carrots, peel the pumpkin and gourds ready for baking or boiling or cut up the vegetables and packed them away in advance. Blend whatever is required like chillies or tomatoes or fruits and keep them in airtight container in the fridge. For some meat and sea food perhaps we could boil them until tender and nice in advance ready for use later.

Important thing is to plan the menu for the week in advance so that we have an idea of what supplies to get. We can do all this preparations for the week during weekends. When the time comes for cooking we just have to take them out and hey... we are actually cooking in less time without hassle.

Another thing to remember is to always wash the utensils as you are cooking. Do not let them piled up in the sink for later because the sight of a piled up pots and pans and dishes is certainly deflating.

Invest in some of the cooking utensils and equipment that could save you time. A slow cooker is good for a busy working career person. You put together a stew and time it to be ready when you get home from work. If you like rice, get a rice cooker. It cooks to perfection in 10 minutes or less depending on the quantity. A pressure cooker is best to tenderise meats and ribs in less then 15 minutes. A blender and food processor are gadgets that you must have in the kitchen. If you don't mind microwaving then maybe you could invest in that too.

The above are just suggestions on ways to make a tedious and time consuming chores a breeze. I am sure there are other ways to save time apart from ordering Chinese and pizza..:P

I leave you with a proverb; "Cooking is at once child's play and adult joy.And cooking done with care is an act of love."(2)

Life is actually very simple if we make it simple. Mr Confucius said "Coarse rice for food, water to drink, and the bended arm for a pillow - happiness may be enjoyed even in these."(3)

So till we meet again, take care of yourself.


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TOP six programs online all under ONE roof! Get started now
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(source of quotations)
(1) Van Horne)
(2)source: Claiborne)


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