Sunday, October 30, 2011


Rose perfumes are made from “attar of rose” or “rose oil”, which is obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals of roses. The weight of oil extracted is about two thousand flowers to produce one gram of ESSENTIAL OIL.

 An associated by product of this, is “ROSE WATER”, which is used for cooking, cosmetics and medicine. ROSE WATER is widely used in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
In France, “ROSE SYRUP” is made from rose petals extracts. In the US, this French ROSE SYRUP is used to make rose scones and marshmallows.
The aggregate fruit of a rose is called "rose hip" known to contain vitamin C
Rose is the name of color halfway between red and magenta on the HSV (RGB) color wheel.
Red roses are used to make “Rose red dye” and being used to dye wool.
Rose red color matches well with green.
MENU FOR SUPPER:  ROSES BY MOONLIGHT - This beautiful  recipe name was given by 
 My Adorable One- How charming....

MENU FOR BREAKFAST:  JASMINE BUDS- Such a fragrant flower

As for me, I eat 3 rosebuds with honey  for  supper, eat nothing else at this hour. Remove and throw away the outer petals, cut each bud into half. Pour over honey or nectar. Enjoy, it’s traditionally believed to help maintain youthful skin, but i eat only twice a week.

I do the same for jasmine buds, 7 buds a day, during breakfast. I am not a 
health or beauty freak, I just simply enjoy eating them raw…

 so, if you are a health or beauty freak, eat rosebuds and jasmine buds  twice 
a week for each - perhaps with honey, nectar or salad dressing. Enjoy.

Jasmine, a member of the olive family, is also used for making jasmine tea, jasmine syrup, ESSENTIAL OIL and jasmine ABSOLUTE used in perfume and incense.
There are about 200 species of jasmine flower, I am referring to the one (buds) as shown in the photo above. It is the national flower of Indonesia, by the name “melati putih”. It is also the national flower of Pakistan, Philippines, Hawai and Tunisa. In Malaysia we call it “bunga melur”.
Used in perfumery and aromatheraphy, ABSOLUTES are similar to ESSENTIAL OILS. They are concentrated, highly-aromatic oily mixtures extracted from plants.
Essential oils can be produced through steam distillation techniques.
Absolutes require the use of solvent extraction techniques.
Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants, either by the flowers, in which it attracts  pollinating  animals ( such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds), or by extrafloral nectarines. Nectar is produced in glands called nectaries
Nectar is an ecologically important item, the sugar source for honey.
For a complete breakfast, I normally eat the food above- but the one in the photo is too much, I eat only half of that and I bet you all too. See my earlier post on meat balls..

Best eat the 5 color varieties of fruits and vegetables, for maximum nutritional value. They are green, orange/ yellow, red/blue , white and red.

The green color of leafy veggies is due to the presence of the green pigment, chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll has been proven effective against cancer.  The darker the green, the higher the content of vitamins. (examples-broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, kiwi)

The yellow/ orange color of fruits and vegetables are due to the presence of “carotenoids”, which are also affected by normal cooking processes or changes in pH. (examples- papaya, carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangoes, corn, cantaloupes(honey dew melon) and apricots).

 The red/ blue color of some fruits and vegetables  (e.g.  blackberries, blueberries, grapes, beets, eggplants, figs and red cabbage ) are due to “anthocyanins”  (antioxidant compounds) which are sensitive to changes in pH.

When pH is neutral, the pigments are purple  and when acidic, red and when alkaline, blue. These pigments are very water soluble. Anthocyanin is believed to be good for a healthy heart. Fresh blueberries contain more anthocyanin.

The white and brown group- garlic, onions, bananas and mushrooms. Their particular phytochemical is allicin, which would help to prevent certain cancers and which would be good for heart health.

The red group. They contain lycopene, (an antioxidant) which could reduce the risk to contract prostate cancer  and many more health benefits. Its effect would be even greater when tomatoes are cooked. Their flavor is destroyed in the refrigerator.  Hold them at room temperature. Other red fruits and vegetables are red carrots, red watermelons, dragon fruit and papayas (but not strawberries or cherries).
Cook first then blend.
Saute garlic in 1 tsp oil, add chicken broth. You may use chicken cube stock and add water to it. When boiled, add in salt, pepper, minced yellow capsicum and spinach.

After 2 minutes, turn off fire, immediately pour veggies into a bowl and let cool.
Do not leave veggies in cooking pot as  the heat  makes them overcooked.
When cooled- blend. When ready to serve, boil again on high heat, the moment it boils, turn off fire.
Water-soluble nutrients are destroyed with prolonged cooking time. When you cook vegetables in water, those nutrients will leach into the cooking liquid, so try to use the cooking liquids in soups and stews.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


1 medium size whole pumpkin, cut into four. Cut again each quarter into half. Total 8 pieces. Do not peel skin. Remove seeds.
1 1/2  cup palm sugar/ maple syrup
2 pieces screw pine leaves (pandan)
25 pieces cloves
1 cm young ginger root- chiffanade (paper thin slices)
A pinch of salt- I prefer the Himalaya rock salt
The way to do it:
Fill up a large pot with water and boil the pumpkin (submerged) until cooked, not too soft. You may test- poke a bit with a tiny stick, if it feels soft, then its cooked.
Carefully take out each piece from the water (avoid breaking) and place on individual serving plates. I serve 2 pieces per plate. Set aside.

Use a small pan and add 3 cups of water. Add in palm sugar, salt, ginger, knotted screw pine leaves (pandan) and cloves. Stir until sugar dissolves. Here, we get fresh and pure palm sugar and it’s flavor is most suitable for making desserts.
Pour the syrup onto the pumpkin when ready to eat.
You may use maple syrup instead. Over here maple syrup is rather a much more expensive imported ingredient.
This is a vintage recipe from the Malays of Malaysia. It is a sweet, savory and fragrant dessert, best for tea… better yet chamomile tea or chamomile tea with lemon.

Pumpkin,   a low calorie vegetable, is rich in beta carotene (anti oxidant).Usually, the darker the skin, the higher the beta carotene content.

It is an excellent source of vitamin A, a great source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber.
Also contains vitamin B1, B3, B5 and B6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Beta carotene is of red, orange and yellow pigments called carotenoids, provides approximately 50% of our body’s vitamin A requirement.

Beta carotene helps prevent certain cancers, heart disease, cataracts, Alzheimer disease, depression, heartburn , parkinson and  rheumatoid arthritis.

Beta carotene  SUPPLEMENTS are not recommended for general use.
Preventing bronchitis and difficulty  breathing in smokers- beta carotene from food helps, but beta carotene from  SUPPLEMENTS do not
There are so many health benefits which i have earlier posted on this in greater details at

Sunday, October 23, 2011


For the sake of it’s great health benefits, I tried my best to acquire the taste of bitter gourd. Whenever I cook this, i will say it is not bitter, it only tastes unique. May be one day I will make a salad dish out of the red pith, since it is edible and sweet. Ahaaa what says you.
3 pieces Spanish mackerel – makes 2 cups ( or red snapper )
5 cm young ginger root
6 pieces shallots
2 tbsp concentrated tamarind juice
1 tbsp sugar and salt to taste
Blend all the above ingredients.
1 cup grated coconut ( preferably not fully ripen yet)
¼  cup minced coriander leaves
¼ cup  minced daun kesum ( you may substitute this with sweet basil leaves)
1 large size bitter gourd
The way to do it
Put  all the blended ingredients, grated coconut and coriander etc in  a bowl and mix well to form a dough.
Slice bitter gourd on an angle, about 2cm cuts and remove pith and seeds. 
Stuff in fish dough. Shape the balance of dough into balls
If you feel that the gourd is too bitter for your taste buds, you may cut it first and soak the cut gourd in salt water for an hour, then rinse, before stuffing in the fish.
This is a vintage recipe where the daun kesum makes a world of difference in taste.

Ingredients for soup
2 tbsp spice soup powder
1 shallot- slice
2 pieces garlic- minced
Salt and pepper
4- 5 cups water (depends on quantity of your gourd slices)
2 tbsp cooking oil.

Saute shallot and garlic until wilted. Add in soup powder. Stir for a few seconds, add in water.
Only when the water boils, add in stuffed bitter gourd. When bitter gourd looks crisp tender, may be about 15 minutes, turn off fire and remove pot from the stove top. This helps maintain color of the gourd.
The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fish per week to help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
chinese phenotype

Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, is low in calories but big on nutrients, with twice as much potassium as a banana and twice the beta-carotene of broccoli. It is the most bitter of all edible fruits.

The fruit is often eaten green. It can also be eaten  ripe and of yellowish color. However, it becomes mushy and more bitter as it ripens.

Unripe seeds and pith appear white, they are removed before cooking. However, the pith will become sweet and turns red when the fruit is fully ripe. The pith can be eaten uncooked in this state and is a popular ingredient in some southeast Asian salads- I have never tried this before.

How to treat asthma with bitter gourd roots. Grind the roots of bitter gourd into a smooth paste. Mix one teaspoon of the paste with one teaspoon of honey or one teaspoon of tulsi (Holy Basil) leaf juice. Drink the solution once every night before bedtime. Continue the process

Medicinal plant project- wiki (Excerpts):
There are many medicinal and health benefits of bitter gourds:
-Help diabetics lower their glucose levels (hypoglycemic effect) and detoxify the body
-To stimulate digestion, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
-To prevent tumors, balances hormones and enhance immunity

Ivy Gourd
A scene at the supermarket veggie section- Sue said to Susan:
Susan you were the one who introduced me to Ivy Gourd, ooooopss!,
 I mean introduced Ivy Gourd to me..... just a smile for you…..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011



Cut each tofu into 8 pieces and fry until golden brown. Drain oil.

Fry garlic and onion in 1 tbsp oil until golden brown. Add  cabbages, salt and pepper. Stir for 4 minutes . Add in bean sprouts, fried tofu, chili and spring onion. After 2 minutes, immediately put off fire. Serve hot. 
You may eat this almost perfect "al dente" , by itself or as a side dish with rice.

Normally in previous posts, i always add in some reliable health benefits, so as to refresh./ benefit every reader.. I have not done that for the past month, now i am back to it, with which i feel my post is more complete. Stay tuned.

Double the rate of vitamin B and E

Beans, in the form of sprouts have more vitamins than in the form of seeds.
During germination, the vitamin B increased by 2.5 to 3 times.

Similarly, (anti-oxidant)  vitamin E , also increases from 24-230 mg per 100 grams in dried beans TO  117-662 mg per 100 grams in sprouts.

Sprouts are a natural estrogen with estrogen synthesis. Estrogen in the bean sprouts can increase bone density and structure, which helps prevent bone loss (osteoporosis)

Friday, October 14, 2011



Ingredients: from cooking-varieties exclusive recipe

2 cups sago pearls
2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 cup red beans – soak overnight and boil
 tablespoon sugar
Banana leaves (about 20 pieces, cut into 11 cm width)

 Wash the red beans and soak overnight in the fridge, to soften them a bit. Next, boil until cooked and the beans cracked up. Drain away water and coarse blend. Set aside.
When boiling, you may add about 1 cm ginger into the water to get rid of wind/ gas from beans. Once boiling is done, remove the ginger. 
Over here, you can buy banana leaves from the wet market. Banana leaves need to be softened or slightly wilted, so that it won’t tear off, when folded.  To do this, you can heat the leaf over your stove fire for a few seconds. Or you can put it under the hot sun for 30-40 minutes.

You may substitute this with some other large non-poisonous leaves. The leaf texture should not be too soft.  Wrapping them with leaves, makes the sago cooked with excellent results. If it is  too soft and soggy, it means the dessert is already ruined. This happens especially when sago is boiled directly in water. This is the intricate part of cooking sago, although the recipe is very simple to follow.
When that is done, cut the banana leaves into pieces, about 11 cm wide and set aside. Leave the length as it is.
 Wash sago pearls and drain away water. Do not use strainer. The sago is wet enough to enable it to soften- with plenty of moisture but not soggy.
Using a mixing bowl, add in about 6 tablespoons hot water, sugar and cocoa. Stir until  dissolved. Add in sago pearls and red beans. Mix well and ensure that all ingredients are properly mixed.  Set aside and cover  bowl  for 15-20 minutes  to allow the ingredients to blend well and  to let the sago soften a bit.

Boil water in a Steamer pot.

While waiting for water to boil, start wrapping up the sago using banana leaves.
Shape banana leaf into a cone, fill it up with sago and press down the sago using a spoon (not too compressed). Fold the top to close the cone. Place and arrange this cone directly onto the Steamer pan. Repeat this, until all sago has been wrapped up. Put pan on Steamer pot. Cover with lid and let it cook for about 15- 20 minutes- depending on your steamer size/layers of cones stacked, as in the case of a small-size steamer.
You can open up one cone and check- if sago has turned translucent color, then it is already cooked. Remove from Steamer and leave to cool. When serving, do not remove the leaves because it enhances the authenticity of the dessert.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


My dear friend Mari Sterling Wilbur requested i post this swiss roll recipe, not because she does'nt know how to make swiss rolls, she only wants to know how i did my design on this roll.
She has her own designs too. Do visit her exclusive photo blog, she also gives detailed photography tips and tutorials.  

Sponge cake mix        750 grams
Eggs – grade A           12
Water                          150 ml
Cooking Oil                150 ml
1 cup cooking chocolate (melted)
1 drop vanilla essence
Some margarine to line baking tray
4 pieces parchment paper

Pre heat oven to 190C-200C/ 400F
Use 2 rectangular baking  trays 14 X 17 inches 

Put in an electric mixer the eggs and water and whisk. Start with speed # 1 for 5 minutes, then increased to # 3. Whisk until mixture becomes light and fluffy (whitish color).
It is of the right consistency, when you take some with your finger and it doesn’t drop. Once the right consistency is reached, change to #2 and whisk for a few seconds only.
Drizzle about one quarter of the sponge cake mix and whisk again for 25 seconds and stop. 

Fold in the remaining cake mix, also about one quarter at a time, into the mixture using a large metal spoon. Lastly, add in oil and fold in again.


Divide above mixture into two separate bowls.

1- First bowl- add in 600 grams mixture with permitted green food coloring plus a drop of vanilla  and mix well. This mixture will be for the first baking tray.
2- Second bowl, also 600 grams of the mixture with no color added. This is for the second baking second tray
The balance of the mixture- see 3 steps detailed below

Use 2 rectangular baking  trays 14 X 17 inches (for each mixture), line the bottom and sides with parchment paper and grease the paper with some melted margarine.
Fill up with 600 grams for each tray. Level the mixture. Makes two trays.
Balance of the mixtures - 3 steps below.

Step 1- Add some melted cooking chocolate. just enough to produce a light chocolate color to the mixture. Spread evenly, a thin layer of about 1 cm of this light chocolate, at the top of mixture for both trays

Once that is done, do some design work to produce an authentic looking swiss roll. Here goes:-
Step 2- Do some green mixture, enough to/ and fill up inside half (about) a piping bag, compressed it and then snip a tiny bit at the tip of the bag. Mixed amount should be just enough to do zig zag design as in the green photo above.

Step 3- Do another one later, with some melted cooking chocolate added to it. Make this a darker brown than the base color earlier spread (see chocolate photo). Fill up piping bag

Pipe the mixture on top of the cake batter, somewhat like my sketches up there.(zig zag)
When done, spread them all over randomly, using a satay/ tiny stick. Do the same for the chocolate..

Bake in oven for about 9-10 minutes.
Place a larger than cake/ tray size parchment paper (grease proof paper) on a table top. Sprinkle with some flour. (Do the same for the 2nd tray)

The cake is considered done, when the edges shrunk slightly away from the baking tray. Remove the cake from the tray- just loosen the edges and turn onto the flour dusted parchment paper. Quickly peel the lining paper off the cake.
Place a slightly damp clean kitchen towel, on top of the cake. Leave to cool for about 1 hour. This helps prevent the cake from drying and from cracking when you roll it later.

Spread on top of cake with jam or butter cream or whatever spread of your choice. 
(I use  white butter cream)
Place the length side near/ facing you. Then carefully trim about one quarter inch, off the width side (one side only). Place this cut ¼” strip on top, at the edge of the length side (near/ facing you ) …see my photos and sketches.

Roll the cake, away from you. Do it carefully, to ensure that they are evenly rolled up and do not break.  At intervals, push slightly in, the middle part of the cake roll using a plastic roller- so as to get a more even roll.
When done, wrap neatly using a foodie plastic wrap- to keep up the shape and moist.
When ready to serve , cut into slices.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Fried egg, sunshine up please 
What is the meaning of  “Fried egg sunshine up” 
- must be  the yolk looking like the sun and the white sure got a real good tan :) 
wow!  the sun  shines bright alright. 
Not easy to fry egg this way.. Look, I can’t do it, if I burn/ tan  the white (yolk) , the sun will set !. 
This is something even a gourmet chef may not know how to fix.
 It takes a genius scientist chef to do this right huh  :)
btw:) i have to post at least a joke, so that it gets listed in google search LOL

Congratulations to Ann for being tagged in a game where she has to specify her three favorite recipes (with links) and then tagged 5 other bloggers. I am one of them tagged by Ann.
welcome from cooking varieties
Before I specify my 3 favorite recipes, I would like those who have not said hello to Ann yet, to do visit her kitchen, which stresses on healthy cooking recipes.
I can for certain say that Ann blogs on authentic recipes with great photography works and had  specified that her 3 favorites are:
1- Sicilian antipasto platter

3- Vintage cherry soup
PS, LATEST NEWS- CHIC commented at Ann's comment box today - CONGRATS on making Top 9 my friend. Your Mediterranean Stew on Polenta is NO# 1. Woooo HOoooooooooo!!!! Huggssssss..

To me this is more like a simple,” Merry-Merry Going Around Visiting” game.
 cooking varieties emphasized that “varieties” is a vital link between the food and the eater.  To maximize this variety, I have opened up my blog to guest bloggers participation.

My 3 favorite recipes are:

1- Suji meat balls- Crunchy outer and soft inside

2- Chicken and veggie noodles soup- Asian style, one dish meal (july 2011)   

3- Nusantara Urap- vegetable salad recipe from old Nusantara (Malaysia, Indonesia-april 2011)

Finally, here are the names of 5 bloggers tagged to continue the game

1- Mugdha       
2- Spoon and chopsticks
3- Chele                 
4- Anu:             
5- Now Serving

Here are Spoon and chopsticks 3 favorite recipes
I visited her 3 recipes, wow delicious and very tempted to try.. i like her cheesecake  best with special ingredients, baked it specially for her husband's birthday..