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Have Yourself a Yummy Raya!

Any and every Malaysian knows just how synonymous food is with the festivities – Hari Raya being no exception. Beef rendang, chicken satay, lemang, ketupat and kuih raya are just a few examples of the gastronomical delights to which one can look forward during the Raya celebrations. Ah, the thought of digging into these fares is enough to send many a person’s brain (mine, especially) into overdrive.

But as easy as it is to gush about these delicacies and their sumptuousness, whipping them up is another story. Let’s face it; we only need about 20 minutes (10 for those famished ones) to polish food off our plates but the preparation that comes before all that feasting can go up to hours! It’s no wonder some may turn to catering or take-out when inviting guests over for their Hari Raya rumah terbuka (open house). However, tempting as it may be to get someone else to do the cooking for you, there’s nothing quite like proudly presenting your guests with your very own culinary creations.

In light of this, HealthToday asked Elaine Ho, the founder of online food delivery service Chopstick Diner to share with us, her ideas for some relatively quick, easy and oh-so-delicious dishes you can whip up this Raya.

Indonesian Vegetables in Coconut Curry (Sayur Lodeh)

E_82460257

   Servings

   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   6 people

   10minutes

  40minutes

Ingredients

  • 300 g snake beans cut to 2 inch strips
  • 300 g cabbage roughly chopped
  • 1 pieces carrot skin removed and cut to quarters
  • 5 pieces fried tofu puffs cut into halves
  • 3 pieces cloves garlic skin removed
  • 10 shallots skin removed
  • 2 pieces candlenuts soaked in water for roughly 10 minutes
  • 2 cm galangal
  • 50 g dried prawns soaked in water for roughly 10 minutes and impurities discarded
  • 2 tbsp prawn paste (belachan)
  • 2 pieces large red chillies
  • salt, adjust according to taste
  • 1 litre water
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Blend shallots, garlic, galangal, dried prawns, chillies, candlenuts and a 2 tablespoons of water. Blend until you achieve a fine paste
  2. In a wok, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add blended paste and saute for 5 minutes or until fragrant
  3. Add water to the paste and mix ingredients thoroughly. Bring it to boil then lower the heat to simmer ingredients
  4. Add snake beans, prawn paste, tofu puffs and carrots. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
  5. When ingredients are soft, add cabbage and simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer for further 5 minutes
  7. Turn off heat
  8. Serve immediately

 

Beef rendang

E_254977372

   Servings

   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   6 people

   30 minutes

   3.5 hours

Ingredients

  • 600 g beef shin cut into large cubes
  • 7 shallots skin removed
  • 5 cm galangal skin removed
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 large red chillies stems removed
  • 3 stalk lemongrass finely sliced
  • 1 litre water
  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut lightly fried over low heat until it turns slightly brown
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves finely shredded
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (gula melaka)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Using a blender, blend red chillies, shallots, lemongrass, galangal and 2 tablespoon water together until you reach a fine paste.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot and add blended ingredients to the oil. Fry until fragrant over low heat
  3. Add cloves, cinammon stick, cumin powder and beef. Fry over low heat for 1-2 minutes
  4. Add water and simmer for 2 hours or until beef is quite tender
  5. Add lightly fried grated coconut, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, salt and coconut milk and simmer for further 1 hour until water has all evaporated and beef is tender
  6. Serve with steamed rice or nasi kuning (recipe coming up next!)

Yellow rice (nasi kuning)

E_76663048

   Servings

   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   3 people

   5 minutes

   20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basmati rice or any long grain rice washed to remove any impurities
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 2 milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • handful or parsley and sultanas for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat ghee in a large saucepan over high heat. Add cloves and fry for a few seconds or until fragrant
  2. Add rice and mix thoroughly, consistently stirring the rice so it does not stick to the saucepan
  3. Transfer rice mixture to a rice cooker. Add water, saffron and salt
  4. Cook for approximately 15 minutes
  5. Using the back of a fork, fluff up the rice
  6. Dish onto a clean plate and serve with parsley and sultanas
  7. Serve immediately with curries or dishes with sauce such as beef rendang

Steamed Nyonya Pandan Custard and Rice Cake (Kuih Seri Muka)

E_91849472

   Servings

   Prep Time

   Cook Time

   8 people

   10 minutes , 4 hours

   1 hour

Ingredients

For the rice base:

  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice soaked for 4 hours or overnight if you have some time
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • For the custard layer:
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 whole chicken egg
  • 1/2 cup plain all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 cup thick coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp pandan essence *

Instructions

  1. For the rice base, drain glutinous rice and add salt and coconut milk to the rice. Cover 8 inch round loose bottom tin with baking paper. Spread rice mixture evenly over tin and steam for 30 minutes. Once rice is steamed turn off heat and leave to rest.
  2. For the custard layer, combine water and castor sugar in a small saucepan, place over low heat and stir until mixture is dissolved. Leave to cool. Crack eggs into bowl and then add all purpose flour, corn flour, coconut cream and pandan essence. Using an electric mixer, mix ingredients until you achieve a smooth custard mixture. Pour sugar mixture into bowl together with the other ingredients and beat further to combine ingredients. Using a double boiler, fill bottom bowl with water and add custard to the top bowl. Alternatively you can boil a pot of hot water and add custard onto glass bowl which sits above the boiling water (making sure the glass bowl does not touch the boiling water). Stir custard with a wooden spoon for about 20 minutes until it thickens. Turn off heat and leave custard on the bench top
  3. Pour custard through a sieve onto cooked rice layer. Even out the layers by tapping the tin softly on the bench top
  4. Place steamer over low heat until you see some steam. Then place tin in the steamer, cover tin with a clean tea cloth and cover steamer. Steam cake for 20 minutes or until custard sets
  5. Remove cake from steamer and leave to cook
  6. To eat, slice steamed cake with oiled knife. Serve with a cup of green tea or coffee
  7. * If you can't find pandan essence, you can extract pandan juice by placing pandan leaves in a food processor and then squeezing out the juice using a fine muslin cloth. You'll need about 100ml of pandan juice for this recipe

Now, there you have it! Dishes bound to tantalize you and your guests’ taste buds. So, give these recipes a go this Raya! For further information, check out Chopstick Diner at www.chopstickdiner.com

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