Wednesday, May 27, 2020


This Chettinad curry chicken came about during Phase 4 of MCO due to my husband's sudden cravings for Indian curry.  He started to google for Indian curries and told me to try this.  Honestly, I prefer to prepare simple easy meals during MCO as I prefer to stay home.  Preparing 'extraordinary' dishes means I have to be out sourcing for ingredients.
After reading through the recipe, I discovered most of the ingredients are available in my kitchen except for chicken.  So, here goes the preparation of the curry paste and cooking of the curry after making a trip to the market to get the chicken meat.
This curry is quite spicy to me [with oomph] and could be categorised as very spicy to some people who cannot take spicy curries.  The spiciness comes from the use of peppercorns and hot dried chillies.  I was told that some people cook this curry dry.  I believe the dry version will be very spicy but definitely awesome for people like husband who loves spicy curries.  Shared this curry with an Indian friend, she said is spicy but awesome.
You can use whole chicken [about 1.2 to 1.5 kg] to make this curry.
800 gm chicken thigh - skin removed cut into 2
6 chicken wings - tips chopped, keep whole
2 drumsticks - skin removed, keep whole
4 ripe tomatoes - chopped add 1/2 tsp salt
2 sprigs curry leaves
300 gm shallots - coarsely sliced
1 tbsp each of grated ginger and garlic
100 ml cooking oil
salt to taste
Curry Paste [1] Dry fry until aromatic
4 star anise
8 cardamons
8 cloves
1.5 tsp peppercorns
1 inch piece cinnamon
15 dried chillies
1 mace [nutmeg]
100 gm grated white coconut
Curry Paste [2]
3 tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp fennel powder
Marinade for Chicken
2 tsp salt
2 tsp tumeric powder
2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Dry fry curry paste [1] ingredients until aromatic and dry.  Add grated coconut and fry until lightly browned and dry.  Leave to cool before blending in a blender.  Add in curry paste [2] ingredients.
  2. Marinate chicken pieces with marinade for chicken for at least 30 minutes or more.
  3. Heat oil in a non stick wok, add in curry leaves, fry until aromatic.  Add in shallots, continue to fry until shallots are translucent and lightly browned.  Add in ginger and garlic paste.  Continue to fry over low to medium heat until aromatic before adding cut tomatoes.  Fry until the tomatoes are soft and forms a thick gravy and oil separates.
  4. Add in the chicken pieces, fry over high heat for several minutes before adding the curry paste [1&2].  Continue to fry until the chicken is well coated with the masala.  Add in a cup of water, continue to fry, then cover to cook over low heat until chicken is tender and cook.   Serve hot with rice.
  5. Note: Before adding water, I transfered the fried ingredients  to a thermal cooker inner pot, add water, bring to boil for 5 minutes.  Then transfer the pot to thermal cooker to continue the cooking.  The chettinad curry chicken is ready within the next hour.
  6. The blanched okras are added before serving [optional].

*Mace is a spice. It is the lacy coating (called the aril), found on a nutmeg seed. This lacy aril, which is red, is removed by hand from the outer shell of the nutmeg and then dried, becoming a yellowish-brown spice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Try this way of cooking chicken wings with shallots, it is simply easy and quick.  Here, you would  noticed lots of shallots are used.  Shallots give the dish a sweet and mild flavour.  The fried chicken wings are braised to tender and succulent.  It is a dish that you can serve as a main dish with  rice and maybe with a vegetable dish.  The thick, tasty gravy is great to spread over rice.
This is a Guangdong cuisine.  You can use chicken drumsticks to make this dish.
Recipe adapted from Ms Ma's Kitchen you-tube video with  slight modifications
[serves 2-3]
8 pieces chicken wings - end tip removed and cut into 3 pieces
1 tbsp cooking wine
1 tsp sesame seed oil
some chopped spring onions
120-150 gm shallots - peeled and keep whole
1.5 tbsp light soy sauce and oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1.5 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tbsp cooking oil
several slices of ginger

  1. Marinate the chicken wings with marinade for several hours or overnight to be flavorful.   
  2. Heat up a non stick wok with some oil, place chicken wings in a single layer to fry until brown on all sides by turning them constantly.  Add in shallots, stir fry for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.
  3. Transfer to a claypot, add in cooking wine and some water.  Mix well, cover to cook for 20 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning at the base [alternatively you can cook the chicken wings in the wok instead of transfering to cook in claypot].
  4. Drizzle in sesame seed oil, garnish with some spring onions.  Serve with rice.


Monday, May 25, 2020


This is a simple vegetarian dish with firm tofu as the main ingredient.  Yet, it is tasty and delicious to serve with rice.  Savoury, sweet in taste and aromatic.  A dish that you can choose to add to your meal whenever you think of going meatless.  Suitable for the young and old.  
Studies show that regularly eating tofu can provide lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  It is healthier than meat as soy provides an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, minus the saturated fats.  
[serves 2-3]
2 pieces firm tofu - sprinkle some fine salt over tofu pieces, leave for 15 minutes.  Press lightly to release some water, then cut each piece into 6 pieces
1 red chilli - seeded and cut into pieces
1 green chilli - seeded and cut into pieces
some soaked black fungus - cut strips
some chopped ginger and garlic
1-2 tbsp fine dried soy gluten [optional]
1 tbsp rock sugar
1 tbsp each of light soy sauce, mushroom sauce and sweet soy sauce*
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce for colour
* can replace by adding some sugar
salt to taste
dash of pepper
sesame seed oil

  1. Prepare the ingredients  as listed.  Heat a non stick wok with some oil enough to fry the tofu pieces.  Slowly put in the tofu pieces to fry over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides.  Dish up, set aside.
  2. Remove excess oil, add in rock sugar to caramelise over medium heat.  [This process results in  nutty sweet flavour and brown colour].  Return the fried tofu to wok once the rock sugar has caramelised.  Swirl the wok to coat the tofu pieces with the caramel.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients except the chillies and seasoning.  Stir fry to mix the ingredients well.
  4. Add in seasoning, chillies and water.  Bring to boil, then braise for 1-2 minutes until water is reduced.  Taste to adjust seasoning.
  5. Dish up to serve with rice.

Friday, May 22, 2020


Really good and tasty braised pork ribs, red fermented  beancurd [nam yee] flavour.  Just a few steps to prepare and you get to enjoy aromatic and tasty pork ribs.  If you like a bit of a gravy to go with rice, then braised the ribs till tender but still moist.  
I added a pack of Ernygii mushrooms for its sweetness and aroma.

Recipe inspired from Ms Ma's Kitchen videos with modifications
500 gm of meaty pork ribs - cut into sections - cleaned and drained on coriander
200 gm Eryngii mushrooms - removed the round head - cut lengthwise pieces
1 stalk spring onions - washed and knotted
1-2 inches ginger - sliced
3-4 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced
1 heaped tbsp rock sugar
2-3 pieces of red fermented beancurd [nam yee]
2 tbsp red fermented beancurd sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce to taste

  1. Prepare the ingredients as stated above.
  2. Combine nam yee with light soy sauce.
  3. Pan fry ribs in a non stick pan with some oil until brown on all sides.  Push aside, add in mushrooms to fry until slightly brown.  Add in sliced ginger and garlic.
  4. Stir fry to mix ingredients well.  Add in spring onions, nam yee sauce and rock sugar.  Stir to coat ribs and mushrooms with sauce ingredients.  
  5. Add in hot water, bring to boil for 1-2 minutes over high heat, cover with lid and cook over medium heat until ribs are tender and water reduced.
  6. Remove lid and continue to cook until gravy is reduced to thick.  
  7. Dish up to serve.