Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Legendary of Mooncake

(Sekarang Starbucks Coffee pun ada jual mooncake...)

The Mooncake Festival fall on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. On this night, the full moon appears more beautiful and brighter than any other night of the year. As with all festivals, there is always a story behind its origins. The Mooncake Festival evolves around 2 legends - one signifying the end of the Mongol Rule in China and the other, a tale of the beautiful Moon Maiden "Chang Er".
Now i only tell one of the story is that the Han people of that time resented the Mongol rule of the Yuan regime and revolutionaries, led by Chu Yuan-chang. Their deep hatred drove them to usurp the throne. Chu had to find a way of uniting the people to revolt discreetly and brainstormed with his advisor, Liu Po-wen who them came up with a brilliant plan. A rumour was spread that a plague was ravaging the land and that eating a special mooncake distributed by the revolutionaries was the only way to prevent it. The mooncake were distributed to the Han people who upon cutting into the mooncakes found the message "Revolt on the fifteenth of the eighth moon." Upon receiving this information, the people united and overthrew the Yuan on the designated day. Hence, the mooncake has come an integral part of the Mid-Autumn festival.
Now Mooncakes symbolize the gathering of friends and family and an indispensable part of the offerings.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aromatic Star

I mean star Anise derives its name from its apparent star like shape. Rough on the outside, the brown fruit features six to eight perfect points, which split to reveal a seed in each smooth pod when dried.
The star anise is also an important ingredients in the Chinese 5-spice powder, which is a pungent mixture of 5 ground spices of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, Szechuan peppercorns and star anise. It is used in meat marinates, stir-fries, stews and braised dishes, the ground star anise lends a sweet aroma to cakes, breads, cookies and desserts. It also used in garnishes and decorative.

Like all other types of spices, star anise should be kept in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight, preferably in an airtight container. stored properly, it may keep up to a year.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hari Raya

Hari Raya Aidilfitri or also known as Hari Raya Puasa, celebrated by Muslims after a month of compulsory fasting during Ramadan. Traditionally, Muslims begin the celebration proper with house to house visits to recite special prayer on the eve of Hari Raya. On the actual day, Muslims visit one another. The "Open House" unique to Malaysians, starts after the morning prayer and goes on throughout the day.

Hari Raya is also a time to seek and grant forgiveness. The young and old will clasp hands as they forgive each other for their past misdeeds. All of us enjoy the traditional favourites dished at Hari Raya.......Jom Open House.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pandan Leaf

Known to us Malaysian Folks as the daun Pandan or Screwpine leaves to other. Pandan leaf is to South-East Asia what the vanilla bean is to the West. The pandan plant grows from the ground in clusters of long sword like green leaves. It is used to flavour both sweet and savoury dishes. The juice is added to traditional cakes to impart both fragrance and colour. They can be ground to extract the deep green coloured juice to be used in various recipes to various kuih-muih and sweet dessert soups like Bubur Cha-cha, Pulut Hitam and many others.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sago Gula Melaka

Is a popular local dessert. It so easy to make it, bring the water to a boil in a deep pan and add the sago separated. Allow to boil gently over a medium flame for about 10 minutes. Turn off the flame and cover pan with lid. Set aside for about 10 minutes, or until the sago pearls are translucent. Spoon sago into individual jelly moulds. You will find it easier to unmould if you rinse the moulds well before putting in the sago. Chill well.
To serve, unmould the pudding onto a dessert plate and top with the palm sugar syrup and coconut sauce. To prepare the palm sugar syrup, boil together the palm sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Simmer until syrup is thick. Cool before using. To make the coconut sauce, bring the coconut milk to a boil and turn off the flame. Stir the salt into the milk. Cool before using.

Sago is a starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems. In New Guinea, where it is called Sak Sak and Sagu. Pearl Sago a commercial product, closely resembles pearl tapioca. "Tapioca" a starch is quite a neutral tasting ingredient which is made from the processed and dried manioc root and similar to sago. This similarity course in the name of dishes is Sago Pudding With Palm Sugar.