Wednesday, July 4, 2012


These two are Malaysian classics and Achar is one of my favorite. I had not attempted to make this before and  whenever I come across people selling this, I could buy them regardless of whether they taste good or not.  In many cases, they are just bearable to satisfy my craving.

So when my sister left for a holiday in Australia, she bought over all her  vegetables  from her fridge.  I am  really at a loss why she stocked up so many cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes as she always  seems to be on call duty! So happened also that I had a recipe for Achar which I wanted to try (from blog of Sugar & Everything Nice).

Over the weekend, I finally make my own achar! Yes it is that time consuming that I required the whole weekend to complete the 2 dishes.   Now I know why a small packet at the market costs RM3.50 - there is just too much work involved. 

From washing the vegetables, cutting them into same sizes (ok no need to be  that exact but still...), blending/grounding the rempah, waiting for the veggie to dry,  etc took me almost the whole afternoon.
Here is how I did it.

Wash and cut 3 cucumbers lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and try (just try) to cut them into 2 inches lengths.  Do likewise for the 3 red chillies and green chillies each.  Cut 2 carrots into the same lengths too. Lightly season them with salt and set aside to let the juices drain out.  

Wash and cut a whole cabbage into square pieces. Cut 10  long beans into 2 inches lengths.  Lightly season them with salt and let them drain well.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, add in vinegar and blanch the veggie briefly.  Immediately remove and place in cold water to stop the cooking.  Drain well- either use towel to squeeze out the water, sun-dry them or use fan to blow dry. Make sure that they are dry to touch.

For the rempah: ground/blend together:-
20 dried chilies (soften and seeds remove)                      
10 shallots
10 cloves of garlic
2 small pieces of tumeric
1 piece of galangal
6-8 buah keras (candlenuts)
1 serai (only white part)

Heat oil and saute grounded ingredients till fragrant over medium low heat. Add vinegar, sugar and salt- adjust taste accordingly. Remove from heat and mix in dried veggies.  I did not add any grounded peanuts at this stage. I prefer to add them when ready to serve.  

 When cooled, pack them into bottles and keep in the fridge.
 Can't wait to taste them.   

Since I have bought extra fresh herbs and shallots, I decided to ground them for the Chicken Rendang rempah.   Saw the blog from Wendy- Table for 2 or more.  I substituted the beef with the chicken thighs instead. 

Until you attempt to cook any dishes yourself, you won't really know the work and hours involved. No wonder most of these dishes either appear at festive occasions or celebrations parties.  

Cooking the coconut kerisik over low heat from white to...
golden brown, stirring all the time to get a even colour.

The chicken pieces were marinated overnight with the rempah which consists of ginger, galangal, tumeric and lemongrass (serai).

1. When ready to cook, heat oil and add grounded mixture of 10 dried chilies (soften), 10 shallots and 3 cloves of garlic,
2. Saute till fragrant and add in the chicken pieces mix well
3.  Add tumeric leaves (cut into thin slices), 
4.  Add seasoning- palm sugar and salt (adjust to taste)
5.  Add water -enough to cover the chicken and let is come to a boil 
6.  Add about 1 cup of thick coconut milk (depends whether you like more gravy) and the kerisik
7.  Mix and let it boil till chicken is cooked.

 It is a fact that I seldom cook spicy curry  dishes, but this one is  going to grace my table more often from now- it is delicious!

In my family, whenever we had a craving for curry laksa, we would all go to this coffee shop in Jalan Sungai Besi to get our fix.  Reasons being:-

1.  It is free of charge- we can order what we like and don't have to pay a cent.
2.   We know that the stall is clean and ingredients used are fresh and of good quality.
3.   We like the taste of this curry laksa- the recipe was developed by my sister.

But good things always come to an end.  My brother-in-law who operated this stall has finally agreed to retire at the request of  his children and the lucky man had left for a holiday with my sister to Australia.    

So this is the  bowl of curry laksa from Madras Lane. 
This stall also has a long history in Madras Lane....but........

No comments:

Post a Comment