Category Archives: Main Dish

Cooking the Malay Rendang the English way

Traditionally, the Malay rendang is cooked in a wok.  The dish starts off with the meat and blended spices covered to the brim with coconut milk and it is then cooked slowly until almost all the coconut milk has dried off when the “kerisek”  is then added.  Kerisek is basically grated coconut which is toasted until golden brown then ground into an oily paste. It can be made at home or bought ready made.  Kerisek give rendang its unique fragrance and flavour.

However, when you are cooking rendang on a stove where the wok won’t sit very well, it can be difficult. So I have made some adjustment to the cooking technique. It reduces the volume of the coconut milk and it involves less stirring so you have more time to tend to other dishes. Not only that, you are guaranteed with tender melt-in-your-mouth juicy meat. Because I was cooking for an English family here, I have reduced the amount of chillies considerably.

I am sorry the photo above is not picture perfect but we were too hungry to wait.


500 gm boneless mutton

1 block of creamed coconut

half a can of coconut milk

2 large shallots (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 large clove garlic (peeled)

1 cubed inch of ginger (roughly chopped)

2 fat stalks of lemon grass (finely chopped)

11/2 cubed inch of galangal (roughly chopped)

3 dried chillies (roughly chopped and soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)

5 bird-eye chillies

1 tbsp Malaysian curry mix

2 pieces dried tamarind slices

a few kaffir lime leaves roughly torn

1 turmeric leaf roughly torn

1 tbsp of groundnut oil

salt to taste

Serves 4

Heat the oven to Gas mark 5.

Slice the meat into small bite-sized pieces. Next, make the kerisek. Chop the creamed coconut into pieces and spread them into a layer on the  baking tray. Place the baking tray under a grill and toast the coconut until golden brown. Meanwhile, blend the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, galangal and chillies with a few drops of water until smooth.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the blended  spices. Add the curry mix and stir well. Add the meat and stir. Next add the toasted creamed coconut and coconut milk and bring to boil. Season well and taste. Now transfer the whole mixture into an oven safe casserole dish, add the kaffir line leaves and turmeric leaf. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Verdict? The in-laws really loved it they had seconds. Finger lickin!

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Filed under Diabetic-friendly, Main Dish, Meat

Swift Chicken Fingers in Beds of Lettuce

This dish is swift indeed. OK so I cheat using ready made spice. I saw a picture in a magazine somewhere. I can’t remember what is anymore. Suitable for a quick late supper snack or opening meal when breaking your fast. Its is filling but light enough that you won’t feel bloated.


1 chicken breast

1 gem lettuce heart

Schwartz Cajun Spice

drizzle of groundnut oil

salt and pepper


Serves 2

Heat the griddle over the stove. Beat the chicken breast using a meat hammer until flattened. Rub the chicken breast with the cajun spice. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the groundnut oil on both side of the chicken breast. Fry the chicken breast in the griddle for over medium to high heat for 3 min on both sides.

Meanwhile tear the lettuce leaves individually from the heart. Wash and dry the leaves. Arrange the leaves on a serving dish. Once the chicken is done, chop into long fingers. Place each chicken finger on a lettuce leaf. Then drizzle over the mayonnaise.



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Filed under Chicken, Diabetic-friendly

Ayam Masak Merah Resepi Atuk Abah (Atuk Abah’s Chicken in Red Sauce)

Atuk Abah is a Malay word for grandfather. This is a really lovely chicken dish. It is spicy and creamy. It goes very well with the apple chutney and plain or pilau rice. I served it once to my mother-in-law and she loved it so much she took some home in a doggy bag. The original recipe uses tomato ketchup and is usually sweetened with either honey or sugar. But, of course, me being me, I have adjusted the recipe so it is suitable for diabetics.


500 gm chicken pieces on the bone (or you could use boneless chicken thighs)

2 tsp turmeric

1 onion (peeled  and roughly chopped)

2 clove garlic

1 inch cube ginger (chopped)

2  fat stalks lemon grass (finely chopped)

1 inch galangal (finely chopped)

2 tbsp ground almond

1 tbsp chilli powder (reduce to your tolerance level if you are chilli sensitive)

1 small can evaporated milk

1 tbsp tomato puree

juice of 1 lemon

3 green cardamom

2 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

3 cloves

2 tbsp groundnut oil

salt and pepper

some coriander leaves for garnish

Serve 4-6

Heat the oven to gas mark 8. Start with the chicken. Season the chicken pieces with the turmeric, salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 tbsp of the groundnut oil over the chicken. Turn the chicken pieces so the each piece is coated in oil.  Arrange the chicken pieces in baking tray in single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Once done, cool the chicken. Save the juices.

Next blend the onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and galangal with a tablespoon of water until smooth.  Heat the rest of the oil in large deep frying pan. Fry the whole spices and as soon as they turn fragrant, add the blended ingredients. Stir well to stop catching. Next add the chilli powder and keep stirring. Add the tomato puree and the milk. Next add the baked chicken and juices. Turn the chicken pieces over to coat them with the sauce. Then add the ground almonds. Finally add the lemon juice. Season well and taste. Garnish with the coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or quinoa pilaf (if you are diabetic).


Terbaru: Atas permintaan Maklong  tuliskan resepi ini semula dalam bahasa Malaysia.


500 gm ayam dipotong kecil

2 sudu teh kunyit serbuk

1 bawang besar dikupas dan dipotong kasar

2 ulas bawang putih

1 inci halia

2 batang serai dicincang halus

1 inci lengkuas dicincang halus

2 sudu besar serbuk badam

1 sudu serbuk cili

1 tin kecil susu cair

1 sudu besar tomato puri

1 biji lemon diperah jusnya

3 buah pelaga

2 kayu manis

1 bunga lawang

bunga cengkih

2 sudu besar  minyak masak (Mak Long gunakan minyak kacang tanah)

Garam dan lada hitam

Daun ketumbar untuk hiasan


Panaskan dapur oven pada  suhu 230C atau gas mark 8. Perapkan ayam dengan kunyit, garam, lada hitam dan 1 sudu minyak.  Gaulkan supaya  setiap ketulan ayam diselaputi minyak dan bumbu. Aturkan ketulan ayam di atas dulang pembakar dalam satu lapisan (tidak bertindih) dan bakar selama  20-30 minit. Setelah masak, sejukkan dan simpan jus ayam.

Kisar bawang besar, bawang putih, halia, serai dan lengkuas bersama satu sudu air sehingga halus. Panaskan lebihan minyak dalam kuali dan masukkan rempah tumis (buah pelaga, kayu manis, bunga lawang dan bunga cengkih). Masukkan bahan kisar dan kacau. Masukkan serbuk cili dan kacau lagi. Masukkan tomato puri dan susu diikuti dengan ayam yang telah dibakar bersama jusnya. Balikkan ayam supaya  diselaputi sosnya. Masukkan jus lemon. Jangan lupa garam dan lada hitam. Hidangkan bersama nasi atau quinoa dengan dihiasi hirisan daun ketumbar.





Filed under Chicken, Diabetic-friendly, Main Dish

Chicken Pad Prik

This is my take on chicken pad prik. In Malaysian thai-food restaurants, this dish features chicken and vegetables stir fried with loads of fiery birds-eye chillies and seasoned with soy sauce, oyster sauce and a few drops of fish sauce. Here I have used home made chilli paste instead. Serve with rice or faux-rice.


250 gm boneless chicken thighs (chopped into bite sized pieces)

50 gm green beans

40 gm cauliflower florets

50 gm carrots (peeled and sliced)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tomato cut into wedges

1 onion (peeled and sliced into rings)

small bunch coriander leaves (roughly chopped)

3 kaffir lime leaves (torn)

2 tbsp groundnut oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

Chilli paste

1 medium sized shallot (roughly chopped)

5 dried red chillies (cut into small pieces and soaked in hot boiling water for 5 minutes)

2 large clove garlic (finely chopped)

2 stalk lemon grass (finely chopped)

2 cm cube galangal (finely chopped)

Serves 4

Blend the paste ingredients until smooth. Heat the groundnut oil in a frying pan. Stir fry the paste ingredients until you see bubbles of oil. Now add the chicken, stirring frequently until it changes colour. Then add the cauliflower, carrots and green beans and continue stirring. When the vegetables soften, add the lemon juice, kaffir lime leaves, soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce. Lastly add the tomato and onion rings. Turn off the heat when the onion softens. Garnish with the coriander leaves.

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Filed under Chicken, Diabetic-friendly, Main Dish

Spicy Asian Beef Salad

My mother-in-law gave me some leftover sirloin roast after a recent family dinner. I used it to make this salad just a few days before the new year.  It is incredibly quick and yummy but very spicy. If you are fearful of chillies, reduce the quantity or use the sweeter variety and don’t  forget to remove the seeds and pith. Serve with warm rice and green salad.


250 gm of cooked beef  ( I have used roasted beef sirloin)

2 shallots  (peeled and finely sliced)

2 tomatoes ( finely sliced)

a bunch of cilantro (roughly chopped – I have run out of this at the time so you don’t see it in the picture)

For the dressing:

2 bird-eye green chillies (finely chopped)

2 red chillies (finely chopped)

2 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 tablespoon  fish sauce

2 tablespoon of soy sauce

6 tablespoon of groundnut oil

Serves 4

First make the dressing. Mix all the dressing ingredients well.  Place meat, shallots, tomatoes  and half the cilantro in a bowl. Pour over the dressing and gently mix. Serve with the rest of cilantro as garnish.

That’s it!

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Filed under Diabetic-friendly, Meat

Creamy pasta with salmon

Creamy pasta with salmon


Untuk hidangan kepada pesakit diabetes gunakan spaghetti low-carbydrate, tapi mungkin susah nak dapat kat Malaysia so boleh gantii dengan kobis yang dihiris nipis memangjang menyerupai spaghetti.

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Filed under Fish, Main Dish



Quinoa (disebut keenwa) adalah satu alternatif yang baik untuk menggantikan nasi. Quinoa adalah sejenis bijirin yang berasal dari Amerika Selatan khususnya pergunungan Andes. Ia mempunyai tekstur seperti nasi. Kandungan karbohidratnya lebih rendah dari nasi sementara kandungan protin lebih tinggi dari nasi. Dalam proses penghadaman quinoa melepaskan kandungan karbohidrat secara perlahan ke dalam tubuh menjadikannya sesuai untuk pengidap diabetes.  Tak hairanlah kalau ia digelar superfood oleh pakar pemakananan Barat.

Dalam penyediaan, quinoa perlu dibasuh sehingga air basuhan benar-benar jernih untuk membersihkan saponin yang terdapat di bahagian bijirin kalau tidak ia akan terasa pahit. Seperti beras, quinoa mengembang apabila masak.  Quinoa juga sesuai dihidangkan dengan lauk-pauk Melayu.

Quinoa Pilaf


1 cawan quinoa

1 sudu besar butter atau minyak sapi

1 camca teh parutan halia

1 cili hijau

1/4  bawang besar dicincang halus

1/2 camca teh serbuk kunyit

1/2 camca teh serbuk ketumbar

1/4 camca teh serbuk kayu manis

1 3/4 cawan air

1/2 cawan kacang pis (frozen)

garam secukup rasa

Hidangan 4 orang

Panaskan minyak sapi dan tumiskan bawang dan kacau selama 4-5 minit. Masukkan halia, cili hijau dan  serbuk kunyit, ketumbar dan kayu manis.  Masukkan quinoa yang telah dicuci bersih dan air. Masukkan garam. Biarkan mendidih sehingga quinoa mengembang dan berekor. Kecilkan api dan renih selama 15 minit. Masukkan kacang pis, kacau dan tutup sehingga semua air telah menyerap ke dalam quinoa.

Maklong hidangan dengan stir fried chicken with soy sauce.


Filed under Diabetic-friendly, Main Dish