Monday, October 26, 2009

Sweet Potato and Longan Soup

This is one of my favourite Chinese dessert that's so easy to prepare within minutes. Whenever I crave for something sweet, light, guilt-free and hassle-free, this is it. It is simply a concoction of sweet potatoes and dried longans, sweetened with rock sugar and red dates. I add some sliced ginger to give the zing, which helps 'spice' up the dessert.

Sweet potato is a wonderfully versatile root vegetable fruit that can be prepared and consumed in many ways. It can be eaten steamed, baked as a cake, eaten french fried, a dessert in either Chinese or Western styles. It is a good source Vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene and folic acid among others.

Longan, (Dragon Eyeball known for its resemblance to the eye), is another common fruit in Asia grown in temperatures no less than 4.5 deg C. Driged longan is used in making Chinese desserts. They are dried and dark brown and expands when boiled in water. It is sweet and is known to have an effect on relaxation.

For a simple dose of Sweet Potato and Longan Soup, all you need to prepare are:

1 to 1.5 l water
1/2 cup red dates

Sliced ginger
2/3 cup dried longans (washed and soaked)
1 cup diced sweet potato
Some cut fungus (washed, soaked and expanded)

1-2 tbs rock sugar

1. Bring 1 to boil.
2. Add in B and let it boil over small fire for 20min.
3. Add in C and stir thoroughly for another 20min.
4. Serve hot.

Optional: You may wish to add in 1/2 tbs of apricot seeds to the soup in Step 1 if desired.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Curry Cauliflower with Garlic Crumbs

This is an interesting and relatively easy recipe I came across in this book Three & Four Ingredients. Every recipe in this book aims to only use 3-4 ingredients, which makes cooking easy and hassle free! This 400 over recipe book is big and heavy. After flipping over the book the entire morning, I came across this recipe which I think I might succeed. A little adaptation was done with the addition of curry powder to spice things up and add some interesting twist to the flavour! Now this can be a good way to get your kids to eat their greens.

This dish makes a great accompaniment to any meat or fish dish.

All you need:

1 large cauliflower, cut into bitesize florets
130g breadcrumbs (crushed biscuits)
1 tbsp chopped garlic (or cloves)

90-120ml olive or vegetable oil
Salt and ground black pepper (I use normal white pepper)
2 - 3 tbsp curry powder (optional)

1. Steam or boil the cauliflower till soft. Drain and leave to cool
2. Heat 60-75ml of oil in a pan and add breadcrumbs and cook over medium heat. Toss and stir constantly till browned. Add garlic and curry powder (if desired) and continue frying. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Heat remaining oil in pan and fry the cauliflower till lightly browned
4. Add garlic breadcrumbs to the pan and stir till well combined with the cauliflower.
5. Season with some salt and pepper and serve.

Alternative: if you wish you may also fry with chopped chili padi to really spice it up!