AFC GRILLED : Chef Sean Connolly

An evening of good food.

Lap Cheong Watermelon Bites

An asian take on watermelon bites!

Baked Fish with Kiwi in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Add a twist to sweet and sour fish!

Semperit Pandan Cookies

Cute cookies for the festive season!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Food Discovery : Ramadhan Bazaar, Jalan Kuching (Kuala Lumpur)


It is the fasting month for Muslims all over the world. The breaking of fast is called 'Berbuka Puasa' in Malay. In Malaysia, Ramadhan Bazaars or PARAM (Pasar Ramadan) as we call it for short, begins at 4PM daily around many locations all over the country. This goes on for a month until Hari Raya (Celebration Day) marking the conclusion of fasting days. Ramadhan Bazaars are a food haven for those keen to try local food creations and more traditional eats.

One of my favourite bazaars is the one located along Jalan Kuching. Roaring with smoke from grills and huge pots of boiling soup, the place is lively with folks taking their time to scour stalls for food to buka puasa and then there's us, the makan (eating) enthusiasts joining the fun.

"Haaa...mari, mari! " Come, come, the food vendors call out to us to visit their stall.

Bazaar Ramadhan, Jalan Kuching

Murtabak Maggi
One of the more exciting finds at the bazaar. It's basically a pancake of Maggi instant noodles cooked with meat, vegetables and egg. The recipe can be found here at Maggi's website in case you're keen to try it out.

Maggi Murtabak, Bazaar Ramadhan Jalan Kuching

Kuih Lompat Tikam
The green layer is made from rice flour and pandan extract, the white layer from coconut milk and the red/pink layer consists of lightly salted sticky rice. A bit of food colouring is used. The whole combination is plain tasting -  the flavour comes from the sweet syrup of gula melaka (palm sugar) which is poured over just before serving.

Lompat Tikam, translated literally, means 'Jump Stab'. Folklore has it that long ago, the Sultan of Kelantan was presented with trays of sweetmeats as a gift from another kingdom. It was an elaborate occasion and one of the maidens carrying the tray tripped. This caught the Sultan by surprise, accidentally stabbing her in the process. In memory of the incident, the kuih was named as such.(Source: Kelab Pencinta Sejarah Kelantan)

Kuih Lompat Tikam

Roti John
This is a a long piece of bread (soft French loaf) filled with an omelette of minced meat and onions. There are many variations to the filling - Generally, it is onions and minced meat sauteed on a flat pan. Beaten egg is then poured over and a slice of cut open bread is slapped on top. Once cooked, the omelette would have stuck onto the bread. This is flipped over and followed by a drizzle of chilli sauce or mayonaise.

There's a funny tale as to how this bread masterpiece got its name. It seems that in the 1960s, an Englishman named John asked a Malay hawker if he sold hamburgers. He didn't of course but with a bit of ingenuity, he created this and it was coined Roti John (John's Bread). More about Roti John here.

Roti John

Kuih Tepung Gomak / Abok-Abok
This kuih (sweetmeat), popular in Kelantan and Trengganu, is a sticky cake that is made from glutinous rice flour and filled with grated fresh coconut mixed with brown sugar or gula melaka (palm sugar). The outer layer  is usually coated with ground roasted mung beans.

Kuih Tepung Gomak

Pictured below:
Fried Popiah
(spring rolls)
- a deep fried vegetable wrap that is rolled in chilli sauce with crushed peanuts sprinkled over.
Kuih Bakar - a baked custard-like cake.
Bubur Kacang Hijau - sweet mung bean dessert in coconut milk.
Bubur Lambuk - a savoury porridge of meat, coconut, herbs and spices.

1) Fried Popiah 2) Kuih Bakar Pandan
3) Bubur Kacang Hijau 4) Bubur Lambuk

Besides cakes, snacks and meat barbecues, one can also find an array of rice and noodle dishes.

This beef noodles soup seller is a regular at Jalan Kuching's Ramadhan Bazaar. The Soto Daging comes with a packet of yellow rice vermicelli with cooked beef, spicy soy sauce chilli and beef soup.

Beef and Parts

Drink stalls like the below are a common sight. The varieties are interesting ranging from blue lemon, calamondin lime with preserved plums, yam, dried longan and grass jelly.

Drink Stalls

That ends my walk at Jalan Kuching's Ramadhan Bazaar. I bought more than I needed, promptly sharing it away with friends. For more on local kuihs, click here to read our 2014 blog post on Ramadhan Bazaars.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes With Curried Pumpkin


I've probably mentioned several times on this blog that we're rice-eating people. Occasionally, I break out of the norm with just potatoes and meat. This is more of a side dish. I needed something to pair with plain roasted chicken.

Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes With Curried Pumpkin

The dish is simply flavoured but no less delicious with pork lard and dried spices to amp things up just a bit.

Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes With Curried Pumpkin
For the potatoes -
- 350g baby/cocktail potatoes
- 1/8 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tbsp melted pork lard
- Some fresh coriander (chopped)
1) Mix all the above together (except the coriander). Bake until done. It took about 40minutes at 180C for me. Use a skewer to check.
2) Serve garnished with fresh coriander.

For the pumpkin -
- 360g pumpkin (remove seeds, wash but leave the skin on)
- 1 yellow onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp Alagappa's meat curry powder (mix with a bit of water into a thick paste)
- 2 dried cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- Some water
- Pinch of Knorr chicken stock cube
- Salt to taste

1) Steam the pumpkin until cooked. Spoon the flesh away from the skin and leave aside.
2) Blend the onion and garlic. Use a bit of water to get it going, if necessary.
3) Heat cooking oil in pan. Add the blended onion/garlic. Saute until just fragrant.
4) Add the spices and curry powder. Stir for a minute before adding the pumpkin in.
5) Then add ¼ cup water, pinch of chicken cube and salt to taste. Cook into a thick paste.
6) Switch the heat off, stir the coconut milk in. Let it cook for a bit before dishing out.

1) Potatoes, Chilli Flakes, Pork Lard.
2) Mix all the ingredients in 1) and bake!
3) Steamed Pumpkin, Curry Paste and Blended Onion/Garlic.
4) Saute the onion/garlic, add the curry paste and spices.
5) Add the pumpkin.
6) Stir the coconut milk in last. Cook into a thick paste.

Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes With Curried Pumpkin

Serve as a side dish with chicken, topped with roasted potatoes.

Oven-Roasted Baby Potatoes With Curried Pumpkin and Chicken

There was way too much pumpkin for two people, so I had whatever was left over for breakfast the next morning. The basics -- spread the curried pumpkin onto an oven-proof plate, make a hole in the center and break an egg in. Then, bake until the egg is done.

Curried Pumpkin With Egg


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