Saturday, July 29, 2017

Grilled Lamb with Caramelized Onion Cream

So the other day, we had an all girls night at home and Zz had to camp out at Iris. To make it up to him, the next day I made this Grilled Lamb with Caramelized Onion Cream. Plate made pretty with baby kale, arugula and cherry tomato salad, and edible flowers.

How I made it :

Lamb shoulders marinated with Athene Spices, Tunisian Harrissa and Garlic Salt. Grill using a grill pan, until done to your preference. Remove lamb from pan, set aside in a covered container so that all the juice will be absorbed back into the meat. Add caramelized onion to the pan, deglaze with milk. Stir until sauce thickens. Serve warm, over grilled lamb with fresh greens and cherry tomatoes.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Teatime at TWG with Rafie & Jamjoom Clan

Tea time with Ammi Kamal, his wife Khalati Maisoon, and his mother in law, Khalati Sooad. 

Ammi Kamal is the son of my grandfather's brother, Abbas Rafie, while Khalati Maisoon is the daughter of Omar Rafie, another brother of my grandfather Hussen Rafie. Khalati Sooad was the foster mother to the Rafie children sent to study in Egypt in the 50's, and my father's one of them. Khalati Sooad is a Jamjoom, whose sister married my father's brother and brother married my father's sister, oh well, going into that will lead to explaining a really complex family tree.

We grew up hearing stories of my father's sea travel along with Ammi Kamal and his elder brother Ammi Abu Bakar from Penang to Makkah via Jeddah when he was barely ten years old. A year later they were sent to Egypt to continue their studies. Among them all, the Rafie cousins sent to Makkah and then Cairo, only my father came back to Malaysia. The rest furthered their studies or begin their careers in Egypt, KSA and the US , a few of them went on to hold very senior posts in Aramco, while there's quite a few doctors among them too.

Someday I must document their stories, and work all the criss-crosses of the marriage between the Rafies 😉

p/s: here's a couple of photos of H & Q drawing while we wait for our guests to arrive.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Belitong in Kamheong Sauce

Belitong or cerithidea obtusa is a species of sea snail. A favorite Asian marine gastropod, it's also commonly known as "Siput Sedut" amongst the Malays.

Spice up your lunch or dinner with this quick and easy yet amazingly delicious spicy Belitong Kamheong recipe.

Belitong in Spicy Kamheong Sauce


·  1kg of belitong, cleaned and shell tip removed ·  100 grams of shallots ·  8 garlic cloves ·  1/2 cup of dried shrimps ·  1 large handful of dried red chilies, or 2 tbsp of chili paste ·  3 stalks of lemongrass, smashed ·  6 fresh red chili padi, smashed ·  3 stalks of curry leaves ·  2 tablespoons of fish curry powder ·  2 tablespoons of oyster sauce ·  Salt and sugar to taste ·  1 tbsp of tamarind paste, soaked in 1tbsp of water, remove seeds.

Steps to prepare: 

• Begin by placing the belitong in a pot, add 2 tbsp of salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil, continue boiling until cooked. Drain and set aside. •  Blend the shallots, garlic, dried shrimps and dried red chili/ chili paste with a small amount of water. • Using a large wok, heat up the oil and fry in the curry leaves for about 5 minutes. Add the smashed lemongrass, fry until golden. • Then add in the blended ingredients till the paste is slightly thick and fragrant. • Next add in curry powder and oyster sauce. Fry it till the oil separates from the paste and later add in the tamarind juice paste. Let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes. • Once that is done, add in the belitong, salt and sugar to taste. • Mix and stir the belitong until the belitong are completely coated with the kamheong sauce. • Serve with hot white rice. 

* The dried chili must be de-seeded, if you can't stand very spicy food, and soaked in water to soften, as well as the dried shrimps.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Roasted Garlic and Eggplant with Chargrilled Peppers

Roasted Garlic and Eggplant with Chargrilled Peppers


  • 2 red bell pepper
  • 4 whole heads of garlic
  • 8 baby eggplant
  • 2 tsp 'Athene Spices' Garlic Salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1tbsp date/balsamic vinegar


1. Chargrill the peppers over open flame until the skin are totally black. Place in a bowl with a tablespoon of water, cover the bowl properly. Let the pepper cool for about 10 minutes, then peel off the blackened skin with your hand. Remove the seeds and inner pith, slice the pepper into long strips.

2. Place 'Athene Spices' Garlic Salt in a bowl, top with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Mix well.

3. Wash whole garlic head, pat dry. Cut of the top part of the garlic head.

4. Cut eggplants lengthwise, then make small slits on the flesh.

5. Arrange the garlic and eggplants in a baking dish, cut side up. Spoon the spices from the olive oil mix on top of the garlic heads and eggplants. Generously drizzle the oil all over.

6. Roast in a 180°C oven for 30 minutes.

7. Once the garlic heads are golden brown and fragrant, remove from the oven. Top with the sliced peppers, return to the oven for further 5 minutes.

8. Serve hot or warm as a side dish.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Masak Lemak Cili Api Udang & Nenas



Serves 4

·         400g prawns
·         250ml thick coconut milk
·         1 cup water
·         4-6 red chili api (bird’s eye chili), split lengthwise
·         3 asam gelugor
·         2 stalk of lemongrass, smashed
·         2 pineapple slice, cut into bite size
·         1 tumeric leaf
·         3 kaffir lime leaf
·         sugar to taste
·         salt to taste

Spice Paste
·         10 shallots
·         4 garlic cloves
·         ½” slice of young ginger
·         2 stalk of lemongrass, sliced
·         tumeric root, thumb-size

• Trim prawn, devein but leave shell on.

• Combine the spice paste ingredients, pound using a pestle & mortar until forms a fine paste.

• Put coconut milk, water, chili api, smashed lemongrass and spice paste in a pot, bring to a gentle simmer.

• Add prawn, slowly bring to boil. Add asam gelugor and pineapple.

• Add roughly torn tumeric leaves and kaffir lime leaves, reduce heat and cook until fragrant.

• Season with salt and sugar to taste.

• Garnish with finely sliced tumeric & kaffir lime leaves and fresh red chilies.

• Serve with hot white rice.

* Note : This recipe was tweaked to suit the non-spicy palate, feel free to add more chili if you wish.

Thursday, July 13, 2017




Serves 4


·         6 kacang botor (four angle winged bean)
·         1 cup taugeh (beansprout)
·         2 lemongrass
·         1 torch ginger flower
·         6 shallots, sliced
·         ½” slice of  young ginger
·         2 red chili, seeded
·         ½ cup grated coconut, lightly toasted
·         4 calamansi lime, juiced
·         1 tsp sugar

Sauce Paste
·         2 tsp dried shrimp
·         1 lemongrass, sliced
·         4 shallots, sliced
·         2 garlic, sliced
·         2 bird’s eye chili
·         ½ tsp belacan (shrimp paste)
·         ½ cup grated coconut, toasted until golden


·         Slice kacang botor thinly, diagonally. Finely slice seeded red chili and young ginger into strips. Remove the tough outer layer of the lemongrass, slice the inner part finely. Thinly slice the shallot and torch ginger flower.

·         Remove tail and bean skin from taugeh. Put in a bowl, cover with hot water. Leave for 2 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water to stop further cooking.

·         Dry fry all the spice paste ingredients until fragrant. Pound in a pestle & mortar until forms a paste. Thin with calamansi lime juice.

·         To make the salad, place sliced kacang botor, taugeh, red chili, ginger, shallot, torch ginger flower and toasted coconut in a bowl. Add the spice paste and sugar. Toss until well mixed, add salt and more lime juice or sugar if required.

·         Keep cool until serving time.