Giveaway Reminder : If you read this post or this one, you'll know about the upcoming giveaway I have planned to celebrate the completion of my second cookbook, Mum's Not Cooking and to say "thank you" to you, my readers for following, subscribing, reading and commenting. I am giving away 3 copies, one each to 3 lucky readers from anywhere in the world, not just Singapore.
If you've been a silent reader so far, please introduce yourself during the giveaway - there's no better time to say hello as you stand to win a great prize. Winning it will be easy, and I know you will loooove this adorable little book! It will hit local bookstores in June 2012, but I am telling you now, because you are special (because you're MY readers!) and I don't want you to miss out, so stay tuned and keep checking back here for details. Today I will tell you more about the book, feature a review and a recipe from it. So read on....
It's called Mum's Not Cooking - Favourite Singapore Recipes for the Near Clueless or Plain Lazy. A lot of thought has gone into it, eg, it's journal sized and light so you can take it with you to the supermarket and use the ingredients list as your shopping list instead of writing out a separate shopping list. Less time and energy expanded, less paper used, less tree chopping, less resource depletion. How many publishers think of that?
What you have here is a 128 paged beauty, rosy, luscious and eye catching as a red, ripe juicy tomato, or a traffic light, so you never lose sight of it, even in the hurly-burly of a cluttered apartment or messy dorm room. Seriously, is my publisher brilliant or is my publisher brilliant?
It's packed to the gills with tips, tricks, kitchen know how, quick and handy conversions for all kinds of measurements and more than a hundred scrumptious and ridiculously easy recipes to satisfy every culinary craving known to true blue Singaporeans from Alaska to Singapore to Zimbabwe. This cracker of a book will show you how to equip your kitchen, stock your fridge and pantry, get the best value and quality for your money at the market or supermarket, plan all kinds of menus and even prepare special foods and beverages to nurse yourself back to health when you fall ill. Okay, my publisher is brilliant, but hey, here, the credit's all mine ;)
|wait! where's the rice?!|
|ala peanut butter sandwiches!! wave the magic spoon and....|
|ta-dah!! easy PEAsy briyani! thank you! thank you! and thank you!|
Whether you're a clueless novice cook who needs to learn how to cook our gorgeous local dishes, a transplanted Singaporean without the comfort of mum's familiar and beloved cooking, a newly wed who wants to impress your partner with your kitchen 'prowess', or just mad about Singaporean food, wherever in the world you may be, this is the book for you. If you can navigate a dinner plate with ease but are hopelessly challenged when facing the stove, this book is calling your name!. It's informative, cook friendly even if you think you're all thumbs in the kitchen, goes far beyond the scope of a recipe manual and is written in a lighthearted, humorous and always encouraging tone - mine!
|photo from Think Tank Tingkat|
But before you hop over there, let me show you the results of Think Tank Tingkat's delicious effort on my Hot and Sour Szechuan Soup recipe from Mum's Not Cooking. Not bad at all eh, for a newbie cook? Just looking at it makes me want to have an early lunch!
Because a good food blog post is one that makes you smile and your tummy growl, with yummy recipes and pretty pictures, I have also prepared for you today, a recipe from Mum's Not Cooking - Easy Peasy Briyani. It's my pared down but still droolworthy and delicious version that a kitchen novice can put together with a handful of ingredients in almost no time. You probably know most recipes for biryani look like a dissertation or an annual report and take the better part of a morning or afternoon to prepare.
Of course such a recipe will produce magnificent results in the hands of a kitchen expert or professional chef. But I promise you, today's recipe, while very easy and novice friendly will make you look like you've been cooking all your life. It's more an Indian spiced basmati pilaf with chicken and vegetables, than a classic biryani, but the flavour profile and method of cooking are similar enough to that of biryani , so go ahead, take a little licence. When you proudly serve this, lay it on the table with a theatrical flourish and tell your lucky guests that it's your "BRIYANI" and that it's delicious, because it is!
Make an easy and refreshing accompaniment by coarsely chopping up tomatoes, cucumbers and a little red onion then mixing everything up with a little salt, lime juice and chopped coriander. Serve in a bowl alongside the biryani and a tall pitcher of lime drink with pandan, then sit back and lap up the applause and compliments.
I hope you enjoyed this little show N tell for Mum's Not Cooking. In Singapore, biryani is eaten with achar on the side, and I've also recommended it in my cookbook (see end of recipe below) so for my next post, I'll show you how to make an easy version of the usually intricate and involved achar or pickle. See you then!
Easy Peasy Briyani (Spicy Chicken & Green Pea Basmati Pilaf)
Prep 15 minutes Cook 25 minutes Serves 2 – 3
1 large onion, peel, halve and slice thinly
2 Tbsp ready ground ginger paste (I made my own)
1 Tbsp ready ground garlic paste (I made my own)
2 chicken breast halves, cut into large cubes
1 rounded Tbsp medium hot curry powder
150 g (2 level cups) basmati rice, washed and drained in a colander or large sieve
600 ml (3 cups) low fat canned chicken stock or broth
1 ½ tsp salt
90 g (1 cup) thawed and drained frozen baby green peas (I used mixed veg - no peas in the supermarket freezer!!!)
Heat 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy pot until hot but not smoking.
Fry the onion, ginger paste and garlic paste over medium heat until golden and fragrant.
Add chicken and sprinkle over curry powder.
Stir around, until the cubes brown.
Add rice and stir until coated with oil.
Pour in stock, add salt and stir to dissolve salt.
Bring to the boil, watch until liquid is almost gone and holes begin to appear on top of rice.
Reduce heat to minimum, cover pot securely so steam doesn’t escape and cook for 10 minutes.
Open pot, add peas, cover immediately and turn off heat but do not open for 15 minutes.
Open pot, gently fluff rice with fork and serve with Easy Cucumber and Pineapple Acar.