Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dinner Twist - Baghali Pollow & Beef Curry

There is always twist in our dinning table, what I mean is .. when I decide to cook, i always make a crazy combination of dishes between Persian and Indonesian - sound cool huh, :)  No I don't mix the recipe but if I cook Persian rice it will always company by Indonesia stew ...the purpose is to introduce as many taste to our mixed family 

Last week, my persian friend came to our home, and without hesitate I start asking about how to cook rice properly, believe me it take me 10 years to cook persian rice correctly, everyday is a practice day you know.. She gave me a very nice tips for using a different kind of pots..  

And today I prepared foods for dinner, 'Dill Rice and Kalio Daging / Indonesian beef curry' - so let's me share the recipe with you .. hope you enjoy it..

Baghali Pollow (Dill Rice with Lima Beans / Fava Beans)
Ingredients :
2 cups  basmati rice
2 cups frozen baby lima beans, thawed - Fava beans or black bean will work too
2 cups finely chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 cups dried dill. - or use both combination, but make sure put the fresh one for the last layer, since the fresh one give such a great flavor
2-3 tablespoons oil
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
Dash of cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons of melted butter for the topping *optional

In a medium bowl mix dill (fresh or dried), lima beans, a dash of salt, cinnamon and turmeric. Mix well and set aside.
Wash rice with cool water a few times. Soak in 4 cups of water, add 2-3 tablespoons of salt and set aside for a 1-2 hours. 
In a large non-stick pot that has a tight fitting lid, bring 4 cups of water to a rapid boil. Drain rice and pour into boiling water and boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Test to see if the rice is ready. Rice should be firm in the center and soft on the outside. Drain and rinse with cool water. 
Wash the pot and return to heat, add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Place a layer of rice into the pot (or simply just put a layer of slice flat bread or thin slices of potato, and make sure sprinkle with a bit of salt on the top of potato otherwise will taste blend) then  a layer of dill and Lima beans. Then another layer of rice, continue building it into a pyramid shape. 
In order to release the steam make 2-3 holes in the rice with the bottom of the spatula. 
Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium-high heat until rice is steaming, add a cup of water. Lower heat and steam the rice for another 40-50 minutes.
Serve on a platter along with lamb shanks or chicken pieces or just by itself as a vegetarian dish. If you find the rice a bit on the dry side distribute the melted butter on top of the rice.

Kalio Daging / Beef Curry Stew
500 gr Beef-sliced,
400 ml Coconut milk    
small size of potatoes

Grind into a paste:
100 ml Coconut juice, 
3 Kaffir lime leaves   
3 Bay leaves, 
1 Tamarind,      
3 cm Galangal 
1 Lemon grass-bruised        
100 gr Kidney beans-boiled ¾ soft  - bean in the can works too, make sure you drained and rinse with cold water               

Grind into a paste
8 shallot, 
4 cloves garlic, 
5 candlenuts (easy to find at Asia market or you can substitute with cashew
2 tsp corriander,
1 tsp cumin
2 cm turmeic or 1 tsp turmeric powder
2 cm fresh ginger or 1 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp salt
10 red chillies, 5 cayenne peppers, - how much chilles is depent how how do you want your stew is,in case I must to adjust with hubby and kid taste
1 tomato

Sauté ground spices with a bit oil until fragrant. Stir in the beef; cook until the color changed.
Pour the coconut milk & juice; add in galangal, lemon grass, tamarind, lime leaves & bay leaves. Cook until the gravy becomes oily. Put in beans; cook until the gravy becomes rather thick & the beans soft.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Halva ...and say good bye...

Last Thursday, June 22 2016 - we lost my father in law in age of 95, after long suffer from Parkinson disease - from the story I heard from my husband, is look like our dad already knew when the time is coming for him  .  God bless you, dad .. I know you are in the better place now.  Inna'lillahi Wa Inna'ilahi Rojiun - surely we belong to Allah and to HIM shall we return

I contacted some of my husband close friend, and from him .. all the news was spread among friends.  On sunday, we had small gather to celebrate his life. I asked several friends what should I do, what DO and DON'T list for that moment ?  and one of the custom is making Halva !!  

Halva, either you love or hate it, this is part of custom .  In Iran, halva is usually made during religious holidays or funeral.  Halva most serve with bitter tea, since Halva it self is so sweet.

At the evening, all our friends and family came and brought so many flowers (which most are white color) , cards, and also many kind of sweet dessert such persian halva, tachi, rice pudding, dates . According to Iranian, a grieving family need something sweet to give them more energy . I really appreciate what they done to us... that's what friend are for, they always there in a good time or bad time.

I would like to share the recipe with you, and I can tell that I love this type of Halva so much .. This is a delicious dessert, we should make this dessert anytime we like not always under such unfortunate circumstance, you know.

Thank you to Homa, who give me a link to her website to make a delicious dessert

Slightly copy from: - for that evening event I double the recipe

⅔ cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ tsp saffron powder
2 TBSP rose water

1 cup rice flour
2 ½ ounces sweet butter, cubed
½ tsp ground cardamom

Optional Garnish:
Slivered or chopped pistachios
Dried rose petals

First make the syrup: Mix sugar and water over medium heat only until the sugar dissolves and comes to a low boil. Add saffron and stir. Remove from the heat. Add the rosewater and stir to combine. Set aside so it cools to lukewarm. Do not boil the syrup.

Now make the base: Add the flour to a nonstick 10-inch skillet and stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon for about 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes aromatic and smells nutty. The flour should not change color.

Add cold butter cubes and ground cardamom to the skillet. Stir over medium heat until all the flour becomes moist and paste like. Keep stirring until all the butter is completely cut into the flour and the mixture is nice and paste like but not greasy looking.

Add a small piece of the hot paste to the lukewarm syrup. If it sizzles the paste is hot enough to be mixed with the syrup.

Now add all the syrup in the skillet over the hot paste. Keep stirring over medium heat with wooden spoon until well blended.

Keep stirring until once again the mixture sticks together and forms a paste.
Turn off the heat and keep stirring until the Tar Halva starts pulling away from the sides and bottom of the skillet.

Add the Tar Halva to a bowl and cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

Transfer the Tar Halva to a shallow serving platter. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon, then use the tip of the spoon to make designs on top.Garnish with some slivered or chopped pistachios and dried rose petals. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hello June ..

June is here .. the weather is perfect one day. pouring rain one day, breezy in the morning, high humidity in the afternoon .. keep on going like that for almost 2 weeks.  Kids still enjoying the afternoon swimming, ice cone , they laughing, playing non stop ..  oh this kids grows big together too fast .. hope they will always be a best friend ..

I picked some fresh herbs a couple days ago, try to add more 'green' on our kitchen window .  Its smell good , thou .. I might pick some more next time I pass the Home Depot :) yep, that my favorite store for now beside fabric store hahaha ..  Right, I don't have much of sewing this day  since I have kid who has a summer break, it's hard to find a free time to do what I like to do but still excuse myself to picked some fabrics for summer clothes, its really sloooow progress from cutting to finish .. 

Baking ? well. still do but its really simple one .. like tea cake style like this one, blueberry cake I've been tag for a week from Patricia Scarpin blog - she always have a simple cake recipe which suit for me very well .. 

Cream cheese and blueberry cake

Adapted from Patricia Scarpin 

Blueberry compote:
1 cup (140g) blueberries – frozen blueberry works well too
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
180g cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons Cointreau (optional) 

Start by making the compote: place the blueberries and sugar in a small saucepan and warm until the berries soften and the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes – stir occasionally. Squash the berries with the back of a spoon as you stir. Cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 5 ½ cup-capacity loaf pan, line it with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and cream cheese and cream until light and fluffy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and the Cointreau (if using). On low speed, add the flour mixture mixing only until incorporated – do not overmix.

Pour the cake into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Top with the blueberries, keeping most of the juice (so the cake don’t get soggy). Swirl the berries through the cake with a butter knife. Smooth out the top without mixing too much.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Serves 8