(No one can understand a woman…not even she herself! ;p)
A Mamak Stall was the very first thing we saw in Malaysia (after the international airport that is), when our friends took us there for a midnight snack of Tea Tarek, Chicken satay, Roti Chennai and Nasi Lemak .
My first lunch was delightful here…the waiter travelling around with his trolly complete with dim sums in all varieties ..steamed, deep fried, sticky chicken rice-buns, some other tasty morsels the names of which I don’t remember yet their taste still lingers on my tongue.
Being high on soups I tried the famous Thai Laksa at the Food Republic here with lots of chilli (hot hot!) and Tom Yam at a Resturant. Ha Mee at Chinatown was a winner with prawns and stir fried noodles.
Malaysian food is basically a mix of different cuisines –Indian, Chinese, Islamic, Thai, Korean, Indonesian etc. so it has something for even the most picky eaters.
You can read more about this cuisine here.
Apart from the regular touristy things we also visited places like Chinatown, Little India that had some character and it was a pleasure browsing the streets.
Putrajaya was miraculously quiet and spotlessly clean. Although we could not enter the Putra mosque the domed structure was very overwhelming.
We were lucky as we visited KL during the Thai Possum festival and could see the serpentine queues of devotees piercing their bodies to prove the purity of their soul and get their wishes granted at the Batuk Caves. I was told that if at piercing ur cheeks/or other body parts like toungue etc no blood oozes that is an indication that your soul is pure. (I have no intentions of confirming this theory though.)
The KL tower was good but I was mesmerized by the renowned KLCC Twin Towers. Had read a lot about this engineering marvel and there I was walking on its bridge. The drive from KL to Gentings was picturesque and inundated with wonderful flowers and tress, very scenic and calming. The theme park was 'relatively' not very big but was surely fun. ‘Sky Venture’ was one of my favourite rides. We stopped at the Genting Temple on our return to KL and it was here that I saw the deep connection of Malaysia with India…the 18 immortals of the Malay Buddhism, all hailed from the ‘land of milk and honey’.
As for shopping I shopped more for food items than clothes/accessories as far as I can remember. Infact all my souveniers were also food items. ;p
Goji berries, dried guavas (something I had never seen before), large sunflower seeds, chicken floss, exotic nuts etc. And oh yes I bought some art & craft stuff too like the paper lanterns, paper mache birds and various kind of beautiful beads.(For those who don’t know, my creativity is also vented out in crafts and paintings!)
We returned the second day following the 15th day of the Chinese New Year and have been catching up on sleep since then. (Honestly I can sleep more ….snorezzzzzz!)
Ok I will not take any more of your time, ranting about my fun and frolic Malaysian holiday. Instead I will share with you what I made recently.
Note: I could not take pictures of all the stuff we ate, less people think I am crazy. My apologies to my readers!
I do not know the Chinese name of this cookie, so I call it the Moon Cookie because of the mooncake-mould imprints. The mooncake craziness is the direct result of me buying my first wooden mooncake mould, when we went to China (Shenzhen etc) last year.
This is another one from my ever growing list of culinary adventures. It was inspired by the cookies I bought at the Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo, around the time of CNY and couldn’t wait to duplicate it at home.
The only difference being that I baked them with dates and almonds paste instead of the orthodox lotus seeds’.
It is an unusual take on this traditional pastry that came out more crumbly like a cookie. Never the less a tasty treat and fun to make.
Dates & Almonds Moon(Cake) Cookies
½ cup plain flour
½ cup almond meal
1 tbsp corn flour
½ cup fine sugar
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup margarine
2 tbsp or less buttermilk
¼ cup ground almonds
1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped and ground to a paste and cooked for a minute over low flame.
1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
2 tbsp golden syrup (can be substituted with brown sugar, adjust according to desired sweetness)
**Combine all the ingredients for the filling together in a bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
In a large bowl combine the margarine and sugar and microwave them together for 30 seconds on high. Allow to cool.
Beat together the egg and buttermilk and add this to the cooled margarine+ sugar bowl.
Add the remaining dry ingredients to this bowl. Mix until well combined with a wooden spoon. Knead the dough onto a floured surface, adding extra flour until it forms a ball that can be easily handled.
Now for the fun part—
Divide the dough into small parts (according to your mould size); flatten and place a spoonful of the filling in the center. Pinch to close and place in a mooncake mould, which has been dredged with flour. Pat down well to completely cover the mould, then knock the mould to remove the cookie.
Tip: Keep your palms floured at all times while pressing the filled cookie dough into the mould.
Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before consumption. Store in an air-tight container.
It tastes best if eaten after two days.
Sorry but I couldn’t help sharing this interesting piece on mooncakes—
Mooncakes were used as a medium by the Ming revolutionaries in their espionage effort to secretly distribute letters in order to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of China in the Yuan dynasty. The idea is said to be conceived by Zhu Yuanzhang and his advisor Liu Bowen, who circulated a rumor that a deadly plague was spreading and the only way to prevent it was to eat the special mooncakes. This prompted the quick distribution of the mooncakes, which were used to hide a secret message coordinating the Han Chinese revolt on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month.
Another method of hiding the message was printed in the surface of mooncakes as a simple puzzle or mosaic. In order to read the encrypted message, each of the 4 mooncakes packaged together must be cut into 4 parts each. The 16 pieces of mooncake, must then be pieced together in such a fashion that the secret messages can be read. The pieces of mooncake are then eaten to destroy the message.
I share this wonderful recipe that I have duplicated, with Copycat Recipes at Palachinka. If you want to drool over more do stop by Jennifer- The Domestic Goddess' blog.
Edited: My in-laws are coming over to visit us tomorrow for a week, its their first visit here so will be busy again. Will try to post something , however if I don't please understand my inability! Love you guys. *hugs*