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Weekend Cooking: Eman’s Lamb Bukhari with Rice

Last weekend I picked up some decent-looking lamb cubes from Tesco, and decided to use it immediately for dinner that night.  I didn’t want to make something too complicated, because I was just so exhausted by the many things that were going on both at home and at work.  Since Saudi Food Eman is my current go-to for yummy recipes, I naturally looked through her channel for ideas.

This lamb bukhari recipe doesn’t use many fancy spices; just cumin and rock salt.  What I found super elegant about this recipe is that it is all about building layers of natural flavor from the ingredients.  So take your time, caramelize those onions, simmer the lamb until the oil separates.  The result is a beautifully fluffy bukhari which is simply delicious.

Based on Eman’s recipe here.  I used more lamb and a bit more salt in mine, and added more precise measurements for the ingredients.  Enjoy!

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Weekend Cooking: Saleeg

I’ve been looking through the Saudi Food Eman YouTube channel, and seriously this lady is pretty talented.  I’ve tried a few of her recipes already, and have quite a long list of others in my weekend cooking queue.  This particular dish, saleeg, was something different for the recent rice dishes I’ve been making.

Looking at how simple the ingredients were, I had my doubts about whether this was really as good as I imagined it to be, but in the end my fears were unfounded.  This tasty rice porrige worked so perfectly with the no-frills roast chicken, and yes, I think I agree with Eman that this dish may satisfy the pickiest eaters.  Try it out!

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Weekend Cooking: Lamb Haneeth with Rice

During a rare trip to Berkat Madinah, a Middle Eastern grocer, I bought a jar of Chef Ammar’s haneeth spice.  We love the haneeth served at Half Moon, our favorite Arab restaurant, so I figured I’d try making it on my own.  However recipes I found online were very different from what I thought haneeth looks like, because most are roasted in the oven, instead of being nicely baked in aluminium foil pouches.

The jar of spices has been sitting in the larder for a while now, so when I had the family over for dinner recently I made lamb and chicken haneeth.  The chicken turned out really well, however I really had to experiment with the lamb recipe, because most require hours of roasting in the oven and I really couldn’t be bothered with that.  I expect to keep improving on this recipe, but for my first try I cooked the meat in the pressure cooker first, before transferring to the oven.  Flavor wise I think it was good, but I think the rice could be better.  Will keep tweaking this until I get it right.

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Weekend Cooking: Chef Ammar’s Haneeth Roasted Chicken with Cajun Spiced Vegetables

We got Monday off to celebrate our victory at the SEA Games, so Rudy and I decided to have the family over for dinner.  The fridge was overflowing with chicken and lamb and all sorts of stuff, so I joined the effort to clean it out.  I needed to feed about 9 adults, so I decided on both chicken and lamb haneeth.

This recipe was based on Chef Ammar’s recipe, from one of the episodes of his show.  The directions as shown on the video looked a bit strange, so I’ve modified it to what I think it should be, based on my experience roasting chicken.

Overall this dish turned out really well.  I loved the flavor of the vegetables, they roasted nicely and were perfectly tender.  I used a pretty small chicken this time, and it was done after only 30 minutes in the oven.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, butterflying and cooking at high temperature is the fastest, almost fool-proof way to get juicy, perfectly roasted chicken.  Will definitely make this again!

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Potluck: Emeril’s Potatoes a la Boulangere

Our friend Marissa will be jetting off to Jakarta soon for a new job, so Elina had us over for potluck dinner and card games last Sunday.  Danial made roast chicken and Elina made rotkohl, so I decided to bring some form of starch as a complementing side dish.  It was either the baked potato casserole or this interesting potato dish by Emeril, and finally our host chose this one.

People say potatoes a la boulangere make a great side dish for roast chicken.  Making it wasn’t difficult, but rather time consuming.  A sharp, heavy knife worked wonders for me when slicing the onions and potatoes into even-sized pieces.  I also took my time to properly caramelize the onions and potatoes, and I think this gave the dish a wonderful flavor.  An excellent dish for potlucks, which you can make ahead on those busy days.  Try it out!

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Weekend Cooking: Roti Golok

I saw this recipe on Facebook some time back.  Apparently it was something that was going viral here in Malaysia.  Looking through the ingredients it did seem quite yummy, so I started writing this post, with some small adjustments and notes.

It took me two tries to get this right, using my trusty old Kenwood BM250 breadmaker.  One of the recipes I found online asked for a lot of yeast (3 tablespoons!), and even though I cut it down to 2 packages (slightly over 2 tablespoons), the dough doubled up really fast and practically exploded in my breadmaker by the end of the dough cycle.  The given oven temperature was also way too hot, and my first batch turned out too brown and really crusty.  Even after adjusting the temperature down by 20 degrees, the second batch still turned out quite brown.  I think because there was too much yeast and I left the dough to rise for too long, the yeast consumed all the sugar and the rolls turned out rather tasteless, and not to mention smelled really yeasty.  Even though they softened a bit after they were completely cool, the texture was really dry and rough.  So, in short, my first try was a bust.

For my second attempt, I halved the amount of yeast, and added some salt in hopes that the rolls retain their moisture better and stay soft.  I also reduced the oven temperature to 150 degrees and baked for only 20 minutes.  The results were wonderful! The bread was beautifully soft and moist, and the flavor was just nice.  Success!

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Weekend Cooking: Pressure Cooker Chicken with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Sausage

After having my morning coffee and having finished this week’s copy of The Edge, I wandered into the kitchen and saw Kak’mbang staring at the chicken she just cut up.  I asked her what was on her mind, and she said she had trouble figuring out what to do with it for lunch today.  I had one recipe sitting in the drafts folder of my blog, waiting to be tested, so I offered to take that problem off her hands.

This dish was hearty and flavorful, and a welcome change after a string of Middle Eastern dishes.  We had this with rice for lunch (and dinner), but I think it would’ve been excellent with crusty bread.  Definitely making this again.

Based on the recipe by Serious Eats.

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Weekend Cooking: Kak Seri’s Pan-fried Bananas

When I was way too young to remember, we had a lovely, stylish Indonesian lady named Seri who took care of our Highland Towers condo in KL.  Whenever my family visits KL we’d stay there, and nowadays Mummy would sometimes share stories of Seri and her antics.  One thing Mummy mentioned quite a few times was this simple yet amazing banana snack, which Seri used to make for afternoon tea.

Over the Hari Raya week Kak’mbang went back to our hometown Terengganu, and came back with a good-sized bunch of pisang awak, or pisang kelat siang as we call ’em in Terengganu.  This specific type of bananas is perfect for banana fritters, so Kak’mbang decided to use them for re-creating Seri’s recipe Mummy mentioned so often.  It’s really simple to make, yet so lovely and indulgent.  Love ’em.

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Ramadan Cooking: Lamb Makhtoom

It’s almost the end of Ramadan, and I was hoping to cook a few more dishes before I’m no longer allowed to leave work an hour earlier.  I found a YouTube channel called Saudi Food Eman, and I really liked her videos.  This lamb makhtoom looked simple enough to make, and I happened to have some lamb stashed in the freezer from my trip to the market last weekend.

The original recipe called for lamb ribs, but premium lamb French cutlets cost and arm an a leg at B.I.G. (RM200/kg! Ohmigosh!), and the ribs I saw at the market were just too skinny with barely any meat.  Update: I just realized that the correct cut to ask for at my wet market butcher was lamb chops, not ribs.  RM43/kg, not bad at all!  I made this dish again with ribs, and could definitely taste the difference.  The bones added really good flavor to the sauce, and there’s just some strange satisfaction in gnawing juicy meat off the bone.  Don’t skimp on the cilantro, it adds such wonderful dimension to the dish.  

Eman said with lamb chops this dish would only need 10 minutes in the pressure cooker, but I noticed that with my Philips electric pressure cooker, even after 30 minutes it could still use a bit more cooking time.  My first time making this I used lamb shoulder chunks, and I also adjusted the cooking time accordingly.

Another first was using Arabic gum.  In Eman’s video she called it “mystic gum,” but after Googling around I discovered that the word she meant was mastic gum, also known as Arabic gum or Yemen gum.  It is apparently *not* the same as gum Arabic (like, seriously), which is also known as Acacia gum.  I didn’t know this at the time, and I ended up getting both the Arabic and acacia gum.  I used the acacia gum when I made this dish, actually.  Will need to make this again with the Arabic gum proper, to see if there’s any difference in taste.

I loved this dish. The flavor of the tomatoes were nicely infused into the meat, and the cinnamon gave it a lovely sweet aroma.  The tomatoes I had on hand were really small and I had to adjust to what I think the amount should be, but in the end I think there wasn’t enough liquid and the dish turned out a little salty (I still could eat a lot of it though).  Need to make this again to get it right.

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Ramadan Cooking: Peri-peri Cornflakes Chicken

It was the last few days of Ramadan, and things were reaaaally slowing down at work.  As I was staring at my laptop screen wondering what work I should do for the day, an email came in from Nando’s with the subject line, “Take PERi-PERi sauce balik kampung this Hari Raya okay!” I clicked on it and found this recipe.  It looked simple enough, and B.I.G. is just right there to get groceries from, so I decided to make it when I got home from work.

I made mine using my air fryer instead of the oven.  I think I cut my chicken a bit too small, so that’s another thing I’d improve on next time.  Super simple and healthy.  Try it out!

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