Spiced Tofu with Bean sprouts

" What?? Vegetarian **%% ?? What do you eat then ? " That is what I got from my colleague when I told him that I am a vegetarian.
He he and that is just one of the weird comments I received..There are a lot more in the listJ
Here is another one "Girl, where do u get all protein u need..no wonder u r so short"J..
So to all my dear friends who are soo worried about my protein intake..here is the answer, I do get my fare share from Legumes, Tofu ,Nuts etc etcJ

Here in Singapore, we get like a hundred varieties of tofu and I love to play around with them..
Now, this is the latest one I got my hands on to..Spiced Tau Kwa aka spiced Extra Firm Tofu

Spiced Tofu with Bean sprouts
100 gms Tau Kwa
1 Cup Bean Sprouts
1 Red Chilly chopped finely
2 Cloves Garlic & ½ Inch Ginger chopped finely
2 Stems Parsley
1-2  tspn Sesame Oil
1 tspn light Soy sauce

Cube the Tau kwa and add it to boiling water and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Strain and keep aside the Tau Kwa
In a wok, add the oil and sauté the ginger and Garlic
Add the Chilly and sauté for few seconds.
Add the tau kwa and soy sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes
Add the bean sprouts and cook until the sprouts turn light and tender.
Add the chopped parsley and stir well.
There you have a spicy, crispy and healthy dish:-)

Rose Crème Brûlée

Xin Nian Kuai Le!! Happy Chinese New!!
May this year of Dragon bring good luck, success and peace to all of usJ

Coming to today’s recipe, it’s one of my favorite dessert recipe..Creme Brulee..A rose flavored Crème Brulee
I followed the same recipe for the simple Vanilla Crème Brulee plus some Rose syrup addition
And the result Heaven on earth!!Or rather heaven on your mouthJ

Rose Crème Brûlée
200 ml Crème
2 tbspn Caster Sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tbspn Rose Syrup
Half a Vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 120 Degrees
Scrape the pulp of Vanilla bean and add the pulp as well as the bean to the cream.
Heat the cream in a pot until bubbles start to appear around the sides.
Let the cream sit for few minutes for the vanilla flavor to infuse well. Take the vanilla bean out.
Now Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat well. The lighter the yolks the smoother your custard will be
Slowly add the hot cream to the egg yolks, stirring continuously.
Now add the Rose syrup. The amount of rose syrup depends on the type of Rose syrup you use.
[I used the Rose syrup used for making Bandung to I had to use 2 tbspn to get the flavour]
Strain the custard mix using a fine sieve.
Pour the custard into the ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a large pan and pour in enough water upto halfway of the ramekins.
Place on the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes  until the custard is just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Remove the tray out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
Once cooled down transfer to refrigerator for few hours
When ready to serve, add a teaspoon of sugar over the surface, gently tilt the ramekins so that it is evenly distributed
Caramelize the top using a blow torch
You can also caramelize in the oven using the broil function..

Crème brûlée

Kueh Sago/Steamed Tapioca pearls cake

Kuehs are bit size snacks from Malay inheritance. I love their subtle flavor, lovely texture and mild sweetness.
This one in particular is one of my favorite Kueh. Its blissfully easy to put together and is made of Sago or tapioca pearls.

Kueh Sago/Steamed Tapioca pearls cake
150g Sago
4 tbspn Sugar
1 tspn Rose essence
Grated coconut
A Drop of Rose food coloring [Optional]

Soak the sago in water for about 1.5-2 hrs.
Optional-You can add a little bit of food coloring to the soaking water
After about 2 hrs, strain the sago and discard the water . Mix it with Sugar and rose essence.
Pour the mix to a steaming tray and steam for 25 minutes until all peals has become transparent.
Let it cool. Once cooled down , cut it into squares and coat well with grated coconut.

Chai Spiced Fruit n Seed Loaf

Who doesn’t like a cup of hot Masala Chai..
Ever thought of adding that hot delight into your cake? If not, do try baking with tea.
I bet you will fall in love with the flavorsJ
And yes, you can very well have this healthy delight with all fruity goodness as your breakfast

Chai Spiced Fruit n Seed Loaf
150 ml of Strong Black Tea
170 gms of Dried fruits + Seeds of your choice
50 gms butter
50 gms Brown Sugar
½ tspn Baking Soda
½ tspn Baking powder
½ tspn Mixed Spice powder
110 gms Whole Wheat Flour
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Brew a strong tea of your choice with 150 ml water . I used 2 Masala Chai tea bags
In the same pan add the butter,sugar, dried fruits, baking soda , salt and bring to Boil.
[For dry fruits I used a mix of Raisins,  cherries ,apricots , cranberries and Lemon rind]
In another bowl ,sift the flour , mixed spice powder and baking powder.
Stir in the seeds- I used Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and Flax seeds
Add the wet ingredients and egg and mix until just combined.
Spoon the mix to a loaf pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree for 40 minutes
I recommend you keep it in refrigerator overnight and have it the following day as the flavor enhances a lot the next day

Apricot Rock Buns

Don’t get turned off by the name…It has nothing to do with RockJ
On the contrary it has a supple and chewy inside and crunchy outside..
I bet this will become your family favorite breakfast once you try these healthy delights!

Apricot Rock Buns
Adapted from Power Food by Janette Marshall
125 gms Whole meal flour
½ tspn All spice flour
½ tspn Baking powder
30 gms butter
30 gms Brown sugar
60-70 gms Dried Apricots chopped
2 tbpsn Flaxseeds
Grated rind of ½ lemon
1 egg white
2 tbspn Milk

Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees
Mix together the flour, baking powder and spice powder in a bowl
Rub the butter to the flour , until it has reached bread crumbs consistency
Add in the sugar, apricots, Flax seeds, lemon rind to the flour mix
Beat the milk and egg white together and mix with the dry ingredients to make a soft dough
Place spoonful batter into a baking sheet and lightly roughen the surface using a fork.
Bake it for 12-15 minutes.
Let it cool on a wire rack
Bite right it while it is still warm and njoy the rocky bunsJ

Black Pepper Tofu

I had this fiery Black pepper tofu from a Thai Take out place a few days back and absolutely loved its bold and sizzling taste..
It’s a bit on the spicy side with all chilly, pepper corns and ginger..so please feel free to play around the spicy level as per you palate

Black Pepper Tofu
100 gms Firm tofu
3 tbspn Corn Flour
½ tspn Pepper powder
2 tspn Black pepper corns
1 tbspn Light Soy sauce
2 Shallots finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic finely chopped
1 inch Ginger finely chopped
1 Red Chilly finely chopped
2 tbpsn Oil

Pat dry the tofu and cut it into ½ inch cubes
Add the corn flour, pepper powder and a pinch of salt to the tofu and toss so that the tofu is coated well.
Heat the oil in a pan and shallow fry the tofu until the crust is lightly browned on all sides
In the same pan, add the chilly, shallots, ginger and garlic and sauté well for few minutes 
Add the tofu, soy sauce and 2 tbpsn water.
Pound the pepper corn and add it to the pan 
Sprinkle a pinch of corn flour so that the sauce thickens.
Sauté for 3-4 minutes and serve hot J

Beetroot Risotto

Cheers to you 2012!!

A warm and hearty New Year wishes to all my dear readersJ
Hope you had a wonderful New Year party with your dear ones!

Coming to the recipe..
Remember how I managed to get a good bargain for Risotto rice here?
I have been trying different Risotto recipes over the holidays and this one is the winner so far.
Isn’t the color lovely?? [Excuse the self praise :-)]

Beetroot Risotto
3/4 Cup Carnaroli rice
1 Large Beetroot
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 Onion diced
3-4 Garlic Cloves chopped
1 tspn of dried rosemary leaves or flavorings of your choice
3-4 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Olive oil

Peel and dice the beetroots. Lightly cook the beets in an oven or a microwave until tender.
I cooked in microwave for 3 minutes.
Let it cool and puree the beets in a blender. Keep aside
Now bring the stock to boil
In another pan, heat the olive oil ,sauté the onion, garlic and rosemary for few minutes
Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes
Add the stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir lightly. You have to keep stirring lightly.
Once the stock is completely absorbed, add another half cup of stock and continue to stir.
Once the rice is almost half done, add the beetroot puree and mix well.
Keep adding ½ cup stock at a time and stir until the rice is cooked and slightly chewy.It might take 15-20 min
You can add the parmesan cheese towards the end and stir well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.


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