It's funny. As a little girl growing up in the multicultural Singapore, I did not appreciate the different kinds of ethic food available as I do now.
This time round, I have decided to participate in MUHIBBAH organized by Babe in the City_KL. The origins of MUHIBBAH lies in many foodies wanting to celebrate Malaysia's Merdeka or National Day in late August. This year, foodies have to pick a favorite dish of a different ethic background and explain how and why this dish was introduced to us.
Now, you may wonder who would a Singaporean girl staying in Perth want to participate in this? *OH NO, maybe the Singaporean girl is turning her back and want to be Malaysian?*
Truth is, my boyfriend is Malaysian AND my DAD was a Malaysian too! Yes, I have Malaysian blood in me.. kekeke.. but I'm also proud to be a Singaporean!!!
Yup-all the above long winded excuses for participating in this fun-filled event!
Nevertheless, on the eve of Singapore's National Day, I think it is appropriate to say that this post is to celebrate both Singapore and Malaysia's birthdays and food culture. =)
After delibrating for a couple of weeks, I have decided on..... Chicken Biryani!
Why this particular dish you ask?
I'm a Singaporean Chinese dating a Malaysian guy of mixed heritage. Not many know but Mr AR has both Chinese and Indian blood in him. Although I have heard of this mouth-watering dish in Singapore, I have NOT tasted it before I came to Perth! I know, it's horrible. I'm not proud of it but I did not use to taste Indian food (with the exception of Mee Goreng and Prata/Roti Canai of course) or any other kinds of different ethic food much at all.
So without sounding too mushy, yup... it was Mr AR who introduced me to the wonders of Indian food. A girl has got to do what a girl got to do to know the culture and heritage that her guy is from right? ;p Much as I like Tandoori chicken, Chicken Biryani, with it's unique blend of spices and flavors won me over big time. I love the way the spices blend together to create this mouth-watering feel and richness in flavor.
The origin of Chicken Biryani came from Persia to India. A quick search on Wikipedia and I found that there are actually MANY versions of Biryani. I didn't know that Biryani was mentioned as far back as 2AD where it was used to feed warriors of ancient times. It's also very popular in celebrations such as weddings.
Biryani is a rich rice pilau layered with meat and steam gently so that the flavors blend together.
I don't think I give much justice to this dish by my mediocre home-cooking and lack of certain herbs/spices. It was however, fun to plan and make this dish. I couldn't wait to finish my writing draft at uni to return home to make this! LOL I also made dhall, an all time favorite of Mr Ar's family in Malaysia.
Without further ado,
I bring you the Malaysian version of Chicken Bryani adapted from Mr Ar's mum's cookbook "Traditional Malaysian cuisine".
A 2.5 cm piece stick cinnamon 4-5 cardamoms 1 nutmeg (Which I obmitted because I couldnt find it in time!)
GROUND A in paste
B Chop and mix 1 onion, 3 pieces of ginger and 3 huge tablespoons of garlic.
C 1/4 cup of Cashews-ground 1/2 tsp of chilli powder 1/2 tsp tumeric
GROUND and mix with approximately 1/2 cup of water to form a paste.
1 Chicken breast marinated with garam masala, salt and pepper pandan leaves (which I obmitted as there isn't any fresh ones around in Perth) 2 Cups of Basmatic rice-par boiled 2 tomatoes chopped. Ghee/margarine/butter 1-2 cups of stock
Method 1) In a large pan with tight fitting lid, melt margarine and fry onions lightly. 2) Add set A and fry lightly for a few minutes till fragrant. 3) Add Set B. Fry till well browned. 4) Fry Chicken till cooked and lower the heat. 5) Add Set C and tomatoes. Add the par-boiled rice and stock. 6) Stir well and cover pan with lid. 7) Cook for 5-10 minutes till rice is well-done. 8) Serve hot with dhall.
Ingredients 1 cup of Dhall-soaked for 6-8 hours ghee/margarine/butter 1 large onion chopped 2-3 teaspoons of tumeric 3-4 teaspoons of chilli powder 4-5 teaspoons of cumin 2 large tomatoes 5 pieces of dried chilli 1 cup of vege stock cabbage/eggplant/corn/cauliflower- veges that u fancy.
Method 1) Melt spread. Fry dried chilli with all spices till dry and fragrant. Add chopped onions. 2) Add dhall and stock. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and all other veges. 3)Serve hot with Chicken Biryani!!
I can't wait to see what other ppl have in store. It's actually quite exciting! If you want to participate, there is still time!! Check the link out and see other delicious posts here- Merdeka Open House 2007
food brings people together, regardless of culture and country of origin. imagine this space like a huge dining table-filled with home cooked food, with people sharing, loving and eating. eat and enjoy.