Capcai ( chaap chai)

CAPCHAI
Pronounced.. chaap chai.

This is a simple stew, which we eat regularly at home. Especially when we have been eating out a lot. A very simple healthy non spicy dish which is really tasty.
Have it accompanied with egg fried rice to make a one dish meal. A very forgiving dish, which makes use of a lot of vegetables…( good way to clear out your fridge.😊)
You can make it vegetarian, or add chicken, or prawns.  Just make sure to cut the vegetables at a slant. So they can cook evenly and fast.

3 options to have this dish.
1.. Poured over fried rice.
2.. Poured over a mix of boiled noodles and deep fried boiled noodles.( also called IFUMIE) similar to chopsuey.
3. Poured over fried or steamed wontons( including a picture in comments.)

Just make sure its made on a high flame. And try to make  it near serving time, so the vegetables look fresh and not limp. Vegetables  should have a crunch..

1 carrot..peeled, sliced at a slant .
1 potato , peeled , quartered and sliced  at a slant.
4 baby corn, sliced at a slant.
1/2 cup of broccoli flowerlettes .. soaked in salted water.
1/2 cup pakchoi or mustard greens roughly chopped.
10 snappeas…baby sweetpeas whole.
1 big dry shitake mushroom ( boil in water untill soft).. then sliced.( retain about 1 cup of the water)
1 onion cut into big cubes
1 bell pepper..green or red or yellow, cut into big cubes.
1/2 cup quartered mushrooms( fresh or tinned)
1/2 cup chinese cabbage roughly chopped.
OPTIONAL…I ADDED SILKEN TOFU.
2 to 3 tbsps vegetarian oyster sauce.
2 tbsps sesame oil
1 tsp white pepper powder
Salt to taste.
1 tsp mushroom seasoning or MSG.
About 2 heaped tbsps cornflour mixed with some water to make a slurry..use as required.

To be ground to a paste..
3 seedless red chillies
6 garlic pods
1 inch piece of ginger.

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan and add the paste. Saute till fragrant and add the white pepper and salt.
Now add carrots, potato, corn, mushrooms and mix. ( IF ADDING CHICKEN , ADD NOW, BONELESS CUBED )

Add  3 cups of HOT WATER.( including reserved water from shitake mushrooms)
Let the vegetables boil for about 5 mins, and add the oyster sauce, sesame oil, msg.
Now add onions, bell pepper, snap peas, chinese cabbage , pok choi, and broccoli.

Bring to a rolling boil for few mins only. 
Now add enough cornflour slurry to thicken the stew. Check seasoning and serve immediately.


CHICKEN BOXING/CHICKEN LOLLYPOP WITH SALTED EGG CREAM SAUCE

Chicken boxing/lollypop  with salted egg cream sauce.

Salted eggs are also know as TELUR ASIN in Indonesia, and are found in most south Asian countries. We can say pickled eggs.
Usually Duck eggs  are soaked in brine for  about 15 days ,sometimes the eggs are covered with a damp charcoal paste. But mostly they are soaked in brine. The salt thus penetrates the shell to give a salty flavour to the eggs, the whites have a gelatinous texture, while the yolks normally get a rich umami flavour. Once out of the brine,
, they need to be boiled or steamed. When using the eggs, they just need to be cut in the middle, and the egg scooped out.
Todays recipe uses the yolks of the eggs, to give us a delicious creamy sauce.
Do try this out if you can.
Salted eggs are also sometimes made with normal brown hen  eggs.

These egg yolks have a rich umami flavour and taste amazing.

6 boiled salted duck eggs, cut into half and yolks removed.
( whites can be added to any other dish..maybe fried rice).

4 cloves garlic..finely chopped.
5 bird eyed chillies finely chopped.
2 sprigs of curry leaves , most chopped finely..some left whole.
1/3rd  to 1/2 cup of  milk.
1 tsps sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ajinomoto.
3 tbsps butter.
1 tbsp oil.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.

In a bowl, add the egg yolks and mash with the back of  a spoon, untill its a fine paste.
In a pan add the  oil and butter and  the garlic, chopped chillies, curry leaves, salt, pepper, sugar, ajinomoto. Mix for a minute. Now add the mashed egg yolks, and mix. The mixture will start foaming.
Add the  milk , mix well and  once heated through
. Pour into a bowl . Sauce is ready.

For boxing chicken aka chicken lollypop.
About 10  chicken wings, the ends discarded, cut into 2 at the joint, , here I have used only the front drumettes.   Give a cut the bottom of the drumette and pull back the meat  and form sort of a ball. .( pictures in comments)

Grind 4 cloves garlic, and a little ginger with salt and pepper to taste., add a squirt of lime juice., mix this paste with one egg and whisk. Tip in the chicken, after few mins remove chicken from egg mixture, shake off excess, and roll in corn flour.  Deep fry.
Serve these wings with salted egg sauce.

☆.you can also serve this sauce with  small pieces of fried chicken. Or even french fries

☆Salted egg chips are really trending now.
Have shared some pictures in comment section.
☆.. to those who cannot find salted eggs easily,,please do try with normal boiled egg yolks.
☆ using cornflour to dust the chicken makes  it crispy as there will be no formation of gluten.

SINDHI PHOTE BHUGO CHICKEN / CARDAMOM CHICKEN.

SINDHI PHOTE BHUGO CHICKEN.

Today’s recipe is SINDHI PHOTE BHUGO CHICKEN, cardamon/Elaichi chicken.
After someone asked me for an authentic sindhi recipe for phote bhuga TEEVARN( mutton), I went straight to the source of my sindhi recipes, MY MOTHER. While I was on a short trip to India. Sadly Mom’s health has detoriated as well as her memory. But she immediately could recall this recipe, and told me. In fact I asked her if we could add tomatoes, she said not at all.😊 so this recipe is more like a stew with a strong cardamon flavour and peppery undertones.A very light on the tummy dish.

Memories of my mom making this super fragrant dish( phote bugo teevarn) on sundays for my grandparents are so clear. My mom is a masterchef of sindhi delicacies, but sadly cannot cook any longer at the grand age of 90. But I am so thankful to have learnt most of my sindhi cooking from her.

Pls try it and have this accompanied by parathas and tawa toasted bread. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it so special.
The last time I made it was years ago for my mother in law , but with mushrooms. ( vegetarians please note).

500 gms chicken with bone( 6 good size pieces) make slashes on the chicken.
2 tsps of freshly ground cardamon with skin
4 to 5 whole cardamons..lightly bashed.
2 tsps freshly ground black pepper.
1 tsp shah jeera
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
1/4 tsp garam masala
1.5 tsps salt.
3 cups water.
Finely cut corriander leaves with stems.
3 tbsps oil
2 tbsps Wheat flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water.
( DO NOT USE CORNFLOUR).
Heat oil in a pressure cooker, and add the shah jeera, whole cardamons and the powdered cardamom. After a few seconds add the chicken and start sauting for at least 10 mins. The cardamom will start sticking to the chicken, keep going. Now add the corriander leaves, black pepper powder, turmeric and salt, mix for another 5 mins. The combined flavours of corriander, pepper and cardamom are amazing. Add the water and close lid. After 3 whistles, shut the flame and let the cooker cool down.
Open the lid and bring the chicken to a boil. Add the wheat flour slurry and simmer for a few more minutes.
Serve hot, sprinkled with black pepper and corriander.
Serve with parathas, and tawa toasted bread.or pao.

Sup oyong bakso ayam/ Ridgegourd/ Turaiya chicken noodle soup.

Sup Oyong Bakso Ayam
( Turaiya/Ridgegourd chicken noodle soup)
This is one of the best ways to eat this lovely vegetable. Adding Ridgegourd to soup gives it a silken texture and surprisingly it enhances the taste.
One of our favourite soups at home. Especially on a Rainy night.  Indonesians are not familiar with cooking Turaiya in a sabji form. Its mostly made this way in a soup. Do try this soup, which is very very easy  to make and a delight to have. A meal in a bowl I love Turaiya in any form, be it the aisi turiyuoon ji bhaji which my mother made often when we were young or even the phota bhuga turi which my mother in law gave me during child birth.😊

For the bakso ayam
Chicken dumplings
Blend 200 gms of boneless chicken with
2 pods garlic
2 egg whites
1 tsp white pepper powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornflour.
2 tbsp spring onion..finely chopped
1 tbsp  celery …finely chopped.

Make tiny balls with the help of 1 tsp.
Keep dipping the spoon in a small bowl of water.
Keep the chicken balls ready.

Soak about 70 gms of glass noodles in hot water. For 10 mins..drain and keep ready.

Take 2 Ridgegourds ..try to take the ones without seeds .
Peel and cut into round chunks. Not too thin, and not too thick…keep ready.
Blanch 1 bowl of moong bean sprouts in hot water , strain and keep ready( I used toge)

For the soup.
Grind 6 shallots, 3 garlic pods with a mortar and pestle. Make a paste.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add onion garlic paste, and 1 tsp of white pepper powder.
Saute till fragrant.
Ad 5 cups of hot water( better if you have chicken stock) I used stock. and bring to a boil.
Add the chicken balls .
Add 1 tbsp chicken sesoning or 2 cubes of knorr . I used royco.
Let the soup come to a rolling boil.
Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil.
Add  the ridgegourd / turai/ oyong.
Give a final simmer for 5 mins and take off the fire.

To assemble..
Put some glass noodles in a bowl, add blanched bean sprouts, and laddle the soup into the bowl.
Top with fried onion and chopped spring onion. And a healthy squirt of lime juice.
Serve with chilli sauce. I used fresh home made  sambal..

Egg chicken rolls

CHICKEN EGG ROLLS OR AYAM GULUNG DADAR TELOR.

This very simple , light and tasty snack comes together very very quickly.  Basically minced chicken is applied on a thin omelette and rolled , steamed and then panfried after cutting.
A no fuss recipe to make and eat😊
Please do try making this.

1st step
Beat 3 eggs lightly and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare 3 thin omelettes and keep aside.

# just cook lightly, don’t overcook the omelettes.

2nd step.
Put 200 gms of boneless chicken in a food processor.
Add 1 spring onion finely chopped
1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
2 tsps sesame oil
1 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp salt.
1 tsp mushroom seasoning or 1/4 tsp msg.
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
Run the mixer till chicken is minced well.
Add 1 egg, and run the mixer once more.
Remove into a bowl.

3rd step
Take one omelette, apply 1/3rd of the chicken paste evenly all over the surface.
Roll gently.
Repeat for all 3 omelettes.
Keep the rolls in a hot steamer, seam side down, and steam for 15 mins.

4th step.
Cut the rolls at a slant to get oval pieces.
Dip all the cut pieces into cornflour.
Dust off excess cornflour.
Heat a frying pan and add about 5 to 6 tbsps of oil.
Heat oil, and add the egg chicken roll  pieces.
Pan fry till golden.
Serve hot, with a sauce of your choice.

Nasi Hainan aka Chicken Rice

Nasi Hainan aka Chicken rice
(Home made  Modified version)
Mostly everyone is familiar with hainan chicken rice, more so those who travel to Singapore have surely eaten this. Singapore is famous for its Chicken Rice.

On my first visit to Singapore in the early 80’s , it was one of the dishes we had had at a foodcourt.😊
Smooth tender chicken, seasoned rice, a tasty broth to go with it, and the tasty    sauces  with it, make for a balanced flavourful dish.
Here in Jakarta also its quite popular with a slight change in recipes.
But the actual original version calls for a long procedure of making the chicken.
A whole chicken along with the skin is poached in boiling water, then taken out after a while and put into a big pot full of cold water and ice.  This is repeated quote a few times. This shock treatment is what results in a totally tender and smooth chicken.  At home long ago we used to make this, but lately since few years I prefer the modified version. As no one wants the chicken with the skin on. We normally make it out of boneless breast  fillet or boneless thigh fillet.
Easier and faster. For the vegetarian version I used plant based veg chicken fillet.  Do try it . The recipe is a little long but totally worth the trouble.

1st step.
400 gms of boneless chicken
( or you can take  half of a full chicken, with bones and skin)
Rub 2 tsps of salt and 2 tsps of sugar into the chicken and add about 1/4th cup of water.
Let the chicken soak in this brine solution for a minimum of 4 hours.
Wash and Soak 2 cups of jasmine rice.

Spring onion oil
In a bowl add
5 stalks of chopped spring onion
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
1 inch piece of ginger.. grated.
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce( I used the vegetarian version)
1 tsp sugar ,  1 tsp salt and 1 tsp white pepper.

To this bowl add 80 ml of hot oil, and mix. Keep aside.

Garlic oil
Heat 100ml of oil in a pan and add
12 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 inches of grated ginger.

Saute till golden brown.
Keep aside.

Chillie sauce.
Blend together
8 curly red chillies
8 birds eye chillies
6 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
100ml water.

Put this blended paste in a pan and cook for 5 mins. Add 1.5 tbsp of vinegar.
Keep aside.

All 3 sauces done. Onto the rice, chicken and soup.
Pls use either version.
Put drained rice in the rice cooker
Add the following.
1 tbsp normal oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce.
2 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
2 stalks of  spring onion cut into big pieces.
Now add water according to the rice cooker instructions( normally  2 fingers above rice)
Stir well and place the chicken on the rice.
Cover and cook.  Remove chicken, chop and keep aside.

2nd way using steamer. ( I used this method)
Put drained rice in a pan
Add the following.
1 tbsp normal oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce.
2 tsps salt
1 tsp pepper
2 stalks of  spring onion cut into big pieces.
Now add  about 1 cup of water .
Stir well and cook till no water is left.
Transfer to steamer. And cook till done.

Next I just put the chicken on a steel plate and steam for about 12..15 mins.
Chicken will let out water, reserve the water for adding to soup.
Chop the chicken and keep aside.
Finally the soup.
If you have good chicken stock pls do use it.
In a pan, add 1.5 liters of water.
Add
1 pc bashed ginger
4 cloves garlic bashed
150 gms of sliced cabbage.
Chopped cubed  spring onions.
Salt, pepper, sugar and stock cube.
Boil for about 15 mins.
Test  the seasoning and ready to serve.

I also sauted some pok choi in garlic to serve with the rice.

Ayam Rendang

Ayam Rendang..
Rendang, which means slow cooked food, mostly beef which is cooked for hours on a very slow fire., but chicken or even jackfruit cooked on a slow fire tastes as good, this recipe is from the   the west Sumetra regions of  Indonesia. The food from these regions is normally known as Padang food, made by the minangkabao people.
Padang restaurants are popular all over the country.
They do not offer you a menu to choose from, once you are seated, a waiter will bring out   dozens of small dishes filled with various dishes. Customers take only what they want from this array, and they pay only for what they take. Usually the plates can be  about 10 to 12 varieties of food. Curries, barbequed meats, greens etc.
This food is normally eaten with hands.
And steamed rice is served.

This was a dish I fell in love with when I moved to Indonesia 37 years ago, the taste was fabulous and a little familiar to my Indian taste buds😊

My husband would get this chicken from a popular padang restaurant called sari bundo, and we would really enjoy this on many sundays.

Do try this home made version .

Indonesian chicken curry

8 pcs of chicken.( I use thigh pcs with bone)
Make cuts on the chicken to soak up the gravy.
I potato cut into 8 pcs
2 pandan leaves tied in a knot
1/2 cup fresh coconut grated, and sauted till semi dry.
Coconut milk( I used tetra pack) 200 ml
1 stalk of lemongrass( bottom white part only, bashed)
2 fresh bay leaves
5 cloves
1 pc of cinnamon
2 tbsps tamarind paste.
( I normally soak about half kg tamarind in some hot water, squeeze and strain the paste, pour into ice cube moulds. Store in the freezer and use as required, here I used 2 cubes)
1 tbsp of jaggery.

To be ground into a paste
10 shallots
5 garlic pods
1 inch pc of ginger
5 fresh red chillies
5 dry red kashmiri chillies
6 pcs of candlenuts or cashews
1 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp corriander seeds
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg.

Heat abt half cup oil in a pan, and add bay leaves, lemon grass, cinnamon , cloves, pandan leaves and saute till herbs and spices release thier fragrance.
Add grated coconut and ground paste.
Saute till oil is seen on the sides. Add tamarind, jaggery and salt.
Also add the chicken and potato pcs.
Saute for 10 mins, add few tbsps of water and saute again. Repeat process about 5 times.
Finally add coconut milk and some water.
Stir, cover and cook for about 20 mins till oil floats on top, and a very thick gravy is left.
This rendang is always slow cooked and tastes fabulous with white rice or layered parathas.

You can even cook till no gravy is left, and then grill the chicken to get Ayam bakar rendang.
Enjoy.