Monday, 26 November 2012

Few weeks back: Lagnaa Cooking Class

Few weeks ago, in early November,
I went to an Indian restaurant called Lagnaa for the first time.
It is located somewhat 10 mins walk from Little India MRT (train) station.
Once you see foot prints on the ground, you know that Lagnaa is nearby.
As you follow the foot prints...

You will see a huge Indian guy standing in front of the shop.

Here we are!

There should be 8 of us but I was the first to arrive.

So I ordered mango lassi while waiting for others to arrive.

A friendly master chef started off his cooking lesson by introducing various India spices.
I was facinated by the varieties of spices which I had never seen before
and so I forgot to take pictures.
There were a French couple,
an Australian & American Japanese couple & her mother,
an Australian man who had lived in Japan for 15 years,
a Japanese lady who had lived in Singapore for years,
and Me.
They all knew so well about Indian spices!
They guessed the spices by smelling and tasting them.
It was amazing! I had no idea what they were.

Ingredients for my favourite butter chicken

Cooking is in progress....
Half way through, the chef asked us,
"What do you think are the common mistakes people tend to do while cooking butter chicken?"
Someone said
"Putting too much salt?"
They the chef said
"Ok, then pelase put it"
We were like,
"What?! NO!"
Well, but he insisted.
I thought people usually go for cooking lessons
to prevent those "common mistakes".
But the chef wanted us to perform common mistakes!
He promised us that he would fix it no matter how badly we turn our butter chicken into...
(Well, at the end, he couldn't save one of our butter chicken and the person who trusted the chef had to eat this super salty butter chicken...)
My butter chicken was safe beause I didn't trust the chef haha
I added extra water in stead of salt.
I knew how to save my butter chicken from too much water.
 Just boil it longer.
Anyway, this was a rather unusual cooking class...
Isn't this more like an experiment...

My butter chicken!

They served our own butter chicken together with naan, rice,
and one more dish we chose from the restaurant menu.

I still think that my butter chicken was the best
among all the other dishes we ordered from the menu.
Others also agreed
(that their butter chicken was the best among all the other dishes,
except for the salty one in which the chef failed to save!)
I shared my thoughts with the chef. :p
He just laughed.
It was really fun meeting new people,
talk and chill out over my delicious butter chicken (and the rest of the food).
BUT I must say that I was quit disapointed with the cooking class.
Not just because he broke his promise and failed to save one of our butter chicken,
but all he taught us was to use a butter chicken paste to cook our delicious butter chicken.
The paste is made in the restaurant and they sell it for $30 plus? for a small jar.
I didn't buy it but many of them did.
I don't think we should call it a cooking class.
If I don't make something from scratch,
I don't call it cooking.
Since the cooking class itself already costed $70 plus,
they should have taught me propper cooking.
So, I had a good time but with quite A LOT of disapointment.
Maybe I should do some more experiment
and find my own butter chicken recipe, hey?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Friend's visit in Singapore and Japanese souveniers

Last week, I caught up with my Japanese friend after 3 years of not seeing each other.
We first met in Melbourne through some Japanese students gatherings,
and soon became friends as we found out that her homestay family was the same as my ex-homestay family!
She moved in after I had left my homestay house, so we have never lived together,
but it was really amazing to meet someone who had the same homestay experience with the same awesome homestay family.
At that time, I lost contact with my ex-homestay mum and was wondering how she was.
Through my friend, I found out that she moved house and that was why I lost her contact.
 My friend helped me talk to the homestay mother and found out that she still remebered me.
After that, I visited my friend and homestay mother few times during my stay in Melbourne.  

It was  my room back then

Anyway, it was quite funny that I caught up with my friend in Singapore.
We used to hang out in Melbourne all the time, but after she had left Melbourne, we hardly had opportunities to meet up.
It was because my hometown was different from hers.
In fact, we only caught up once in Japan.
So this was the second time meeting her outside of Australia.
It's been a while, but I didn't fee like it at all.
Straight after I met her, I felt like we were back in Melbourne.
We both remember that our life in Melbourne was not always fun.
We used to complain the strange weather, feel sad about staying far away from home,
struggle through cultural differences, find it hard to catch up with local students in uni etc etc...
But there were a lot of good times as well as bad times and
somehow, when we talk about our life back then, we only remember all the good stuff.
We talked till late at night then she went back to Japan on the next day.
It was a short time, but was really nice catching up with her.
She left me with lots of delicious Japanese souveniers.

Sushi mix, miso soup, tarako pasta sauce, chicken kama meshi paste,
Taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes with red bean paste) and some sore throat candies.
 So, on the next day, I made chicken kama meshi using the paste she gave me.


It was delicious :)


*Chicken Kama meshi
*Veggie and chicken meat ball milk stew
*Carrots and Enoki cooked in sweet sauce

I hope to see her again soon
and hopefully both of us can visit our awesome homestay mum again in Melbourne!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Happy Birtday Cookie!

My dog's 15th birthday today.
I always love you!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Ginger Tuna Steak Dinner

Saturday Dinner

*Ginger Tuna Steak
*Eggplant cooked in Sweet Ginger Sauce
*Rolled Egg Stuffed with Tofu Curry

Tofu is coming out of the egg ;p

Ta-da-! A very cute hand made bowl from my mum!
It's from Turkey! Thank you so much, mum!
Ginger Tuna Steak Recipe

Marinate a piece of tuna with
*2 table spoons of soya sauce,
*1 table spoon of Mirin
*1 table spoon of shaved ginger
Then put flour around the steak and fry it with 2 to 3 table spoons of oil.
The outside of the steak will be crunchy and the inside will be soft :)

Ciabatta Sandwitch Saturday Lunch

Saturday Brunch
Ciabatta Bread Sandwitch
with bacons, grilled eggplants, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.
I used to see Ciabatta bread all the time in bakeries and cafes in Melbourne.
But I hadn't seen any in Singapore till I found this in Peck, one of the bakeries in Takashimaya!
It was the first Ciabata loaf I saw in Singapore and so I had to buy one! 
YUM !! :D 
Then I spent the sat afternoon sewing pouches.
I hadn't done sewing for a long time but now I remembered how fun it was.
I concentrated on it so hard that I had almost forgotten to eat dinner! :o
Well rested, very productive and stuffed - with - good food day!
Happy Saturday!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Tofu, Tomatoes and Enoki Curry Lunch

Lunch from last weekend!
*Tofu, Tomatoes and Enoki Curry
*Pickled Cabbage with Tuna and Pickled Plum
*Seaweed Salad

Happy November!

There are only 2 monthes left for 2012.
This means that it has almost been 1 year since I moved to Singapore!!
Time flies!
What have I learnt this past year at work?
Have I achieved some of my goals?
Am I moving step by step towards my dream?
There are lots of things to think about.
But for now, I feel very fortunate that I gained the opportuniy to work in Singapore,
and I appreciate the fact that I met so many nice people through work. :)
In order to enhance my life in Singapore,
and to make my cooking life happier,

I decided to pick up some cooking lessons!

(Many thanks to my dear, awesome colleague/boss for this awesome suggestion!)
My very first cooking lesson is going to be on...

Indian cuisine :D

I'm going to learn my favourite Indiah dish - Butter Chicken!!
The first lesson is on next saturday and I can't wait! :)