I have the panda eyes syndrome now because I have not been properly sleeping for days. And last night, I didn’t sleep at all, maybe a short half an hour nap and that was it. We went for takbir at the surau at the next neighbourhood and when I got home, caught up with some work, had ‘raya chat’ over MSN with a cousin in Toronto and come 2.30 am, I decided to hit the kitchen.
I didn’t have the heart to purely cheat on my raya cooking as planned in my previous post. That nagging ‘kesian nak jamu orang dengan barangan instant‘ feeling had me tweak the whole Brahim/Nona experience into something not just ‘from the box, add some things and served’. Since F’s son is big on chicken, I bought the Brahim’s Masak Merah paste. Instead of just throwing in some chicken pieces in after heating up the paste as instructed, I sautéed some onions in soya oil, after considerably browned, added the chicken pieces in and fried them lightly. I then made a well in the middle of the pot and added some more oil and poured the Brahim’s paste in. Once I saw that the paste is a bit done, I threw in toasted pounded almonds and let it fry over small fire. Once the smell has risen, I thoroughly mixed the chicken pieces with the almond spice paste, added a bit of water, covered the pot and left it there over heat for about 10 mins. Once the chicken pieces are cooked and tender, I added tomato wedges and green peas. When I transfered the contents of the pot into a serving dish, I garnished it with coriander, fried onions and fried cashew nuts thrown all over. Surprisingly, it looked good!
Next up was the sambal udang. I bought the premixed brand Aliff. Again I sautéed some onions with the paste, added lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, belacan powder and some ‘cili boh’ to thicken the sauce. After making sure that it’s all fragrant and doesn’t smell like something out of the packet, I added a kg of prawns in. Transfered it to the serving dish, garnished with coriander and fried onions.
I bought 2 premixed baking products, the Nona butter cake and brownie mix. I decided not to make a whole butter cake. I saw that we have a bunch of over-riped bananas which cannot last another day. I mashed those up. I melted 250g SCS butter, beat 4 kampung eggs lightly and in slow speed mixed those two with the butter cake premix. Once it was nicely mixed, I stirred the mashed banana in. I didn’t want a whole cake so I scooped a tablespoon each into 2 dozen cupcake casings. Dressed each cup with chopped white chocolate and finally sprinkled chocolate rice. Baked them. It came out looking real good and really, really tasty!
The brownies came next. I melted another 250g SCS butter, beat some eggs and got ready some water. Electrically mixed all of them together at medium speed with the brownie premix. Then I found a packet of orange peels in my baking larder and a packet of sunflower seeds. I mixed them all into the batter. Transfered the batter into baking tins and baked for about 45 min. It came out moist and nice, and because of the orange peels, the brownies ‘tak muak’.
I then realised I still had some time. And some vegetables perfect for a lodeh dish. So at the 11th hour, I decided to make a ‘short cut’ kuah lodeh. I chopped the vegetables– a turnip, long beans and a cabbage. I only had those but that’s enough, I guess. I blended a handful of cili padis I found in the fridge with a thumb sized ‘kunyit hidup’ and 3 large red onions. Heated up some oil, fried the blended paste with 2 cubes of KNORR ikan bilis paste. Once the smell is ‘up’, I added hot water and then the chopped vegetables and let it boil into a stew for about 20 minutes. I then added salt, sugar and some tempeh and tahu which I found in the fridge from the grocery trip 5 days ago. All that done, I added two packs of AyamBrand low fat coconut milk and let it simmer for ten minutes before turning the heat off.
At 6.00 am, I had a table full of garnished and decorated dishes of kuah lodeh, sambal udang, ayam masak merah, two sticks of lemang we bought yesterday from the roadside, pretty banana-butter cupcakes and tangy-sunflower seeds brownie. All that done from 2.30 to 6.30 am on the morning of Idul Adha.
I was a zombie during the Eid prayers, saved by a can of overpriced chilled Nescafe latte from the mamak shop.