I was given 4 books to review.
This is the first book that I went through, Heavenly Fragrance: Cooking with Aromatic Asian Herbs, Fruits, Spices and Seasonings by Carol Selva Rajah. Carol has written a few books before and you might have seen a few of her books in bookstores.
Basic information about each ingredient is given so that you will be able to identify. The range of featured spices is quite wide from Chinese to Indian spices. Aromatic herbs that are widely used in South East Asian cuisine are featured as well. A section dedicated to sauces will be able to help you understand the different characteristics of each.
Some recipes are fusioned, like Salmon fish ckes with curry leaf pesto and Lemongrass Coconut Creme Caramel. Some are familiar but comes with a make over, like Nasi Ulam and Spring Rolls. The recipe collection features adaptations from South East Asian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, and Western recipes.
A good mix !
There are some hits and misses with me in this book.
I don't know about you, but 'my mother taught me' that one should NEVER, EVER eat pork that is still pink with bloody juices. Pork should always be well done. And very well done.
And roti jala that doesn't look like anything I've eaten before.
or poached chicken that looks a bit on the pathetic side.... like very sadly adorned, kesian, cham, kelian.. whatever you may call it. I thought it should look like this
Well.... there are recipes that caught my eye. And to test its accuracy, I decided to try out something that is marinated. I also chose an easy recipe that is suitable for my lack of time nowadays.....
I didn't do the complete recipe, the recipe has a sauce condiment to it, as I'm not much of a sauce person. And I don't want to purchase things that I don't use much in the kitchen like sambal oelek. Hopefully the chicken wing shines on its own.
Plum Sauce Chicken Wings Baked in a FlashRecipe adapted from Heavenly Fragrance: Cooking with Aromatic Asian Herbs, Fruits, Spices and Seasonings
6 middle wings (mine was quite big)
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
4 tsp sour plum sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp honey
1/3 tsp salt
1/6 tsp white pepper powder
1 or 2 blades of pandan leaf
1. Marinate for the chicken wings for 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven at 160(fan0/180 for 15 minutes. Tear each pandan leaf into 4 long strips. Put them into the oven for 20 seconds or until just wilted. Take out the pandan strips and let the oven continue to preheat.
3. Tie each chicken wing with a strip of pandan leaf. Snip away excess leaf.
4. Bake for 15 minutes (If you are not using the fan function, you will need to flip the chicken (hence, I suggest 10 minutes on each side, 20 mins in total)
5. Baste with more sauce and finish up the baking with another 5 minutes or until it reaches the colour you like.
The taste of the chicken wing is alright, saltiness, sweetness all balanced. Maybe I didn't grill it at a higher temperature (I just followed the recipe), or maybe it will fare better on a wood grill. It's an alright recipe. Sour plum sauce with pandan leaf.....ok geh... I blame myself for not making the sauce, maybe that's the missing link?
And these other recipes... I do hope I will have time to try out as well.. they look so yum!
Coconut Green Mango Fish Parcels
Grilled Beef Steak with Asian Spices
Mint Pachidi Chutney
Crab Soup with Lemongrss, Tamarind and Mint
Flaked Fish Slad with Spices and Coconut
Eggplant Sambal with Black Mustard Seeds and Cashews
Grilled Quail with Lemongrass and Ginger
These sound so good. There are a few more that seems interesting and I can't be showing them all, right? I might have shown you mostly savoury recipes, but there are also desserts and cakes in this book.
The publisher is giving away copies of Heavenly Fragrance by Carol Selva Rajah for 2 lucky readers.
Enter the giveaway by filling in the column below.
Let me try to read up the other 3 books with 3 more giveaways.. I'm really slow nowadays