Malaysia

How to Cook Vegetarian

How to Cook Vegetarian

Scared Cartoon Pig Funny BBQ Party Invitations by alinaspencil I met a lovely woman at this year’s Herb Society of America (HSA) Educational Conference. She told me her 20-something grandson had just become a vegetarian, and while some in the family were frowning with disapproval, she was frowning in confusion. The problem is that...

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Vegan Halloween Party Food

Vegan Halloween Party Food

Today I made some food ahead of time in preparation for a Halloween dinner party I’m having tomorrow night. Part of the trick is giving food gory names that match the appearance of the dishes. Coagulated Blood Dip Based on the idea I found here, I put together a beet dip and doctored it...

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Bubur Pulot Hitam, Sticky Black Rice Pudding

Bubur Pulot Hitam, Sticky Black Rice Pudding

For dessert at our final dinner in Malaysia, we were served a warm rice pudding, accompanied by sliced papaya. It was the perfect ending to three weeks of lip smacking. Although the main ingredient, black glutinous rice, may be hard to find, the dessert is very simple to prepare. And you can’t beat it...

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Fermented Flatbread, Indian Dosa

Fermented Flatbread, Indian Dosa

I’ve just begun my latest mad science experiment. I’ve been making fermented dough–batter, actually–for dosa and uttapam, which are flatbreads typically eaten in South India for breakfast. Although the process takes time, it isn’t complicated. Rice and urad dahl are soaked in water for several hours, then drained and blended with water to create...

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Carrot Cake (Not What You Think)

Carrot Cake (Not What You Think)

I spent several hours yesterday and today attempting to make Malaysian carrot cake. It’s not the carrot-and-spice-studded sweet treat that automatically comes to mind for many of us. I’m talking about a steamed cake made of rice flour and daikon, the strong-flavored turnip or radish of Asian cultures. Grated daikon and rice flour are...

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Kerabu Nenas, Pineapple Salad

Kerabu Nenas, Pineapple Salad

We often ate this salad in Malaysia, an innocent-enough combination of raw carrot, onion, chile, and cucumber. The surprising addition of pineapple helped to create a light, oil-free dressing with a touch of sweetness and just enough tropical flair to win a spot at the top of the favorites list for many in our...

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Roti Can’t-I

Roti Can’t-I

I wish I had paid more attention. Not that it would be helping me now. But I didn’t fully appreciate roti canai while I was in Malaysia, eating it every third day or so. Roti canai (pronounced chahn-eye) is a flatbread with a crispy outside and flaky, soft layers inside. It is a Malaysian...

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And the Winners Are…The Best and Worst of Malaysian Food

And the Winners Are…The Best and Worst of Malaysian Food

Looking back on three weeks of exotic and interesting vegetarian and vegan Malaysian food and drink, it is difficult to choose the best and worst of what I sampled. Overall, everything was delicious and complex. The curries were rich, flavorful and varied. The drinks were refreshing after tromping through hot cities and humid jungles....

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Let the Testing Begin!

Let the Testing Begin!

After three weeks of spicy Malaysian curries, chewy roti and refreshing drinks, I am back in the real world. Nobody is cooking for me. I cannot sit at a table and have more fake mutton rendang. My fridge is empty (although there is now a new stash of dark chocolate from Malaysia and Japan)...

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How About a Tree-top Canopy Walk?

Okay, I’ve done it. I faced my fears. And they won. Today was the one activity I’ve been dreading this entire trip. Swim with sharks? No problem. Navigate a new city, avoiding drive-by purse snatchings? No problem. Eat fermented tofu sauce? No problem. Do a canopy walk? No way. I’m afraid of heights. It...

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A Gratefulness Journal with Prompts

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