The Occasional Cook

~Pottering about in my Pink Kitchen

Saffronish Rice — November 29, 2017

Saffronish Rice

I realise you can make any flavoured rice if you have …flavours at hand. No measurements needed. I’ve turned into my mother!

So yesterday I made rice flavoured with onions, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, chicken stock and saffron. The result was great. I stirred in some good quality long raisins and served the rice with baked zaatar chicken. And voila! There were no leftovers! 😂

Sambal Tumis — November 23, 2017

Sambal Tumis

You’re not Malay if you don’t know and don’t eat sambal tumis. Sambal is generic for any kind of chilli paste or condiment but sambal tumis is like a chilli jam. And I know that every family has their own version.

What I made yesterday was the plain sambal tumis that is just the base that is delicious eaten with nasi lemak or mixed with prawns, ikan bilis (dried anchovies), boiled eggs, etc.

I’ve always been intimidated making this because I know I can’t reach the same standards as Mom. But yesterday, I was surprised. Taste wise it was exactly like Mom’s but texture wise, it was not as smooth as I’d like it to be, and it was waaaayyy too hot! Next time, I’d reduce the number of chillies and boil the dried chillies for an hour to make them super soft. 🌶 🌶 🌶

This is tamarind water

Recipe of sorts

1. About twenty or more dried chillies, snipped and boiled till soft

2. 2-3 failry large onions

3. 3-4 garlic cloves

4. 1-2 tsp of belacan (toasted shrimp paste)

Blend till super fine. Add to hot oil and pn low heat, cook till oil appears at the top. Continue simmering till chilli paste is cooked. Add about three tablespoons of sugar, 1 tsp of salt and two tablespoons or so of tamarind water. Taste and adjust sugar, tamarind water to your preference. My preferred taste is sweet but not too sweet with a tangy taste.

Fish Pie — October 7, 2017

Fish Pie

I’ve been wanting to make Jamie Oliver’s fish pie for the longest time. And last week I watched on his youtube channel his wife making the fish pie for the family. So I bought frozen salmon and cod and prawns and mussels, thinking I’d make my own version of fish seafood pie. This is his recipe.

This is my version. I made a basic white sauce, the roux with milk and seasoned with nutmeg and bay leaves and salt etc. And in my dish, I added prawns but forgot all about the mussels. I added also mini mozzarella balls. I also forgot to season the mashed potatoes with salt so that turned out bland. I topped the potatoes with breadcrumbs and grated cheddar. But overall I must say it is not bad. It’s a change from chicken and beef for us!

Because I was too greedy and dished it immediately, the sauce was runny but creamy. After a while when it’s cooler everything set nicely. And for this kind of creamy dish, the Asian in us needed hot sauces to wash the dish down!

Garlic Noodles (Spaghetti) — September 30, 2017

Garlic Noodles (Spaghetti)

There’s apparently some famous garlic noodle dish in San Francisco by a Vietnamese family restaurant. Today I decide to make one, though with spaghetti, after quickly browsing through a few youtubers recipes.

Here’s my take on this garlicky carb laden meal.

Brown butter, like a whole lot then add like a tablespooon of minced garlic. Add a bit of oil to stop the garlic from burning.

Add a whole lot of garlic powder, some chicken powder and oyster sauce. Mix mix mix.

Add the spaghetti and then like a cup of grated parmesan cheese.

Mix mix mix. Add a handful of fried garlic slices. These I bought from the market. It’s easily available in my Little Red Dot.

And voila! I think my picture is upside down but the taste ain’t! Oh, don’t forget to season with some sea salt!

Delicious eaten hot. Enough carbs for today, though.

The Malayan Council — September 25, 2017

The Malayan Council

I thought I’d let the pictures do the talking first. So last Friday my friends and I went to a new place to eat. We had the supposedly best dish of 2016 – the beef rib rendang with roti kirai (malay lacey pancakes). This is really a winner but at 39 dollars a plate, it doesn’t come cheap. The meat is not only fall off the bone but fork tender and in soft strands. The other dish, a paella sotong masak hitam (squid ink) wasn’t great. One day I really have to see my Mama cook this squid ink Malay dish but this cafe’s version isn’t awesome. The drink, a sangria was nice but the cakes were awesome! The ondeh- ondeh cake was moist and fluffy and gula Melaka crunchy.

It’s fusion Malay meets Western fare at its best, though. Compared to other fusion eateries, this has got to be the better ones.

Pizza! — September 16, 2017


Last week I used the Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook to make fresh pizza dough. And it was easy peasy! Just add two cups of plain flour and salt to the bowl. Ten minutes earlier I ha dissolved a packet of yeast to a glass of lukewarm water and honey. So bubbly and foamy, add that water mixture and olive oil to the flour mix and beat away! After two minutes, add more water till a nice soft dough is formed. As it’s my first time making fresh pizza dough with a mixer, I must say that the beating process in the machine makes for a very very very nice soft elastic dough. And then just let it rest for an hour till it rises before rolling and baking. Yummy pizza 🍕

Fat Papas — September 9, 2017

Fat Papas

Burgers! Sheikh Haikel, a local celebrity here teamed up with the original Fatboy Burgers in Singapore for a haal version called Fat Papas! Coz you know, he ain’t no boy anymore and he is a Papa of three lovely kids. Whatever it is, we are so glad he did this because the burgers are goooood!

We tried the wimpy burger, and the mushroom one.

We are so coming back to try out the other burgers.

Hararu Izakaya — September 4, 2017

Hararu Izakaya


I finally got to try this halal izakaya one day after work. The selection was not extensive but we ordered enough to try out the not sp common dishes.

Our first dish was the fried oysters. While good, I did notice that the oysters were not huge ones. In fact, they were quite tiny. We had the grilled chicken hearts and grilled steak. Both were good, especially the beef. Juicy and flavourful, you can actually eat one whole plate without sharing. The salmon was beautifully done. Moist and flavourful though a tad on the salty side. There was also a bowl of clam soup not featured here.

Overall, it was OK but because it is on the pricey side, I’d come here again when I feel richer. 😁


TFF Chicken Rice — July 30, 2017

TFF Chicken Rice

Singapore's national dish of the people's choice. Haha. When you get really good halal chicken rice, you hardly go anywhere else. Fragrant oily chickeny goodness. And you know it's gotta be good when there's not only a long queue for it but there are non-Muslims Chinese in the queue. Yup, this place is the bomb for us! Many likes!

Kebab Station —

Kebab Station

We love our Turkish breads. Our favourite place at Changi Village moved to Parkland Green at East Coast.

We got their breads, dips and a mixed grill. Flavourful and light, it's perfect for lunch.