Category Archives: Iftar Recipe

Sweet Little Thing

I can’t really say I’ve been an advocate of healthy eating; having stuffed my face with starch, fats and sugar endlessly. Well, healthy eating aside, let’s move on to a delish dessert that you can prepare at home for Iftar…

… Hold it! Stop counting the calories off this sweet little thing, will ya?

The ingredients in the Banana & Granola Parfait needs no introduction about the great things they will do to your body. The best part is, they are common and inexpensive items that most would already have in the fridge or pantry.

A good foundation is to buildings what a good granola mix is to parfaits. I’m guilty of spending an insane amount on organic granola (for days when I feel like eating healthy hehe) off the supermarket shelves, until I stumbled upon a recipe book by the famed Rachel Allen, host of Bake! As I looked through the lengthy list of ingredients, I realise that I’ve been cheating my own moolah for buying something that I could make because all of those were readily available at home.

This simple recipe can be switched around any way you like, following your preference of grains, nuts and dried fruit. I’ll run you through the list for my homemade Granola Mix. It makes a small jar that would last me a whole week and it keeps pretty well.

2 tbsp Cashew nuts

2 tbsp Almonds

2 tbsp Walnuts

1 cup Rolled oats

4 tbsp Honey

2 1/2 tbsp Soft Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

1 tsp Cinnamon powder

1 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Dried Cranberries

2 tbsp Pitted Medjoul Dates

1) Toast the nuts – cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts – in the oven at 150°C for 8 minutes.

Once theyre slightly cooled, you can either cut them into smaller bits or toss them in a Ziploc bag, seal it and crush them with a pestle or a rolling pin.

2) In a cup, mix honey and butter with vanilla, cinnamon and salt. It should be of a viscous consistency and pretty easy to work with.

3) In a baking tray that’s lined with a baking sheet, pour in the rolled oats and nuts mixture and then the butter-honey mixture joins the party!

4) Mix the ingredients well and pop it into the oven at 160°C for 30 minutes. Every 5 minutes, pull out the tray and toss them about. This process is important because the grains and nuts at the rims of your tray will burn fairly quickly. Once that’s done, pour them out on a cooling rack and pepper your granola mix with cranberries and dates.

There you go, your very own granola mix. I toldja it’s simple!

You could have it with breakfast cereal and milk, as an ice cream topping or in your crumble pies and cobblers or you could use it in a Banana & Granola Parfait:

2 tbsp Granola mix

4 tbsp Greek Yoghurt

1 tbsp Strawberry Jam

1/2 Banana

1 tbsp Butterscotch Sauce* (recipe here)

* You can replace this with Honey, Maple Syrup or Golden Syrup

1) In a small cup or a transparent wine glass if you must, start to layer all the ingredients: Yoghurt goes right at the bottom,

followed by jam,

sprinkle the granola mix,

arrange the banana slices and add a good dollop of butterscotch sauce.

2) The parfait is done,

but if you (like me) are a little greedy hehe, repeat the layers till you reach the brim of the glass.

I have been eating parfait everyday for the last 15 days of Iftar, at the start of my meal. And it has been bowel-friendly, no matter what I gorge on right after. Sure, you might be thinking:

“Aiya… Where got time to prepare this every day one?

Very busy you know?”

I’m aware of the vast majority who might not have time on their hands to neatly layer yoghurt, granola and fruits everyday, but it suffices to pack about 2 tbsp of the homemade Granola mix in your handbag, grab a small tub of yoghurt at any convenience store, and have em together.

Now, who said healthy desserts had to taste like hay? Taking a teeny step towards healthy eating this Ramadhan is a great way to start. This recipe’s a definite keeper well after the month ends; granola parfaits make a great lazy weekend afternoon dessert and doubles up on hectic weekdays as a great morning booster!

This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):

Ramadan Recipe: Banana & Granola Parfait

Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region.Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Favourites, Iftar Recipe, Muzlimbuzz, Recipes, Snacks, Teatime

Golf Ball-Sized Cakes?

Unbeknownst to me, my Dad has been following my blog. Lol, as if it is not already enough of a shocker that I have guy friends reading about recipes (whot?!), I discovered my Dad does too. This is how I found out today:

4.30pm in the living room while watching Food Network Asia

Dad: Dah lama tak buat kueh yang coklat Hershey’s tu eh.

[It’s been a while since you made a kueh with Hershey’s chocolate.]

Me: Kueh apa sey pakai Hershey’s? Kek eh?

[Which kueh uses Hershey’s? Cake, you mean?]

Dad: Macam kek tapi yang bulat kecik, size golf ball. Yg hari tu buat, tapi dalam ade apple dengan kacang.

[It’s similar to a cake but golf ball sized. You made some the other day, but with apples and nuts.]

Me: *ponders and recalls the Apple Almond Muffins I made earlier this week* Oooohhh Muffin eh?!

[Oooohhh Muffins, you mean?]

Dad: A’ah buatkan Abah untuk buka boleh? Dah buat boleh share recipe kat your website masak-masak tu.

[Yeah, could you bake some for me? Then, you can share it on your cooking website.]

WHOT!?

Can I just say that I have the most awesome Dad in the world? LOL! I found myself giggling in the kitchen while preparing these Oatmeal & Chocolate Muffins for Iftar today.

Well, anyway, this muffin recipe is one that I stumbled upon a few years ago in a book for which I have no recollection of the title nor the author. But I’m indeed grateful for it, because I’ve stopped my seemingly endless hunt for the perfect muffin recipe.

Believe me when I say, when done right, it makes;

The most moist and softest muffins evuh.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup Quick-cooking Oats

1 cup Buttermilk

1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

2/3 cup Brown Sugar

1 Egg

3/4 cup Flour

2 tsp Hot Chocolate Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

½ tsp Baking Soda

1 cup Hershey’s Semi-sweet Chocolate chips*

* You can add a few broken pieces of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate if you’re a chocoholic. A few more tiny bits of choc wouldn’t hurt right?

Mix oats and buttermilk in a bowl. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine oil, brown sugar and egg. Stir with a fork till the sugar dissolves. Add em to the oat & buttermilk mixture.

Lastly, sift all the dry ingredients in (flour, hot chocolate powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda). Fold the dry into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the chocolate chips just before carefully spooning dollops of batter into muffin cups.

The mixture makes about 12 standard-sized muffins, but today I made only half a portion. Bake them at 180°C for 20 minutes and then sit patiently in front of the oven. Trust me, you’d want to.

Frankly, baking anything Hershey’s transports you into a Willy Wonka-like chocolate-infused fantasy. Needless for an elaboration but… oh, the heavenly aroma and that first bite: oh-oh omg the chocolate is still warm mmMmmm.

In other news, there’s only 1 and a half muffin left in my tray, where there once was 6. Oh, the plight of competing with other Hershey’s-crazed chocoholics in the house.

PS: Dad, if you’re reading this, HI ABAH!! I LOVE YOU!! xx

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Filed under Cravings, Desserts, Iftar Recipe, Recipes, Teatime

The Problem

I have a problem.

One that’s going to haunt me well into my fifties and sixties, I reckon. One that’s probably going to lead into unwanted health boo-boos later on in my life. One that’s gotten my Mum nagging at 2am, about how I should be in bed already.

The problem: Late night sweet-toothed indulgence.

As much as I know the dire consequences, late-night baking to me is extremely therapeutical. Apart from baking already being my sole source of stress relief, the thought of getting caught in the act narrating my own cooking show in the kitchen to an imaginary audience and trying to keep whisking at its quietest in a deafeningly soulless house is just too exciting!

Here is a recipe that I’ve made over and over again, for its simplicity of accessing ingredients and for the simple fact that all you need is a bowl, a hand whisk (no bulky, noisy electric mixer yeay!), a grater, a few cups for measurement and a rectangular ramekin. This one; I call the omg-my-Mum-is-up-and-I-thought-she-was-gonna-nag-but-she-too-is-having-a-slice-with-me-at-2am Orange Walnut Teacake. Haha yes she LOVES this!

90 g Butter

2 tbsp Butterscotch Sauce*

1 cup loosely-packed Brown sugar

2 Whole Eggs

2 Egg Yolks

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Pinch of Salt

3/4 cup Plain Flour + 1 tsp Baking Powder

1 Orange (Zest, Juice and Pulp)

10 pcs Walnuts

* I have not tried substituting it with anything else. But I guess you could swap Caramel / Toffee Sauce for this.

In a microwaveable bowl, add butter and butterscotch sauce. Pop it in the microwave on High for 30 secs. From this point on, your whisking starts. Quick but quiet strokes if you’re baking this at ungodly hours like me!

Whisk one at a time, in this exact order: brown sugar, eggs, egg yolks, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Fold in the flour and baking powder gently with your whisk. Lastly, squeeze the orange with your hands, scraping out all the pulp into your cake batter. Give it a final brief stir.

Pour in half of the citrus-scented batter in a greased ramekin. Arrange 8 pcs of whole walnuts in 2 neat rows, before pouring in the rest. Top it with the last 2 pcs of walnuts, broken into generous bits on the teacake. Add a dash of orange zest and in the oven, this baby goes!

Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes. The centre will be slightly gooey – I like it that way, but if your baking insecurities kick in, extend the baking time for another 5 minutes at a slightly lower temperature and leave it in the oven.

Let it cool for a bit, before inverting it onto a plate and thick slices please, people!

It ought to be a crime not to have this immediately, with a cuppa hot tea to boot.

To my new Instagram friends, @rumaisa and @nbucket, this is for you babes! You could bake this simple teacake for Iftar or the coming Aidilfitri, or you could enrol in the Late Night support group with me?

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Filed under Desserts, Iftar Recipe, Recipes, Teatime

Parchment-baked Pasta

If there’s any staple food that deserves the title of Most Versatile, it would be pasta. C’mon, pasta types count to the hundreds and pasta dishes in the thousands. In fact, did you know that in the 1800, there are already 260 types of pasta? 211 years later, imagine the pasta population!

Whether it be sautéed, or in a soup, or served with stew, or baked in a tray, or fried in a frittata; one thing remains – it’s an all-time favourite that’s here to stay for another century. I’m an ardent fan of quick-fix pasta recipes, because when I crave for it, I just wanna whip it up in a jiffy to hush the aching crave.

That said, here’s a fuss-free, cook-while-you’re-busy-with-chores recipe that I’d like to share: Parchment-baked Linguine with Prawns.

This one serves 2 (or 1 of me), so do increase the proportions of you’re cooking for more:

Linguine

Salt & Black Pepper

1 tbsp Butter

1/2 diced Yellow Onion

4 crushed Garlic Cloves

10 shelled Prawns

1/4 cup Pasta Water*

1 tbsp dried Italian Herbs

1/2 cup canned Mushroom Soup mix

1 tsp grated Parmesan Cheese

1 tsp dried Oregano leaves

1) Bring a pot of liberally salt-&-peppered water to a boil and cook the linguine to al dente. Drain it and add a dollop of butter and toss it about to coat each strand.

Here are a few simple good-to-know tips about boiling pasta:

Bring the water to a rolling boil before sliding in the linguine. Putting it in while the water is still cold results in al dente cooked pasta on the outer layer, whereas the centre of the pasta is solid white. By the time you wait for the whole string to cook, the outer layer would have already been mush.

For string pastas, hold the bunch in the middle of your pot before letting them all disperse into the water. This ensures that it does not clump. If it does clump, just use a fork and swirl about in the water. Easy peasy!

Salting the water liberally adds taste to the otherwise bland linguine. Also, after draining your al dente pasta, keep aside about a cup or less of the pasta water* to thin your sauce. There’s really no magic in it; it had been claimed to thicken or add flavour to your sauce of choice but plainly put, it’s just handy to have rather than fetching a cup from your kettle.

2) In a cup, mix the italian herbs, mushroom soup mix and parmesan cheese with pasta water. Once it thickens, tumble the prawns, garlic and onion in the concoction. You might want to substitute prawns with calamari rings or cubed chicken, or all of it if you’d like. It’s really a one-size-fits-all type of recipe!

3) Lay a tray with parchment paper (also known as baking sheet). Plonk your pile of linguine and top it off with the marinated prawns and dust some dried oregano over it. Now, wrap the dish in the parchment paper like a tootsie roll. The aim is to ensure that they get maximum coverage, without having the insides unglamorously spilling out in the oven.

4) Bake it in the oven at 220°C for 15-20 minutes. Take extra care while eagerly opening up the sheet and take a whiff of all that goodness! Like a steam facial, only better. What cooking in the oven under wraps actually does is, it creates a sauna-like environment; you could say you have steamed’ your pasta dish, melted the onions and garlic down, whilst having all the wonderful flavours absorbed fully into the linguine. It works the same if you’d like to experiment with marinara sauce and with other pasta types.

5) Give it a little toss, and serve it hot. Quick, easy, and yet oddly satisfying!


This one’s perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons, or you could bookmark it as an iftar menu in the month of Ramadhan. Just pop it in the oven say, about 30 minutes before azan and voila, ready for chow down!

This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):

Ramadan Recipe: Parchment-baked Linguine 

Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region.Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.

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Filed under Dinner, Iftar Recipe, Lunch, Muzlimbuzz, Recipes, Tips