31 August, 2009

Cooking Event: Malaysia :)

[este post vai ser escrito totalmente em Ingles para dar a minha contribuicao para o evento Vegan Word - Mundo Vegan - Receitas da Malasia]


Hello everyone!

this is my 1st post.... in English!
I'm very excited, let's see how it goes ;)

Here it is my contribution to the event It's a Vegan World: Malaysian, hosted by Holy Cow!.

This is my 2nd contribution to these type of events. My 1st one was for the Fat Free Vegan blog and its' here (in Portuguese).

This time, the featured country is Malaysia.
I must confess I never had Malaysian food in my life... shame on me! :)
So I thought that it would be a terrific challenge to cook something that I don't know anything about, never had in my entire life, but assuming that the results would have to be very tasty and they would bring me lots of joy!
There was only one thing that was making me nervous about it: usually my 1st cooking experiences are not that great :) - writing down "not-that-great" is being really nice to myself! :)
Nevertheless, I never give up hope, so there I was, in front of my kitchen counter top, with my apron on (a must-use when I'm in the kitchen cooking, I'm crazy about them!) and all the ingredients ready in front of me.

After 'googling' for a while, I decided to try two recipes.
The 1st one was non-vegan so, like Vaishali uses to say, I veganized it!
The original recipe is Mango Chicken Curry, and its vegan version may be called
Mango Tofu Curry.
This Malaysian recipe caught my eye because it's full of color and it has fruit in it. Mango, Pineapple and related fruits give an exotic look to our dishes which, by the way, I adore!
So, I thought, this was a great one to start. It's very simple and easy to make, I followed every step, and the result was really good.
I served it over plain cooked brown rice. A delicious meal!

Some pictures:

The 2nd one was the Eggplant Tofu - yes I'm tofu lover, it's so versatile! But the main reason to make this dish, surprisingly, was not the tofu, it was the eggplant. The other ones in this webpage were very appealing as well, I absolutely love cauliflower and fried rice with vegetables, but I already know these flavors, and I wanted to try something new.
Eggplant is a vegetable that, if I remember correctly, I only had here in the US (it's not the only one though: celery, green onions and others are also on the list).
Back in Portugal, we have, of course, eggplants available, but it was not common in my mom's cuisine and there aren't plenty of recipes that call for eggplant.
The typical Portuguese cuisine, which the Portuguese people are really proud of, is highly non-vegan and don't rely to much on vegetables - the vegan/vegetarian/macrobiotic community is small, but the good news are that we're getting bigger, hooray!
Except for the soups, which are a very traditional dish there, it's not a healthy food regime and there is a plethora of health issues... that was my main reason for a change and to start to bring more health into my body.

The 1st time that I tried eggplant was... okay. I didn't fall in love with it, but since it has a lot of nutrients that promote good health, I decided to include it in my regime. One of my mom's detoxifying juices include a whole (peeled) raw eggplant and it's good (after years of talking about how important is our food regime to the health of every single cell in our bodies, my parents finally decided to listen to me and started a plan to cleanse their bodies and to eat more healthy food!), the seeds are the only thing that still puzzles me, but I will get there :).

So, the Eggplant Tofu is easy to make, the tofu is deep fried as well as the eggplant.
I used toasted sesame oil for that, and to help the body to digest something that was deep fried (deep frying is not a very healthy way of cooking ingredients) I served this dish over plain cooked brown rice and turnips cooked-in-vapor (this vegetable is very famous in my home country and I absolutely love it!) as a side dish.
The other option to the side dish is grated raw turnips or daikon. Be aware that, when they are eaten raw, they have a kind of spicy flavor. This is not, probably, a Malaysian habit, forgive me for that :) it was more my way to turn this meal into a healthy one.

Some pictures below:

For the month of September, the country featured is India! :)
What do you think about giving your contribution to this one? India cuisine is sooo tasty!
Let's do it!

Happy Cooking! :)


Vaishali said...

Susana, I could picture you standing in your kitchen with your apron on, wondering about Malaysian food! :) So glad you decided to cook up these two delicious dishes, and I for one wish I lived in Seattle so I could hop right on over to your home and eat some!

Daisy said...

Thank you so much for your comment! It made me laugh so much ;)
If you decide to come to Seattle, you are more than welcome to my house!

Dips said...

Hey Daisy, What a great try and I salute your experimentational spirit..way to go !!

Daisy said...

Hi Dips :)
thank you so much for your comment!
You got me :) all cooking activities are indeed experiences, amazing and funny experiences. Cooking always makes me very happy, even when the recipes don't turn out so well :)

Happy cooking!