Showing posts with label Spices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spices. Show all posts

Monday 16 July 2012

Ayam Buah Keluak And Deep-fried Buah Keluak Toast

Ayam Buah Keluak (黑果焖鸡) is a distinctive Peranakan dish combining chicken with Buah Keluak to produce a rich sauce which is sweet, spicy and sour. This key ingredient of this unique dish is "buah keluak (黑果)" which is not a common ingredients in Singapore. And to prepare this dish, you need extra effort on preparing the buah keluak (wash, soaked and remove the flesh), meat stuffing and rempah (spice paste) before you get to cook and enjoy this hearty dish.

Although my granny is a Peranakan, I did not really get to learn her secret recipes because she passed away during my teenage time. And moreover she only has a few signature dishes due to her busy timing. But despite of that, Ayam Buah Keluak is definitely one of her best shot which we all loved.


Finally with the help of my brother who visited Malacca recently, he managed to find and brought back some "processed (washed and cleaned)"  buah keluak from one of the eatery there. So using  those 20 pieces of "treasure" that he gave me, I decided to cook this popular Peranakan Dish.

Recipe adapted and modify from Famous Cuisine, May And June 2010 issue.

(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 30 minutes | Cooking: 30 minutes)

Ingredients A:
10 Buah Keluak (黑壳果)
1/2 Portion Chicken (600g), cut into pieces
2 Pieces Tamanrind Slices (亚参皮)
500ml Hot Water

Ingredients B:
200g Chicken Fillet
3 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked until soften
100g Shelled Prawns
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
5 Buah Keluak Flesh (黑果肉)

Ingredients C - Rempah:
20 Dried Chillies, soaked in hot water until soften
5 Buah Keluak Flesh (黑果肉)
2 Stalks Lemon Grass (香茅)
2cm Fresh Galangal (南姜)
2cm Fresh Ginger
2 Candlenuts
5 Garlic Cloves
5 Shallots

1.Wash and clean the unprocessed "Buah Keluak", soak them in water for 3 days (change water daily).

2. Cut off a small opening on top of the shell, remove the flesh in it and set aside.

3. After which, rinse the empty shell and place it in a pot with water to cover it and bring to boil for 10 minutes. Next dish up, rinse and drain well before stuffing in the buah keluak paste mixture.

4. To make the fillings:- Blend all Ingredients (B) in the blender until it form a smooth paste, remove.

5. Stuff filling back into the cavity of the Buah Keluak shell till full. Set aside.

6. Heat up about 3 tablespoons of oil in frying pan, suate the blended Ingredients (C) until fragrant.

7. Add in chicken pieces and continue to fry until aromatic before putting in the stuffed "Buah Keluak", water and tamarind slices. Bring mixture to boil, add in 1/2 cube of chicken stock and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked thorough and flavour has been absorbed (about 20 - 30 minutes).

8. Lastly, season with salt and sugar to taste. Remove from heat and serve hot with steamed white rice.

- You can get Buah Keluak in Singapore from Chinatown Market, Teka Market or Bukit Panjang Wholesale Centre.

~ If you or anyone going to Malacca, you can also easily get the "process" Buah Keluak from there.


My inspiration for this "Deep-fried Buah Keluak Toast" comes from a similar snack which is available from My Peranakan Spice Box Restaurant, located at Toa Payoh Hub. Their Buah Keluak Toast is mainly made with soft buah keluak meat served on crunchy baguette which taste like Asian caviar on toast. Whereas for mine, I used the left over Buah Kelauk Chicken Paste from the dish above, spread it on some halved sandwich bread and deep-fried to achieve that crunchy texture similar to "prawn toast".

(Serves: 2   |        Preparation: 5 minutes     |       Cooking: 5 minutes)

2 - 3 Slices of Sandwich Bread, halved
Some Buah Keluak Chicken Paste (80g), recipe above
1 Tablespoon Each of White And Black Sesame Seeds
Oil for deep frying

1. Spread about 3/4 - 1 Tablespoon of the Buah Keluak Chicken Paste over the top of each slices of bread.

2. Hold the bread upside down (paste facing downward), coat it evenly with the sesame seeds mixture and set aside.

3. Preheat a pan with oil and deep-fried the bread over medium low heat until golden in colour and chicken paste is cooked through (about 2 minutes).

4. Drained well and serve warm plain or with chilli sauce.

There are a few ways to prepare this "Ayam Buah Keluak" dish depending on individual preference and taste. While preparing the stuffing you can use either pork, chicken or just the buah keluak flesh itself. And as for the gravy, you can simmer the mixture until it resemble "rendang" or quiet watery like normal chicken curry. But no matter which is your choice, I am sure you would love this appetizing dish which makes you crave for more.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Cardamom Chocolate Chunk Cake

Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic and resinous fragrance. It is also one of the common ingredient use in Indian cooking but whereas in the Middle East, usually green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes and traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Today I am sharing this butter cake recipe using Cardamon Powder and Chocolate Chunks which would filled your kitchen with wonderful aroma release from the cardamon used.


I always love the sweet scent release from the Cardamom seeds while using them for either cooking or baking. After searching from a few Indian provision shops around my area, I finally found a packet of the ground cardamom powder which is one of the main ingredients for this recipe.

Recipe adapted and modify from Australian Table(aka Australian Good Food) magazine

(make: 2 (17cm x 8cm x 6cm) loaf tins | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 35 minutes)

150g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
150g Light Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
50ml Fresh Milk
300g(2 cups) Self-Raising Flour, sifted
*2 Teaspoons Ground Cardamon(refer to note below)
100g Dark Chocolate, cut into chunks

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Grease and line loaf tins with baking paper.

2. Place soft butter and sugar in a big mixing bow and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes on medium speed).

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well before next addition. Stir in sifted flour and cardamon powder together with milk and continue to beat until mixture is smooth.

4. Mix in chocolate chunks until well combined. Spoon mixture into prepared tins(about half full each tin) and level top.

5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


*~ If cardamom powder is not available, you can replace it with 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds which are pounded in a mortar.

~ If you are baking this in 1 "single" tin the baking time would varies from 50 - 60 minutes depending on the size.

Just for your information, the cake batter for this recipe will be a bit thick rather than runny. And since it is using self-raising flour do fill the baking tin till half or slight more than half full in case the batter raise while baking and overflow from the tin.

Overall this is a very fragrance tea-cake that which I recommend it to go with a cup of good English tea to pamper yourself in cold winter day or serving this to friends for an afternoon get together tea session. For savory dish using Cardamom pops, you can refer to my Orange Scented Rice recipe HERE.