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Nuts about Nuts : Turkish Delight from Azerbaijan

I woke up this morning to find that a sister in law had just flown in from Baku, Azerbaijan. She presented me with a gorgeously wrapped box that I just had to photograph and share.

Image of a gift from AzerbaijanI am a real sucker for gift wrapping and wanted to keep the box just the way it was so that my grandsons could open it when they came home this evening.

But I am even more curious than the cat, so I quickly opened it to find an assortment of Turkish Delight that I’d never seen before.
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A sister-in-law just flew in from Azerbaijan early this morning and brought along a box of the most delicious Azerbaijani sweets. It was an interesting array of Turkish Delight from a famous shop in Baku called XURJUN ( pronounced Khur Jun) . With a strong Arabic influence, it resembled the Karachi halwa that is ever so popular in India. In fact it reminded me of the Halwa I got from the Dubai Mall earlier this year.

Turkish Delight is a sugar and starch sweet meat that is a popular Arabic dish. It has a soft chewy texture that children often love. It lasts long ( rather it keeps long) though in our house it barely lasted the week!

Have you had Turkish Delight before?

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A vegetarian Burmese Khow Suey

A sister-in-law of mine once told me that what we call Burmese Khow Suey only exists in our Indian imaginations. In her three year stay in Yangon, she didn’t come across anything remotely like it .

However, I first came upon Khow Suey when I was all of 13 years old. A much travelled aunt who used to make a big production of being invited by her , once included my brother and me when she invited my parents to her much prized Sunday brunch

. To say I was gob smacked is an understatement. For me it was like dying and going to heaven.

For several years I used to think that  Khow Suey was the ultimate in exotic cuisine and kept her reluctantly shared recipe close to my chest. That was before the now defunct Busaba opened up Burmese cuisine to the everyday Mumbaikar.

The other day I was slurping down my chicken Khow Suey at Palladium Social when Hubby Dear expressed a keenness to try the coconut curry.

Since he had assiduously passed up the Khow Suey every time it was made at home, I was once again gob smacked !

And what was more shocking was that he asked me to make a Vegetarian version for Sunday’s lunch .

So here’s what I did 

Burmese khow suey

Burmese khow suey

Ingredients

  • For the curry
  • 1 x 200 g coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small onion grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red chill powder ( depending on how fiery you like it)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • 1 heaped tablespoon chick pea flour ( besan)
  • For the vegetables
  • 1 cup pre-cooked Nutrela Soya nuggets
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 3 baby corn
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced mushroom
  • For the garnish
  • 1 finely sliced onion made into a barista ( deep fried to a crisp golden brown)
  • 2 teaspoons golden fried chopped garlic
  • chopped coriander
  • chopped green onion
  • coarsely ground roast peanuts
  • crumbled boiled egg
  • lemon quarters

Instructions

  • To make the curry :
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the grated onion and stir till pink. Then add the garlic ginger paste and continue stirring. Reduce the heat to avoid sticking.
  • When the onion is golden brown, add the turmeric, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Roast till you get the aroma of roasted spices ( around a minute or so).
  • Add the chick pea flower and continue stirring till the flour is slightly roasted.
  • Toss in the vegetables one by one starting out with the baby corn, then broccoli, mushroom and bell peppers. Finally add in the cooked soya nuggets.
  • Add just enough water and cover with a lid .
  • Allow the pot to simmer till the vegetables are just done.
  • Remove the lid and add the coconut milk.
  • Once again allow the curry to simmer - letting it thicken a bit.
  • Adjust the salt before serving
  • Serve with steamed noodles or steamed white rice.
  • Khow Suey is served on top of the noodles/rice with all the accompaniments added on top . Mix together to get an interesting mix of crunch and flavour.
  • You could add a dash of lime if you like slightly tangy, citrusy flavour.
http://foodities.in/veg-burmese-khow-suey/

Yong Tau Foo

I was shopping this afternoon when I suddenly realised it was way past my lunch time. I decided to eat at the food court of the Mall and asked the salesgirl who was attending to me for some suggestions. She told me to try Yong Tau Foo which turned out to be a very good choice.  

  I picked up a bowl and asked for a 6 piece Yong Tau Foo but the man told me that I had to choose what I wanted.

  
I had the choice of vegetables and tiny pieces of Tofu with meat . The other assistant helped me and after I chose my six pieces I took the bowl to the cashier who showed me four kinds of noodles to choose from.

I went for a transparent rice flat noodle which he said went well with the soup. I waited another minute or so before he handed me a bowl of the yummiest noodle soup I’ve ever had.  

 Yong Tau Foo can be had dry or with a soup. You can assemble it with rice or noodle and spice it up with two kinds of sauce on the side.

#DinTaiFung – the best Dimsum in town

This afternoon I had a lip smacking lunch at one of the ten best restaurants in the world according to the New York Times 

  The restaurant in the food court of Paragon Mall at Singapore’s tony Orchard Road opens at 11 am and even though we reached at 1.30 there was a line of people waiting before us.
  However, we were given a number which was assigned as per the number of people per table. We were assigned a number in the middle 3000 but waited only 20 minutes. 
THE AMBIANCE 

The place had a very busy vibe with a quick turnover of guests tucking in oodles of noodles and the yummiest of Dimsum. We ordered steamed pork dumplings , duck in crispy rolls , prawn pancake and chicken broth soup. The dumplings were filled with soup which meant that you had to pop them in your mouth carefully and then be careful not to burn your mouth as you swallow the soup. 

The crispy duck roll was crunchy with a succulent slice of roast duck inside. The chicken broth was plain boiled chicken and needed a sufficient amount of soya sauce and vinegar to make it more tasty for my palate. 

As for the prawn pancake – they were really to die for. 

VERDICT 

The customer really comes first here with a wide selection for vegetarians 

  

There was also a little foldable carrier for guests to keep their expensive bags and belongings safely. 

  There are three  Din Tai Fungs all over Singapore so chose your location and dig in!