Something New…

A big hello once again!! It has been a very long while since I last wrote but today I am here to share new content. It has got something to do food and a cuisine I have never shared before on this platform. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

What is travelling without tasting the authentic local cuisine of one’s country. Traveling is about exploring and getting to know one’s culture, therefore today I would love to share about my recent travel adventure. About couple weeks back, I went on a short getaway to Yangon, Myanmar. Myanmar is a mystery to many. A lot of people I know do not have much knowledge about the beauty within this country, especially the food. Thus on my trip I got to unravel the delicious blend of Burmese food.

The flavours of Burmese cuisine are impressive. My expectations of Burmese food was filled with fish sauce and milky soup bases, however I was so wrong with the image I had of Burmese food. It is packed filled with strong flavours such as peanuts, tea and spices; a rather unusual taste but an interesting and yummy one. I had to help myself for seconds and thirds and every meal I had, I was stuffed with satisfaction. From my observations, they love using peanuts in most of their dishes. Dishes such as thick rice noodles are generously coated with a thick smooth peanut sauce which provided a nutty and creamy touch to the dish. Another dish was a tea fried rice which was accompanied with cashew nuts. Also, most of their dishes are heavily carbohydrate based, just like the other Asian countries. Thus with carbs, all their dishes have a flavoursome gravy to go with rice or noodles. With a tasty gravy meant tender and soft meat, and that was all I got from all dishes.

First up I would like to talk about the tea fried rice. When the dish was first served, I thought it was olive fried rice due to its appearance and content, but later I was corrected that it was tea fried rice. Never heard of it, have you? Neither did I. I was so excited to dig in and when I took my first bite, no disappointment at all. It resembles an olive fried rice, dark with specks of tea leaves, it’s flavour is less nutty and more fragrant than an olive fried rice. There are bits of peanuts in it and the nut gives a crunchy and oily feel to the rice, but in a good way. It goes well with all kinds of dishes, curry, stir-fry or even as it is. This was one of the dishes that left a deep impression as it was something unheard of in Singapore. img_8014.jpg

Next would be a salad. Now this salad is something different, it does not contain any leafy greens or even much of a protein in it. It seems like a small side dish to go with the rice, it blends so well with the tea fried rice and I could honestly have eaten both by itself. It is a lemon salad. It is not sour and it is not bitter. It is so tasty that with every bite you could taste the fragrant lemon rind. This little dish is mainly made out of lemon rind with a hint of lemongrass and ginger, tossed with lots of spices but at the same time, very simple and satisfying. FullSizeRender

Lastly were the meat!! Most of the meat dishes are cooked in a gravy like dish. For example stewed beef/pork, curry fish/chicken. Thus the appearance might be a little dull and dark but do not be deceived by the looks of the dish because the meat is so tender and savoury. We got a stewed pork and mutton meatball. They were all seasoned so well, especially the meatballs. Right amount of fat and meat ratio to give the meatball a lovely bite. And as for the pork, they used pork belly, of which the fat melted in your mouth. And that was the only time I disregarded any type of diet I had. I had to savour each inch of the meats. IMG_8015

Overall my lunch of Burmese would be rated 11 out of 10. It was incredible. Each dish could be paired with one another or eaten by itself. It is versatile and a great variety of them. I believe I only unravelled a pinch of Burmese cuisine, however it was a great insight of the food and I truly fell in love with it.

Well I hope you have enjoy this piece and I hope it gave you a little idea of what Burmese food is and if it did, it would make me absolutely happy. Thank you for reading and till next time, See you!

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Tasmania 2016: Touch.

Hi all! Today I present you with the final piece to my Tasmania adventures. It is a little bittersweet to write the final one, therefore the short break in writing. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Today I shall be sharing about the connection of what Tasmania have to offer. With that being said, the post is all about places I have been that made an impact during my trip. Thus the word ‘touch’ in my title refers to the effect the nature of Tassie has made on me.

Tasmania has touched me with it’s vast diversity of animals. I am a huge animal lover, thus looking out for animals in Tassie was a highlight. Be it a Tasmanian Devil in a wildlife park or a wild wallaby crossing the road, it is such a great souvenir for the eyes and mind. All my life, I have been living in an urban city, therefore being exposed to wildlife all around you was intriguing and exciting.

Therefore visiting a wildlife park has got to be my Number 1 to-do in Tasmania. Seeing all the animals would just make you go “Awwwwwww”

The Nature of Tasmania has left a huge impact on me. Hiking to be greeted with a gorgeous view, surrounded with luscious greens with birds chirping is the way to start everyday. And when in Tasmania, there were a few occasions my family and I went on a short hike to some lookouts. Moments like during the hike when you notice everything around you from the little pebbles on the side of the path to the clear blue sky with fluffy white clouds to moments like the feast your eyes just had when the view from above was breathtaking and your mind kept replaying the scene of serenity and calm during the walk back down. And I only have a word to describe it all, healthy. It is healthy to mind, eyes, soul and body. With this, I am envious of Tasmanians.

All in all, the nature in Tassie mesmerised me in all corners. From wildflowers on the roadside to majestic waterfalls in National Parks, it is all god’s great creation!

Lastly, I am touched by the life people have there! At times, visiting farmers markets or food festivals in the parks, Tasmanian celebrate life. They have a smile on their face, selling their produce proudly. I clearly remembered a night when I was having dinner at a food festival in Hobart. There were life music, smokey barbecue filled the air and people dancing happily. Good Food, Good Music and Good People; that is basically the scene there in Tasmania! No matter which market I visited, the energy and vibe there is so electrifying, you would be naturally perked up.

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Hence, the energy in Tasmania is something one should explore and discover. It heals you, mentally, physically and emotionally. I had such a great time touring the state and I have not had enough of it yet. Tasmania truly is special in my heart and the memories made there are irreplaceable.

And this concludes my pieces on my trip to Tasmania. Thank you for reading and till next time, See you.

Be Kind & Spread Love. Pei Gee

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Tasmania 2016: Sight.

Hi all! I am finally back with another Tasmania series. Today I shall be sharing the sights of Tassie. Just a disclaimer, I did not visit quite a bit of sight in Tassie, thus I would recommend those that I have seen and thoroughly enjoyed. Therefore without further ado, let’s begin!

Tasmania is naturally beautiful, thus the saying ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ is made literal there; as I have been living in a city, with skyscrapers everywhere, basically a concrete jungle. Therefore when there are wildflowers blooming on the side of the road that captivated my whole family. A little input from this was making my family and I appreciating the wildflowers and blue sky that was in Tassie, it made the trip so much more eyecatching.

One animal in particular is a must-see in Tasmania, and that is the Tasmanian Devil. It does not look like a devil, in fact, it looked like an absolute sweetheart; until it starts fighting for food or fighting in general. It squeaks sharply and loudly, thus rather unpleasant to the ear, however it is such a sight to see them running around in action. Hence visiting a wildlife park is highly recommended for families or travellers in Tassie. You get to be up close and personal to all kinds of wildlife in Australia. You get to feed kangaroos, pet wombats and many many other animals. The animals are well-behaved, kind and adorable, so please a wildlife park in Tasmania, you would have absolute fun!

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A Mama Kangaroo with its joey in her pouch!

We visited the Trowunna Wildlife Park in Launceston, just a short 30 to 40 minutes drive from the city.

Next on list of things to see is the lavender field, though check the season that you are visiting as the flowers bloom mostly during summer and that is when you get the best view of the field. We visited Bridestowe Lavender Estate, with lavender blooming all around us which was a field of purple, extremely gorgeous. And after touring the field, you could relax by enjoying a creamy and rich lavender ice-cream. It was the best lavender ice-cream I eaten in all my life. Therefore visit a lavender field when it is in season, take all the pretty pictures you can and eat sweet flavourful ice-cream! img_4076

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This lavender ice-cream is SOOO good! You have to try during the visit.

If you do not mind doing a hike to a good view, Wineglass Bay is a must. The hike up to the lookout was not too long, however you need good walking shoes and water. Therefore do visit well-prepared. But after a tiring hike, you would be greeted by a breathtaking view of the coast, with dark turquoise blue colour. Pose for some pictures up there and make memories. Oh! Also, you need to purchase a National park pass to park there, get the vehicle pass of up to 8 people and valid for 2 months.

Another cool place you should check out are vineyards and there is one in particular that my family and I love. It is Josef Chromy Wine. They serve a variety of wine and there is a chic restaurant to enjoy your meal and wine together. The food served was spectacular with an amazing view of the vineyard. All in all, we had a grand time there, sipping wine and devouring delicious food. You should check it out if you are into wine and food.

The following 2 places are not sites that are high on my list, however do check them out if you are passing by. Do not get me wrong, they are beautiful places with a lovely view, however it was out of the way of the journey for me. Nonetheless, it was still an adventure that you should check it out.

First place, Bays of Fire. It is quite magnificent to ponder how the red/orange colour was stained on the rocks and boulders. It is a natural beauty, great for sunset/sunrises postcard pictures. Climb on the rocks to get a calming view of the sea, I reckon it might be a good place for meditation or reading! img_4055d075fbd7-df6f-4276-9b66-e03bbd0a2ed9

Lastly, it is Cataract Gorge in Launceston. Do check the gorge out if you are in Launceston, take a walk around the area or do a hike. A brilliant place for a workout or a picnic. Take the chairlift uphill to get a panoramic view of Launceston City. Do bare in mind to wear comfortable walking shoes and water to hydrate yourself as well while hiking or taking a stroll in the park.

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Instead of skyscrapers, I see luscious green with healthy growing trees. I very much wished Singapore have such a sight, however since it doesn’t I appreciated this view much more!
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A cheeky photo on the chairlift…

Well that is it for today’s post. There are so much more to see and experience in Tassie, however time there was limited, thus I only shared my highlights of the trip with you. I cannot emphasize this enough, however I would strongly recommend you to visit Tasmania just once in your lifetime. It is utmost gorgeous and my photos do not do its beauty justice and you would have to check it out yourself.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post as much as I had for writing and till the next time, See you!

Trowunna Wildlife Park– 1892 Mole Creek Road, Mole Creek Tasmania 7304, Open from 9am to 5pm daily.

Bridestowe Lavender Estate– 296 Gillespies Rd, Nabowla Tasmania Australia 7260

Josef Chromy Wines- 370 Relbia Rd, Relbia TAS 7258, Australia

Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay, Coles Bay 

Cataract Gorge, Launceston 

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Tasmania 2016: Taste.

Happy New Year!! I know I am a weekend late, but hey, better late than never right? Hope you have brought 2017 in with a bang, if not, here is something that would make you want to bang your bank account with savings to travel to Tasmania! Yes, today I shall be sharing about my trip to Tassie in December 2016.

In my previous post, I mentioned about posting 3 out of 4 of my travel adventures. Finally I am here to share my final travel adventures of 2016, and that happened in Tasmania Australia. There would be 3 parts to this series; Taste, Sight and Touch. I am beyond excited to share about my trip to Tassie as it has been on my bucket list for years and to be able to travel there was such a joy and truly an adventure! The first part to the series is Taste, showcasing Tassie’s fresh produce and delicious eats!

Tasmania has always been known for their fresh air and great produce. We experienced their crisp fresh air the moment we stepped out of the airport. It was such a relief to get to Australia safely and thus, the adventure begins! We moved along the North – East – South of Tasmania. It is such a beautiful place with so much to offer. The amount of food Tassie offered had a huge variety from meat to seafood to vegetables! I truthfully think I gained weight from this trip, but no regrets because it was devouring all of Tassie’s goodness!

The most memorable food that Tassie offered was oysters. Freshly shucked, taste of the sea, plump and crisp oysters! If you are not a fan of oysters or seafood, do trust me on Tasmania’s oysters as they were so so fresh and juicy. I usually eat my oysters with tabasco or any form of chili to mask the earthy flavour and sandy texture of it, however when I was in Tassie, all I needed was a squeeze of lemon and I slurped it in. It was so good. My parents and I had 3 dozens of oysters over the span of 7 days there, it was that delicious. I never had that many oysters in my 19 years of living. We got a dozen each at various places in Tassie, 1 from the North, East and South. They were all different in their own special way. The one we ate from the North was less plump yet crisp on the sides. It is more concentrated with the flavours of the sea. The one from the East was juicy and plump, creamier than those from the North. The dozen from the South was a mixture of both crunchier and creamy from both South and East!

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We were at Devil’s Corner, on our drive down from Launceston. We decided to settle down for lunch there and got a plate of 6 oysters. It was juicy and crisp and we could not control ourselves and got another half a dozen of oysters!
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We bought these bad boys off from a store off the coast. We saw a sign that says ‘Freshly Shucked Oysters’ and we were tempted. We saw boats coming in and out of the coast, as well as people with trays of oysters! We got a tray and savoured them over dinner and wine. It was creamy and you could taste the sea with everyone you devoured.

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The last dozen of oysters we ate was at Hobart. Our apartment was very near the habour, thus my parents thought it be great for last meal in Hobart to have oysters! And no regrets, they were plump and creamy. Great last meal in Hobart!

Enough about the oysters, let’s talk about the meat! In Singapore is tough to get juicy and tender lamb as they are all imported. Due to importing such meats, they dry up over the period of transportation, thus they tend to be a little dry. However, the lamb in Australia are fresh, thus we experienced juicy and tender pieces of lamb cutlet every time we ate them. Yes, lamb is a just a piece of meat that could be gotten anywhere, I just want to showcase the beauty of the lamb in Australia that is so yummy and juicy and always leaving me for wanting more! Sear the lamb with butter, rosemary and thyme till medium or medium-rare ; Season with salt and pepper and you are good to go! We got all our meat off the meat section from the supermarket, thus I could not really give you an address as they are available at all supermarket!

And not forgetting their seafood! Ate fish and chips a couple of time, was truly glad that there were more fish than batter. Crispy batter with fresh succulent fish, something I would greatly miss here in Singapore. The mussels they served were incredible! Cooked in a simple smoked bell pepper tomato sauce and freshly chopped parsley sprinkled over the decadent seafood, tasty and fresh.

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The meal was at Devil’s Corner. I would link the site and address at the end of my post. And their fish and chips were like golden crispy long pillows with freshness!
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These mussels are to die for!!! The flesh were plump and juicy and pack filled with flavours! It was cooked just right, filled with happiness with every bite.
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We got this pack of fish and chips off a shop in Swansea, thus I do not have the specific address. However Swansea is a small and cozy town with a handful of fish and chips store thus it would easy to locate it when you are there. And we got clam chowder and it was unbelievable, piping hot generously filled with seafood. Oh! So! Good!!!

The vegetables sold were like veggie heaven to me as well. As the vegetables in Singapore are rarely locally grown and the variety we have are limited, thus we tend to see more green leafy vegetables that are grown in the South East Asia. While in Australia, vegetables are locally grown and the soil are fertile for a wide range of veggies thus I love taking a stroll down the vegetable aisle in the supermarket and the farmer’s market as I would chance upon a type of veggie not often seen in Singapore. It was a colourful and mesmerizing walk every time I walk down the aisle, a pity I could not take them home…

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We got a medley of fresh cherry tomatoes, something you get so rarely from Singapore.

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The street food scene in Tasmania is wonderful. Great eats at an amazing prize. I was very well fed with the street food in Tasmania. Though it is a little unhealthy, but it is fine to indulge every once in a while.

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We got all these goodness from Hobart, at Franklin Square. It is a Friday evening activity, with street stalls and booths selling fresh produce. It is called Street Eats Franko! They serve amazing food with live music and a crowd of happy people!

I hope I have left you salivating from the food of Tasmania as I am done for the post today. It is one lengthy post but I certainly have not done Tassie’s food justice as there are so much more to be discovered and eaten. All that I have written were from my point of view, thus it might differ from your perspective as taste is subjective, though I do hope that you agree that food in Tasmania is amazing. As much as I wish to provide some tasters for you, pictures are all I’ve got.

Thank you so much for reading today and I hope you have enjoyed this piece. Do lookout for the other 2 series from my Tasmania’s travel and till next time, See you!

 Devil’s Corner Cellar Door-Sherbourne Road
Apslawn, Tasmania (10 Mins South of Bicheno, Opens 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm!

Street Eats Franko Facebook Page– Franklin Square, 70 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Friday evenings till 9pm.

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2016 Review!

It’s the 31st of December, last day of the year. I always take this time of the year to reflect on the past year. So for today, I shall be reviewing on the year 2016!

2016 has been tough, no doubt about that. There were so much glory in this year as well. So I would say I led 2016 with a balance of good and bad. Events such as competition, exposure of the industry and many many more. It has been a hectic year and I would predict 2017 even more hectic, however that is the joy of life right? You grow with every trouble/issues/lessons and then you improve.

Major events such as My First Ever Competition was exciting. I managed to gain a little experience from competing and I would gladly say I would do it all over again! The adrenaline and rush I felt during those moments are something I want to keep experiencing while in this industry.

Another greater bigger part of 2016 was traveling! I travelled to 4 different countries, each with a rich and diverse culture. With that being said, I ate quite a lot as well! Thus I have written 3 of my 4 travel adventures on Big On Food. Being able to travel is a blessing. Very blessed to be able to pack my bags and set foot on foreign soil. As I travel more, I learn a little more every time. Being open and flexible are one of the few things I learnt and need to be applied in the real life, especially in the kitchen. Not everything would go to plan but good things are bound to come out with spontaneity and unplanned events. Hence I am going to travel so much more in the upcoming year and that is something I eagerly look forward to in 2017.

And the food eaten in all these places…

However 2016 was not all good. I met setbacks such as self-doubt. A part of 2016 was filled with questions and uncertainties. I doubted my ability in baking and was very uncertain with my route to take in the future. I constantly question myself if I am good enough to do this or that. It was a rather stressful period for myself, the feelings and emotions I went through were a ride, a bumpy one. But people around kept on believing in me and slowly, I grew a little more confident and got out of this phase. Extremely thankful for those who believed in me and thought I could do much more than what I think could do. Thank you.

Lastly, 2016 was about discovery. Discovering my greater love for food and creating new ones, traveling and about myself. 2016 have been a wild ride, but I am glad it is over and really happy that people around me are healthy. Well, here’s to another wild one in 2017! Thank you for following Big On Food in 2016, you are a part of my 2016 as well! It was great fun writing this year, next year there might be a little more to write on, so… Look Out! Till 2017, See ya!

And here are some of my work in 2016!

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Chicken with BIG flavours!

As the title mentioned, I am going to be sharing a chicken recipe today! It is flavoured with my favourite spice, garam masala. If you have read some of my work here, you do realise I use lots of Indian spices in my food, thus today is another one! It requires not more than an hour, little elbow grease and grease basically.

The recipe today is Indian inspired grilled chicken with honey mustard yogurt sauce. All flavours balanced one another, the yogurt eased the spice in the garam masala as well as coats the grilled chicken with it’s creaminess. It is a hearty meal to have it as a salad or on noodles. Very simple and quick to make. img_1144

I made this chicken for lunch because I was hungry and needed a protein boost, thus the usage of chicken breast. The marination would keep the chicken juicy and tender, thus no worries for a tough and dry chicken. I marinated the chicken for about 30 to 40 minutes, good enough for the spices to stick on the chicken. However if you would like more flavour penetration into the chicken, marinate it for more than 30 minutes, you could even do it the night before!  img_1145

I ate the chicken on a bed of greens as I want something crunchy and refreshing. This dish reminds me of Korean BBQ. They would have grilled meat wrapped in a lettuce with a dipping sauce. In my case, it is Indian flavours. So without further ado, the recipe to my Indian inspired grilled chicken!

img_1150Indian inspired Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

  • A piece of chicken breast, flattened
  • A dash of garam masala
  • A dash of chili powder
  • About 1 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • Pinch of dried rosemary/thyme (Optional)
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Juices of half a lemon
  • About 1-2 tsp of garlic and ginger, grated
  • Salt and Pepper to season

Directions:

  1. Mix all spices, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and salt and pepper together. Taste it whether its up to your liking (For example, add more garam masala/chili powder if you like it spicier) Taste it now as you could not taste the marinade after the chicken is added.
  2. Once the chicken is rubbed and fully coated with the spices, let it sit in the fridge for 30 to 4o minutes.
  3. Now you could prepare your salad greens or cook some noodles to go along with the chicken or prepare the sauce. My sauce was honey mustard yogurt sauce. It consist of honey, mustard and greek yogurt. 3 simple ingredients for a good companion to the chicken.
  4. When you are ready to grill the chicken, grill it on a grill pan on medium heat, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, or once the juices of the chicken is clear, it is cooked!

It is such a simple chicken dish, packed full of spices and flavours. Please I highly recommend you to give this chicken a shot! It is a perfect lunch dish and would set your tummy good till the next meal!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this recipe and thank you for reading! I would try my very best to churn more new recipes out as I have got a lot to share! So till next time, See you!

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Sotong Stew!

If you are not Singaporean or Malaysian, I doubt you understand the first word on the title… Well, let me educate you a little! Sotong means squid in malay and it happens to be one of my favourite seafood. So today I shall be sharing with you a squid stew! img_0758

This stew is packed full of mediterranean flavours, very nutritious as well! Great for brunches and packed lunches. Key point to note for this stew is the cooking time for the root vegetables and squid. You want to cook the vegetables thoroughly and not overcook the squid as it would get rubbery. This dish is rather versatile, you could add chicken or beef or lamb instead of squid. Change the vegetables or add them all like potatoes, mushrooms and many more!

Also! Do remember to prepare your favourite stock to give your stew more boost! I made a pot of veggie stock for this stew! The sweetness of the carrots and the flavours from the parsley stalks and pepper elevated the dish!

Veggie Stock 

Ingredients (I did not leave the measurements to the ingredients as it depends on the amount of stock you are planning to make!)

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Parsley stalk
  • Bay Leaves
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water

Directions:

  1. In a pot, drizzle oil and fry garlic, carrots, celery and onions, till their aroma are dispersed.
  2. Add parsley stalks and pour water in.
  3. Let it simmer and season to liking
  4. When you are about to turn the heat off, add bay leaves
  5. Store the stock in the freezer or fridge for future use

So with the veggie stock adding more flavours to the stew, let’s get to the stew’s recipe!

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Squid Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 whole squid, scored and de-skinned
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 zucchini and butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 whole egg plant
  • About 1/3 cup cooked barley
  • A bunch of kale, stalk removed (I used purple kale because it was too gorgeous to not buy them)
  • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • Dash of turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coriander for garnish
  • A can of tomato puree
  • 2-3 cups of veggie stock/chicken/beef

Directions:

  1. In a pan, drizzle a good amount of olive oil and add garlic and fry till fragrant
  2. Add butternut squash, zucchini and eggplant into the pan and add all the spices
  3. Fry till they are rather soft but they do not have to be too soft as they are still going to cook after the stock are added
  4. After veggies are a little softer, add the tomato puree and fry the veggies till they are nicely coated with the puree
  5. Add the veggie stock and barley after the tomato puree becomes a little thicker
  6. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, adding a little stock once in a while as it would get evaporated
  7. Now’s the time to season with salt and pepper
  8. Place the squid on the bed of stew and cover and let it cook for about 7-9 minutes
  9. Once the squid are all curled up and white, toss in kale leaves and turn off the heat!
  10. Garnish with coriander and serve over warm rice or mash potatoes!

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Thought I shared this recipe as the weather is getting chilly and it is so hearty and so much flavour within. There are so much colours in this dish as well and it just brightens my mood when eating! See, food is all about the experience, from the cooking to the tasting. Food that is filled with colours are usually yummy and filled with goodness, thus always remember to fill your food with colours! It would be a hit to the young and old!

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Just like these bunch of kale caught my eyes! They were purple and absolutely gorgeous! It added Vitamin K and colour to the dish! Oh! And crunch!

Well, that is it for today! I have been pretty lazy with writing as school has caught up with my body and it needs rest. However thats no excuse to not write! So I would be at my very best and update as much as I could! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and till next time, see you!

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