Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Spicing Up My Life: Part 1

When I was young, I used to not able to stomach spicy food. In fact, as a kid, I’m pretty fussy bout food. I choose what to put into my mouth and what not. I also, terrible me, always refuse to finish my food. I would usually complaint I’m full, and then my nanny’s daughter (the one who usually feeds me), would urge me for three spoons more. The naughty I would keep count and at the third mouthful, I would declare “Finished!” she used to be amaze, at such tender age it is impossible to con me. Although, I could not eat much but the miracle thing is, I’m still as chubby and red as ever with a huge rounded tummy. My dad used to joke there must be air inside there.

Somehow, as I grew up, I learnt to stomach more and more spicy food. By the time I shifted over to live independently in KL, I even developed a liking towards spicy food. In fact thinking of spicy food makes me salivate. I love Indian curries, I love Malay rendang and sambal, and of course all the spicy Chinese cuisines. I also seek for various spicy foods from all over other than Malaysia.

Therefore, nowadays, I have been seeking out to cook something spicy at home. Had always been a dream of mine, thinking of what I could conjure up with spices and chilies available locally. I always crave for the long-gone authentic home cooked Indian food that I get to eat during Deepavali in my friends’ house.

Thanks to Kitchen Capers, I had been exposed to both authentic Singaporean and Malaysian food and its simplicity in the making. There were many spicy Asian dishes featured there and it opened up so many possibilities for me to spice up my life!

Chicken Korma

This version of curry is not so spicy but nonetheless a real treat to the taste buds. You can get the forum version here but I have added curry leaves for kick and omitted some ingredients I did not have in hands. This is a real tasty treat and how I wish I could have had it with my chapatti.

6 pcs chicken upper thigh (chopped into 2 sections)
2 onions (diced)
50 g butter
120g plain yoghurt
150 ml UHT milk
10 pcs cardamom seeds
Bunch of curry leaves
Salt and black pepper to taste


2 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp Cumin seeds

1. Pound the spices together with mortar and pestle (You can also use a grinder)
2. Heat up wok with butter and add onion to sauté till soft and slightly browned
3. Add cardamom seeds and curry leaves to fry till fragrant
4. Add spice mix and stir fry to mix evenly
5. Add chicken and yoghurt
6. Stir to mix and then add the milk
7. Cover the wok and simmer to cook over medium heat for 30 minutes

Serves 4-6 people


fooDcrazEE said...

guess most of us are like you, I used to be choosy abt food too. Now look at me NICK ! *chuckle*

boo_licious said...

ooo, you discovered kitchen capers too! I love that forum! The korma looks yummy - I can't take very spicy stuff so I usually eat korma but like you I am slowly eating more spices. It's just that my sinus does not like it a lot.

By the way, Flavours this month has a chapati recipe.

rokh said...

foodcrazee, that is so true. now i eat bout everything, even bitter gourd. i love it. lol

boo, yea i've been with KC for a long time already. simply love it. care to come join our KC meet up this coming saturday? new flavours is out? i got to go get it.

boo_licious said...

there is KC meet up? I did not know the Msian chapter is so active! All I see were Sporeans at the forum. Email me the details at and let me see if I am free. Thanks.

Piggy said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping by my blog! :-)

I love spicy food too. Your chicken korma looks great, thanks for the recipe. :-)

rokh said...

hello piggy, thanks for dropping by too.

gina said...

yoo hoo! me dropping by and see ya shy lah. Just a tip to add to your blog. If you use SEEDS, must dry fry it to bring out its fragrance and flavour..then pound/blend it. If you use powder like what I did, just add straight into cooking. This, I learnt from Chef Devagi Sanmugam. Very important. Glad you enjoy KC. Keep up the good work, dear!

rokh said...

gina! so glad you drop by. i did not know bout dry frying! thanks for the tips.

gina said...

rachel, many members started at KC without a many have their own blog. I go and support them..just like they supported me at KC. :)

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