DIY: Planting Your Herbs...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

for today post, i thought of writing about planting your own herb ...i've got a reader who is keen on planting her very own herb garden but can't seem to get it grow.

so here's some tips (esp. for those living in Malaysia) on planting your herbs. this tips mostly works on all types of plants/herbs

i got mine a baby rosemarry plant initially bought at coldstorage for i think a mere RM5.90 if i'm not mistaken.i also bought my parsely and basil could probably find some in a nursary, as most of them have at least 5-8 types of herbs that you can purchase.

i suppose buying a baby plant makes things easier (long wait for a bud growing from the seeds can be a bit depressing for me). the tricky part is when you transfer from its original pot.

the tip is that you should be careful not to break its original soil when you try to get it out from the pot. so be gentle.

then wet the rosmarry soil gently keeping in mind not to break the soil. then prepare the bigger pot, fill in the soil half way then wet the soil. make a hole or a space for the plant/rosemarry with its original soil to put in then cover it with soil up to the brim then wet the soil again.

plant like Rosemarry, dill, mint can grow from its stem (batang) so you can cut and plant it again. alot simpler than from its seeds. ;)

for successfully growing rosemary are: Sun, Good Drainage and Good Air Circulation. (well for most plants too excep for thyme, thyme loves cool places)

water it once or twice a day depending on the heat of that day.

For Successful planting:


a GOOD pot thats - have large surface and deep, not shallow. plant like mint loves a large surface area for it to grow.

Check your SOIL once in 2 weeks - making sure that the plant's root is not cluttering, meaning that the plant's root should have room to grow if not you need a new pot - bigger and deeper ones.

after a month or two, if your plant seem to be NOT growing, unhappy, again check its roots, if its cluttering, then time to change the pot. and you could trim off the excessive roots with a SHARP knife or scissors.

organic fertelizers works wonders for herbs.

Choosing SOIL - use the mixed partly fertalized soil. it works best for me. plus you don't have to worry about fertalizer for a month.

ahhh~ tip for basil,

this is how basil flower looks like

when it grows, it'll have flowers, and lots of it! you would need to pay more attention to it. the flowers tend to cause the flowered part of the branch to die so you would need to snip it out before it completely matures (turn brown). plus its making the leaves less aromatic and you don't want that.


this is a fussy plant for us in Malaysia as it loves cool place with a little sunlight. it also loves water. the roots grows very fast and you'll need to check on it frequently.

hmmm...anything else i've missed out?...*paused & pondering* nvm i'll get back when i remember something ^_^

so cilantro hope this will help you start your garden. Thank you for reading.

Crab with salted egg./ ketam masak telur masin

Monday, July 26, 2010

this is a dish that i recently tried and love...i've always love sweet & sour crab and blackpepper crab but crab with salted egg has just made its way to my list of fave food. this dish is also very fragrant due to the curry leaves...although i must say that the style of cooking is almost the same with buttered prawns.

only that this recipe is my tried and error based on my memory of the taste from what i had in a restaurant...but i can safely say that its close enough, my family seem to love it too so...^_^

1kg crabs (cleaned and cut into half each)
a couple sprigs of curry leaves
a handfull of peri peri chillies / bird eye chillies - well this is subjective if you don't like it HOT like i do you may just reduce the amount.
2tbsp butter
2 clove chopped garlic.
2-3tsp of sugar
20ml of evaporated milk - plus minus
a pinch of blackpepper
5 salted eggs - (hard boiled)
some corn flour
some cooking oil for deep frying the crabs

first peeled the shell of the salted eggs, then mash it into a breadcrumb consistency and set a side.
coat the crabs with corn flour and then deep fried the crabs. set a side.
then heat butter and fry butter, curry leaves, and chillies until fragrant (carefull so it won't burnt). then add in the salted eggs. stir fry it for a while then add in the evaporated milk, sugar black pepper. stir it and it'll thicken abit then add in the crabs, mix well so that the crabs are well coated with the salted egg sauce. then ready to serve.


notice that i didn't actually add any additional salt? yes its because the salted eggs has already given the savory taste to it but, REMEMBER TO TASTE YOUR FOOD WHEN COOKING! IF ITS BLAND FEEL FREE TO ADD SOME SALT TO TASTE.... its subjective really, i personally don't take much salt in my food (well at least i tried =p ).

above is the buttered prawns. this is no easy dish, the egg yolk is one that make it hard one to make. i rarely get this one right! but that way my lucky day plus i had to use a mighty lots of yolks to get that hair like effect! and i think having high pressured stove helps too...

Authentic Pandan chicken

Pandan Chicken is one of the popular Thai dish aside from the classic 'tom yam' or the 'green curry' infact i think its the most ordered dish in a Thai restaurant. this dish will get our tummy grumbling even when you are still frying it! its tasty and presentable and its sooooo fragrant that it'll arouse your palate.

Although i think that this dish has so many version to it as if as long as its wrapped in a 'pandan leaf' then it'll called pandan chicken. is that so?hmmm...i've seen ones with pandan juice in the marinade, ones that actually use soy sauce and many more variations....but i prefer the more authentic version of it.

ok this recipe was given to me by my Thai friend during my Uni days. I can't remember her full name ( i can't pernounce it either) but we called her Mai. So i'm sharing her family recipe here and she don't mind as long as i 'mention' her heheheh~

ok's what you need


some chicken meat (boneless)

blended marinade:

1" of galangal / laos (lengkuas)
1/2" ginger
1/4" tumeric
2clove garlic
2-3 lemon grass
1 tsp coriander seeds/powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/powder
salt to taste
sugar to taste (don't use too much though)

and some pandan leaves and tooth picks for wrapping

cut chicken into strips for easy folding and wrapping.
then mix all ingredients together and let it sit just for a while say about 20 minutes. you don't need to marinade for so long because the spice is rather strong so a mere 20 minutes or less would do.
then you can start wrapping the chicken into a nice little parcels then deep fry them in a med fire until done. you know when its done when you see that the pandan leaf turned almost golden and some caramelized (due to the sugar) chicken bits. then ready to serve as appertizers with thai cili dip or serve it with rice.

Chicken Meat: i personally think that using thigh or drumstic meat is more tasty or you can actually combine both breast and thigh meat together for that soft and hard texture. with this dish, its all about the spice. the Thais love to cook their dish with galangal/laos (lengkuas) its basically their 'must have' ingredient so you know that its one of the most important ingredient then its the lemon grass and coriander seeds with out these ingredients it would taste ......hmmm how shall i put it?...authentic? the amonunt of ingredients is on estimation but the portion of each is about that.

For you whos never tried pandan chicken, the taste is wonderfully spiced savory yet with a hint of sweetness in it due to the sugar and the pandan leafs wraps that had drawn out it essence into the chicken...thinking about this dish already makes me hungry...