Tuna Mayonnaise Sandwich

October 18, 2006

Looks familiar? Yup! Its almost like the Tuna Sandwich you see in Delifrance, except that its not! My mum actually decided to make it since she had bought the baguette (unfortunately not the one from Delifrance), and my sis and I helped her out. Its quite simple actually, and what’s great about this is that you can actually control the amount of mayonnaise that actually goes into the sandwich. A little spoonful is actually enough to make it quite creamy and oh so delicious! Its a simple yet delicious snack to eat, especially during puasa when your tastebuds get a little more extreme with all the devouring and savouring. The only gripe that I have is that the baguette wasn’t really fantastic. It was a little too soft. You should get the ones from Delifrance – its crispy outside with extremely soft inside! And it would be better if you could add lettuce to add more crunch to the snack!


Oreo Cheesecake

October 17, 2006

This is a slice of the first ever Oreo Cheesecake I made in my entire life! The harshness of the oreo base goes well with the more creamy texture of the cake, adding an extra dimension to the whole cheesecake experience. The harmonious amalgamation of the Golden Churn Butter, coupled with the sugar and cream cheese also made the cake surprisingly sweet! The thick and creamy texture of the cake was also quite unexpected because I had placed the cake in the oven for quite some time, creating a relatively crispy crust, unlike the normal cheesecakes.

Using a recipe I got online which listed the necessary ingredients I already had, I made the cake without really knowing what to expect! I did not use whipped cream, and neither did I use sour cream as part of the cheesecake. And I did bake the cake in the oven for about 45 minutes, rather than the popular method of simply placing the whole cake in the refrigerator for cooling. And as you can see, the base is a little thick! Note to self: Add slightly more butter next time to ensure that it becomes much harder than it already is! And I’m not sure whether the final mixture before baking should be very runny and watery rather than light and creamy. Can someone please confirm?

Anyway, I’m quite happy at my first attempt. The cake looks quite presentable and taste sweeter than usual. Hope you all agree with me too!

Opportunistic Musafirs of Geylang Serai

October 15, 2006

After being viciously cornered on four separate occasions by random individuals known as musafir asking for money today, I sincerely feel that something is wrong with this whole idea of donating money to such people if at first glance,
a) there seem perfectly physically able to work (since they are so aggressive and industrious in their search for donations) and
b) that you can encounter so many of them in Geylang Serai or even at the comforts at your own home!

According to MUIS, musafir or ibnu sabil are stranded travelers on a permissible journey who are in need of money. Such individuals are immediately recognised by their white innocuous songkok haji donned on their heads, white long sleeved shirts and an open hand constantly gesturing for money. You can even add in a white moustache or beard for a more realisitic effect.

Once such people approach you, they will use the Muslim salutation of Assalamualaikum to greet you and speak Malay in a fake arabic accent, asking for donations, dropping Islamic references here and there and even quranic phrases to religiously compel you to donate. Because in doing so, when you refuse to donate, you are by implication going against the main tenets of Islam, proving to everyone how heartless and selfish you are.

But why is there a sudden deluge of kaum musafir roaming the streets of Geylang Serai and Kampung Glam during the month of Ramadhan? I would assume that they fall under this category because most are ethnically Indian. Is the state of poverty of those underprivileged that bad in Singapore? If so, why do they only make an appearance during Ramadhan? Doesn’t this mean that since they know people are generally more generous during Ramadhan that they take this opportunity to ask for money since they know on religious and moral grounds, they would have a higher chance of getting the money they want? Such individuals go to the extent of roaming your HDB flats, knocking from house to house trying to find a Muslim family and minta sedekah or beg for money. Isn’t there something very wrong in that when even at home you are not free from the constant inundation of people asking you for money? Isn’t there something even more wrong when my parents, brother and I were breaking fast on our car boot at the car park in Geylang Serai, that we were asked by not one or two but three different individuals asking for money while we were eating, when we are most vulnerable and busy? (There wasn’t space at the various eateries along Geylang Serai so we decided to head to the car)

I’m not saying that we should not help them. I believe that there are more sustainable ways of helping such people earn a living so that they can focus their energies on something that can help themselves. Asking people for money during Ramadhan is simply a short term measure, something that does not solve the real problem of poverty at hand. At the same time, I must remind all Muslims to pay their Zakat Fitrah during this month because the money collected will go towards helping those who really need them in a equitable manner. To know more about zakat read here.

Doesn’t anyone else find this a persistent perennial problem that occurs each Ramadhan? Am I wrong to say that I can exercise my right not to donate money to such people since I already paid my Zakat Fitrah and that maybe one is enough not four or five? Aren’t there checks and balances on such occurances so that people do not get conned into giving money each time they see such people which may be 5 or 6 each visit to Geylang Serai?

Hari Raya Delectables 2006

October 14, 2006

Welcome back! I’m back! Anyway, after being on a hiatus for so long, I simply just needed a catalyst to jolt me back to my wonderful past time of waxing lyrical on all types of halal food! And what better way than to start with Hari Raya!

And here we have the most traditional of all kuih, Kuih Tart, or also known as Pineapple Tart! I would say that my mum’s Kuih Tart is simply the best that you can ever taste simply because of the dough that she uses which is soft and crumbly. This golden brown beauty just brings a whole new dimension to the phrase “melts in your mouth” because when you place this tart in your mouth, the dough simply disappears with the pineapple filling, leaving a sweet soft sensation in your mouth. Its small so you can immediately pop it into your mouth. Many people have been asking me for the recipe for my mum’s Kuit Tart but according to her, its the same as all other tarts. She does not have any secret ingredients or special methods to making this. The intricately pinced design is testament to my mum’s culinary skills and is a labour of love because its definitely not easy to make. (I tried to learn but failed miserably!) Come to my house if you really want to have a taste of this or just simply feast your eyes on this truly premier delectable delight!

Up close and personal, we have Kuih Bantal Peluk Saloma! A derivation from the Kuih Tart, this kuih uses kurma or dates as its inti or filling. It tastes simply delightful because the date is lovingly enclosed in the soft dough, creating a harmonious texture once it melts in your mouth! A tip for those who want to make this is to use the soft kurma available in the market instead of the hard ones. And you don’t need to cook the dates beforehand like you do for the pineapples for Kuih Tart. It took a full three hours to completely make the kuih, from the rolling of the dough, to the cutting of the dates, to placing the dates in the dough. And its more fun with my sis around since she was visibly absent for the past few Hari Raya, celebrating them in the US!

More Hari Raya Kuih in the days ahead! Stay Tuned!