Friday, May 31, 2013

Penang Chicken - Guest Post

In the last post I had asked your opinion about choosing blogs. Here is one such blog that I visit often.
I first met this beautiful lady through Tastespotting. When I went to her space I fell in love with the way she  had maintained her space, the photographs conveyed so much  that we don't find often. I glanced around a lot and left her a comment saying I will be back for more . I think I kept my word and here she is today bringing us Penang Chicken.Yes! it is Rekha of FoodOlicious Pictured.  




 The blog has a good collection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes .My favorite ones are Shrimp pickle , then some chicken curries like Butter chicken ,Kerala style chicken curry  it is  always thick and creamy that I seriously wished I could try it through the monitor.  I requested Rekha to bring anything other than Kerala food as she  is adept in other cuisines too. Knowing my taste she told me she was going to cook chicken that day and next morning when I woke up and checked everything was ready in my mail.Phew!I was speechless!!


  I have asked Rekha a few questions that should benefit other bloggers too.Before going to that I would like to draw your attention to her style of taking photographs in pristine white backgrounds. I am not an expert in photography but I do enjoy seeing well taken ones. Note that she attends to every little detail in the recipe I mean the ingredients are individually photographed in different settings. I am sure you guys will agree with me as to how much planning and effort is put in to set up each shot to come out perfectly in natural light .If you are someone who chases sunlight you will know how harsh the shadows can get and how much time one actually gets the right kind of light required.Subtle shadows are needed so that the plates and pans don't look suspended in the air and it adds depth too. Take a look at some the pictures here Lemon tea , Mango lemonade to see how light is captured.




Over to Rekha Vengalil

Hello to all the lovely readers,
First, let me thank Meena for letting me do a guest post for her beautiful blog Elephants and the coconut trees,the name that really fascinated me and she has  a wonderful collection of recipes.I haven't met her yet and getting to know each other,It's wonderful to have met you here Meena and really wish you were hip hop away :)Every recipe of your is so lovely and making it difficult to choose,yet here's few I can't resist
Coconut chutney powder,  Tiny sweet apples,   Fish pickle,  Raspberry and Chia seed pudding,  

 Tell us more about you.
 I am Rekha and I am from Kochi, Kerala. Brought up in Bangalore and moved to Singapore after my marriage.A HR consultant by profession and I am currently working as a part-time consultant with HR consulting firm.Living in Singapore with my husband who works for an international bank and we have a 5 year old little angel.
Cooking is something I have always loved to do but until marriage that it became a passion.Moving to Singapore was one key reason for me to fall in love with food.The amalgam of cuisines here inspired me big time into culinary world, and I started experimenting on my own.Once I experienced the creative satisfaction of cooking there was no looking back.It has been a wonderful journey. Enjoying every bit.....Cooking up, styling and photography.Each recipe has been  learning and continuing to learn.

 What type of food do you cook on weeknights?
 It's anything that's easy to make.Usually it's roti and Vegetable curry,simple chicken curry or Dal..A vegetable stir-fry is a must at least 4-5 times a week.


How do you plan for a blog post?
I like to try on something new,or different from the regular fare.If it works out well it will get into my blog.Photography and styling is something I love doing.Off late I have developed  a liking in clicking photos on white /minimalistic background.That helps to bring out the richness and vibrant colours of the food .I give lot of attention to the cutleries and background as well.Whenever possible I do include fresh flowers.I prefer to shoot with natural light.I do shoot some in the evening but it needs a lot of patience to get the results right.

 Which part of blogging do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy every bit.The whole idea of blogging is great.I only wish I started this a little earlier.I have met some wonderful people here .There is so much positivlity and appreciating each other's work.What better than getting to hear/ feedback from a person who is equally passionate about what you are doing. Life is beautiful!

Which are the best recipes your family and friends enjoy the most that you would like the readers to try?
My family is my best critic.If anything I make does not taste good it doesn't come into my blog.So everything I have shared is liked by my family.Yet, here's a few that came to my hubby's mind soon I popped this question to him :-
 



                                               PENANG CHICKEN
Penang is a state in Malaysia and is long known as the food capital of Malaysia.Food here is an ethnic mix of Chinese,Malay and Indian.To read more about Penang click here

You need-

Chicken- 500 grams, cut into medium size cubes
Potato- 2 medium, peeled and cut into cubes
Shallots-1/2 cup
Galangal or young ginger-roughly chopped 1 tablespoon
Lemon grass(white part)-chopped 2 tablespoon
Dried chili- 5-6 as per your taste (soaked in warm water for 30 mins)
Star anise- 1 small
Cinnamon- 1 medium stick
Cloves -2
Turmeric powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Chicken curry powder-2 tablespoon
Coconut milk - 200 mls
Oil-1 tablespoon
Salt- to taste



How to -

In a blender,blend shallots,lemon grass, galangal, dried chilies to a fine paste with enough water.
Set aside. 

Heat oil in a pan,add the whole spices and cook till fragrant. Add the ground paste and continue to cook till oil starts to separate.Mix turmeric and curry powder with little water to make  a paste and add it to the ground paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the chicken and potatoes.Turn the heat to high and cook till the chicken starts to lightly brown.Reduce heat to low and add water just enough to cover the chicken pieces.Season with salt.Lid on cook till chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer.Turn off the heat.Serve hot with steamed rice.



Thank you so much.... Rekha, for such a beautiful post and obliging to do it for me.Wishing your blog all the good luck. Hope you succeed in all your endeavours in the years to come.

My dear lovely people out there..hope you guys enjoyed reading this special edition. Rekha's blog is very lively on all social medias if you'd like to connect.
    I do have plans for more guests in the months to come in the meantime please feel free to write to me if you want to know more specific details so that I could make the post helpful to you too.

Hope to hear from you guys.

Meena

27 comments:

  1. Its indeed such a joy to see this. And you have made it look all the more special. I can't thank you enough for this. On that note happy weekend to you :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for doing a special guest post for me,Rekha.You have added one more for me to drool...Penang Chicken,here I come!!...
      Happy weekend to u too:)

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  2. Chicken curry looks really delicious! Good job,Rekha and Meena! :)
    http://www.rita-bose-cooking.com/

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  3. i loved the clicks ,i too experiment with colors but your white background caught all its attention.

    lovely chicken gravy,looks yummy.

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    1. Thank you ,Meena. White background is still not doing well for me,colors still cloud my thoughts.I know how u rock with white.

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  4. Such a beautiful post... even I'm a big fan of Rekha's space... but she's a lovely person herself!!! :)

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    1. Rafee,thank you.I know!she is such a sweet girl,always at a good sport.

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  5. glad to know more about you rekha :) nice write up..

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    1. Hey PT ,thank you so much for stopping by and encouraging us.

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  6. my kind of spicy curry, looks awesome. nice post by Rekha.

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  7. How can I say not to Rekha's recipe and the Penang chicken. The chicken recipe originating from my country is simply stunning for the spicy and tangy flavors and with our famous local herbs, the lemongrass and galangal.

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    1. Hey Nava,you have tempted me so much thru ur blog with galangal,Pandan etc..,I was so happy when Rekha decided on something I have never tried yet included these:)

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  8. Thank you all for such lovely words. Truly touched! I owe it to you Meena :)

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    1. Thank you all for ur encouragement and Rekha you are so good at blogging keep going girl!

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  9. Beautiful and inspiring write up and captivating clicks...thoroughly loved it:))

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  10. special writing that means a lot...loved it meena

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  11. Gorgeous and lovely looking curry.. Awesome clicks too.. I'm a ardent fan of Rekha.. Soo true Meena.. She is one of my favorite bloggers and I really admire her work.. Keep rocking gurls :-)

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  12. Beautiful Post Meena and Rekha :) And the curry looks Oh so Yum!

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  13. kudos to both of you..Meena and Rekha alike ! lovely post and glad that u hosted this, Meena. And edo..i tried all that i cud to get something in ur facebook page..but just cant locate the like button, neither can i make a comment. Any help..and keep connected thru note'y pic's ketto..:)

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    1. thank you Sona,I will work on facebook like button part.

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  14. lovely post..thanks for sharing both Meena and Rekha...

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  15. Lovely guest post, delicious curry! Rekha, your photography is spectacular. Thank you Meena for sharing :)

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  16. Thank you for all those love and support. Truly means alot. :-)

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Your visits make me feel happy, ...do come often.
Let me know ur suggestions so I will know you came :)

Thanks a bunch
Meena