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Friday JULY 27, 2012 S AT I S F Y I N G











DELECTABLE DATE TIRAMISU Enjoy this dessert with a Malay twist which uses kuih bahulu


DATE AND BAHULU TIRAMISU (4 SERVINGS) 16 dates, skinned by scalding in hot water, pitted and torn into small pieces 450ml espresso or double-strength coffee, at room temperature 125ml UHT whipping cream, chilled 3 Grade A egg yolks 60g caster sugar 250g mascarpone ¼ teaspoon salt 20 kuih bahulu

Soak dates with 50ml coffee in a bowl. Whisk whipping cream in an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Cover and chill. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar with a wire whisk in a mediumsize stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl with egg mixture over boiling water in saucepan, making sure the bottom of bowl does not touch the hot water. Whisk egg mixture constantly, over the boiling water for 6-7 minutes

or until a candy thermometer registers 165C. The mixture should be thick, pale, and hot to the touch. Transfer to a small bowl; cover and leave to cool. Slowly beat in mascarpone until smooth. Fold in whipped cream mixture gently. To assemble: Slice the kuih bahulu into two pieces horizontally. Place the remaining coffee in a bowl. Quickly dip the kuih bahulu, one at a time, into the coffee, and layer the bottom of

the glass. Top with 2 tablespoons mascarpone mixture and the soaked dates. Repeat layers ending with the mascarpone mixture. Decorate with sliced kuih bahulu. Cover and chill at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve chilled. – Recipe by Debbie Teoh, Photography by Kenneth Lim, Gray Studio.

Note: You can swap mascarpone for cream cheese. Just beat till fluffy.

Taster Comments:

The recipe calls for ingredients more familiar in Malaysia. The substitution of kuih bahulu cakes is brilliant and makes this fancy dessert more accessible to home cooks, who are unfamiliar to Italian ladyfingers. We enjoyed the addition of the dates with its subtle flavor and jammy mouthfeel that lends even more richness to the dessert.”

The Italian classic dessert gets a Malaysian makeover with dates and tiny Malay sponge cakes, kuih bahulu. If you wish to stick to the traditional way, just omit the dates and swap the kuih bahulu for Italian ladyfingers.

QUAY PO COOKS Food blogger (



70g red quinoa 125ml chicken stock or water 30g whole almonds (optional) 30g cashew nuts (optional) 200g cauliflower, cut into florets 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 2-3 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 5-6 dates, pitted and torn roughly 4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves sea salt to taste freshly ground black pepper

Crave Editor

In this issue, we have decided to focus on dates, since it is the best season to enjoy them. From recipes to many different varieties available in the market. For those looking for the best tasting dates, we have also have the results. Our recipe contributor, Debbie Teoh has worked dates into a delectable creamy tiramisu. The dessert also gets a Malaysian makeover as we use kuih bahulu instead of Italian ladyfingers. Pick the pretty sponge cakes in supermarkets like Tesco and Mydin. To balance off the guilt, try our roasted cauliflower salad quinoa with dates. For the diners, there is more Ramadan picks, including what is interesting from the street stalls. And our columnist Eu Hooi Khaw shares facts about petai. Not just stinky, the beans are packed with lots of benefits. Let us know what you think by emailing me at khangyi@mmail.

To cook quinoa: Bring water or chicken stock to a boil in a pot. Add quinoa and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Set aside for 10 minutes.

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To toast nuts: Preheat oven to 180C. Toast nuts in a tray for 8 minutes or until brown. Remove and set aside. Chop into smaller pieces. To roast cauliflower: Preheat oven to 200C. Mix butter, garlic and mustard together. Place cauliflower florets on tray and dollop the butter mixture all

Taster Comments:

A stunning side dish with excellent balance of flavours. It could also be used as a unique appetizer in a more formal dinner. However, I would recommend substituting the cashew nuts and almonds with almond flakes. This gives it a softer crunch yet it gives another layer of flavour to the salad.” QUAY PO COOKS Food blogger (

over. Roast for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is slightly brown. To assemble: In a mixing bowl, combine cauliflower, nuts (if using), quinoa and dates together. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately. You can also add extra melted butter if preferred. Recipe by Debbie Teoh, Photography by Kenneth Lim, Gray Studio.

Note: Butter can be replaced with olive oil.





In Malaysia, popular dates are sourced from Madinah, Egypt, Tunisia, Iran and California. Here are some popular varieties.


The “date of light” has a delicate flavour and is grown in Tunisia and Algeria. The golden brown dates come intact with their stems.


The Prophet’s date is only grown in Madinah. This black date is not very sweet with a slight chewy texture.


Known also as honey dates, or Bam, the city in Iran where it is planted, these dark brown to black colour dates have a thin papery skin with soft sweet flesh. Some brands even dip it in honey to give it a sticky sheen.

TASTE TEST DATES are derived from the date palm tree (phoenix dactylifera). For centuries, dates have been a staple food in the Middle East especially for the Bedouin nomads. It is said that Prophet Muhamad’s practice was to break his fast with the fruit. Today, in honour of the Prophet, Muslims traditionally observe the same tradition. In addition, the naturally sweet fruit is used for breaking fast due to its nutritional content. It contains about 70% sugar in the form of fructose and glucose, a good energy booster especially after a long day of fasting. Some even use dates as a natural sweetner to replace sugar. Unlike sugar that only contains calories, dates also contain fiber, calcium and potassium. During Ramadan, the varieties available at the supermarkets, gourmet shops and even the street stalls are mind boggling. One of the most commonly found variety that has flooded the supermarkets is the Deglet Noor, dates from Tunisia with their stems still attached. Even Ramadan buffets such as Le Meridien Kuala

Lumpur’s The Latest Recipe, are stocking it for their diners. “I like them as they are soft with a slight crunch and not too sweet,” says Le Meridien Executive Sous Chef Zubir Mohd Zain. Among, the varieties available, the most expensive is the Ajwa dates, that costs RM46.70 per 100gram at gourmet date shop, Bateel. “The dates are most expensive as they are planted in limited numbers,” says Harreyka Akasha from Bateel. She also adds, “it is also known as the prophet’s date as Prophet Muhamad is said to have favoured this black date from Madinah.” In choosing the ideal date, this depends on individual preferences. “The elderly prefer the less sweet and softer dates,” says Nurul Farah Ain from Bateel. She adds that in Bateel, usually the top choices to break fast is the Ajwa dates due to the association with the Prophet Muhammad or the sweet and soft Medjool dates. This preference for less sweet dates is reaffirmed by Muhammad Hafiez who runs a stall in Ta-

man Tun Dr Ismail market selling dates. “Customers will tell me not to give them dates that are too sweet,” he says. He stocks Yusuf Taiyoob dates and dates like Mariami and Syarfawi in loose form. “A lot of people know of the Yusuf Taiyoob brand from the commercials but some customers prefer the loose variety since they can choose and taste them,” he says. Recognised by many for its radio commercial, the Penang-based Yusuf Taiyoob dates are also stocked at Tesco hypermarkets around the Klang Valley. Once you buy your dates, store in in the refrigerator and don’t subject it to varying temperatures. “It can keep up to six months refrigerated,” says Bateel’s Harreyka. The delicate fruits can also be tossed into desserts such as date loaf, sticky date pudding or even made into jams. Bateel also carries chocolate covered dates, that are popular gifts together with the fresh dates during the Raya season. The light brown Kholas variety is used, as the soft creamy texture of the date marries well with the dark chocolate.


The large sized date has a blackbrown skin with soft rich flesh that tastes like caramel tinged with molasses. It is mainly grown in California and Saudi Arabia.

Dates from major supermarkets and gourmet suppliers Bateel, Kurma Royal and Baaji’s at 1 Mont Kiara Mall, were put through the test. Most tasters prefer the less sweet ones


Ajwa dates, RM55 for 250 grams. Available at Kurma Royal, 43 & 45, Jalan Radin Anum, Seri Petaling, KL, 03-90596237. This soft date has an appealing fruit taste that is not too sweet.


Yusuf Taiyoob Honey Dates (Kurma Madu), 600g for RM7.90. Available at Tesco and Ramadan bazaar stalls. Subtle sweetness with a soft flesh and not too hard skin.

BEST MEDJOOL Saudi Arabia Medjool, RM16.50 per 100g. Available at Bateel, Lot G3, Bangsar Shopping Centre, KL, 0320930478. Soft yielding thick flesh with caramel notes.


Sunsweet Smart Dates Deglet Nour, 500g for RM11.99. Available at Tesco, Giant and Mydin. The texture has a slight crunch, pleasant fruity aroma with a slight softness and not too sweet.


FRIDAY 27, JULY 2012

FOOD bites


BEST OF THE PENINSULAR RELISH Chef Abbas’ mouthwatering signature items at Concorde Kuala Lumpur’s Melting Pot Café like his comforting sup gearbox, the delicious whole roast lamb served with fluffy aromatic briyani and ikan merah percik bermadu. Rice lovers can enjoy various types of briyani cooked with quail, fish head, eggs, deer and even buffalo meat. The spread also features East Coast delicacies like nasi kerabu and gulai ikan tongkol. From Johor, there is sotong masak hitam and botok-botok, the banana leaf wrapped fish with Malay herbs. Whet your appetite with Negeri Sembilan’s dishes like spicy ketam berlado, rendang ayam pucuk ubi and telur itik masak lemak belimbing. Fresh seafood like prawns, crabs, oysters, and teppanyaki can also

Interesting picks from this year’s Ramadan stalls Ayam Tempayan Ali Baba would have approved of this nifty method to use clay jars to roast chickens instead of hiding thieves. No one knows who started this cooking method but it first appeared in Kuantan’s Ramadan bazaars in 2010. Similar to cooking in a tandoor oven, the heat is emitted from a charcoal fire at the base. The butterflied chicken is hung on metal hooks on the side of the pot and slowly roasted. As the fats from the chicken drip down, the chicken is less oily. Expect a juicy and succulent chook that is delicious eaten on its own or with its chilli sauce. Find it at: Taman Melawati, Setiawangsa, Kelana Jaya, Wangsa Maju.

Ikan Pekasam This Northern specialty of traditional fermented fish is usually prepared with freshwater fish such as tilapia fish. The gutted and cleaned fish is mixed with rock salt, roasted rice and sugar. It is left to ferment, that softens the fish’s scales and bones, and gives it a distinct sharp tangy taste. Sold in packets, the fish is usually eaten fried, and goes well with plain rice. At Shah Alam’s Ramadan bazaar, you can purchase fish ready deepfried, with fried onions and curry leaves. Find it at: Shah Alam, Taman Melawati, Kelana Jaya

Murtabak Singapura Unlike the square and thick local murtabak, this version from down south is larger in size and flatter. Rather than just one thick filling of meat, eggs and onions, the Singapore version is a three layer delight, like a lasagna. To make this murtabak, each layer is painstakingly cooked before another layer is added. For each layer, beaten egg is used to bind the minced meat. And instead of a plain surface, it is topped with minced meat. The savoury delight is served with dalcha sauce and cucumber pickles.

MAD ABOUT MEDITERRANEAN ENJOY a Mediterranean-themed Ramadan spread at Melia Hotel’s The Kitchen@Melia. Inspiration was taken from Italy, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco and Spain. A popular choice is the roasted lamb leg with grilled Mediterranean vegetables. Whole grilled fish such as red snapper and grouper is also available. Moroccan fans can enjoy the dajaj machbous, chicken cooked with aromatic spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander and the special black dried lemon rind. It is best eaten with saffron rice and the refreshing Moroccan salad. Two kinds of calzone pizzas are also offered; a conventional chicken and capsicum topping. and an unusual sweet date and dried apricot. End with the chef’s sweet creation, a unique date bread and butter pudding topped with crushed pistachios. In addition, a dense Italian chocolate cake with dried fruits, the rose flavoured pudding mahallabia and umm ali can also be enjoyed. Local tastes are also catered for with an array of Malay dishes. For reservations, contact 03-2785 2828, ext 8280. The buffet is RM98++ per person, half price for children below 12 and senior citizens.

Find it at: Shah Alam

In the Kitchen with Eu Hooi Khaw Petai or the aptly-named stink bean arouses either utter delight or revulsion when put on the table. The strongsmelling bean, especially the younger ones may be eaten raw, like a soft nut, with or without sambal. The fat more mature seeds are favoured for cooking, usually with dried prawn sambal and fresh prawns, for a most satisfying meal. The beans have to be shelled from its leathery green pod, and the skin of each bean removed before it can be eaten. You can buy both petai in the pod as well as shelled ones at the Malay stalls in the

market. Like strong cheese, petai is an acquired taste. The stink comes out in your urine after you have eaten them. Known botanically as Parkia Speciosa, the long pods are harvested from tall trees that can grow up to 30 metres. Petai is high with protein, fibre, vitamins B6 and B12. In traditional Malay medicine, the bean is believed to be good for diabetics as it helps regulate blood sugar. Apparently you can feel happy and relaxed after eating petai as it contains tryptophan, which converts into serotonin to put you in this state.


SAMBAL PETAI TEMPOYAK 4 tablespoons oil spice paste 3 cloves garlic, peeled 10 shallots, peeled 2cm fresh turmeric 6 bird-eye chillies (cili padi) 3 red chillies 1 turmeric leaf (daun kunyit), sliced finely 40g ikan bilis, washed, drained and deep fried till golden brown in 2 tablespoons oil 2 1/2 tablespoons fermented durian (tempoyak), diluted in 200ml water 4 tablespoons thick coconut milk, diluted in 150ml water 150g petai, skinned 120g young tapioca leaves (pucuk ubi kayu), stems removed, blanched in boiling water and cut into pieces 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste Heat the oil in wok and sauté the blended spice paste ingredients until fragrant. Add turmeric leaf, ikan bilis, tempoyak and coconut milk; simmer for a minute. Toss petai and pucuk ubi kayu and stir-fry for a minute. You may add in more water if preferred. Season to taste with salt. Remove and serve immediately.

savoured. Must-have assorted dates, dried apricots and figs are also in abundance. The dessert section also features a good combination of Western sweets, local Malay kuih and bubur. Three different buffet menus rotate on a daily basis. Call 03-21442200 for reservations. The buffet is RM89++ per adult, half price for children below 12. From July 28, they will also run “Teratak Chef Abbas” with a hawker stall concept at the ballroom for RM75++ per adult.

27 July 2012  

The Malay Mail, Crave, DATE TIRAMISU, BAHULU TIRAMISU, sponge cakes, roasted cauliflower salad quinoa, with dates, petai

27 July 2012  

The Malay Mail, Crave, DATE TIRAMISU, BAHULU TIRAMISU, sponge cakes, roasted cauliflower salad quinoa, with dates, petai