As we come to the end of a Bank Holiday weekend, I am surprised at how quickly the year has passed and it is already 1st May. When I started on my quest to cook my mothers recipes and write this blog, I had no idea what the response would be, or how I would be able to maintain my intention to cook at least one recipe a week. I’m pleasantly surprised and flattered as to how positive my friends and readers have been…I love that I have a friend in Germany who cooked her own vegetarian version of my fried rice, and that my cousin in Malaysia looks out for my one pot dishes which she can cook for her family when she comes in from work. Above all, I am enjoying the process of reading my mothers recipes, adapting some of them to suit our lives today, and cooking for my family and friends.
Our recent trip to Malaysia was partly to spend the first anniversary of my mothers passing with her family, and in our motherland. Its hard to believe that a year as gone by, and yet it seems like hardly any time at all. Coming from a large family, our trips to Kuala Lumpur are always packed with seeing my various aunts and cousins… something I cherish and enjoy. I learnt to cook my favourite Bengali dish with one aunt, and deep fried wontons with another one… such is the diversity of my family! I count myself lucky that I am part of a truly multicultural family which to me is representative of Malaysia.
Coming home means back to reality and everyday life… but thanks to my shopping trip to Chow Kit Market in Kuala Lumpur, my freezer and cupboards are stocked with all the ingredients I need for my Asian cooking – Galangal, curry leaves, lime leaves, young ginger, chillies and grated coconut. A trip to Brickfields – the Little India of KL, means I’ve stocked up with all my dry spices which whilst I can find here, are never as fresh and fragrant.
A very special ingredient is ‘young’ ginger – this is when the ginger is still tender and much smaller than anything we would find in the shops in the UK. The flavour is fresh and spicy, and its so tender that even from frozen, I can break off a piece to throw into my juicer (for a spectacular Beetroot, celery, apple & ginger juice). I used this to make a very simple recipe of Steamed fish with ginger & spring onions (Recipe in the photo below). It really does just take 10 minutes from start to finish and is a delicious light main course, served with steamed rice and stirfried greens. I used seabass fillets for this – not only for ease, but also as that was all I could find in the supermarket at the time. The ginger and spring onion really lift the flavour, without spoiling the delicate texture of the fish. Its healthy too… what more do we need as we come into the Summer months!