A New Coronation Chicken, Fit for a Queen


What sandwich filling infused with ‘curry’ spices was made specially for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953? Why, coronation chicken, of course! Indeed, the (mustard) seeds for this revelatory dish were planted nearly twenty years earlier, with the presentation of the similar ‘Jubilee chicken’ for George V’s silver jubilee in 1935.

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March 3, 2015. Tags: , , . Asian, British, Indian. Leave a comment.

For Hanukkah, Japanese Yam Latkes with Nori and Chili

Latkes-Japanese yam1I found some delightfully magenta Japanese yams while foraging for seasonal goodies in the dark woods well-lit aisles of my local Whole Foods.

Vivid on the outside, they’re crisp-white inside, and a wonderful addition to a festive tray of roast vegetables. They were just the inspiration I needed for my Asian-twist latke tradition, an annual rite which enters its 17th year (er, I started very, very young). (more…)

December 16, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Asian, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Jewish. 2 comments.

Lamb Koftas with Leek and Mint

lamb kofta with leek1

lamb kofta with leek1

The best thing about these lamb koftas is also their worst thing – they’re so darned tasty that however large a batch you make, there’s only going to be these three wee balls left (and I had to hide them) as evidence of your labors. (more…)

March 30, 2014. Tags: , , , . Asian, Indian, Mains. Leave a comment.

Happy Year of the Horse! And a tale of two grandfathers

Happy Lunar New Year!

Where I grew up, in Malaysia and Singapore, this festival (along with Hari Raya Puasa (the Muslim Eidl), Diwali and Christmas) were open-door celebrations, with neighbors and friends dropping in and out of the celebrants’ homes to wish them well and to partake of the festive goodies. They would mostly be invited, although it would be perfectly normal also to drop in unannounced (to avoid horrified looks, this helps if you know the person 😉 ).

My late Granddad’s best friend, Uncle Guan (which was actually his first name), was Peranakan Chinese. He was a descendant of late 15th and 16th century immigrants to the Indonesian islands, who adopted some of the local customs and style of dress, and developed their own hybrid of Nyonya or Baba Chinese cuisine.

He also might have been a perfect character for an Asian version of the TV drama, Big Love (albeit a more genteel,  non-violent one) .

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January 30, 2014. Tags: , , . Asian, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Fish, Melting Pot, Musings. 4 comments.

Carrot and Coriander Soup

carrot and coriander soup

This is a lusciously hearty, enthusiastically spiced, cheerfully vivid soup that belies the fact that it’s pretty lightweight, too, at 50 calories a cup. (more…)

October 15, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Asian, Autumn, Intermittent Fasting, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

My Grandmother’s Keralan Fish Cakes

fish cakesI don’t often post the recipes of my maternal grandmother, being as they are, gold. Gold because she is the biggest influence in my life and in the kitchen, and because she was the best cook ever.

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January 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Asian, Festive, Fish, Indian, Mains. 8 comments.

For Hanukkah, Leek and Scallion Latkes with Chinese Five Spices

For the longest time (okay, the past 15 years), I have made the family’s favorite cilantro-ginger-chili latkes – a Diva original – for Hanukkah and also come up with a new one each year.

This year, I take inspiration from the Chinese.

(Photo-viewing tip: To see close-ups, click on the pic, and scroll right or left with arrows)

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December 6, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Asian, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Hanukkah, Jewish, Sides. 1 comment.

Turkey Burgers with Zucchini and Ginger

How does a parent play breakfast maker (and tidier), office worker, homework helper, project assistant, activity chauffeur, and chef extraordinaire – without feeling like jumping off the George Washington Bridge?

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October 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , . American, Asian, Barbecue, Dinners, Grill, Mains. 4 comments.

Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Asian Salsa Salad

Fish is perfect on week nights. It takes half the time of meat to cook, and there are no worries about cholesterol or saturated fat content.  (more…)

August 28, 2012. Tags: , , . Asian, Dinners, Fish, Mains. Leave a comment.

Sambal Brussels Sprouts

Though strawberries and cream are extremely Wimbledon (and there were plenty of both in the fridge), I had a hankering for a curry yesterday after watching Serena Williams blast away her finals nemesis and win her 5th championship trophy – and this was the veggie half of what resulted. (I’ll post the Murg Makhani chicken recipe soon, promise!) (more…)

July 8, 2012. Tags: , , . Asian, Condiments and Sauces, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian. Leave a comment.

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