This is the 3rd installment of La Kitchen series. For those of you who are new to this, you might wanna check what's it all about here and here.
I first discovered Lisa via Foodgawker and it was her beautiful photo of Lemang that brought me to her blog. Yes, she made her own lemang..in her modern kitchen :D And from that moment on, she never ceases to awe me with her amazing eyes and stellar talent in food photography. Her blog, From My Lemony Kitchen, is currently ranked in "The Babble Top 100 Mom Food Blogs 2012" *wink2* So here is Lisa, sharing with us her modern family kitchen and a Butter Chicken recipe. Enjoy!
1. Tell us about yourself and your kitchen.
Hiya… I am Lisa, the Food-blogger ~ “From My Lemony Kitchen…”I was born and bred in the Land of Paddy Fields (Kedah, Malaysia) and happy settling down in the Land of Plenty (Australia). I hold a full time job mothering (its ‘smothering’ to) my 2 beautiful, wonderful teens.
We are familiar with the saying “Behind every successful man, there is a woman…” but in my case ~’behind a Foodie/photography crazy woman (that’s me) is her man…’, married to a wonderful loving man, who put up with my many ‘crazy’ moments and he cooks marvelous Beef Rendang too (the best rendang ever…). July 2012 marked our 20 blissful…wonderful years together.
Kitchen to a house is like a heart to our human body… a place buzzing with chitter chatter, clitter clatter and the aroma of something cooking (or burning) on the stove…full of activities and full of life…
I want our kitchen to be just that… the center of activity, spacious enough not to keep bumping into each other… especially when you have 2 ‘Foodie’ in the house!!! And not too big that you feel dwarfed by rows of cabinets and shelves…
Our kitchen is located in the ‘heart’ of the house, facing East… It is bright and airy, surrounded with big glass windows… plenty of natural light streaming into the kitchen…even on gloomy winter days.
Ours is an open floor plan… as I enter the mid-section of the house and into the kitchen…I’ll have a sweeping view of formal dining area with sliding doors leading to the alfresco, formal lounge, family area, a door leading to laundry room and a walk-in pantry just at the back from where I was standing in the photograph.
Kitchen has ample of storage… that everything is hidden and tucked away…just the way we like our kitchen to be ~ neat and tidy…
Our kitchen … is basically black, white and shades of grey… The kitchen floor is in black porcelain tiles, bench top is in ‘sparkly’ grey Essa stone, cabinet doors and drawers are in glossy white finish and glass splash back in metallic silver.
The main feature of our kitchen is the tilted black hood which complimented the black induction cook top.
Just in case you are wondering… why I my blog name has ‘Lemony’ and the kitchen I am exhibiting has nothing yellow? Well… I am obsessed with lemon… from the sweet smelling flowers to the sourish- tart taste of lemon. So obsessed… that I painted my kitchen in Lemon Yellow… and that was 3 years ago.
2. What is your everyday cooking style?
Depend on Seasons… In winter, I tend to do a lot more baking, using slow cooker and cook more ‘soup-y’, piping hot dishes, while in summer… we’d tend to have simpler food like salad or BBQ and alfresco dining.
My first challenge… when I wanted to install the splash back. It took me months to decide the colour… so many shades of grey, silver etc!!
Alas…the splash back was sorted…
Then onto my on-going biggest challenge is...Keeping Everything Clean…
Constantly wiping fingerprints off the glossy white drawers, cabinet’s doors, and the stainless steel appliances…and constantly picking up crumbs off the floor.
Apart from my dishwasher… which I can never live without especially in winter months… the next favourite tool would be the coffee/spice grinder.
I love to ground/grind my own spices…the aroma is so therapeutic. My mortar and pestle could do the job but it’s a lot of hard work plus it is too small in size to give me superfine grounded spices.3. What are your favorite ingredients to cook with and why?
If I could, I want to fill up my pantry with all sorts of spices… I love trying out new spices. But my favourite will always be coriander seeds…
I love the aroma of freshly grounded coriander seeds… and the aroma of roasted coriander seeds… oooh! so Heavenly…
4. What is your favorite cookbook?
I love them all, no favorites… and I don’t have a huge collection of cookbooks anyway… I refer to them as and when I feel like eating something… but my most and well used cookbook would be the ‘Nonya Flavours’ and Peter Reinhart’s ‘The Bread Baker’s Apprentice’.
Butter Chicken/ Murg Makhani
1 kg chicken thigh – cut into 3cm bite size
Juice of I lemon
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
2 teaspoon paprika
3 cm cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ cup almond meal
250 ml plain yoghurt
3 tablespoon canola oil
2 brown onion – thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic - pound
2cm ginger - pound
500g fresh tomatoes - blend
½ litre chicken stock
90-100g melted butter
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish
1. Roast or pan fry cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cumin and coriander seeds till slightly darken and aromatic.
2. Once cooled, using the coffee grinder and grind to fine owder. 3. Pan fry the almond meal till aromatic (alternative: roast almond about a handful of almond (10-15 almonds) and grind)
4. Mix all the ingredients: chicken pieces, lemon juice, chilli powder, paprika, the grinded spices, yoghurt, almond meal. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. Heat oil in deep pot, on medium heat.
6. Fry the chopped onion until it turn pale brown in colour.
7. Add in pounded garlic and ginger. Fry for another minute or two.
8. Add chicken pieces and cook until it turns slightly opaque.
9. Add in fresh tomatoes, chicken stock and the remaining yoghurt mix.
10. Bring to a quick boil, stir and reduce heat to a simmer.
11. Uncover and cook till the gravy is reduced to half and slightly thicken.
12. Add salt to taste
13. Dish out onto heatproof glassware, pour the melted butter and placed under the broiler for 2 minutes to brown the top.
14. Garnish with chopped coriander
15. Serve immediately with savoury rice or Naan.
Thank you Lisa for letting us kaypoh-ing in your kitchen! he he
RC: Interested to join La Kitchen event? All you need to do is email me your interest (just fill in the "Contact Us" form in below bar) and I'll forward to you the questionnaire and guidelines. :) Your kitchen will be queued for coming event! :D