>Sweet n Sour Chicken followed by Buttercup n Carrot Pattie Sammies

>Another weekend, another successful week of delicious meals made and eaten! Wow, what a week it has been, it flew by really quickly but I have to comment that the weather is slowly getting better, ever so slightly. This is the last week of Ramadhan, Eid celebrations start at the end of this week (19th of Sept) to be precise. For me, it’s the end of Puasa and the beginning of Raya celebrations, finally all cafes and restaurants open normally. But it has been a great experience for me personally as this is my first time experience in the Middle East and surprisingly it has saved us money (food-wise) and probably a bit more tolerant with their culture and religion. But the month has passed really quickly, and I am happy to say that it’s coming to the end now.

For our Wednesday night dinner, I made sweet and sour sauce with pan fried chicken. The chicken pieces could be eaten by itself because I added in some 5spice powder. Of course it is your choice as to how you want to cook and/or eat the meal.

For the sweet and sour sauce:
1 green and red capsicum
1 big onion
1 carrot
1 can of pineapple in syrup
1 medium/large cucumber

Dice and slice up the vegetables, put them all in a sauce pan and fill with water. Add in the pineapple syrup and bring to boil. Leave and simmer on low heat, adding sugar and water to taste. Add in rice vinegar as necessary but I don’t because the pineapple gives both the sweet and sour twang. Add in 2-3 teaspoons of cornflour to thicken the sauce. No oil, no salt, no pepper. It’s that simple to make!
I pan fried 2 pieces of chicken breast (500g), which was cut into bite size pieces and coated it with cornflour and 5 spice powder. I seasoned it with some salt and pepper and pan fried it in olive oil. If you prefer, you can deep fry in either peanut oil or rice bran oil. Both are good for frying.
We had beansprouts and noodles with the sweet and sour chicken, with some left overs for Thursday. It was still good the day after, tastier in fact. To accompany the sweet and sour, I wanted to make buttercup and carrot soup but it didn’t really turn out as I wanted it to so I made buttercup and carrot vegetarian patties instead. My first try and it was lovely!

My golden buttercup and carrot patties:
1/2 buttercup
2 carrots
1 tofu square
4-5 roasted garlic (in olive oil)
1/2 – 1cup skimmed milk
rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper

I steamed the buttercup and carrot till soft, then mash in the tofu and garlic. Add in the seasoning, as much rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper as you like to taste. Put in the milk and mix to a nice consistency, moist but still firm to form. You can also add 3 -4 tbsp of butter if you like for taste. Then just bake for 30-45min in 180degC heat.

I had mine on pieces of black German bread (toasted) which was lovely, adding abit more twang which is of course the good old tomato sauce and it filled me up for more than 4hrs. Good to eat during Eid, as you don’t go hungry too quickly. It was lovely.

During the weekend, we had our first taste of Eid sweets and an Iftar buffet which we accidentally stumbled into. We got some pistachio and peanut pastries, fig chocolate roll and a fig square. They were all sweet and coated with sugar syrup. Suffice to say that it has satisfied our visual curiosity and our palletes.

Our accidental Iftar buffet was lovely. The Iftar is opened with dried dates and apricots, juice and soup (lentil and/or chicken). There was an array of Arabic cold mezze consisting of the normal starters such as hummous, tabuleh, eggplant and ladies fingers, cauliflower, etc. We enjoyed hot food as well, chicken with potatoes, mixed grill (chicken, lamb and beef), falafel, mixed mince patties, meatballs, lamb fried rice, other fragrant fried rice, fish, assorted breads, fresh fruits, Eid sweets, Arabic bread pudding, souffles, mousse, custards, etc. There was also date and rose juice, apricot, orange juices and buttermilk. It was a very nice experience and I’m really glad that we stayed for it. We had a lovely dinner and by the end of the night, our belt buckles were stretching and our jeans were bursting at the seams!! Lets not go through that again please! Once is enough.