Friday, January 11, 2013

Samlor Nam Ngau

After the mission team left from Siem Reap in December, they left Stephanie to stay with me a few extra days.  Yay!!  On the drive back to Phnom Penh, Peter and Kandi took us to a restaurant for lunch that I had been in before and thought was... ok.

However this time it was much different.  

I was pretty sick and Stephanie wasn't feeling too well either.  Both of us thought soup sounded good.  When looking at the menu Stephanie immediately said she wanted 'chicken with preserved lemon soup'.

I may or may not have stared blankly at her.

But, in my normal fashion I said, 'ok but I also want the vegetable soup.'  In my mind I was thinking at least I would be able eat half of the vegetable soup if neither of us liked the other soup.

The soup came, it didn't look too appealing... yellow-ish broth with chicken on the bone sitting inside.  Nothing else.  But I am very thankful I decided to forgo the look and still try a bite.  IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!!! We barely touched the vegetable soup and devoured this one.  And, later that night we were both disappointed when we didn't take some of that soup as take-away.  

Seriously, I can't stop thinking about that soup to this day.  That amazing.

I've tried to find preserved lemon soup that would compair here in Phnom Penh however I'm probably not looking in the right places because I've yet to find it.  I did a Google search and found a recipe for it.  I haven't made it yet, and with how lazy of a cook I am here I may not make it for a while, however I wanted to share the recipe with you in case you want to attempt to make it and then tell me about it.

Samlor Nam Ngau

1/2 Chicken (cut up to 8 pieces) (or pork or beef or duck)
1 Preserved lemon (cut in half)
5 cups Water
2 cloves Garlic (do not peel)
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Yellow onion (sliced)
1 stalk  Green onion (chopped)
Black pepper

In a soup pot, place chicken, yellow onion, preserved lemon, garlic and pour water in. Cook till the meat is tender to your liking.  Season with sugar, salt and fish sauce.  Sprinkle green onion and black pepper.

Serve hot with rice.

One thing I learned is to trust Stephanie's culinary expertise.  I mean her brother is a pretty renowned chef.  Why did I even question her to begin with??

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Northern Indian Chai Masala

So a long time ago I posted a recipe for chai tea.  Now that I've been to India I've found that I have a new love for chai and a completely new understanding for the different flavors of chai.  Depending on where you are in India they make their chai masala completely different.

On a side note, me and my traveling companions were completely confused by the 'chai masala' term they were using for the tea we were drinking... that is until we had someone explain to us that the term 'chai' means tea and the term 'masala' means spiced.  So spiced tea... which is exactly what it is.  It also made me laugh because in the US when we say chai tea we are, essentially, say 'tea tea.'  Our friend Dheeraj at one of our guest houses thought it was hilarious so he also started calling it 'tea tea.'

Dheeraj and his dad also gave us their chai recipe that I've now made since I've been back home in Cambodia so I figured I would share what I made.

Tea Tea

Me with Chai in India

1 1/2 c water
2 1/2 c milk
3 T black tea
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t ginger
3 T sugar

Add water, milk and black tea to a pot over medium heat.  Once boiling turn off add pepper, cardamom and ginger and then turn back to medium again.

Now you want to bring to a boil 3 times (basically let it start boiling over so the boils almost hit the top of the pot, turn off the heat, once the bubbles are gone turn the heat back on, let it boil over, and then do the same thing again).

Add the sugar.  Stir it up.  Strain and drink :)

Now, this is close to their recipe except they used waaaaay more sugar (at least double it).

If you want to change it up a bit, my favorite is to decrease the pepper to 1/4 t pepper, add 2 cloves, add 1/4 t cinnamon and use about 1 T sugar.

You could also google search Indian Masala Chai Recipes and get many more ideas on fun chai recipes.

Jeera Rice

Yes yes, I fail to blog here often. However, I want to maintain some of my cooking recipes here as I cook... which is very, very little now that I live in Phnom Penh.  However, I just took a trip to India and learned a few new recipes while I was there.

One recipe I learned was for Jeera rice.  I fell in love with this rice and made the girls I was with order it quite a number of times only to find out later that its ridiculously easy to make.  So easy its only 3 ingredients.  So, without further ado, here is this easy recipe.

Jeera Rice

cumin seeds
day old rice

In a skillet heat the oil over medium head.  Add cumin seeds to toast.   Add rice and enough water to make the rice fluffy.  Cook until headed.

And now you can cook an Indian dish.  Simple, right?!?!?!  And you thought you could never cook an Indian meal.