Discover more from Singapore Noodles
Pre-orders opening tonight ✨
In case you have not heard, Singapore Noodles is collaborating with HAFI to produce a quarterly food publication that celebrates festive food through the seasons! It’s been a real dream come true for me, because I’ve always felt like there was a gap in Singapore. The food publications that I wanted to read, and still want to read, are the ones that shine a spotlight on “cooking in” (the food we eat at home) rather than “eating out” (what is trendy in restaurants).
Launching SEASONINGS is a natural step from creating The Singapore Noodles Planner last year. Our festivals (or seasons) in Singapore are when the most intricate food appear on our dinner tables. These dishes tend to be symbolic and close to our hearts, because of the effort it takes to prepare them as a family or community. During these festivals, pineapple tarts and murukkus are gifted, bakzhangs are exchanged, bubur is distributed - the food brings us together and evokes the kampung spirit.
In the first episode of the Singapore Noodles’ podcast, Chef Damian D’ Silva says, “When I was growing up, my friends and I all went to one another’s houses during special occasions, and we celebrated together with them. It was almost like you were showing off what your ethnicity is all about. You were proud to be Indian - ‘Come to my house for Diwali because mom is making sweets, Grandma is cooking these wonderful dishes’. What has happened over the years, it kind of became too confined. We don’t want to share it with other people, or we want to keep it to ourselves. What I experienced in the past is gone.”
Hafi and I want to bring that spirit of sharing back with SEASONINGS. We want to encourage a thirst to know about how our neighbours celebrate seasons that are important to them. We hope that you will get a deeper understanding of our seasonal foods, but also appreciate the community, diversity and shared emotion that grow out of them. Truly, no seasoning is sweeter than community! Pre-orders for the Hari Raya issue go live tonight 9pm SGT - I will put a link up on @sgpnoodles’ bio link and on our website. Limited print copies!
Ayam Masak Merah
Serves 4, Adapted from Shamsydar Ani’s recipe
For the chicken:
1 whole chicken, cut into 12 pieces (900g chicken pieces)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Pat dry chicken with kitchen towels and rub chicken with salt. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Pat dry again and toss with turmeric powder. Deep fry until half cooked, before draining the chicken on kitchen towels.
For the rempah:
25g dried red chillies, soaked
25g knob ginger
Blend chillies, onion, garlic and ginger to form a rempah.
For the ayam masak merah:
100g oil from frying chicken
1 stick cinnamon
2 star anise
5 green cardamom
Rempah (see above)
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
400g canned whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon gula melaka, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Chicken pieces (see above)
Heat oil on medium low heat and fry cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom. Add rempah and cook until the oil separates and the rempah becomes a few shades darker. Stir in chilli sauce, tomatoes, sugar and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes. Add chicken pieces and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, covered, until the chicken is cooked through.
Makes 4 logs
300g rice, rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
10" squares banana leaves
Cook rice, water, pandan and lemongrass in ricecooker. Remove the pandan and lemongrass. Mash the rice and cool on a plate. Form it by hand into a thick sausage.
Blanch and wipe banana leaves. Wrap the rice in banana leaves (can double wrap to be safe) and secure with toothpicks. Cover the banana leaf packets with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer the packets for 1h. Cool completely before cutting.