Monday, August 22, 2011

Kabsa Rice Recipe (Nasi Kabsa Resipi)

Two words for Saturday meal: ALHAMDULILLAH SUCCESS!!! At least that is what Hubby complimented. When I cook, I feel everything is just not right. I'm never satisfied with my cooking because I'm just annoying like that. ;) Anyway, I got my recipe from this website. She has A LOT of gooooooooddddd recipes! I can just drool looking at her blog. Since it's in Malay language, I decided to translate her recipe onto my blog. So for my British friends, you guys won't miss out on this yummy food! Do try it out!!

Kabsa Rice in a HUGE pot! NOT ENOUGH!! ;)

Ingredients:

1 kg beef + bones  
(or 1 whole chicken cut into half)
3 cups Basmati rice (wash and soak for 30 mins)
5 cups of hot water
(or you could use the water from boiled beef)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp Ghee
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamoms
3 pieces of cloves
2 onions- diced
3 cloves of garlic- diced
1 big carrot - grated
1 whole tomato- blended 
(I used the canned chopped tomatoes)
2tbsp tomato puree
1 teaspoon yellow/orange food colouring (saffron)
2 tbsp kabsa spices for recipe click HERE
1 whole lemon- make a whole in the middle
(get the most riped lemon as you want it to be sour-est!)
1 red bell pepper- diced
1 tsp black pepper
2 whole red chillies
1/4 cup raisins
Salt & sugar to taste

Method:
  1.  If you're using beef, then boil the beef first until soft. Possibly for an hour.
  2. Heat oil and ghee. Saute cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, onions and garlic until you can smell the aroma.
  3. Then, saute the blended tomato, tomato puree, lemon, food colouring and kabsa spices.
  4.  Put the beef in with the rest and add salt & sugar. (If you're using chicken, then put the raw chicken in at this stage and leave it in till it's cooked)
  5. Once the beef/chicken is cooked, put in carrot, red bell pepper, chilli, raisins and rice. Put in the hot water to cook the rice.
  6. Leave the pot closed and make sure you keep stirring every 4-5 minutes so that the rice won't get burnt at the bottom of the pot. 
  7. ENJOY YOUR MEAL WITH YOUR LOVED ONES!!!! :))
Hopefully you are able to follow these steps. It's my first time writing out a recipe! Do let me know how you get on with it. If I've missed out any parts or you have better ingredients for the recipe, do leave a comment to share with all of us! Wishing you the best of luck, cooking monsters!!! May your cooking bring you closer to your loved ones....tummy & heart! ;)
 
Oh, in case the rice ain't spicy for your liking, you can make some sauce with it. I didn't try the sauce because I don't really eat spicy food. So this recipe is just nice for my liking. Try this:

Sauce: Blend tomatoes, green chillies, corriander, sugar and salt. Once it's done, squeeze some lemon into it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chicken Shawarma & Nasi Kabsa Recipe (Arabic Cuisine)

Every Ramadhan, I will suddenly turn into a cooking monster! Somehow I only dare to try new cookings and bakings during Ramadhan. I think the reason why I dare to try new recipes is because people will be famished by Iftar (break fast) and I'm sure anything I cook will be absolutely delicious to them, Insha'Allah. So, that is why I try new cuisine only during Ramadhan.

Anyway, since a few people have asked me for these recipes, I decided to make an entry out of it because there's just so much to write! Unfortunately, I am not able to post all of it today because I'm only gonna make it for Saturday Iftar with the whole family, Insha'Allah. Today, I am just going to share with you the spices recipe. You can basically use this spices with any Arabic Cuisine. So here you go.

Ps: PLEASE be warned that you will sneeze a lot by just blending these spices. Too aromatic!! ;) Have fun cooking!

Rempah Kabsa Recipe (Spices for Kabsa rice) 
 
Click pic to enlarge
Ingredients:
1 tbsp cengkih (cloves) *
1 tbsp lada hitam (black pepper)*
1 tbsp jintan manis (fennel) *
1 tbsp jintan putih (cumin) *
2 tbsp ketumbar (corriander seeds) *
1 tbsp buah pelaga (cardamom) *
1 tbsp pelaga hitam (black cardamom pods) *
1 tbsp serbuk cili (chilli powder)
1 TEASPOON kunyit (turmeric powder)
From left: Corriander seeds, black pepper, black cardamom pods, cardomom, fennel and cumin.

Click pic to enlarge


Method:

1. Fry the ingredients marked * until you can smell the aroma.
2. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
3. Add in chilli powder and turmeric powder into blended ingredients.
3. Keep aside the blended ingredients in a tupperware as you only need one tablespoon of blended ingredients every time you cook. You will get plenty of it with the ingredients above (refer picture below).



Blended Kabsa Spices

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Post-natal depression AND terrible two???!

Alhamdulillah it wasn't me who suffered from postnatal depression! Before I gave birth to Layina, I have read a lot about people whom suffered from postnatal depression. According to a few sources, postnatal depression "target" people with second baby, so they say. I was scared that it could happen to me. I mean, come on, how am I supposed to cope with post natal depression and this so called "terrible two" son??

In case you didn't know, I have a Degree in Psychology. After my second year of studying Psychology, I feel that most (not all but most!) of the things taught were a whole load of crap. Don't get me wrong, I love Psychology!! I believed most of the things being taught but I truly hate it when they teach us things that doesn't make any sense. For instance, Freudian's theory was being taught at A-Levels up to second year degree. Who doesn't know his theory, I am sure you've somewhat heard of his psychosexual theory, yes? You can read about his theory here if you are interested. There are also other modules that gives me the icks when I learn them. I find it rather pathetic that they're teaching us these theories when they know that it doesn't make any sense or even that it is very controversial. To me, it was like they were trying to brainwash us into thinking in those terms. Anyway, enough about that.

Like I said, there are some parts of Psychology that I could agree on. Basically, I 110% agree that the brain controls each and every part of our body. Our brain is the most important organ in our body. So when I was scared about the postnatal depression cases, it got me 'ready' for it. What did I do? Well, I convinced myself that I can definitely handle my 2 kids with Allah's will. Would Allah have given me another child if he didn't believe in me? I'm sure I've done something right for him to shower me with another child right? Of course I wasn't boastful. I couldn't have done it without Allah's help.

Depression and stress happens because we over think things. Say for instance if a person lose a job which I'm sure this is one of the many reasons people become depressed nowadays looking at the state of our economy. People without beliefs will feel that this is all their fault, as if they have failed in life! When really in Islam we are taught that Allah is the one that has control of every single thing in our life. Yes you can be sad, not a problem. But get over it quickly. Don't moan and groan over it too much. Get back on your feet and think of your next step. First and foremost though, thank Allah for everything that's happened to you. There's always a blessing behind every thing that He gives or takes. Like this ayat suggest; "....... it may well be that you dislike a thing even though it is good for you, and it may well be that you like a thing even though it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know." (Surah Al-Baqarah:216)

I believe that everything we say or think is du'a (supplication) to Allah swt. So if a person thinks of negative things, they are clearly channelling their feeling towards that particular situation. Like post natal depression, if you think too much about how tiring it is to take care of a child, you will definitely not have the time to enjoy the child that you've just given birth to. No doubt being a Mother is tiring (not much for fathers though)! Having to wake up every now and then for feeds, diaper change or even just checking that baby is sleeping soundly is REALLY tiring! So why think about it and tire your brain even more when you know it's tiring? Instead try and think about the joyful things you can do with your baby when he/she is awake. Think about how lucky you are that the baby wakes up to feed/diaper change etc. I'm sure you know that being a Mother/Father consists of being there for your child almost 24-7, right? Since you have asked Allah for this child of yours then enjoy bringing them up with lots of love, hugs, kisses and positivity!

Although, these aren't the only things that we should bring our child up with. Of course there's Syaitan to mess about with our mind. That is why whatever we do we should think of Allah first. After giving birth we are more likely to feel depressed because we are in a 'dirty' condition. The post partum blood is dirty and so we are not allowed to pray. Nonetheless, our Worship towards him does not stop there. We should continue our 'zikir'. Glorify him so that the Syaitan will be scared of us and will not dare to come near us. Insha'Allah with Allah's protection we will be safe from the Syaitan! After all, in Surah Fatihah we mention that only in HIM do we seek for help and therefore we should always seek HIM in whatever sad or happy situation we are in.

On a slightly different topic, I did say 'terrible two' son didn't I? Well, to be honest, I feel that this word is being used to make us feel that they are terrible. How is it that they've been our 'bundle of joy' for 1 year and suddenly when they reach 2 they are terrible? This term is negative and we should really change it to a more positive term like "terrific two". Well, just because they cry more and are a little bit clingy doesn't mean they are terrible! To be honest, I was also conned into the "terrible two" term. Whenever Khairaldin cried, I almost gave up and just said "Oh well, it's just a phase. He'll get over it." When really I think all he wanted was someone to listen to him and just give him cuddles! Since we don't carry him that much, he then throw tantrums to get attention. He wants to still feel that he's being loved. We can't just take it for granted that "he'll get over it." HE WON'T . Give the attention that they need. Children don't cry for no reason.  


It's a terrific two because they are clever to know how to get our attention yet we are so silly not to give them the attention they need!

So parents, don't be caught up with all these terms or label that has been put out to us out there. We should really think positively and not let anyone label us. After all this "terrible two" and all other stress, what next? Mid life crisis? Are we just gonna live our life by letting people bring us down all the time? So get up! Live your life to the fullest. Positivity is the way to go! There's nothing wrong with having a positive mindset. Doesn't mean you're positive you don't feel sad. You still do and it's ok to feel that way as it's a test from Allah swt to appreciate HIM even more. If you're too happy, you might forget HIS existance. So, he has to bring you down and test you every now and then. It is how you get back up and continue worshipping him that matters! Insha'Allah.

My du'a is for all of my readers to be more positive in life and to not let anyone label and judge us except for the Allah swt. Insha'Allah. Amin!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I HAVE A FULL-TIME JOB!!!!!!!! :))

Yes, I have a full-time job ever since I got married to the love of my life and hereafter. I am a wife and now Alhamdulillah a Mother to 2 adorable and clever children, SubhanAllah! Would I ever want to quit my job?? Seriously?? Doing something you love and not dreading having to wake up for it every single day IS a job. Yes, A MOTHER is a full-time JOB! Don't insult us for not following the society's 9-5p.m rule. Just because we love doing what we do doesn't mean we are jobless. Try doing it for a day, at least, and see what you have to say about "your full-time job".

Watch the videos and you will know what I mean. I LOVE MY JOB! THIS is my rizq from Allah swt! And I can never ever complain about it. Alhamdulillah!

video
video


Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Albert Schweitzer

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week 1st -7th August 2011

In case you didn't know, it was the World Breastfeeding Week last week. Funny and sad how such event has to be conducted to raise public awareness about breastfeeding. Truthfully, breastfeeding is supposed to be a natural way of life whereby everyone's aware of it. So, what is this event all about? Let me tell you, not everyone has this perception that breastfeeding is natural and a way to fulfil the child's right. Some perceive breastfeeding as being rude when you do it at an open space. I have to agree if one strips off and don't breastfeed discreetly, then yes that is rude and inappropriate. Personally, I have never come across any 'breastfeeders' who shows off their boobs when breastfeeding their child, I think we Mommies still have our dignity in tact to know we shouldn't shove our breasts to the public eyes, yes? The only way you'd know the baby is having his/her feed is when their face is somewhere near the boobies area, right? So, how is that obscene/rude/disgusting if you can hardly see any skin or nipples sticking out??

THIS IS NOT NATURAL ;)
Seriously, our society has to STOP THINKING about breastfeeding as though it is an unnatural thing to do. Especially Muslim society, we should know that breastfeeding is so natural that it is even being prescribed in the Quran: "If they (ie; the fathers) wish that the period of suckling for their children be completed, mothers may suckle their children for two whole years......" (Surah Al-Baqarah:233) "We enjoined upon man to be dutiful to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness and his weaning lasted for two years........." (Surah Luqman:14) 
 
 
Would the Quran "write" such a verse if it is rude and obscene? So, in the Quran, Allah advices us to breastfeed for at least 2 years. Tell me, how could a mother achieve this if the society isn't helping them to do so? Imagine this, if a mother is having her meal at a restaurant and suddenly the baby wakes up for a feed. Would you expect the mother to get out of the restaurant, find a nearest nursing room or TOILET to feed the child? I'm hoping you'd answer NO at this point. Now, try imagining a starving baby yelling her head off wanting her milk and the mother has to run around to find the nearest "appropriate" place to breastfeed. Isn't that just stressful? What's wrong with letting the Mom and baby have their meal peacefully.. anywhere?
 
In my opinion, to achieve a great breastfeeding journey Mothers have to attend to their babies need as soon as their babies demand for feed. They don't need to wait until the baby scream their lungs out before giving them their milk. This is because, when the baby starts to cry (or even give signals wanting to be fed), the Mother's brain will instantly pass the message onto the breasts to produce milk. This is the time when all the nutritions are being produced and it will start to flow as soon as it's being produced. So would we want to waste the milk to just flow onto the breast pad? I'm hoping that people could understand why mothers need to feed where ever and when ever. There is no such thing as just feeding in nursing rooms, toilets or even bedrooms. Do you even have your meals in these places?? So why should a helpless child be stuck just in those rooms.

Now that you've understood why mothers MUST feed their child, please, I beg, don't give those nursing mothers the disgusting look when you see them feeding and attending to their child's need. The least you could do is give them the 'gratitude' look to tell them they are doing the right thing for their child. I'm sure breastfeeding Moms wouldn't want you to be looking at them when they are feeding their child anyway. So you don't have to look if it bothers you that much. After all, you wouldn't stare at people when they are having their meals now would you? ;)
 
And because they're being fed where and when they want to be fed, this is the outcome that we get. How could we stop them from their rights ey?
 
Khairaldin

Layina
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Monday, August 01, 2011

Ramadhan 1432

Ramadhan Mubarak everyone!!! 
 
Let's make full use of this blessed month. Here's a tip I'd like to share for those of you who'd like to khatam the Quran in this month:

Try and read at least 4-5 pages after every fardhu prayers. That will make it 20-25 pages per day. Insha'Allah by the time Ramadhan ends, you'd be able to khatam the whole Quran.

The Quran was revealed to our Prophet SalallahuAlaihiWassalam in the month of Ramadhan, that is why it's such a blessed month, Masha'Allah. So, the best way to appreciate this month is by reading and understanding the Quran! Insha'Allah. There's just so much we can learn from the Quran. Ramadhan is not a month to abstain from food, drink, sexual intercourse etc. In fact, it is THE month to learn how powerful Allah swt is (if we don't know already). This is the month when all the devils are locked away and it's just us and our Creator. No devils to provoke us to do evil things. Always remember that Allah swt is listening to us intensely, so make du'a for ourselves, families and friends. Insha'Allah, HE will 'makbul' our du'as and good intentions.

May Allah swt help us through this month by giving us Imaan to do great deeds! Insha'Allah it'll be a stepping stone to a new way of life after this, Amin ya Raabalamin!

Let the battle with ourselves begin, Insha'Allah!

Wassalam.
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