The Mamas are cooking: part 1

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Comfort dishes, that’s what the Mamas have been whipping up for this month. To celebrate our EATS month of September, we’ve put on our aprons and made our favourite meals for you to try. Enjoy!

Italian Arancini by EcoMama

Mamas

Arancini are delicious crispy Italian fried rice balls with mozzarella filling. It’s traditionally made with leftover risotto. There are many variations of this recipe, but the main ingredient is always risotto. Arancini make for perfect party treats or appetiser.

What you need:

  • risotto (previously made or cooked on the same day) 
  • 2 eggs
  • mozzarella
  • some tomato sauce
  • flour
  • breadcrumbs 

Put the risotto (cold from the fridge or room temperature) in a bowl and add one egg. Mix well until combined. With cupped hands, shape the risotto into a half ball (the size of a golf ball), press it with your thumb and fill with a little bit of tomato sauce and a piece of mozzarella. Create a ball and roll the shaped arancini in flour, then roll them into the beaten egg, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs. Fry in hot oil for a couple of minutes, serve and enjoy.

Philippine Chicken Adobo by DIYMama

My Philippine helper taught me how to make this dish and we all love it, as it is very easy to cook and it is yummy in the tummy! This meal is very flavourful with garlic and soy and the vinegar makes the chicken very tender. The ingredients below are based on family of five. 

What you need: 

  • 7 chicken drumsticks and 2 chicken breasts 
  • 6 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 10 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 10 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 4 inches of ginger (cut one inch and crush the rest)
  • 3 pieces of bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

Marinate the chicken with all the ingredients, except the water and cooking oil and marinade inside the fridge for at least 1 hour (the longer the better, for the taste). Heat the cooking oil in a wok and put the marinated chicken and the sauce in. Add in the water and simmer in small to medium heat for about 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Add more water if the sauce is drying up. Spicy food lovers may add a couple of bird eye chillis into the dish. Best to serve with rice.

Indian Fusion Biryani by MyZenMama 

Biryani is a mixed rice dish originating among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is made with Indian spices, rice, and chicken, goat, lamb, prawn or fish.

My family has been having all styles of Biryani rice for the past few weeks and each time we cook it differently. And oh, we have three vegetarians in the house, so our Biryani is meatless. Of course, you can always add meat to your liking. 

When it comes to rice, my family usually go for the short-grain type. Recently, we had an unintended change – we had made an online order for parboiled rice, but what arrived was a 5kg bag of basmati rice! It was our first time ever having basmati rice at home on a daily basis, and every single time, my mom (who has dementia) would make the same comment: “This rice looks so long – it’s so different!” And I would go: “Yes mom. It’s called Biryani rice”. 

  1. Cook the basmati rice in the rice cooker while you cut and chop whatever vegetables you wish to add into the rice. Carrots, tomatoes, green peas, mushrooms, pumpkin, or potatoes are good choices.
  2. Cook them separately in a wok or pan, add star anise, turmeric, curry powder and cloves, if you want it to have an Indian taste. To go for a Chinese style Biryani, add some garlic and soy sauce.
  3. Mix with the rice. 

You could even give it a Mediterranean twist, with olive oil, sea salt and a dash of lemon juice mixed into the rice to make my personal favourite, a Biryani salad!

Ground rules for fusion cooking:

  1. Don’t be afraid to experiment. 
  2. Use what you have in your fridge.
  3. Have fun with creating something new.
  4. There are no rules – just follow your instincts.

Bon appétit! 

Italian Pesto Pasta Salad by ActiveMama

This is one of my favourite meals and perfect if you’ve got any vegetable leftovers in your fridge. 

What you need:

  • roasted vegetables
  • pesto 
  • any kind of pasta
  • you could add some tuna or chickpeas for extra protein.

Roast some zucchini, eggplant, garlic and any other vegetables you’d like in the oven on 180 degrees for half an hour. Before taking them out, test first if the vegetables are soft enough. Cut into small cubes and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Add cumin for a spicier experience. Boil your pasta, mix with pesto (have a look here for a homemade recipe) and the vegetables and enjoy.

Dutch Stamppot by DurianMama

Cold winter nights, icy snow and below zero temperatures. Perfect weather for a steaming hot stamppot! Not to worry, these delicious carbs also taste nice in our warmer Asian climate.

What you need:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 400 gr pumpkin
  • 300 gr broken beans
  • 100ml milk
  • 100 gr butter
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 capsicum
  • cinnamon
  • parsley and Brazilian nuts to sprinkle on top

Dice the sweet potatoes and pumpkin into 3cm cubes and boil for 15 min. Add the beans after 10 minutes.  Remove the water but leave the vegetables in the warm pan. Add the milk, butter, salt and pepper and mash together.

Chop the red onions and capsicum and fry for 5 minutes on low fire. Then add some cinnamon and raisins and fry for another 5 min. Mix this through the mash.

Cut the parsley and Brazilian nuts to garnish on top of the stamppot. You can add any kind of sausages to this dish, as well as some mustard or even sambal to spice it up.

We hope you will enjoy our Mamas’ recipes. There’s more to come next week in part 2!  

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