RICE BATAK BERRIES ANDLIMAN PEPPER ASIAN FOOD RECIPES

THE CONDIMENT YOU NEED IF YOU LOVE ASIAN FOOD & THE RECIPE TO PROVE IT

Posted by Carole

Are you a lover of Asian food and its subtle flavours?

Then keep on reading because today I want to tell you about Andaliman pepper, also known as Batak Berry, a much loved condiment from Indonesia, which I discovered a few months ago and I now cannot live with!

RICE BATAK BERRIES ANDLIMAN PEPPER ASIAN FOOD RECIPES

Andaliman pepper boasts delightful citrus and fruity flavours that perfume any dish beautifully and give it that “Asian twist” I’ve been looking for for so long but couldn’t get right. It’s as exotic as the Chinese Szechuan pepper but a lot less numbing and therefore it can safely be added to dishes while being sure the results will be flavourful yet subtle!

Andaliman pepper can be used in so many different ways too… crushed and sprinkled on food, in marinades, sauces and curries and is ideal to beautify fish, seafood and poultry dishes.

No need to say Batak berries have brought extra flavours to my kitchen and will continue to do so for a long time as I cannot get tired of this wonderful taste, however there is one dish that this exotic pepper has completely changed for me and as simple as it seems… it is rice!

As an Asian food lover, I’ve tried so many times to re-create the unique flavours of rice I had tried while traveling or at my local Thai restaurant but I could never get it right. I added lemongrass, ginger, coconut milk but something was still missing until I discovered Andaliman pepper!

So let me give you my recipe for a flavourful rice that you can enjoy with many dishes or on its own as it’s just so tasty!

I also want to apologize if you’re from anywhere in Asia and think this recipe doesn’t come close to your rich culinary traditions and that “Asian food’ doesn’t mean much as each country has its specialities (I fully agree!) but my only intention is to share my love for food and flavours!

Ingredients for 2 to 4 portions

  • 200 g of Basmati or Thai jasmine rice
  • 375 ml of water
  • 2 table spoons of coconut oil
  • 1 stem of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed Batak berries/Andaliman pepper
  • A pinch of salt

Chop the lemongrass and ginger and crush the Batak berries in a mortar. Place the rice into a colander and rinse 2 to 3 times then reserve.

Pour the coconut oil into a large pot over medium to high heat then add the rice and let it cook for half a minute until the grains turn a more solid white colour. Stir to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the chopped lemongrass, ginger, crushed Batak berries and salt to the pot and stir then add the water and place a lid on top of your pot.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and let cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid. When the time is over, turn the heat off and keep the lid on for another 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy that fragrant rice!

More recipes with Batak Berry are coming soon on this blog… so stay tuned and try to get your hand on this beautiful condiment… maybe here (US), here (UK) or here (CH)

Thank you for reading! Like, comment, subscribe if you like this blog!

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Anti-Pollution Beauty Routine…

Posted by Corine 

Sadly we hear the words dangerous high peak of pollution too often these days and as much as we would all like to avoid its nasty effects on our health, most of us have no choice but to brave it on a daily basis. Add to that the fact that pollution not only has devastating consequences on our health, it also plays havoc with our glowing skin and hair! Common sense is to avoid highly polluted areas but how is that even possible in a large city like our sweet London town?! No, I am afraid avoidance is not an option here! Thankfully there are a few steps you can add to your beauty routine that will help you battle this invisible enemy!

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Whether you are wearing make up or not during the day, make sure to clean your skin before you go to bed. Your regular face wash will do as long as it contains gentle ingredients that will not disrupt the skin neutral pH any further. If you have a very sensitive skin, the Clarins Anti-Pollution Milk will be your savior as it cleans and moisturizes the skin at the same time. It costs £20 for 200ml which is a reasonable price for a high quality product that personally lasts me a few months. Go green if you want by removing make up and excess oil with coconut oil before massaging a thin layer of natural yogurt on to your face. You may feel like a fool but the protein and lactic acid contained in yogurts are the perfect way to gently unclog your pores and detoxify your skin from pollution. Whatever cleansing method you go for, do not forget to add a barrier of protection to your skin by moisturizing your face and body especially when you are about to leave your home and head to those polluted streets and always add a UV protection even if it is cloudy out there!

Same goes for your hair! Think about it, what is the point of carefully cleaning your face if you are about to rub it all night on a pillowcase covered with dust and particles of pollution! Indeed whatever dirt your hair have collected during the day will end up on your pillowcase so you might want to wash your hair before bed by using a deep cleansing shampoo. Its clarifying formula will remove most build-up and impurities. If you prefer to wash you hair in the morning, make sure to gently brush your hair with a bore paddle brush to remove some of the dust accumulated during the day. Oh… and change that pillowcase as much as you can… like every other day… well at least every week… OK, OK… don’t keep it for more than a month then!

agua do mar aerosolClean your nose! You are about to think that I am a complete nutter (which is probably true!) but nasal hygiene is a real thing and you should start considering it now. Think about it for a minute and you will probably realize how dry and congested your nose sometimes feel after a busy day in town. Well here comes the marvelous Sterimar isotonic nasal hygiene spray! It is 100% natural, has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties and it is suitable for the whole family, babies included. A 100ml bottle will last you months and cost you a very reasonable £7.99. Nasal hygiene has become as important as washing my hands when I get home and I am always stunned by the amount of black dust that comes out of my nostrils after being out and especially after riding the Tube! Plus my congested nose is a thing of the past at bedtime and I definitely catch a cold less often than in the past!

Ventilate your home everyday, especially your bedroom! With all the synthetic materials we have and the chemicals we use on a daily basis (cleaning products, hairspray, perfumes, etc.) the inside of our homes is sometimes as polluted as the outdoor! Allowing fresh air in every room by opening your windows for 15 minutes everyday will improve the air quality of your home drastically and you may quickly notice that your skin is less dry and irritated. Make sure to reduce your use of chemicals by replacing your house cleaning products by bio and natural options. Also, why not invest in a air-purifying indoor plant? A NASA research has shown that the Garden Mum does a fantastic job at absorbing nasties like ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene from indoor air. If like me you find it difficult to keep anything alive inside your home, try the Spider Plant, it is pretty, easy to care for and cheap!

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Last but not least, protect yourself by staying hydrated to flush the toxins out of your system and keep that healthy glow! If you find drinking a few litres of plain water everyday difficult, consider buying or making your own tasty herbal infusions. Fresh mint is available in most shops and all you have to do is throw a good bunch of it in to a teapot with boiling water for a delightful after dinner brew. It goes without saying but please stay away from sugary drinks, they are nasty and will do you no good! And don’t forget that vegetables and fruits not only contain water, they are also a fantastic source of antioxidants that will  help prevent and delay cells decay caused by pollution.

Please leave a comment and let us know how you feel pollution affects you and your skin/hair on a daily basis. And of course, please share your tricks and tips with us!

DIY Beauty

Posted by Carole

A few weeks ago I realized that I ran out of facial mask so I went through every cupboard of my bathroom as I know that, for some reason, I never throw away empty beauty products but instead store them somewhere in a corner, hidden under samples I gathered from previous shopping session but almost never use. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that there was no facial mask to be found in there as I had already exhausted my stock after a few months spent in Switzerland, where everything is so expensive I can’t afford any waste and have to harvest every last drop of my fav beauty products.

I was upset for a moment as I knew I had to wait for my next trip to France to stock up on facial masks (Aroma Cleanse Clay and Herbal Mask + Life Radiance Flash Radiance Mask by Décleor are favourites) but then decided to face adversity and prepare my very own facial mask. After all, I had read many articles on the Internet from girls concocting their home-made beauty products so why not me? Determined, I went to the kitchen to look for miracle ingredients but again, my stock was running low and I soon realized that I didn’t have coconut oil nor rose water nor plain yogurt so my choices were quite limited. Luckily, I finally set my eyes on one of my favourite ingredient and one that is as tasty as it’s beneficial for your body… and your skin! That is honey of course!

Honey is a marvelous ingredient that one should always have home for multiple reasons.

This super ingredient is

  • Rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
  • Has antibacterial properties and helps reduce allergies
  • Helps fight acne
  • Is a healthy and natural sweetener

There are so many things you can do with honey! It’s the ideal sweetener for your deserts, it’s fabulous in warm water to calm irritations coughs and sore throats or as a balm to appease superficial burnt or some types of skin conditions but honey is also one of the purest and most effective ingredient you can use to prepare homemade facial masks and today I’ll give you very easy recipes adapted to each skin type.

I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first but lacking other options, I decided to give it a try and put some music on, poured myself a bath and applied the sweet mixture on my face. When I woke up from a little snooze twenty minutes later, I washed my face and was amazed at how soft and replenished it felt. My pores were clearly more refined and my skin smoother! I was surprised to notice such visible results and tried again a week later but this time with a higher quality honey and Whoa! I was stunned to see that on top of making my skin smoother, honey also made my skin tone a lot brighter and luminous, a result that latest for days.

So my tip is really to try and opt for a higher quality honey as the results will be even more spectacular!

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For sensitive skin

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of aloe Vera gel

Mix the honey and aloe Vera and apply a thin layer on your face (avoid the eyes area of course!) Let dry for 10 to 20 minutes then rinse.

Aloe Vera will appease sensitive and irritated skin.

For dry skin

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of avocado paste (just crush or blend a bit of avocado)
  • 1 teaspoon of plain yoghurt

Mix the honey, avocado and yogurt until you obtain a smooth paste. Apply on your face (avoid the eyes) and let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

Avocado will hydrate your skin while the lactic acid present in the yogurt will refine your pores giving your skin a smoother look & feel.

For oily & combination skin

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg

Mix the honey and nutmeg and apply a thin layer on your face (avoid the eyes). Let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

Honey and nutmeg have strong antibacterial properties that will help significantly with acne and inflammation.

For normal skin

  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of plain yoghurt

Mix the honey and yogurt until you obtain a smooth paste. Apply on your face (avoid the eyes) and let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

The lactic acid present in the yogurt will refine your pores giving your skin a smoother look & feel.

You can also apply honey on its own and let dry for up to 30 minutes for a mask that will reduce inflammation, pimples and red marks and give your skin a boost.

For marked skin

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • Half a teaspoon of lemon juice

Mix the honey and lemon juice and apply a thin layer on your face (avoid the eyes). Let dry for 20 minutes then rinse.

Lemon juice will exfoliate your skin and whiten dark marks and old scars. You will need to apply the mask on regular basis (once a week for instance) to start noticing its whitening properties.

I hope you’ll enjoy your homemade facial mask (and saving money too!) and I look forward to your comments.

Until next time Frinnies!

Thanks for reading! Like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own tips with us!

Easy & Dreamy Cheese Omelette

Posted by Carole

I know it’s easy to heat that ‘ready in 2 minutes’ meal from the supermarket or grab a take-away at your fav Thai restaurant when you come home late from work and can’t be bothered… And actually it’s perfectly okay to indulge in a take-away from time to time but ready-meals? Really? Nope!

Ready-meals are the absolute NO GO as they are full of dirty and harmful ingredients and let’s face it, they’re not even tasty!

The good news is that you can easily cook yourself super yummy meals that are good for your body and your soul (let’s face it, we all feel guilty and gross when we finish that greasy ready-meal that wasn’t even good) and Foodie Tuesday is the day when the Twinnie and I give you recipes and tricks to achieve this, starting today!

One of your best allies to achieve that “cooking from scratch policy” I keep blabbering about is… the egg! You can cook so many things with eggs that they are one of the key ingredients you should always have in your kitchen and today I’m giving you the recipe for a creamy cheese omelette ready in less than 10 minutes and low in calories too (less than 200 calories, depending on the amount of cheese you use of course!)

On top of being very easy and quick to cook, omelette is also a very versatile recipe that you can marry with any kind of ingredients of your liking such as cheese of course but also vegetables, mushrooms, meat and even tuna and it can also be seasoned with many aromatic herbs and powders.

So let’s go and make yourself a scrumptious cheese omelette and here’s what you need – not much you’ll see!

Ingredients for one portion

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • A dash of milk
  • 1 small handful of grated Cheddar cheese
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

And here’s how to proceed to make that creamy omelette

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the milk, a pinch of salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Stir well with a fork or whip so the preparation becomes smooth and airy.
  2. Heat a small knob of butter in a small frying pan on a low heat. Once the butter is bubbling and sizzling, make sure the entire surface of the pan is butter coated and add your preparation, tilt the pan to spread it out evenly.
  3. When the eggs begin to firm up, use a spatula to gently spread the mixture away from the edges and into the middle.
  4. Let settle for another minute until the eggs are cooked but still a bit runny in the middle and sprinkle over the cheese. Note that you can also add the cheese in your egg mixture during step 1 for a slightly different way to enjoy this cheesy delight.
  5. Tilt the pan to one side and use the spatula to fold your omelette over in half. When it turns a nice golden colour, remove your pan from the heat and tilt it to slide your omelette on to a plate.

And you’re done! Your omelette shoud be golden on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Tip: You can serve it with a green salad to add some crunch and freshness.

Not too bad, right? It only takes 10 minutes max. and I can guarantee that you will feel a lot prouder and good about yourself when you sit down to enjoy that “merveille” rather than eating suspiciously orange microwaved lasagna.

Make sure to leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own recipes and cooking tips!