This is a way overdue post that I’ve been meaning to blog about earlier but I didn’t get a chance till now.
I won a cooking DVD from Putri Berendam, one of Singapore’s top food blogger which I respect. (coincidentally, we were supposed to meet this year, but unfortunately didn’t have the chance) Anyway, she hosted a contest on her blog in mid-2010 and just for fun, I decided to participate.
To my happy surprise, I received an email by her saying that I won a “Tanya Mami Asmah Laili” Cooking DVD! (I was amused when Cart asked, “Who’s Tanya Mami?” As if Tanya was a first name) Asmah Laili is a well recognized TV personality and celebrity chef in Singapore and Malaysia and has vast experience in cooking.
Here she teaches you how to choose fresh fish
But because I have little faith in the Italian delivery system, I asked my parents to hold it for me till I return back to Singapore. And because Cart and I were busy meeting friends and relatives during our stay there, it was only when we returned back to Rome when I had time to watch the DVD properly.
Anyway, I really love this DVD. Watching the videos is like watching a hybrid of my mum and aunt teaching me about food. You can tell that she’s really dedicated to her craft by the way she handles her food. And it’s really cute when I spot out some of the slang that she uses, “Masin Kebabai!” or “keras kojol!” or “en den” which is something that Malay aunties tend to say.
Speaking of Malay aunties, even though this DVD is in Malay, there are subtitles and also dubbings in English, Mandarin and Japanese so everyone can enjoy them.
I think the spelling should be “Penyet”, but that’s my opinion
Opening the case, there is included, a little cookbook filled with colourful illustration of each of the recipe in the videos, both in English and Malay for a quick reference.
But one thing which I think could have been improved about the content page though is that the content page should be grouped and arranged accordingly to the chapter list on the DVD.
For example, opening the recipe book for the very first time, (which is very beautiful by the way) I was very excited as I saw one of my favourite food, Ayam Penyet in the list. And I thought wow! I want to know how it’s made! I want to watch this part first! And thus, that was the first thing that I wanted to watch first. But where do I find on the DVD?
And fiddling with the DVD chapters itself was a little cumbersome for me, trying to figure out which specific episode contained what I wanted to watch. I had to click on episode 1 and then episode 2 and then episode 3 and then finally it was episode 4 (of course) which contained the video that I wanted to watch initially.
For simplicity’s sake, I’ll list of food here :
Part 1 : Pasta
- Pasta Fiesta
- Kasirol Mami – Mami’s Casserole
- Spaghetti Sos Pekat – Spaghetti with Thick Sauce
- Salada Buah dan Sayur – Vegetables and Fruit Salad
- Slurpy Joe
Part 2 : Seafood
- Ikan Bakar Kampung – Grilled Fish Village Style
- Ketam Goreng Lada Hitam – Black Pepper Crab
- Sayur Campur Goreng dengan Ayam – Stir Fried Veggies with Chicken Chunks
- Ketam Berlada Mentega Kacang – Black Pepper Crabs with Peanut Butter
Part 3 : Festive foods
- Ayam Tandoori – Tandoori Chicken
- Udang Mak Besar – Mami’s Prawn Delight
- Nasi Kunyit Tomato – Yellow Rice with Tomato
- Salada Mangga – Mango Salad
- Teh Serai – Lemongrass Tea
Part 4 : Mami’s favourites
- Ayam Panggang Oren – Orange Roast Chicken
- Ayam Penyet – Smashed Crispy Chicken
- Sup Asam Labu Siam – Sour Siamese-Pumpkin Soup
- Sambal Kicap Lada Padi – Birds Eye Chili and Soy Sauce
- Laksa Nenas Kasturi – Pineapple Laksa
Going through the entire DVD, there are a couple of items that looks so good, that I would love to give it a try one day like the Ikan Bakar Kampung (Grilled Fish village-style) which looks absolutely mouthwatering and Ayam Tandoori (Tandoori Chicken) which looks wonderfully spicy and of course not to mention my beloved Ayam Penyet (Smashed Chicken)
However, unless you’re living in Asia, some of the ingredients could be a little hard to find like abalone sauce, fresh pandan (aka pinescrew) leaves and candlenuts. So I guess for people living overseas, we’d just have to be clever and substitute or omit them.
Nevertheless, I tried one of her recipe which looked pretty easy to make with easily acessible ingredients – Nasi Kunyit Tomato – Yellow Rice with Tomato.
Looks gorgeous, no? I made it for easter earlier this year and it’s pretty straight-forward to make and tastes yummy too
One thing that you’d have to remember is that the recipes that she demonstrates are adjusted to her own taste and thus, her techniques might not be conventional. Her pasta segment for example, will probably make an Italian mama blush because she adds spices and chili way more than any Italian would.
But I can understand why she cooks it that way – because Asians like it like that. So the dishes are adjusted for the local palette. It’s kind of like the humble pancake. Americans like it stacked and thick while French like it thin and crepe-y. It’s not wrong, it’s just how the local people prefer it. It’s not like she claims that it’s the 100% original, trusted, generation passed down recipe.
By the way, did you notice one odd thing about the DVD? Did you notice that the video is a 4:3 resolution? Which is strange because, at that resolution, it would be more apt for VCDs instead. But nevertheless, it’s not such a big deal when you start to watch Mami working her magic in the kitchen as well as as the beautiful Labrador Park.
I’m not paid to endorse this but I highly recommend this DVD not only for people living in Singapore and Malaysia, but also others living overseas as it really bring a bit of home where-ever you are. I might sound biased, but there’s a point when it’s comforting and nice to hear a familiar language once in a while.
Moreover because at this point of time, the price of each DVD is reduced to $15 SGD ($12.4 USD) which is a really good price for all these knowledge, no? Also each $10 sold from each DVD will be donated directly to the Japan Quake and Tsunami relief efforts.
Anyway, here is a 1 minute preview of the begining of her video
And to end this post, I’m going to put up an absolutely non related picture.
This is Nasi Lemak. Another thing that I like to eat and I made it yesterday and I’m very proud of it and so I’m showing off 🙂