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December 02, 2004



Emm..the universe is not infinite. It's finite but borderless. Kinda like a mobius strip. Beyond the universe is not empty space, just an undefined, inexistent space.

Anyway, here's a simple green curry recipe to fulfill the fifth last objective:

1. Blend onions to form a paste.
2. Crush a few green chillies (according to taste).
2. Mix the onions, along with santan, green chillies and a little tumeric in a medium-heated pot.
3. Put in chicken or fish or beef.
4. Wait until "Pecah minyak", add salt, sugar to taste.

Sometimes I'll put in "buah keras", just to give some texture to it. Or if I'm feeling crazy, I'll add in coriander, and some ginger and instead of blending, I sliced the onion and fry till its fragrant before adding the other ingredients.


"an undefined inexistent space"? Well, that sounds almost as good as infinite to me.

Thanks for the green curry recipe! Will try it out this weekend. Hopefully will impress my family (if I don't poison them that is).

Don't tell me that the green colour actually comes only from the green chillies?


Quote: Don't tell me that the green colour actually comes only from the green chillies?

Surprisingly, yep. That's the only source of greenish colouring. Unless of course, if you wanted to put some Green Fanta in it, then that would be a different story hehhe.

If you want to make it more yellowish, put more tumeric, just balance between the green chillies and tumeric to get the colour that you want.

Oh, I forgot one more important ingredient: Lemon Grass! Without it, your green curry would taste like "Kuah masak santan".

So enjoy!


"Ensure that my parents get to go to Mecca"

Alhamdullilah... Oh, anak mithali rupanya.
Dah buka akaun di tabung haji ke? Heard that the waiting list is quite long.


grrrreat list -- I share some wishes and some I've fulfilled, Borobudur is one of them. I actually made some sambal belacan when I went back for Raya this time hahahaha! It was the first time I made sambal belacan for as long as I can remember and it turned out quite OK -- of course after repairing and retuning for about 2 hours! I keep telling myself as i pound away - Lisa you can make the perfect zabaglione, Sambal should be easy but NOOOO...
So the quest is to make the Thunderbolt sambal belacan and I brought back some belacan (indonesian Terasi tak mainlah!) with me.


Radnexus: well...in regard to the Mecca thing, let's just say that sometimes, "a man's got to do what a man's got to do..." ;)

Lisa: Actually, you've hit on an issue quite close to my heart. Why is it always so easy for us to make excellent pasta alla mediterranea or whip out mouthwatering tiramisu' than say, produce the perfect "udang masak lemak tempoyak" or the ultimate "badak berendam"? Is it because Malay cuisine is just, as a general rule more complicated? (Please say yes. I need some ego boost here.)


I think so -- Delia Smith or even the horribble Gary Rhodes can show you how to make the perfect sabayon or souffles to die for and if you really follow the rules, voila you make the perfect sabayon and souffle.
But ikam asam pedas for instance -- the chemisty has to be right and since all the measurements in Malay recipes are agak-agak -- I have yet to make the exact nasi goreng twice! -- you really have to spend a lot of time remembering and fine tuning the asam, the garam, the gula and when you are done, 99 % of the time -- you didn't jot down the recipe!!! so everytime you attempt yet another udang masak tempoyak, it is another adventure!
But I love it! I also love the fact that it is all about chemistry and the mystery of the not exact results!

Julie and Tom

Green curry. Mmm. We've not yet really had that yet, but it's on our list.

my name is fake

Green curry essential ingredients:

you MUST have coriander, you must have a bit of belacan, you must use fresh coconut milk, you must have a bit of nampla,and you must use the small pea shaped terung.



Thanks for your words of confirmation. Now I can go back to perasan-ing being a good cook ;)


Sir, yes, sir!

er...what's nampla again? (google yields nothing) Or does it have a malay name I would recognise (e.g. "daun sekentut")?

And welcome to the site!

JM/TP: Welcome to the site! Be warned. Life after an excellent green curry will never be the same again. Really.


Nam Pla is fish sauce and the essential ingredient in most (if not all) of Thai cooking. Did you receive my mail? I sent you my green curry agak-agak recipe.

rara avis

thai curry yum.....
hmmmmmm i'm hungry now!


Tips on cultivating the love of reading

You have a few years yet to try this, but if its of any help..

My 12 year old nephews resisted reading for the longest time, and no amount of persuading them (well, ok, throwing various books at them) would work. Then one fine day (they'd been banned from watching tv by my dad and were wondering around the house in a daze) I made one of them read Jurassic Park (they'd loved the movie version and have been hooked on dinosaurs since I "read" to them from my brother's dinosaur picture-book collection when they were 1 1/2).

Voila! They have since read all the Harry Potter books - and forever asking when Book 6 will come out - and even finished The Lord of the Rings, and can be seen most days with a book in hand.

Problem now is what else to suggest.. Anybody have any ideas?

ps. I think green curry paste (as per Nigel Slater) also has lengkuas (rather than halia)


hi fazu,

neat blog! hopped here from mango's, lisa that is. find your todo list v. interesting, esp all those language stuffs, someting i'm very much into.

btw, re nam pla, i think of it as belacan siam, but cair like budu. as dina's hans would say "yuck!"


dune: i'm making a mental note of this suggestion. sounds suspiciously too easy though. anyway, if your nephews have taken to LotR, why not let them loose on CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia? I also find some of the stuff by Roald Dahl to be suitable for children (eg. the wonderful story of henry sugar)

what's lengkuas in english?

yam: welcome to the site! and thanks for the kind words. What languages are you into?
just woke up to the fact that nampla is easily available in a lot of shops over here.



right now, some french for love, some german for keep, and taking up russian for interest. and you?

btw, lengkuas is galangal/galanga root/galingale selon mon 'food lover's companion'.


Ditto you on Narnia and Roald Dahl!!!

Lengkuas is universally known as Galanggal or *the pink ginger*. In powderform, it is known as Laos or Laos powder and in Vietnamese, it is also known as Laos.

LOL for the life of me, I don't know what daun sekentut looks like!

whoa! Yam, I am also interested in taking up Russian. Have you read Velimir Khlebnikov's poetry?



no, not familiar with khlebnikov's work. will remedy that soon as time and op permit.
learn rus... pls do! then we can practice redspeak together. i found that once you can decipher the writing, it's not so formidable. so many english cognates. i'm supposed to practice writing at least some cyrillic a day and make it to a russian meetup or any other russian table in town once a month to practice speaking but falling behind due to work.

fazu probably feels like i do - so much you'd like to do but so not enuf time - when writing his list.



It was anything but easy la, they resisted the Harry Potter books despite loving the first 2 movies.

Maybe it was just the right timing (they were 11+ at the time). They are already reading Roald Dahl (they have most of his books for kids - see my problem!?), and I keep forgetting to check if they have read CS Lewis.

Anybody read that book Eragon? I have a weakness for dragons myself, me.


Yam: "German for keep"? Are you in Germany?

As for me, it's: Malay for love (of the language), (Quranic) Arabic for love (of ancient things), Italian for love (of a speaker) and memories, English for necessity, French for interest, German for friendship, Japanese also for memories, and Spanish for... (hmm can't remember why I'm into Spanish anymore.) I did try Russian for two months but stopped. Maybe I'll get back to it one day, especially if I want to go about that dream of taking the Transsiberian express to Moscow(don't you think the Cyrillic alphabet is so cool? They use it in Mongolia too, apparently). How are you learning Russian? Have you got any Russian connections?

Lisa: I will try to take a picture of daun sekentut and mail it to you (or better, upload it on this blog).

Dune: Well...you see, there is always Enid Blyton...

I also want my nephews and nieces to read widely in Malay as well as in English. It's quite a pity that good Malay writers for children (eg. Ajikik & Co) have sort of gone into retirement and there doesn't seem to be that many young writers in Malay out there who are taking their place.


wow fazu, that's an awesome repertoire! aside from malay and english [and i suppose quranic arabic], do you get a lot of chace to practice your other languages much? it's my experience that languages, even one's own tongue, tend to atrophy if you don't take them for regular walks. :)

no, i'm not in germany. "german for keeps" because it's the tongue of my roomie. as for russian, dunno if you can call it "connection" but a russian colleague is tutoring me. i agree with you, the cyrillic alphabet is indeed cool. but in terms of fluidity of strokes i think the arabic scripts the most aesthetically pleasing.


yes do that, love! Post it on the blog :-)

wow I agree with Yam on language - I used to be able to speak/read Mandarin like a native but lost most of it -- the posh mandarin accent is completely gone now :-( replaced with a smattering of pedestrian hokkien+hakka+kantonese. In my head, I still calculate in Mandarin though.

Fazu, I read a lot of spanish Lit (inc south american lit) but I can't speak the language :-(

On learning Russian, was thinking of enrolling in Uni of Dusseldorf for russian lit/language course. I heart heart HEART russian Lit so much, I wish I can read Pushkin, Turgenyv and Chekov in Russian. But we will see - maybe next year.


Yam: I absolutely agree. Stop practising a language, and you risk losing it. There are however suprisingly sizeable populations of French, Spanish, Italian and German speakers in KL. I get the opportunity to practise these languages quite often with the exception of Spanish. But then, there is also the internet where you can access most anything in any language. I try to read French and Italian newspapers everyday (Le Monde and La repubblica), just to keep up with the current terms.

Lisa: Speak/read mandarin like a native? Wow! I wish I could say that about myself too one day.

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