Chilli pastes, the foundation of my family's business. I like to call it the triple kicks - Curry, Assam and Sambal. Like the base of a tripod, they form the base support of everything else we do. Every dish that we come up with as we strive to innovate stems from one of these three base pastes. Our secret recipe uses 21 choice herbs and spices, hand prepared for another 4 hours, before being tossed and fried for another 5 hours to create the perfect chilli paste for use. Then one hour of cooking and simmering before the delicious curry dish is served in our shops. Now, that's what my brothers do. I am not involved in the operational matters and thus have never had developed the patience needed to see the process through from begin to end. So don't ask me what these 21 specially chosen herbs and spices are, cos if you haven't already noticed, I am the "noob" of the kitchen. Haha! That's why I can relate to every other home cook who is learning how to dish out delicious goodies for their loved ones. I am still learning, and because of my regular job, I am also time strapped like many working adults. SO! I asked my brother for a simplified version of the three pastes, he gave me two - Curry and Sambal. Thanks Edwin! Anyway, these require less time to prep as they contain lesser ingredients. It is still as delicious. Just made simpler for newbies to the kitchen. And I seriously don't have time to do mortar and pestle away, because it can get messy. Forgive me, I am but mere mortal when it comes to the kitchen. Now, I have a trusty food processor though, the Philips Daily Collection Food Processor is a compact easy to keep entry level kitchen gadget that has impressed me. I am speaking from experience and is in no way being sponsored by Philips (I can only wish...) Anyway, back to the topic. I have used this to make Sambal Belachan (not to be confused with the Sambal paste found here, it can be found in an earlier sharing) and it has served me well! The safety feature, as do all good brands do, won't allow any food processing to be done when things aren't locked in place, so you can rest assured that your chilli, curry powder and all those beautiful herbs won't come flying out.  I'm sure you have your favourite brands. For those of you looking to purchase a new food processor, just make sure that it is a reputable brand within your budget. Below you'll find the basic curry paste and sambal paste recipes. For the curry paste, do note that when cooking meats curries you will need to use the meat curry powder to make the paste, when cooking seafood/fish curries you will need to use the fish curry powder to make the paste. They do alter the taste significantly. My brothers recommend that I use Baba's curry powder - Green packaging for meat and Yellow packaging for fish and seafoods. Image result for baba curry powder   Chuan Hong Seng Chilli Paste 500g If you like me don't wish to make your chilli paste from scratch, because either (A) you don't know how or (B) it is a tedious process and you don't have the time. You can get chilli paste off the shelves of most supermarkets or RedMart, (again not sponsored, I just really enjoy the convenience of NOT lugging the heavy hull back from the supermarket. 😬) Just make sure to check the ingredients in the chilli paste - make sure there is NO vinegar inside. Just chilli, salt and water. And like I always say, go ahead and tweak the recipe to fit your palate. There’s two recipes below! Until next time! xoxo, Regina

I am a seafood lover. When I see food I eat them. Ok lame joke over. But really, how does one choose seafood?   They come in all forms and some times I really just buy the frozen ones because I don't know how to choose the...

I must admit, I love my condiments.

There is this pickled green chilli that I tend to put to almost every Asian dish I eat. Whether it is Wanton Noodles, Egg Fried Rice or Congee, it just gives the dish that bit of tangy punch. I am probably one of the crazy ones who can just snack on these pickled green chilli.

Now, it is not difficult to find this condiment off the shelves of the supermarkets. However, because some like it sweeter, some like it spicier, some like it sourer, these off the shelf versions may not satisfy as much. And having eaten a ton of these growing up, I noticed that every zichar stall have their own pickled green chilli too! My taste buds are hard to please, since I snack on them solo, so I have resorted to finding that balance that I personally like. As with all recipes, minor tweaking are what makes that awesome recipe AMAZING! (Every home cook raise your hand if you agree with me!)

This recipe is super simple. It only requires only a grand total of… THREE! Three ingredients! Ready for it? The first ingredient is of course GREEN CHILLI, the second ingredient is white vinegar and the third is sugar. In my bid to keep sugar to a minimal in my diet, I thought I could replace it with stevia (like I do with my baking.) The result was not as I expected. Swopping out sugar is not an option when you are going to pickle anything. Trust me. I learnt it the hard way.

If you are making it in bulk, please wear gloves while slicing those green chilli. They may not be as spicy as their red-hot sisters, but they may still cause some chilli burn on the hand.

One of my brothers prefer to boil the green chilli in the vinegar direct. I call this the lazy-man method. Haha.

Our mother taught us that to get that crunch in the green chilli, her best method is a bit tedious, but that’s my preferred method. Firstly, get the water boiling hot, then blanch the chilli to get it bright green, after which take them out of the hot water and dunk them in iced water.

They will be crunchy even after the pickling. Just the way I like it. As with all recipes, it is always best to find the method that creates the taste that best suits you! Tweak away!

Store them in recycled leftover peanut butter or jam jars or those pretty looking jars from IKEA.

If I can make it, so can you! Until next time!

xoxo, Regina

It is spicy. It is tangy. It is aromatic and pungent at the same time. This condiment packs a punch and is a beloved addition to many Singaporean and Malaysian dishes. I’m talking about the sambal belacan – a beautiful concoction of chilli, lime and dried...