Archive | August 16, 2010

Where did I go wrong?…

I did exactly what I did when I was in the U.K. in 1994 and it turned out just right then…and everybody enjoyed it a lot and wanted the recipe but this time, something went wrong. It was not like what it should be.

By special request, I decided to cook some masak hitam so that I could share it in my blog. I did not have most things in the U.K. and it did not help one bit that garlic was 20p a bulb (around 70sen at the time) and so was one dried chilli at the Chinese shop in Plymouth. So I just used some shallots, garlic, ginger and chillies…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 1

…and I did not have a mortar and pestle then, so I had to chop everything until they were really very fine. Here, of course, I was able to just pound everything into pulp…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 2

I also pounded the raisins and used them to marinate the chicken, together with some soy sauce…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 3

I think I did have some of these spices then in the U.K. and I did not forget to include them this time too…

STP's masak hitam - ingredients 4

After frying the pounded ingredients in some oil till brown, I added the spices and then, the chicken (with the raisins and soy sauce). Then I added a bit of water to simmer and cook the chicken…and finally, I added a bit of coconut milk and let it continue to simmer. I know people add kerisik (dry-fried grated coconut) at this stage  but we usually do not as we do not like the smell, something like coconut oil. After the gravy had thickened, I served the masak hitam chicken in a plate…

STP's masak hitam

But it was not black!

Now, where exactly did I go wrong? Everytime my missus cooked it using the Lisa Brand “premix”, it was black…but this one wasn’t. Maybe it was because I had used mushroom soy instead of thick dark soy sauce…or maybe I had added a bit too much coconut milk. Perhaps I should chop everything by hand? It tasted o.k. though…so we finished it all up in one sitting.

Probably I should try again another day and see if it will be any better… SIGH!!!