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Monday, March 24, 2008


Sometime in July last year, I received a mail from Doug Fine asking me permission to reproduce my Kung Pao Chicken recipe in his book. He told me his book is basically based on his blog and the chapter in which the recipe will appear in is actually about driving on carbon neutral fuels.

I honestly thought he was joking but I read his blog, laughed so hard on more than one posting and thought, if anyone can make this thing - connection between driving on carbon neutral fuel and Kung Pao chicken - worked, it had to be Doug. So I mailed him and gave him the permission and forgot about it.

On thusday, I came back from the hospital after having my appendix removed, I received a mail from Doug telling me the book, Farewell, My Subaru will be on March 25th and gave me the proper link. I was really chuffed, still am.

Congratulations, Doug and thank you for publishing my recipe and telling me you think it was scrummy! I will be doing an interview with Doug in two months, when he comes back from his book tour. I hope by then I will recover and finish reading his book. For a signed copy of the book, go here.
I am still recovering from my surgery, it is a small one but when you have three surgeries in the space of 3 months at 40, well, I am just going to take my time. But while I am getting there, head over Doug's site and get his Farewell, My Subaru book and cook yourself a Kung Pao Chicken for dinner tonight!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

nasi halba

A very simple way to increase breastmilk supply is using fenugreek. Some breastfeeding mothers use the pill form, others drink them as tea. I find drinking them as tea too bitter so I used this modified nasi dagang recipe to incorporate fenugreek seamlessly into my diet. A word of caution - taken too much/often - it tends to make your sweat smell, so just take it moderately and you will be fine. Please read the wikipedia page carefully and don't use it if you have the conditions mentioned.

Since returning home from the hospital, I make this rice once a week and you can see the increase in milk supply between 24-72 hours. You should also do the exercise recommended by your lactation specialist - mine recommended to pump the breasts every 2 hours - for the first 3 days of lactating. But after a while, my son needs a liter of milk a day now, I find the exercise no longer helps to ensure adequate supply so I use the fenugreek rice and supplement the milk with formula.

This recipe is a doddle to make and can be enjoyed by the entire family accompanied by other dishes.

Nasi Halba (Fenugreek Rice)
2 cups of rice - I use thai Jasmine rice
2 cm of ginger
1 tsp fenugreek
1 1/2 cup water - you can use a mixture of half a cup of coconut milk + 1 cup of water to make it richer
salt to taste
optional : some people add onion/shallot and garlic but you have to avoid this if your baby is colicky.

1. Heat pan and dry fry the fenugreek. Set aside.
2. Scrub and crush the ginger - you don't have to peel it.
3. Wash the rice three times and add water.
4. Add salt, fenugreek and ginger.
5. Cook the rice as you usually do - I use rice cooker so I usually forget about it until it is ready.