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yam / taro root

Taro Root/ Yam (Wu Tau/ 芋头)

Taro are tuber vegetables. There are two types of taros, big and small ones. The bigger ones are used for making stew (and for me my favourite Hakka Yam Abacus). Whereas the small yam with more delicate texture is used for sweet soups. Other names English name: Taro/ yam Chinese name: Wu Tau (芋头) Where …

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red lentil masoor dhal

Masoor Dhal (Red lentils)

There are plenty of lentils in the market, which I knew nothing of until I was invited for dinner at Aunty Clara’s. As an Indian, dhal curry is her staple food. She keeps many types of dhal of all colours (red, yellow, green, etc) and makes different variety of dhal which she generously pour over …

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gule melaka blocks

Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka)

Palm sugar is made from the sap of palm trees trunks. In Malaysia, it is probably made from sugar palm (arenga pinnata). The sucrose-rich sap is boiled down to produce a thick brown syrup, poured into a bamboo mould and then hardened into round cylinder blocks. That explains why gula melaka comes in blocks. Taste & …

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Indian borage

Indian Borage

The leaves are boiled into a decoction to treat asthma, fever, colic, nausea, rheumatism, coughs, urinary tract infection, epilepsy, and convulsion. Upon checking an encyclopaedia of herbal medicine, I found that this herbal plant is used in Indian folk medicine as a digestive remedy. It became mainstream when western medical circle discovered that it contains …

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