Author Archives: rheena74

About rheena74

Sudden interest in the culinary world has led me here....well actually I came across some beautiful food blogs which were absolutely mesmerizing! and then came Jamie Oliver,Gordon Ramsay..Kylie Kwong....but you will be surprised that I never really cooked much of my life..I even used to stay away from the kitchen cos I could never cut onions the same thickness! But after having 2 kids, a boy and a girl.. My interest in healthy eating was stirred. Weird they don't teach you healthy eating in med school ! ;) I started this blog firstly so that I can find the recipes I've tried and tested easily.. And so that my friends can access it easily too. I love a cooking challenge and though I had started off just cooking but the plating part came on after watching season after season of Masterchef Australia! After that I've been on a roll! ;) Anyway I try posting regularly when I find the time and many recipes are after work kind of recipes, so I hope you guys will try them out and leave your comments. Live strong and live with passion!

Cinnamon Teacake



_20181024_174941Done in literally 45 minutes! So good for those sudden unexpected guests who drop by .. But that hardly happens here in Melbourne. I miss that aspect of KL… we need to make appointments way ahead to visit friends over here! Lol…. Melbourne culture I guess so we just rock with it. 😎 This one is again adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly The Baking Collection.


Ingredients :

Prep +cook time 45 minutes.    Serves 10

  • 60g butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup, minus 3 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 15g butter, melted, extra
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp castor sugar

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 20cm round cake tin, line base with baking paper.

2. Beat butter with sugar until fluffy, then add the vanilla extract  On low speed crack in the egg and slowly combine then increase to high speed till light and fluffy. Stir in milk and sifted flour. Pour mixture into the cake tin.

3. Bake teacake for 25-30 minutes. Cover the cake with a piece of baking paper if it’s browning too much. Stand in tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack.

4. Brush top of hot teacake with melted butter and sprinkle with combined cinnamon and sugar. Yummers!


Melt and Mix Strawberry Yoghurt Cake

DSC_4646This has become one of my favourite cakes and I think I must have made it twice this week! Yes! I was also trying to deplete my strawberry stock. This is what happens when you go on a frenzy and buy a box of strawberries for just 10 dollars! After that came the news of the needles found in strawberries…so yes I literally had to finish it off. Btw do you guys know about the ‘hack’ to make your strawberries last longer in the fridge? All you need to do is get a bowl of water and pour in perhaps 2-3 tbsp of vinegar..(I used apple cider vinegar), then just soak the strawberries with it’s box into this bowl of water, just sort of slosh it around so that all of the strawberries get wet. Take it out and place it on some kitchen towels and into the fridge it goes. I think the last time I bought the ‘box of strawberries’ , I did this diligently and it lasted for about 2 weeks . So yeah..try it! OK back to the recipe. Again another winning recipe from Australian Women’s Weekly.

Serves 8

Prep + Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups( 375g) self raising flour
  • 250g strawberries ,roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup greek style yoghurt
  • 125g butter, unsalted and melted
  • 1 cup roasted almonds, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup greek style yoghurt, to serve

Macerated strawberries

  • 250g strawberries, halved/quartered
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp castor sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line base and side of a 20cm springformpan with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour three times into a big bowl and add to it the rest of the ingredients and half the chopped almonds.
  3. Spoon this mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle on top the rest of the chopped almonds. If you aren’t keen on that crunchy almonds with every bite, skip the 1/2 cup almonds that you add to the mixture and just sprinkle the amount you want on the top.
  4. Bake cake for around 50 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Leave cake in the pan for about 10-15 minutes to cool off then release the ring and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Make the macerated strawberries by mixing everything together in a bowl and let it stand for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve cake topped with macerated strawberries and extra yoghurt.


Strawberry Yoghurt Ripple Cake


This is such an elegant dessert I stumbled upon from Donna Hay and if it looks gorgeous with minimal ingredients  I’m all out to try it!

I had to tweak it a little to get the consistency I wanted for the crumble base and doubled it too for a thicker base but otherwise it’s perfect!

Serves 8

Prep and freezing time 3.5 hrs

Ingredients for the base:

  • 1 cup of almonds ( I used a mixture of whatever form of almonds I had… Slivered/ flakes)
  • 2 tbsp white or black chia seeds (I had white but I suppose black would give it an ultra chic look too)
  • 20 dried dates
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 4-5 tbsp of cold butter to bind everything together

Ingredients for the strawberry yoghurt :

  • 400g strawberries chopped
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups greek yoghurt (thick)


Start with the almond base. Put the almonds and dates into a blender or food processor and blend till you get a rough consistency. Now add dessicated coconut and chia seeds and pulse it again to get a smoother consistency. Add butter and run it for a minute or so till everything binds together. Taste it and adjust it accordingly. I added a bit more coconut because I 😍 coconut! Now your almond base is ready. Get a greased 20cm round springform baking tin lined with baking paper and press down the almond mixture to form a smooth base.

Chop up the strawberries and into a medium hot pan with the honey and vanilla extract. Stir occasionally for about 8-10 minutes then let it cool. Once it’s cooled blend it smooth in a blender or using an immersion blender. Keep 1/4 of this mixture aside to use as the topping. To the remaining blended strawberry mixture add the greek yoghurt and mix well. Now pour this on to the almond base and level it up. Now take the remaining mixture that was kept aside and dot spoonfuls on the top. Using a small knife, make twirls superficially to get that marbled look.


Into the freezer for about 3hours and it’s done! Keep it out for 15 minutes before serving with more fresh strawberries.


Baked vegan char siu buns


This was taken adapted from one of my favourite food blog sites where you can get gorgeous Chinese recipes and more.

The bun dough is lovely and and you could add any filling to it. Now moving on to the recipe.

Char siu bao dough ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water + another 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup bread flour + 2 2/3 cup bread flour

Living in Melbourne…. Everything is not at room temperature except in summer. So what I do is turn on the oven to 30 degrees or so, put my kitchenaid mixing bowl into the oven for 5-10 minutes while I get the ingredients ready.

Now in the mixing bowl add 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp yeast and 1/3 cup bread flour. Mix well and leave it to froth, which is the yeast getting activated. This could take about 15 minutes. Now if it doesn’t, it just means the yeast is too old or the water was too hot.

Once you have the frothy mixture, add the melted coconut oil and the other 1/2 cup of warm water .Mix well and now add the rest of the bread flour ( 2 2/3 cups) and the 1/2 cup castor sugar. Turn on your kitchen aid with the dough hook and let it go on speed 2-3 for about 10 minutes. Once you have the dough which will be soft and supple ( feel the dough  it won’t be tight), cover the bowl with cling film and I put it back intoa wwarm oven for an hour or until its doubled in size. While that happens, we can get on with the tofu filling.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 block of firm tofu ( not the fried tofu) – drained, pat dried and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable stock ( tastes better) or water
  • 1-2 tbsp dark soy sauce ( I use ABC Kecap manis)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1. 5 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin sauce ( I didn’t have this which is why I added more dark soy sauce)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp flour

Get a pan, add a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil, then add the chopped onions. Saute till softened then add the cubed tofu, stir fry gently for 1-2 minutes then add all the sauces and the stock or water. Gently mix well and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed or adjust with the soy sauce to your liking. Once the mixture starts simmering add the flour and mix well without breaking up the tofu. Turn off the stove and let the mixture cool. If I’m in a hurry  after it’s cool down a little I put it into the fridge.

Get your dough which has doubled in size and again into the kitchenaid with the dough hook for another minute to get rid of air bubbles.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius  Now get your board out, dust with flour and take your dough. Roll it out into a log about 30 cm long and divide into 10 equal pieces or even smaller if you want to. Take each ball of dough and roll it out to about 10cm diameter keeping the centre thicker. I love using the rolling pin which tapers towards the ends which helps to thin out the edges when you roll it a certain way. Once you’ve done this, put about 1.5 tbsp of filling and bring the edges together pinching it together, then turn it over so that the pinched edge is on the bottom. Smoothen out the top. Do the same for the rest of the dough balls. Cover with a cling film or moist tea towel and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes. Just before it goes into the oven  melt 1 tbsp sugar in 2 tbsp water and brush the top of the buns and sprinkle with some black sesame seeds.

Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees Celsius but I keep it at 175 and lower it in the last 10 minutes.  Bake on fan forced oven for 25 minutes. Keep an eye on it after 20 minutes as some ovens are hotter and the buns if smaller tend to cook faster. Sometimes you don’t get the beautiful brown top, so I occasionally turn the oven to grill function at 200 degrees just for 2 minutes. Take the buns out and give it another brush of the dissolved sugar.

And that’s it… It’s done. Just be careful to not dig in immediately as the filling is steaming hot!


Claypot chicken with potatoes

One pot meals… What can I say.. it’s a life saver. I love claypot chicken rice..  I mean luvvv it and I still remember the smell wafting down the road from the seedy looking restaurant near my school.. Dirty as it looked the smells were awesome.. 😜 char koey teow, carrot cake.. Claypot chicken rice.. 😜 😜

I was divided between throwing the whole thing into the slow cooker or the claypot but alas time wasn’t on my side. I’m sure it would taste awesome coming out of the slow cooker with the meat falling off the bone. This one requires some searing to get some colour on the chicken wings.



Serves 4

  • 500g chicken wings
  • 300g of potatoes
  • 3 tbsp of chinese cooking  wine or sake
  • 5 scallions cut into 2 inches in length
  • 2 cm of ginger sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce or kecap manis
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1-2 tsp of sugar

Marinate the chicken wings with the cooking wine or sake for about 30 minutes. While it marinates, slice the ginger and scallions… And literally that’s it. So cool right.

Get your claypot or a wok, add about 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil and sear the chicken and potatoes for a few minutes till you get the nice roasted colour. Add the ginger and scallions saving some for garnish later. Pour about a cup of water to just about submerge the chicken and add salt to taste. Let it simmer on medium low heat for about 10 minutes then add the light soy sauce and dark soy sauce to the pan together with the 1.5 tsp of sugar and the potatoes.  Check seasoning and add black pepper powder to taste .Let this simmer for about 20 min and it’s done. Add a tsp of Sesame oil and serve with jasmine rice and stir fried broccoli.


Mushroom pepper fry



Do you love mushrooms? I do ! I do! Unfortunately it’s a high purine food ( which raises your uric acid levels ) so I have it once in 10 days.. 😦

I came across this recipe while browsing the blog Vegrecipesofindia..check out the website for more delicious vegetarian recipes and lovely shots! vegrecipesofindia for some mushroom recipe..and I made it quickly before I changed my mind! It would be delicious with some Jeera rice or a mild Veg pulao but since I was running late to work, and kids were hungry I just made some chappatis ( I usually have some chappati dough in the fridge)  to go with it. Wallah..simple and filling dish..not to mention delicious. Try it out and let me know how you like it.


  • 250g brown mushrooms, sliced thick
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 large onion, sliced thick
  • 1.5 tsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 medium sized green pepper – sliced thick then halved ( I used yellow)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds + 1 tbsp black pepper- ground coarsely
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 green chilly -sliced
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder



Get a pan, pour in 2 tbsp coconut oil ( it’s awfully good for your health) or olive oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, once it pops, add the sliced onions. Give it a good stir and let it caramelize ( very important step to bring out the flavour in your dishes) lightly, then in goes the minced ginger and garlic. Stir fry till raw smell goes away.

Now add in the sliced mushrooms, saute till it’s dry ( mushrooms let out water when they cook), then add the capsicum and some salt, stir fry for a few minutes just enough but without losing the crunch. Green chilly goes in next. Now add the coarsely ground pepper and fennel, together with the chopped curry leaves. Stir fry for a few minutes allowing the pepper to cook through followed by the cumin powder and turmeric powder. A few more minutes on medium heat then off the stove. Stir in some chopped coriander leaves and let it sit for 10 minutes to let the flavour infuse.



Serves 2-3

Masala Egg puffs

_20160831_163602Ever bought a egg puff from the bakery to take it home to find it too eggy or have a weird taste? Well the masala which is used for this puff, absolutely masks that eggy taste. I got this recipe from Marias Menu a lovely site with fabulous recipes but tweaked it to suit my tastebuds.  marias menu . Totally luv it. Serve it with masala tea and you’ve got a lovely combo! Enjoy!


  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • Puff pastry – 4 inch squares
  • 1.5 cups of small onions sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1.5 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp water – used for eggwash


Get a pan, add about 2 tbsp coconut oil/ olive oil and in goes the sliced onions. Saute till golden in colour then add the minced ginger and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 mins till the raw smell is gone. Now add the chilli , turmeric, coriander and pepper powder , saute for a few minutes till the raw chilli smell is gone. Then in go the curry leaves and lastly the 1/2 tsp of garam masala and salt. Taste to check the saltiness.

Now you have the masala, let it cool a little. While it cools, preheat your oven to 200 deg C and take your puff pastry out of the freezer. I used the puff pastry sheets (Emborg brand). Lay the puff pastry on a lightly floured board and cut the big sheet into 4 squares. Lightly brush the pastry with some eggwash and place a tbsp of masala on the puff pastry square. Now lay half a hard boiled egg on it and  place another tsp of masala on it. Bring the two diagonal ends of the puff pastry together and pinch it lightly. Bring the other two diagonal ends together and pinch again. Make sure the edges are sealed, if not, you could line the edges with some water and press together.

Get a baking tray and lay some baking foil on it ( to make cleaning up easy!) and lightly brush with some butter. Now place the pastries on it and brush on the eggwash lightly on all sides of the pastry. Bake at 200 deg C for 22-25 mins.

Enjoy! Serves 4 hungry souls or 8 pax.