Pumpkin soup need some cooking efforts while brussels sprouts require a short time. A few simple techniques are all you need to get the best out of these vegetables.

The Brussels sprout maintains its reputation as one of the most highly feared vegetables on earth. They trigger as many shudders as they do adoration. When prepared wrongly, it can be nasty. The reality is, people who hate them most probably ate them overcooked. Overcooking this tiny spherical vegetable is like pulling the pin out of a hand grenade. It releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, a sulphurous odor that can knock the lights out of a heavyweight boxer. It is true that on too much heat, no pun intended, Brussels sprouts can turn into the Pepe Le Pew of vegetables. Cook it right, it will be the most delicious greens to set foot in your mouth; flavourful bite-sized balls of slightly sweet crunch that gives in to a delightfully dense texture.

People have been making bread for thousand of years, its exact origin is unknown. Back in the Stone Age, nomadic tribes made thick gruel from stone crushed wild grains of barley and wheat and  then baked them into flat cakes on hot stones over open fire. About 10,000 years ago, nomadic tribes settled and began cultivating grains. Later, Swiss lake dwellers improved on the wild grain-gruel recipe by crushing grains to make flat bread. Archeological evidence proved that the Egyptians produced the first risen loaves using yeast as far back as 5,000 years ago. The Egyptians were also believed to be the first to grind wheat flour in a process similar to modern milling.

The Long and Winding Road

For the past two decades, the big three players, saccharin, aspartame and sucralose have fought to a kind of stalemate. But now a new player, with years of repression, comes in full-force, hoping to shift the balance of power in the world of sweeteners.

Served with Wilted Spinach, Confit Balls, Caramelized Plum, Mushroom Puree and Merlot Reduction.

Pandan Kaya Swiss Roll

If the Westerners knew vanilla, Southeast Asians, on the other hand, knew pandan and embraced it. Typically grown in the garden right at every doorstep, versatile as it is, the tropical herb boasts a distinct, sweet, floral-like note. Pounded and strained to yield its extract, the delicate flavor pairs well with coconut milk, glutinous rice, milk and brown sugar, creating a robust dessert with complementing flavors and tastes like a match made in heaven.

Designing Flour

Flour is one of the most versatile ingredients in the world but what exactly is it?

Seafood Marinara

This delicious combination of seafood, tomatoes, white wine and garlic is a shoe-in crowd pleaser. Serve over spaghetti or fettuccine. Take caution: For the stock, use the bones of lean fish, as opposed to fatty fish.

Bolognese Fettuccine

Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce accompaniment for pasta that originated in Bologna, Italy. This is a special chef's recipe with a twist to the original; this is done by infusing the sauce with demi-glace, thus rendering it more complex and infinitely more gourmet.

You may call it bell pepper, chili pepper, sweet pepper or “tanglung”, the capsicum that we usually find in our local supermarket comes from the Capsicum annuum plant. Shaped like a decorative ornament or lantern, capsicums are fruit vegetables that belong to the nightshade family which includes members like potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant.

Muhamad Faizal bin Ab Rasid is a chef and a lecturer. But more than that, he is a fine dining chef who cooks on international gourmet scene. As a practicing Muslim in the kitchen, Faizal has upon his shoulders the responsibility of cooking up culinary magic – Western dishes, that are Halal-compliant. This responsibility is shared by many chefs in the Malaysian industry, and  for good reason – the Halal industry is burgeoning, given Malaysia’s fast-rising status as a Halal hub on international soil. And while some chefs might balk at the challenges presented in finding Halal-compliant ingredients for their cuisine, Chef Faizal is undaunted, instead meeting the challenge head-on. His recipe for success? Innovation. The proof is in the pudding, quite literally.

The hunt for unique yet traditional Malaysian flavours presents a conundrum of sorts. While everybody yearns for flavours capable of rekindling fond childhood memories, authenticity of years gone by is becoming increasingly difficult to find. At the same time, the food industry is becoming more and more streamlined and SOPs driven. It might seem like a contradiction, but it is when the society progresses that traditional dishes become highly sought-after. To discover the flavors that represent Malaysia, there was a thought that surfaced: that one should expand one’s food trail from the northernmost town to the southernmost border of the peninsula, as to be fully inclusive. It this series, we take a closer look at the iconic foods from different states to find out the different cuisines each region has to offer. We offer here 32 must-eats from different locations spanning from North to South along the Malaysian Peninsular, which we believe will induce recollections of original flavours and at the same time inspire new taste buds. We basically chose these premises based on three main criteria: Quality, Originality and Authenticity. Whether this pursuit takes you back across town or across the country food is the perfect incentive for a Merdeka Holiday road trip.

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