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  1. I'm a freelance writer based in Kuala Lumpur - at the moment doing some research on Indian snacks. I've just recently found a shop here that does chaat from 4pm onwards. And I've also been investigating Tamil shops that serve snacks like yogurt-soaked vadai (thairu vadai) and kolakkatta. From what I've been able to glean by talking to customers, these palagaram are eaten at any time of the day, breakfast to past dinner, whereas chaat are generally afternoon-to-evening foods. Is this correct? There is lots of info on chaat on the web (and there was that piece in the NYT recently), but not much
  2. Ondine - I recently posted on buah keluak, with a link to a Singaporean recipe for ayam buah keluak at the bottom. Buah keluak My understanding is that any exported from Indonesia have already been soaked/boiled. Some folks do an extra soaking overnight, just to be sure. I would just scrub your shells and proceed accordingly. Interesting, your memories of the shells being cooked with the dish. I've never heard of that, usually the meat is scraped out and pounded to a paste and the shells discarded. Good luck!
  3. Gabriel - yes, Kasma's piece is probably one of the most informative on the web! I corresponded with her a couple wks ago about Thai palm sugars. I shouldn't have said that 'most' Thai palm sugar is from the coconut palm. It seems half-half coconut and sugar palm. What is confusing is that the term 'sugar palm' is applied to a few varieties of palm In Thailand (and Cambodia and Lao, from what I can tell), it refers to the palmyra palm, the type with the big, fan-shaped leaves. Namtann mapraow is from the coconut palm ('mapraow' = 'coconut' in Thai) and the stuff from the palmyra palm is namtaa
  4. Thanks Tim, for sharing that. I wish I had access to some maple sugar, or even true maple syrup. Have been meaning to experiment with SE Asian palm sugar in Western desserts, but no time yet. Gabriel - yes I think it's true that the best stuff is not exported. Small producers simply don't have access to an export network. Unfortunately I don't have head for business (or a stomach for attempting to do business in Indonesia, certainly), otherwise I'd be out there rounding up suppliers. I'm sure the stuff would sell well in the States, for use well beyond Asian food. Malaysia doesn't export any
  5. Hi Tim - that's really interesting. How did you get into making your own sugar? Can you briefly describe the process? After tapping, how long do you cook the sap for? Certainly different batches taste a bit different (or do they)? If there's any variation in flavor, what do you attribute it to? I have vivid memories of eating maple sugar pie everyday for 2 wks that we spent at a resort outside Montreal when I was a kid. I've never been able to find a recipe that matches the deliciousness of that pie. It had no, or minimal eggs ... was not a custard -- just rich and intensely maple-y.
  6. Palm sugar from Bali. Haven't sampled it, but looks interesting.
  7. Crabmeat empanada are a specialty of Pampanga (don't know if it's just one town or all of Pampanga). The wrapper is very light and thin, made with rice flour, and the filling includes achiote. I know this because of the orange oil that ran down my arm as I ate one.
  8. I'm late to this thread, which I came across when I googled 'palm sugar'. I'm a food writer based in Malaysia - my husband, a photographer, and I have been researching palm sugar here in the region off and on for about 6 months. We've observed the small-batch process in villages on Sumatra, on Bali, and here in Malaysia. What amazes me is how much the flavor of palm sugar can vary from batch to batch. Some of this variation is due to the palm the sap comes from (aren, sugar, and coconut palms are common), some to processing methods (cooked over wood or gas; natural ingredients might be added t
  9. Ah, a forum member after my own heart. We have a stash of gula that we've collected from Sumatra and Bali and around Malaysia (friends and associates know of our gula obsession and we now receive containers of gula from here and there as gifts ) and that's often how we eat it - piece by piece, like candy. You can still find gula melaka with the smoky taste, but it's more likely to be the gula you buy at a pasar or directly from a small producer than the stuff you can pick up in the grocery store. Malaysian gula melaka is wonderful, but you really must go to a market on Sumatra (perhaps el
  10. bvmisa, thanks for the addtl info. I am awaiting the imminent arrival of Delgado's Philippine Markets, which is sure to provide even more info. PCL - yes, we spent a good deal of time at the KK seafood market on a trip last April. Even more interesting is the market behind the fish processing facility that takes place when they unload the boats around 4-6am. Lots of activity. I hear the seafood market in Sandakan, Sabah, is even better, and bigger. We may swing through Sabah on our way to the Phil in December. The more markets the merrier!
  11. Easy enough to make tamarind juice from the blocks - break off a piece, say about 2 in X 2 in, put in a bowl, and cover with 1 cup very hot water. Use a fork to break it up and leave to soak for 1/2 hour or more. Then pour through a fine sieve, using fork or the back of a spoon to push the seeds against the sieve and extract as much pulp as possible. Keeps in the fridge for a couple of months. Use in your recipe a bit at a time and taste to adjust sourness.
  12. Ai ya! Folks, I didn't take offense. Just pointing up the diffs - perhaps it's NE Asia to SE Asia. Apologies if MY post caused offense.
  13. Some pretty in-depth coverage of the WGF at Singapore food blog (or website -- seems more a site than a blog these days) Chubby Hubby.
  14. Let's not generalize to all of Asia. Fruit may also be part of the meal rather than a finisher -- in Isaan (Thailand), somtam ponlamai, a mostly fruit-some veggy version of the green papaya salad. And green papaya salad itself. In Malaysia and Indonesia, rojak buah -- fruits, some veg like cucumber, with a sauce and peanuts sprinkled on top. And fruit sambals, which are taken with rice and curries/gulai etc. Esp known on SW coast of Sumatra but found elsewhere in Indo, and Mlaysia, as well. Avocadoes which are, after all, a fruit, as a blended drink in Indonesia (a snack, really) - with choco
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