Friday, April 17, 2009

Fragolino – Dessert Wine

My story on the Fragola grapes continues here with the tasting of the Fragolino wine. I managed to purchased a few bottles of the Fragolino in a local bottle shop (liquor store).
The sweet red wine is made by Michelini winery, which is located in the cool Alpine region at Mytreford, about 300 km from Melbourne. I do not know a great deal about their wines except that they may be the only one in Australia who make wine with Fragola grapes.

As part of the blog, I plan to put down some tasting notes. However, I have almost finished a bottle of Fragolino and still could not work out the tasting note. I have to sought some help from my son, Aaron.
This is his comment:
“My first impression is the strong flavour of strawberry jam. It has some acidity. Slightly bitter finish. Overall a light sweet red wine without much complexity”
We had the wine as dessert with some soft cheese from Locheilan Farmhouse Cheese which we bought when we visited the Goulburn Valley during Easter holidays.

Garden Grocer

Along the stretch of road towards the countryside from where we live, there are a few ‘garden grocers’ who sell home grown fruits and vegetables.

Their produce are grown using traditional farming method, more towards organic farming. They grew them for their own consumption and any surplus are sold to supplement their income. One of our favourite grocer is Vida Jaglica (photo above), she is originally from the Serbia, a former state of Yugoslavia.
I often picked up the produce here when they are available during the warmer season (Dec to May).
Typical items are tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, shallots, garlic, potatoes, etc., cooking.

The produce we get here is very much different from those that you picked up in the local supermarket. They are ripen on the ‘tree’ and therefore more flavoursome. This is especially true with the tomatoes. Quite often that produce will have to go through a complex distribution chain before it reach the consumer. The timing when fruits and vegetables are harvested took into consideration of the time to reach the supermarket shelf, this is done at the expense of picking the fruit before it is ripe. Semi-ripe produce will also have a longer shelf life. However, you will find that they do not have as much flavour.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Roti Jala - Malaysian

The food in Malaysia has so much influence from the South Indian, that in many instances we cannot clearly tell if a particular dish originated from Malaysia or has it been brought from South India. I do suspect that this dish may have been brought in. I remember coming across similar dish in the BBC's 'Feast of India' documentary. 

South Indians from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu have migrated to Malaysia in droves during the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. The first wave came to take up position as clerks and supervisors in the administration and construction of public infrastructure like the railways, postal services, power generation and supply, etc., Then at the turn of the century, more came as labourers to work on the rubber estates to meet the demand for the rubber commodity. They brought with them the South Indian food culture that is so prevalent in Malaysia. To name a few, the Roti Canai (Prata), Doosai, and Teh Tarik (aerated Tea) etc., 

The Roti Jala is a lacy pancakes that is best served with dishes with lots of rich gravy. We usually served it with chicken curry (as in the photo). To make the pancake you need a special funnel with four or five spouts. You can improvise by using a sauce dispenser with a spout if you cannot get hold of this funnel.

2 cups (300 g) flour

2 cups (500 ml) fresh milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoon butter

  1. Sift the flour into a reasonably big bowl. Beat the milk and egg together, and mix with the flour, salt and turmeric powder to form a smooth batter. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. The add the oil, stir and set side.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan and brush the surface with the butter. Pour a ladleful of the batter into a special funnel and make a quick circular movements over the pan to form a lacy pattern.
  3. Cook the pancake until it sets, about 1 to 2 minutes, and set aside. Repeat until all the batter is used up.