2012 will prove to be the most challenging year for me – balancing family life, The Little Girl (exams this year for her!) and a heavy load at work. With more stress, I usually cook less but now, I think with more stress, I will endeavour to cook more. To relieve stress, you know. I think with more organisation on my part and more discipline (to finish marking before the weekend!) I can manage a new dish a week. So let’s start from this week!

I cooked potato and ikan bilis sambal. This is not a usual dish in my family. In fact, I don’t ever remember my mother cooking this while I was growing up but I do remember eating this simple dish at the school canteen – yep, all the institutions I went to served this at one point or other. It’s so simple to make. You start by tumising (frying a paste in oil over a medium fire) the sambal paste (dried chillies, onions, garlic and belacan) and then add a bit of tamarind juice, some sugar and lastly the fried potatoes and fried ikan bilis. Serve with hot rice. Simple and delicious. In many Malay stalls, they only use fried potatoes, or just ikan bilis and fried groundnuts. I like this dish, but I doubt I’ll make it again, given my new resolve to try cook something new each week this year. ;p

My homemade lunch of ayam chilli padi, stir-fried french beans and the sambal potato. A typical Malay meal. Well, in my family at least.