Fancy a traditional dish that you have not had for a while?
When we move overseas, there are times you just crave for home cooked meals – the meals that you grew up with, the food that your family used to enjoy, the hawkers food that you and your friends grew up with.
These are the comfort foods that reconnect to who we are, about your culture, your tradition and also the good times that you had when growing up.
I remember when I first came to Australia, I missed the spices, the savoury dishes that I was brought up with… and my friends and I would visit every Malaysian shop/take-away that we could find to savour the delight of our taste buds and to reconnect to our roots.
However, cooking traditional dishes can sometimes be challenging and these could be the reasons why:
- It requires time to prepare, which you may not have or are too tired to do so.
- You are unable to find the ingredients that you need to make a certain dish.
- You may not have the spice or ingredients handy in your home when making the dish.
- You don’t know how to make the dish.
- Your children are unable to tolerate the strong aroma of the spices you intend to use.
- Your spouse may not like the dishes that you like, so it is easier to cook something that everyone would eat etc.
Well I have a solution for you… You don’t have to cook everything from scratch!
Use ready made sauces!
You see, I love my food, especially the food that grew up with and I tried my very best to cook at least 5 days a week. And most times I do not have to prepare the ingredients from scratch.
So for example, I love curry dishes and so does my family. However, I am not that great with making curry sauces and it takes a while to prepare them. So in order to enjoy the curry dish, to cook it in the minimal time that I have in the kitchen and for the dish to taste great, I rely on readymade curry sauces that you can purchase from the local grocery store, for example curry chicken.
You can still add your own vegetables and all the raw ingredients to the dish. However, do read through the ingredients. Make sure there are not too much harmful ingredients that are added: I.e. preservatives, MSG etc.
Catering from friends or reliable sources
Alternatively, you can order authentic dishes from someone.
I used to know a lady who lived close by to my children’s school; she made amazing dishes that suited out palate. I found out she enjoyed cooking and was rather health conscious, thus she used fresh and healthy ingredients when cooking. And on top of that, she was particular about hygiene in the kitchen. Thus I started ordering/catering from this lady a few days a week for a few months.
By ordering from this lady on the days that I worked, it gave me the opportunity to enjoy delicious and healthy home cooked dishes, plus added variety to our palate.
So do not worry about being unable to enjoy the traditional dishes that you used to enjoy. There are so many ways you can go about it with the modern gadgets in the market right now, such as electric steamers, blenders, a slow cooker, thermomix, etc., which are time savers for the modern family, plus thousands of traditional recipes are on the web.
Don’t hesitate to use what is being offered in the market, whether it be modern gadgets or readymade ingredients. As long as they taste good and are healthy!