I was lost like a desert area with my mom. I told her that I want to change, and I want to don hijab. I would like to learn more about my religion. But then something happened.
I couldn’t find dad and my brother. In fact, there were only little kids and women (mothers and old women), running around – some were asking for help and young girls were trying to find men, in whatsoever ways to earn some cash.
I saw an Imam and approached him. Asked him, where did all the men go? I was in disbelief when he told me most men have gone to war. Again, I asked “What war?“
“The end is here.” I stood in silent. I told Imam I’d like to seek forgiveness, I want to repent.
Felt like we were back in neolithic era. No smartphones, no tv. Not even a bloody car. I didn’t know how to contact my dad.I stopped a lady from running and asked why is it almost all young girls are doing prostitution, gambling & etc?
“What is there to lose? Everyone is going to hell anyway. Might as well sin.”
And I heard sangkakala…
I woke up with tears, rolling on my cheeks. I looked around my bed, finding my phone.
Every single day I sujud and pray to Allah, asking for forgiveness and each time I pray, I ask for a sign, a hidayah for me to open up and hijrah to be a better muslimah.
My heart felt a little bit heavy at first. I mean, what if I couldn’t find any acting job anymore because I’ve donned hijab? What if my then boyfriend decided to leave me? What will society think about me?
Few weeks before my engagement, on our way out to find rings, I told him about my dream. I asked for his opinion bout me donning hijab. “If you’re not ready, then don’t force yourself. But, learn. Slowly. And you’ll adapt to it.”
I wasn’t quite sure either if it was a good idea to just don on my engagement day. True what my friends say “do it slowly.“
Though there are times I feel like giving up, today marks one month of me donning hijab. I mean, up till now I question myself about the dream, “Is that the sign from God? Or is it just another bad dream?”
But that dream changed my life. Change the way I pray, the way I see rizq and everything. That dream somehow has shifted me to be a better person. InsyaAllah, I am learning to be a better muslimah too. Not to mention, my heart is at ease, to know Allah hears my prayers, hears me, even in sleep.
And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. [An Nur: 24-31]
Two years ago, someone decided to make me his girlfriend, without even asking “Do you want to be my girlfriend?“. I guess he is too old for that.
And today, we are engaged. Who knew, this day would come.
I asked for no event, no gifts. We are still in pandemic, so better be safe than sorry. Also… I have too many bags now 😛
Alhamdulillah, (rezeki) my colleague and his wife sent a box of lompat tikam, one of my favorite Malay desserts and future mother-in-law gave marble cake and grazing platter.
I am all over the moon. No words could describe how happy I am right now. Allah somehow has answered my prayer when I was at Jabal Rahmah (Mount of Mercy) 3 years ago. Allah Maha Besar, Maha Mengetahui.
I will strive to be a better Muslimah, less cengeng (cry baby) and help my family in whatever I can at the moment.
And… I am a barista now! Part-time je lah. Cari duit kahwin katakan.
Hello assalamualaikum everyone! I am not sure what’ve got into me recently. Probably I am out of ideas on what to cook or bake since we all are going through a bloody circuit breaker. And Ramadan is ending soon (so sad but we will meet again next year, insyaAllah).
I made lazy doughnuts today.
Why do I call these mini doughnuts lazy doughnuts? Cause I only use three ingredients! And I’m not using any yeast so I don’t have to wait for hours, waiting for the dough to rise *inserts laughing emoji*.
INGREDIENTS 1 cup of raising flour 1 cup of plain yoghurt (not 1 cup full, like 80% of it) (alternately, you can use soy yoghurt) 1tbsp of baking powder (can use baking soda too)
METHODS 1. Mix all ingredients into one bowl. Mix gradually by using a spatula. Your dough will be quite sticky so if you’re not comfortable with it, don’t use hands. 2. Replace dough into a piping pipe. Give a small cut on the edge. 3. Add in some oil in the saute pan, medium heat. Once the oil is hot, squeeze the dough in the piping pipe and cut it into small pieces or circle. 4. Once the doughnuts have changed color to golden brown (below), toss out and let it cool for an hour before you pour your glaze.
Now… for the sugar glaze, I only use 5tbsp of cane sugar and 4tbsp of water.
On a skillet, put both ingredients and simmer slowly with low heat. This will take time. At first the sugar + water will look kinda watery but as you continue simmering, it will become thicker and the sugar will start to boil too. At this point, turn off the heat, toss in your doughnuts and coat the doughnuts until the sugar has dry. Like this (below photo).
You can also coat your doughnuts with melted chocolate or buttered color rice too. I had mine with sugar glaze and kaya jam.
Simple and easy right? Hope you enjoy and try it out at home with your kids!
Initially I wanted to bake cornflakes cookies but I couldn’t find any flour around my area. Even online grocery sites are out of stock too. I ended up making spicy crunchy cornflakes or in Malay, we call it kudapan cornflakes. Some might call it cornflakes bercili (cili is chili).
I don’t really measure my ingredients when I cook. I agak-agak (estimate).
INGREDIENTS 1 box of cornflakes (i used medium size, 250g) curry leaves (the more the better) 6-7tsp curry powder (you can use either chicken or fish curry powder. i use baba’s chicken curry powder) 1tbsp of sugar 1/2 tsp of salt roasted peanut (optional) sliced garlics (optional) 6-8 dried chilies (cut slanting) olive oil (or any type of oil)
METHODS 1. Put 2tbsp of oil into your hot wok and fry your cornflakes batch by batch (this step is to make sure your cornflakes be extra crunchy & crispy). Fry for about a minute for each batch and put aside. 2. Fry the sliced garlics, dried chilies and curry leaves together, medium heat. Once fried, put aside. 3. Sangai (a method of cooking whereby spices are fried without using oil) curry powder, sugar and salt at the same time in a very low heat. Once the color changes, add in cornflakes, curry leaves, dried chilies and sliced garlic. 4. Turn off the stove, and let it cool at a bowl.
This is my spicy crunchy cornflakes, approved by my aunt, sister-in-law and dad. Hope you guys try it at home!
Assalamualaikum everyone! As you know today is Mother’s Day and of course as a child, you would want to shower your mom with unconditional love and gift her a bouquet of flowers, or chocolates or perhaps a Pandora bangle & etc. And since we are under quarantine aka circuit breaker, all confectionery stores are closed until further notice.
Even Starbucks and Coffee Bean are not selling cakes at the moment. I thought of getting a bag for mom (i always shop at shopbop.com) but I don’t wanna go through the risk of waiting and then my moods go off (pandemic moment, so oversea shipping might be delayed).
So I baked her a cake – apple cinnamon cake.
Now here’s the thing – my initial plan was to bake orange cake but I couldn’t get all ingredients at two different supermarkets. Baking needs and ware are out of stock (literally everywhere around my area). And since I have leftover stocks of wheat flour, why not improvise a little bit. I used whatever ingredients I have at home.
INGREDIENTS 250g (2 3/4 cups) wheat flour – sieved/sifted 1 cup of castor sugar 3/4 cup of unsalted butter (softened) 2 large eggs (3 eggs if you use small eggs) a pinch of salt 1 tsp of ground cinnamon 1tsp of vanilla extract 2 tsp of baking powder 1 cup of plain yoghurt (i used organic yoghurt) 3 cherry apples
METHODS 1. Peel one apple and chop into small pieces (not too small, in cube). The remaining two apples, cut them into thin slices (throw the core away & do not peel the skin). To prevent your apple from turning brow, dip into lemon juice or soak in salt water. 2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Then, add egg one by one and vanilla extract. Continue beating. 3. Add in flour, salt, baking powder and ground cinnamon. Stir well. 4. Slowly add in chopped apple and yoghurt. Give them a good stir. 5. Preheat oven for 10 minutes, 170 degree celsius. 6. Place baking sheet on your tray (i used 7″ square tray) and grease it with a little bit of olive oil. 7. Pour the mixture in the tray and be sure the top is level. Then, arrange the slices apple on top and sprinkle the remaining ground cinnamon and castor sugar (mix them well) on top of the apple slices. 8. Bake for 50 minutes or least 45 minutes. Use a skewer to check if the cake is already bake. If it’s cleaned, you may take your cake out. 9. Let the cake cool down before cutting or transfer it on your cake rack.
I recently made youtiao (we call it cakoi in Malay) and I swear… the hardest part (for me) is waiting for the yeast to expand. You have to get the accurate lukewarm water. No more, no less. Or else you will kill the yeast.
I had to redo four times in order to get it right.
Almost there! Anyway, here’s the recipe to make simple and easy youtiao.
INGREDIENTS 2 cups of wheat flour 1tsp of yeast 1 1/2 tbsp of olive/canola oil 2 tbsp of sugar (i use cane sugar) 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 of lukewarm water
METHODS 1. In a bowl, add in lukewarm water together with sugar and yeast. Mix well and let it rest for 20 minutes, in room temperature. (i covered the bowl with cling wrap, easy & faster) 2. In another bowl, add in flour, salt and oil. Once the yeast has expanded (like above photo), add it in. Mix well till it becomes a dough. It’s okay if it’s a little bit sticky. 3. Let it rest for 60 minutes in a room temperature. 4. On a board, gently sprinkle some flour and roll the dough. Flatten it with a roller till you get an oblong shape. 5. Cut the dough to small pieces. Dip a wood skewer into water and mark a straight line in between 2 youtiao pieces and then glue them together. They will look like the picture below. 6. Next, heat up your wok with oil in medium heat. 7. Pull the youtiao a little longer from its original shape to let the air out. Fry till golden brown.
Your youtiao will look like these. Best eat with hot soya or hot coffee or melted kaya spread. Enjoy!
Circuit breaker has turned me into a diligent person lately.
And so I made ondeh-ondeh keledek (sweet potato). My first attempt by the way. I wanted to make two flavors – keledek and pandan but you know lah some Singaporeans unleashed their kiasi and kiasu attitude – they hoard almost everything they could.
I managed to get a pack of sweet potatoes (last few) and yesterday, with no skills, nothing, I ventured in making one. These are the things I used for my ondeh-ondeh:
Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes (peel off skin) 150g glutinous rice flour 1 tbsp wheat starch 120ml water 6pcs mini gula melaka (palm sugar) 200g desiccated coconut (you can use kelapa parut too) a pinch of salt
Methods: 1. Peel the (sweet potatoes/keledek) skins off before boiling. Boil them till they are lembik (soft) 2. Steam the desiccated coconut for about 15-20min 3. While waiting for keledek and desiccated to settle down, cut gula melaka into small pieces or smash them 4. Squash/smash the keledek and mix well with the glutinous rice flour & wheat starch till it becomes a dough 5. Take a small amount of the dough and make a ball out of it. Press with your thumb into the ball till it becomes a little flatten and put in 1/2 teaspoon of gula melaka in it. Then, re-ball it again. 6. Boil them into a hot pot. Once float, cool them off before coating them with smooth desiccated coconut.
There! That’s my ondeh-ondeh keledek. Easy to prep and cook/make. Attached below is a video I made for fun so that everyone in my reading list can enjoy watching… even though I am still quite amateur in video editing.
One random night, I sent an e-mail to Lepak Live, asking if they are still looking for a stagehand. Promptly, they replied and in December, I attended my very first meeting with them and others.
This was my second time to work in a theatre production. The last time I did when I was probably 18 or 19 years old.
Who doesn’t know Bonda Bedah and Mak Temah? The comedy duo Hafidz Rahman and Zuhairi Idris.
Rehearsals started in the mid of December but stagehands came in only in January. So we had 1 month to rehearse and brainstorm on how to carry this and that on stage and such. (also, i got to make new friends) On our last rehearsal at C42, I suddenly had an emotional breakdown in the toilet and on the bike. It happened so quick, I even tried to avoid everyone.
Kudos to Hafidz and Zuhairi. They deserved all the credits, applause and everything. The hard work they have put in for their 3 nights show just for their fans – is superb.
I was there throughout their 12 sketches rehearsals. I witnessed everybody’s stress, I even had mine too.
There were 11 sketches altogether and my favorite? Definitely Siti No Hal scene. Why? Because all departments contributed on that scene and good job to the wardrobe team for making the outfit happening!
I had a talk with one of the wardrobe crews and he told me he improvised so many things in that outfit. First take – it took about 7 minutes for Zuhairi to wear the whole set. Then it went down to 5, went up again to 7 and on bump-in – less than 3 minutes, or lesser than that. (team effort!)
On our last rehearsal at C42, I woke up with unstable emotions and scrambled thoughts in my head. Headed to office to grab couple of newspapers and then, I started to cry while setting up things in the rehearsal room.
My second favorite sketch – Funeral. One thing for sure throughout the whole 3 shows, I clearly remember the corpse (one of the dancers) was giggling underneath the kain batik and Zuhairi went off “Mayat ni kesejukan ke?” and he looked underneath that kain everybody started to laugh. It was so spontaneous and I did not expect that to happen.
There was this one particular day, I sat down with Zuhairi and another stagehand, Saffy and I asked “Why Tampines Hub?”
“Esplanade has around 1500 seats and we’re afraid we won’t be able to sell all the tickets out…” and the conversation goes on. I told him (not sure if Hafidz was around, i was facing the other side) “Zu, this theatre has 400 seats, right? And you are doing three shows and you have sold 1200 seats, am i right? You guys are well established – people know Bonda Bedah Mak Temah and you have so many fans out there not only in Singapore! You have fans in Malaysia, in Indonesia! These people are dying to see both of you perfoming live. Do not be worried about if tickets dapat jual ke tidak. I can assure tak sampai satu hari all tickets sold out cepat. Look! Kita buka at 9 am around noon je tinggal sikit, right?”
I have faith in these two guys. Ni bukan bodek. Everything that is written on my blog is all real. Not paid review and such.
These guys can go way much more farther, but I hope they don’t join Maharaja Lawak. I believe in their talents and original contents.
I am definitely gonna miss this moment. Every sweat, every tear, every argument, every stress and every journey I went through with this team is definitely worth it. Knowledge is unstoppable and this project has given me so many experiences in just three months.
InsyaAllah we will able to work together again in the future. I love each one of you!
Still feeling jet lag. The longest journey I have ever had, sitting in a plane was my umrah trip – 10 hours. Singapore to Chengdu is roughly about 4 hours 15 minutes.
So my brother got married last year on May 31st 2019 (solemnization) and he and his partner had their wedding ceremony back in Sichuan. My family and I traveled all the way from Singapore to Chengdu to witness this special event.
Now beforehand, I would like to emphasize on one important thing – most of the places are planned by both my brother and his wife, so there are a few makan places I don’t get to jot down the address and location.
Flew off on 30th December and reached there about 8.30 at night. Unlucky us, one of the cars had some troubleshooting so we ended up taking Grab to reach to our hotel. (we stayed at Ji Hotel nearby Yopindo Plaza).
First stop! We had like a so called barbecue for dinner. In Singapore we call it lok lok. I didn’t know what to grab so I took mushrooms, long beans, tofu, chicken joint and more mushrooms. We had spicy naan too, which was delicious. Anything that has sesame is delicious (to me).
We did not stay up long as we had a long road trip to ride the next morning. By the way, I woke at 7ish and the sun is yet to rise.
We had our breakfast along Yopindo Plaza, and it’s a halal restaurant that serves not only beef la mian, but also beef pie, dumpling and other local traditional food.
The amount of noodle is so generous that you could actually share with another person (or probably it’s just me. i don’t really eat that much).
We walked around Yopindo Plaza for some coffee/tea before starting our road trip back to my sister’s kampung. The journey was around 4-5 hours. I binged Netflix most of the time while we were in the car and kept falling asleep.
Anyway, we reached Huangjia Town (i think that’s the spelling) around late evening. That’s when I got to meet my sister-in-law’s family, including her mom. Oh! Forgot to mention that my sister’s dad & didi (little brother) along his girlfriend fetched us at the airport.
My sister’s family is so welcoming and happy upon seeing us. My parents and I stayed in a hotel where the wedding took place. That night, we had our dinner at a local restaurant and also, it’s halal.
The owner, I assumed is an old lady, was shocked to see us (my family) as she has never had any customer from other places to dine in. Told her we are from Singapore and my mom’s a Muslim. She said, “I am a Muslim too but I don’t wear scarf (hijab) like her (pointing to mama).”
Apparently she was a bit skeptical to serve us probably the way we dress. We told her it’s okay, we know you serve halal food and we know you are Muslim. Then, our food arrived. We had beef soup. A big ass beef soup.
Right after dinner, we went to sister’s house to chill and kill some time before getting to bed early. I had to sleep early because I was a bit cranky (suddenly, probably missing my boyfriend)
1st January 2020 – the day where everyone gathered around for a special occasion. The day my brother and sister got married and yes, albeit we both come from a different family, different country; if love says “I do”, then there is no way one could avoid it, right? And I wish I owned a DSLR so that I can snap beautiful memories for everyone. Too bad, I only have an iPhone.
Right after my brother’s wedding, my family and I along with two of my brother’s friends headed back to the halal restaurant to grab our lunch. We ordered Chinese food that consists of fried stir fry beef with potato. bean sprout, fried potato, corn rice and I think we ordered egg soup.
I like their stir fry beef with potato. Tastes very yummy. The owner of the restaurant was so happy to see us again and before we left, she asked “Can I take photo with all of you?”
This is the name of the restaurant and along the stretch, the is the only halal restaurant you can ever find in Huangjia Town. I will definitely miss their stir fry beef & potato and of course, their hospitality!
Up next, the next day we headed back to town and this time we stayed at Qingyang District. Ji Hotel is everywhere (that’s pretty much convenient) and our hotel is 15 minutes away from R&F Plaza. And upon reaching, we quickly unpacked our luggages and headed out to grab dinner.
This is another halal restaurant my sister & brother brought us to. I believe it’s called “Huangcheng Old Beef Meat” something like that. This place is located nearby Holiday Inn Express (there are two Holiday Inn Express, if you see in map, just find the one near Family Mart). And since I captured this photo by using iPhone, it says this place is at Taisheng Rd.
Our dinner. Dad was literally laughing at me because I stopped eating beef right after they serve the fish. This is my another favorite place to makan (because they have fish!) and I am so gonna learn how to make this at home one day! We had sea bass with oyster gravy, stir fry beef, garlic beef, two plates of vege and beef satay.
It was Friday and we walked around Wenshu Monastery, another tourist attraction that’s well known for sightseeing and souvenirs. This place somehow reminds me of Yanxi Palace tv series.
As we were minding our own business walking around Wenshu, an old couple passed by us and suddenly said “She’s Malay”, pointing directly to my mom. My sister and I were laughed. Okay lah at least my mom got that superstar feeling lah kan.
Next stop – Tianfu Square! I didn’t get the chance to snap their MRT station because I was hangry (hungry + angry). And here’s mama & daddy, fooling around at Tianfu Square. They were imitating Mao Zedong statue behind them.
Also, this is where Huangcheng Mosque is located at (behind Tianfu Square). We’re lucky we went there on Friday – get to taste some of their local street food! I bought 3 beef pau for myself (I don’t take lamb/mutton).
Basically I am my parents’ translator. I had to be with them wherever they went because I can communicate in Mandarin and understand their dialect. We split into two groups most of the time, hence I am always with my parents.
I was still hungry. So I told dad I’m gonna grab something at the convenient store. That’s where I found toppoki and lobster king. I SWEAR I AM IN LOVE WITH THAT TOPOKKI!
They have 3 different flavors for toppoki – original, cheese and kimchi. I bought the original one and shared it with my dad and he even loves it! And for lobster king, it comes in two different sizes. Of course being me, I took the large one since dad is the one that paying for everything.
That night, my sister told us to sleep early as she has bought tickets for us to go to Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding. And Chengdu is of course famous for pandas!
Woke up as early at 5 in the morning, showered & get ready and breakfast, again we split into two groups. I was with my parents the whole time and that Grab driver used the wrong highway to drop us. Upon reaching, we had to walk about 1km to reach the entry point.
Up close of me and little clumsy panda! I wish I could smuggle you home oh you cute little boy!
We didn’t get the chance to see red pandas but I got to witness a sulky panda busy eating bamboos.
Up next! I think everyone was tired and hungry, we went to Niu BuBi (around 30 minutes away from Panda place) for lunch. This restaurant is famous for their hotspot and of course, their meat since niu means cow.
It’s halal by the way. And I fell in love with their interior design.
Mom and I don’t take spicy food. I mean we do, but we have our own spicy level. But me, I can no longer take extra spicy food anymore due to the food poisoning I had 2 years ago.
Anyway, this is just half of our hotpot stuffs. There are two types of soup – spicy & mushroom. You see that tiny little hold in the middle, fill with mushrooms? That’s the non-spicy soup. They have a special tiny area at the back where you can make your own dip sauce.
Anyway, I am a seafood lover but probably because I was too tired from waking up so early, I only had a few slices of fish and eggs.
My sister ordered a plate of dessert for us. It is called hong tang ci ba, or known as sticky rice cake with black sugar. If you still have no idea what it is, just imagine kuih keria with peanut powder on top plus gula melaka.
This is my new favorite snack in town! I had two plates of this. You gotta eat it while it’s hot. Like how I wish I could tapao this back but we still have somewhere to go.
My sister told me every hotpot place sells hong tang ci ba. It is like a must to have it everywhere you makan hotpot.
We then headed to Kuanxiangzi Alley. This is our final last spot and place to buy souvenirs. We did our shopping mostly here. If you know how to communicate, you will get discount – which I did get discount of course la kan!
I bought key chains, fans, bookmarks and a few other things. Actually – can’t recall that much.
And this place is famous for their Starbucks infrastructure too. We didn’t get the chance to go there because it’s super crowded, so we ops for Ding’s Coffee.
Me being me, I am lactose intolerant – I didn’t get to drink coffee for like 4 days (i think). I was pretty much excited to find out Ding’s Coffee has an alternate milk for people like me – oat milk! YES! They have oat milk! And because I was excited that I finally got to drink coffee, I treated everyone for one!
I had a cone of ice-cream too. Too cute, had to buy.
Our final day in Chengdu, my sister’s parents and didi and his girlfriend came and joined us jalan-jalan at Taikoo Li. Basically Taikoo Li is like Pavilion KL/Marina Bay Sands except their infrastructure designs are more to Qing Dynasty buildings.
We can only afford to jalan-jalan and cuci mata at Taikoo Li. I saw Zara and Gucci but dad was around, so I couldn’t do any shopping. Can only say hi from the window. But I did buy something for meimei and my sister’s mom. They have been so nice to us so the least I can do is buy them something.
Anyway, the reason why I was wearing that reindeer scarf because while visiting Panda place, I had a sudden nosebleed. I have never had one. Due to the cold weather and low humidity, I tend to get headache, dry skin and nosebleed. I cried in front of everyone (again, never had nosebleed before)
We had our lunch at Spize Bazaar, located at Taikoo Li. It offers Uighur and some sort like Samarkand food. And me being me, they serve us in a big portion albeit for one person serving.
Sad to say, I wish I could stay there a bit longer. But I gotta get back to reality.
You see, my first day in Chengdu has somehow opened up my eyes. We always see them being a bit loud and uncivilized in Singapore, right? The way these people treat others and such.
So… China is big. Like super huge. So maybe the people we see or meet in Singapore are not from the same province. They could be from province A or B or C but all I can say, people in Chengdu is different. They are full with smiles, manners and pride.
The housekeeper in our hotel is super friendly and nice too! She even thought I was from Xinjang just because she has never seen people like me or my mom. She even praised me for being able to speak her language quite well.
And now I miss the food there, especially hong tang ci ba.
Anywhere, do not be afraid to approach for help. Their police and passerby are super friendly.
*** a little guideline: don’t be shocked/surprised if you enter their halal restaurant. normal for them to have beer in their store as they not only cater for muslim customers, but also other religion & races. and their food is 100% halal, so don’t worry!