A taste of Malaysia! - Dapur Mariae
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Malaysia I’m back!

The only downer about going to Malaysia is the actual process of getting there. My excitement is at bursting point once I’ve stepped foot on the aircraft knowing that my journey has begun, but its slowly replaced with discomfort, boredom and a need to shout ‘are we there yet?!’.  Admittedly the first few hours passes quite quickly with the aid of in flight movies, food, and alcohol. However once you’ve almost exhausted all of the latest films, drank your body weight in gin and realised that there’s still another 100 million hours to destination the fun factor soon disappears (and don’t even get me started on attempting to sleep in an upright position!

A Very Malaysian Christmas!

Since moving to UK, celebrating Christmas with my family in Malaysia have been few and far between. In fact the last time was about 8 years ago, so you can imagine my elation at being able to spend this year with them. I’ve been blessed though with my little family here and have many happy memories of Our Yuletide celebrations. 

My favourite was always Christmas Eve when my son Ethan and daughter Sasha were little and seeing their immense excitement at leaving a mince pie, carrot and Baileys for Santa.

Trials and tribulations of starting a business!

Running a business is no mean feat fraught with trials and tribulations. For the larger entrepreneur it’s safe to assume that they’ve probably experienced a host of challenges in the infancy stage. Hence lessons will be learnt and god forbid, never be repeated. We’re at place which can only be described as floating in the midst of a learning curve whereby we’re not novices, but neither are we experts. There’s still so much to learn but we’ve also acquired knowledge along the way which has proved invaluable.

Recipe of the month: Masak Lemak!

Udang Masak Lemak Chili Api
(Spicy Malaysian prawn coconut curry)

This is quite a popular Malaysian curry and incredibly versatile as it can be made with beef, fish, king prawns, chicken, tofu, or even a medley of vegetables. ‘Chili api’ refers to the small birds eye chilies which packs a real kick so for the faint hearted perhaps it would be sensible to omit it and add the larger chili which is less fiery, or skip it altogether if you prefer a completely mild version. Don’t fret if you decide on the latter as it won’t compromise the taste in any way.

Top 10 Malaysian cooking ingredients!

Growing up I always loved cooking with my family and have many happy memories of time in the kitchen with my mum. I’ve cried over the loss of my first love whilst crimping curry puffs, exchanged juicy stories as we peeled onions, and stirred pots of curry as we put the world to right. The kitchen was a not just a room dedicated to the creation and enjoyment of food, but very much a haven to share and dissect life’s ups and downs.
Over the years and observing my mum work her magic in the kitchen, it was evident that there were some key ingredients which are essential for anyone building a Malaysian store cupboard or those dipping their toes in malaysian cooking.

The miracle of motherhood!

As my daughter Sasha turns 23 this month it’s only befitting that this post celebrates the joys of being a mum. I rarely admit this to anyone for fear of being shunned from the ‘mummy club’, but the truth is I never harboured an overwhelming desire to be a mother. Children were definitely a part of our plans when we got married but family planning was never a focal point. 

 As a nurse I was constantly surrounded by women and the conversation often centred around the topic of babies. Not just having babies, but number of babies, month that would be ideal for them to be born, and precise gaps between having said babies!

Two suitcases and a bag of cuddly toys!

It just dawned on me that although you’re all familiar with my love for cooking and all the shenanigans that happen in my kitchen, you don’t really know who I am or indeed my background. So I’m going to do a series of extracts of my life in order for you to get to know me and how Dapur Mariae came to be. Hope you enjoy it.  

Part 1: Two suitcases and a bag of cuddly toys! 

This is literally how my life in UK began way back in 1989 when I left Malaysia to pursue a career in nursing. In Malaysia after sixth form, I was full of disappointment at not getting into the Law Faculty, and I was at a loss at where my career or indeed my life was heading.

Dapur Mariae's Mini Customers!

Bidding the summer farewell with Dapur Mariae’s mini customers!

Last Saturday’s BBQ was a fun gathering of mums, dads and their kids. These lovelies have been coming since they were knee high to a grasshopper (some still are), and although I’m always happy to see them, it’s a reminder that as they’re getting taller, I’m getting older. Nevertheless it’s always such a joy to have them in my home and watch them relish my cooking. 

Whilst the majority of our customers are adults, I have had the pleasure of tiny people gracing our table many a time.

My Fantastic Yorkshire Family!

I thought I’d give you all some insight into my Yorkshire family, who have always supported me and Gerrard!

I often thank god that I have an amazing family back home in Malaysia and my lovely in laws in Yorkshire. So I was counting the days till our visit up there, not just for a well deserved break to sniff some fresh Yorkshire air, but to attend the wedding of Gerrard’s nephew Timothy. We checked into a Best Western Hotel in Driffield and it was like stepping back in time. The floral carpet, rich luxurious curtains, ornate mirrors, and antique trinkets reinforced that ‘oldy worldly’ feeling.

Working with a spouse... terrific or terrible?

Dapur Mariae revolves around family ideals and we take pride in the fact that our customers become part of our family. However, I’m fairly certain most people would be of the opinion that working with your spouse or partner is a recipe for total disaster. Probably right up there with the saying ‘don’t work with kids or animals’! The honest truth is that it can be very challenging spending 24 hours a day together, whether it be in or out of the kitchen. Safe to say the latter could even be potentially dangerous when pressure is mounting, opinions are divided and extremely sharp Sabatier knives are close at hand!
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