Its been absolutely ages since we had uploaded a YouTube video so please do bear with us as we get back to Video Editing basics! For now, we have uploaded Short Clips of Guangzhou, China
Posts Tagged With: food
So we have finally arrived to Tashkent, Uzbekistan (well done to those that guessed correctly from the previous post!)
We stayed at a quiet backstreet hostel called Topchan Hostel.
We spent our first day touring round the old Tashkent and visited old Islamic monuments. For lunch, we went to a restaurant that specialised in old Uyghur noodles which was delicious!
Mixed with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and other veg with soft tender meat in a tomato broth, with the famous noodles hiding underneath – which were completely handmade!
This was just opposite the mosque and museum that has the old Quran of Usmaan, approx 3-4minute walk away.
After a long walk, the jetlagged feeling came back (as well as some travellers blisters) we decided to get a take away and headed back to the hostel.
We got a dish called Dolma, an authentic dish of rice and minced meat wrapped in vine leaves – a meal I was familiar with by my Turkish heritage.
Thoughts of Tashkent – when we first arrived I had thought it would be like Kuala Lumpur where I didn’t enjoy the city- but it had a relaxing atmosphere amongst the busy traffic, only struggle is not a lot of people know English! But with the friendly Uzbek people, sign language and a few words here and there, does the job!
We are now off to our next Backpacking Destination! Can anyone guess where?
Hint: National food dish is PLOV!
After our short stopover in Guangzhou, China. We had finally landed in Kuala Lumpur – we caught the 10RM coach (which is £2!) into the city where we arrived at our hostel near China town.
China town at night isn’t the most loveliest of sites to see but at that time, we just wanted to get to our room.
We came up to our hostel and finally arrived at our prebooked room (we only prebook the first couple of nights and then from there its all free flow travel). The room was clean, no window, had air con and the shared bathrooms were very clean. The receptionist was also lovely and as we settled into our room, we resorted to pringles for dinner!
(Cannot remember the hostel name – sorry!…but it did begin with a letter ‘M’).
After a good night’s sleep we used the new day to explore the local area as we knew the next day would be off up north!
This dish was delicious!! Something I would have to try and recreate.
Local artwork at the Islamic art museum in Kuala Lumpur which I would highly recommend!
A lot of people love Kuala Lumpur but we didn’t find it that attracting and couldn’t wait to explore the outer regions of Malaysia!
The next morning we had planned to take the 10am coach from Putra Jaya to Kota Bharu but after arriving there at 9:30am, we were then told that we were TOO EARLY!! The coach is actually at 10pm – with nothing planned and the sun becoming more hot nearing midday – we frantically walked from different coach ticket stations in the heat until we were offered the 10am coach to Kuala Terranganu which we had never researched before but knew it was near Kuala Besut (which was our original plan as we had booked a place for scuba diving on the Perethian Islands). So for 45RM each one way, we took the 9 hour coach to Kuala Terraganu with only 5minutes to make it to the coach from the ticket booth!
But thank God we had made it and have to stay, I loved that 9 hour coach journey and ever since that journey – I wouldn’t mind taking another coach for that long either as it was just beautiful and scenic.
Kuala Terraganu was everything we hoped for in Malaysia, completely different Kuala Lumpur and more of a ‘homely’ atmosphere with hardly any tourists but the most cheapest of hotels (50RM for both of us for one night – £5 each).
This yummy looking meal was truly delicious – it looks bland but the Malaysians have stolen my heart when it comes to their food with the amount of flavour and you can tell how much love they put into their food. This meal (which I have completely forgot was called!) was made by a lovely lady, like a mum figure, with the most warming of smiles. Kuala Terraganu was like home
The next day we had to leave Kuala Terraganu and head towards Kuala Besut for the jetty onto the Perethian Islands.
Firstly, huge apologies for the lack of activity but I now plan to post more topics and recipes very soon! And what better way then to show you all pictures from our backpacking trip in China & Malaysia back in May 2014. Since it was a long journey, I thought to put up one post a day of each leg of our backpacking trip.
LONDON – GUAGZHOU, CHINA
Our trip started off from London Heathrow to Gaugzhou, China via China Southern Airlines (which have to say was a superb Airline for such a cheap flight it had all the necessities and luxuries of a mid class flight! – ticket price was approx £400 each return via holidaygenie.com).
The stopover in China was approx 23 hours long where the airline had also given us a free hotel for the night -another surprise! The hotel was very clean and the staff knew some sort of English which was perfect for asking questions regarding the shuttle bus and what’s for breakfast.
Since we had a long stopover, we decided the next morning to explore more of China especially the old architecture and mosques. We first rang for a taxi from the hotel so we can get to the city which is a 40 minute to 1 hour drive depending on traffic.
(Quick note, to get around China, make sure you have the place you want to go screenshot on your phone in Chinese chatters – NOT English. Oh and go for the green coloured taxis!)
We had wanted to explore the old mosque of Saad Ibn Waqas (companion of the Prophet, peace be upon him). When we had entered the city, it was bustling with loads of people and it now hit us that we were in a different country with the Chinese women riding their bicycles on the main road with straw hats and their weekly groceries shopping hanging onto their baskets. The air was so humid and sticky also as you hear the sounds of the Chinese language wherever you walked past…I loved it!!
We tried finding the mosque after walking around the main park while getting used to a few locals raising their heads twice seeing us walk past them – I guess you don’t get much tourist in Guagzhou, but yet I still loved it, they had a friendly nature to them and it was the help of a Muslim China man that lead us in the end to the mosque.
And what an amazing mosque it was!! Built in the traditional Chinese style but with elements to symbolise it was a place of worship, the mosque was nestled in a backstreet entering via a garden footpath that was completely cutoff to the hustle and bustle of the city. The atmosphere suddenly became so serene and beautiful with the constant song of the exotic birds in the garden – at this point I was mesmerised with its serenity even though still being in the heart of Guagzhou.
After praying in the mosque we then kept walking along the footpath to find the tomb of the person the mosque was dedicated to – Saad Ibn Waqas.
(While bumping into a few locals and cats!) #catfans
After we stayed there for an hour or so absorbing the surroundings and beauty of the area. We decided we had to quickly make it to the hotel as after all this was just the stopover and we didn’t want to miss our flight to Malaysia where our journey really began!
First things first, we had to figure out is how do we get a taxi? It was easy for us at the hotel as they simply called them to pick us up, being in a completely different country and not knowing the language I might add, we had to ask the locals – in our attempt with sign language and English!
This local told us how – just to simply wave your hand and flag one down! He was a very humble person and a local Muslim that lived in the area, after he kindly told us how to get a taxi he then went back to baking bread for his stall. Which I had to quickly take a photo of!
After a few minutes we managed to flag a taxi down thankfully and then using our hotel business card as the directions on where we wanted to go – we were on our way back to the hotel!
We then quickly boarded our shuttle bus and was on the way to the airport to continue our backpacking trip in Malaysia – next stop Kuala Lumpur!!
A quick snap of our airport food. It was noodle broth in a mix of seafood with omelette on top. This wasn’t bad at all and wouldn’t mind recreating this dish -minus the octopus though- the broth was the best part with it looking weak it actually had a lot of flavour! This was accompanied by cute cherry tomatoes and freshly squeezed apple juice (we had to share one because of the high costs of airport food as we were on a budget backpacking trip).
Next post will be up this week of our trip in Malaysia!
After noticing that 2 banana’s beginning to go dark in colour, I decided to try out banana cake for the first time! And having fresh free range duck eggs in my fridge, I decided to use them – my parents have a poultry farm with chickens and ducks!
Outcome: a very light and fluffy texture, and my new cake addiction! There’s 2 more ripe banana’s in the fruit bowl that has made me tempted to make more banana cake!!
Cooking time: 35minutes
- 1 egg – beaten
- 125g butter
- 150g castor sugar
- 2 ripe bananas, mash
- 190g self raising flour
- 60ml milk
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius
- Prepare your ingredients by mashing your banana’s in a separate bowl and beating your egg in another separate bowl.
- Melt your butter over medium heat
- Once melted, add in your sugar and mix well
- Remove from heat and add in your mash banana’s – I used an electric mixer from here on-wards, I find it helps create that light and fluffy texture!!
- Next add in your beaten egg and mix again.
- Then mix in the flour and milk until fully combined.
- Pour into a prepared tin – I didn’t have a baking tin so used my roasting tin – still came out lovely!
- Bake in hot oven fro 35 minutes.
Preparation time: 8minutes
Cooking time: 25-30minutes
- 3 spring onions
- 1 dash red chilli flakes
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp · thai fish sauce
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- ½ bunch fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 chicken pieces
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
Place chopped spring onions, garlic, parsley, coriander, ginger, red chilli flakes and 2-3 tbsps. of water into a blender and blend until it turns into a paste.
Next heat the oil into a large frying pan and cook your chicken pieces until evenly brown, then transfer onto separate plate. A
- dd more oil if needed into the frying pan and fry the sliced bell pepper for 2-3 minutes.
- add your green paste you prepared at the start and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. R
- eturn the chicken back into the frying pan with the paste and green peppers, then add in your coconut milk and
- season with salt and pepper to taste and boil.
Once boiling reduce heat and cover, simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Next remove the chicken from the mixture with the green peppers (you might want to sieve it) and place remaining mixture on boil for another 10 minutes until it becomes bit more thicker.
- eturn the chicken and bell pepper to the green curry sauce stirring well and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes till its warm through out.
Serve with hot rice and enjoy!
Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th January – Last few days in Lefke…
Our journey on the beautiful Island of Cyprus was approaching it’s end with just our last day left, we started to feel upset already with the thought of leaving the wonderful people that we had met in the sister’s guesthouse, the sister’s from Italy, Russia, Manchester, Serbia and Indonesia and the peaceful atmosphere, the 5 times a day prayer routines, the dhikr circles, the delicious food that was always so filled with blessings, our teacher sheikh Nazim and…on the last day we found out it was snowing heavily in the UK, so another thing to miss was the beautiful sunshine in Cyprus as we were nearing our days the weather became more and more sunny reaching 20 degrees Celsius in January months. We knew it was going to be difficult to adjust to the climate back in the UK – and really it was!
So on our last day, aunty Samia made a very delicious breakfast with the usual home-made jams and molasses and fresh toasted bread, but this time with a big pot full of fresh free range eggs from the farm and tasty holloumi cheese!
Story of the rescue chickens
In Cyprus, our teacher Sheikh Nazim, found out that someone had a few hundred chickens that the owners didn’t want anymore. Because they were very skinny and hardly any meat, they were burying them alive under a large heap of soil. Once Sheikh Nazim found out about what they were doing, he took all their chickens off them and placed them onto his fields with the rest of his animals (goats, sheep…etc). Now they run around happily on the fields looking all healthy and chirping ecstatically This story was told to us, while aunty Samia served us the breakfast made by eggs from those very chickens…
And it was delicious!!! Blessings of the food at the guesthouse.
I would most likely be trying out this meal – recipe included 🙂
As a second surprise, was aunty Samia’s version of bread and butter pudding. Don’t let the image fool you, it was not burnt but tasted absolutely delicious! The bread was soaked in milk, eggs and sugar and topped with home-made jam and placed in the oven.
You can also make this topped with banana’s and apples also!
It was time to end our journey in Cyprus, with teary eyes and heavy hearts we departed from Larnaca Airport back to London Gatwick to meet with the snow that was waiting for us in the UK. Goodbye Cyprus, you will be missed, even though it was an amazing trip also being on my homeland as my parents are from Cyprus, discovering the foods from my heritage and the holy sites around the small Island, it was definitely a spiritual and awakening experience where I will be taking back with me the love and warmth of the sister’s guesthouse, the teachings of our teacher Sheikh Nazim with the blessings of food and how not to waste, how to be a good person – through your work, your heart and doings, Cyprus I will be back again, God Willing.
To all my fans, I hope you enjoyed this Travel Log – Food Diary as much as I have enjoyed my experience in Cyprus and hope that you all have also gained something from the travel log and also not to forget I will be trying out many of the meals that I had in Cyprus and sharing with you the recipes!
This was my first Travel Log – Food Diary but as the name suggests ( The Wandering Cook 786) we intend to travel more, so this is not my last Travel Log – Food Diary, more to come from TWC786!
Thank you for reading 🙂
xxx The Wandering Cook 786 xxx
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