and it was all... yellow.
I am so happy that I manage to join Barbara's LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow - 2008 this year. I followed the one last year and almost missed the one this year if I didn't read it at the lovely Keiko's blog.
Cancer is something close to my heart. My Dad had cancer about 13 years ago and my parents lived with me for the whole one and a half year that he went through the treatment. I used to drive him for his radiotherapy every morning. The radiotherapy was followed by 3 rounds of chemo. The team of specialists that treated him declared it was in remission a few months later.
Dad then transferred the running of his business to my brother and took my mom on trips around the world, went on more fishing trips, grew a lot more fruit trees on his orchards and played with his grandchildren.
Dad passed away last year, not from cancer but I would like to think from a heartbreak. My mom passed away 4 years ago today and I don't think Dad ever got over it. For the first time after he was declared free of cancer, he was hospitalised 2 weeks after she died. The doctors can't find anything wrong with him except dehydration. To protect his privacy, every time he was hospitalised after that, I used to tell relatives and friends he was in Uruguay, just like Midori's dad in Norwegian Wood.
In some ways, I was quite happy to know that they are now together although I miss him tremendously. I miss his letters and the feeling that I actually had someone to call at 4 AM when I need to talk to someone no matter where I am on this earth.
When dad was undergoing his treatment he abstained from all spices except turmeric. Turmeric was considered the mildest among the spices and has very strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In the past years, it has been widely tested for its effect in cancer treatments.
Yellow for me is the colour of hope, of sunshine and of spring which signifies renewal that was why I chose turmeric to represent the colour yellow. It is a very easy spice to cook with. In fact the first spice I learnt to cook with. In Malaysia a very easy way to fry fish, chicken or seafood is to marinate them first in salt, pepper, turmeric and rice vinegar.
Ayam Tumis Kunyit (stir fried chicken in turmeric) is a regular feature in our family. The cooking takes about 15 minutes using less than 10 ingredients. Most spicy dishes are perceived as heavy and not very suitable for spring and summer cooking - but this is very light. The combination of turmeric, tomatoes and onion bring elevates the rather boring chicken breast into something totally gorgeous. Serve with piping hot rice and a salad of your choice.
Ayam tumis kunyit (stir fried chicken in turmeric)
500g chicken - I used skinned breast fillet - sliced
1 onion - sliced
1 green chili (this can be omitted or increased as you like)
2 tomatoes - diced
half to a teaspoon of turmeric (depending on your taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the onion. Crush the ginger and garlic and cut to dice. Slice the green chili thinly.
2. Heat up the oil in a wok.
3. Fry the onion until translucent and fragrant.
4. Add in the chicken and the turmeric. Stir in for about 10 minutes.
5. Add the chili. Stir for a minute.
6. Add the tomatoes. Stir for 3 minutes or so. Here you can see the dish totally transforms.
7.Season to taste. Serve.
*you can add fresh coriander leaves at the end of the cooking. I just don't happen to have any and it is still lovely without it.