Category Archives: Recipes

Cooking with Nicholas July 2019 Classes

Carrotcake Class

Saturday July 13th 2.30 to 5 pm

 Learn to bake and assemble this all time favorite.  I’m not doing the usual cheese topping.  You will learn;


  1. A Nutty Carrot Cake
  2. Butter Cream
  3. Assembling

Each person will take home their own cake.

Price Per Person: RM150


Lamb Shank Class

Sunday July 14th 2.30 to 5.30

 A good meal for lunch or dinner when the whole family is together.  You will learn;


  1. Fried Lamb Shank
  2. Rich Lamb Shank Stew
  3. Roasted Garlic Mashed potatoes
  4. Roasted Vegetables

Price Per Person: RM160

Each Person takes home 2 Lamb Shank


Swirly Curry Puff and Crispy Hawker Curry Puff
Sunday July 20th 10.30 to 1 pm


Learn to prepare these teatime hawker delights. You will learn;


  1. Swirly Pastry (Karipap Putar)
    2. Crispy Curry Puff
    3. Chicken and Potato Filling


Price Per Person: RM130


Nasi Ulam

Sunday July 21st  2.30 to 5.30

Nasi Ulam is a very healthy meal on its own.  Then we add the other good stuff. You will learn;



  1. Nasi Ulam
  2. Roasted Ayam Percik
  3. Sambal Kelapa
  4. Kuah Tumis

Price Per Person: RM150

This is a hands on class. Please bring your containers.


One Sambal – Three Dishes

Saturday July 27th 2.30 to 5.30

The versatility of the simple sambal is often over looked.  Sambals can be kept and used with many types of foods. For this class you will learn;


  1. Basic Sambal
  2. Fried Noodles – Malacca’s Mee Bodoh with the fried Egg
  3. Nasi Goreng
  4. Baked Fish

nasi lemak kampung.jpg

Price Per Person: RM150

This is a hands on Class.

Please bring containers


Moon Cake

Sunday July 28th 11 am to 2 pm


This year let’s make Bamboo Charcoal Moon Cakes, you will learn;

  1. Baked Bamboo Charcoal Moon Cake
  2. Traditional Moon Cake
  3. Superior Mixed Nuts
  4. Lotus Paste with different fillings
  5. Salted Egg Filling
  6. Lotus Paste recipe will be provided and explained as this takes too long.
Charcoal Baked Moon Cake

a Borrowed Photo

Price Per Person: RM180

Please bring large air tight containers.


Pang Susi

Tuesday July 30th 2.30 to 5.30

Learn this age old recipe which has always been a tea time favorite with the Eurasians and Cristang people. This is always the original soft bread.

You will learn;


  1. Pang Susi Bread Dough
  2. Chicken Filling- non spicy
  3. Spicy Tuna and Sweet Potato Filling

Price Per Person: RM120

Please bring containers

Classes will be held at 70 Jalan 14/24 Petaling Jaya.

Please whatsapp 0166827465 to book your place.

September 2017 Cooking and Baking Classes

Love Cake and Sujee Cake

Saturday September 9th 10 to 1

This Sujee Cake Recipe is more than 100 years old.  This was my parents wedding cake and the person who made the cake passed on a few years ago well into her 90s and this recipe belonged to her mother.

This Love Cake is slightly less heavy then the ones you find in Sri Lanka which is full of sugar that no one eats it at wedding.  I learnt mine from the famous Mrs Foenander.

You will learn;

  1. Old Fashioned Sujee Cake – Semolina Cake
  2. Love Cake

Price Per Person: RM140


Vegetarian Cakes

Saturday September 9th 2.30 to 5.30




Learn to make Vegetarian Cakes, you will learn to prepare;

  1. Vegetarian Red Velvet Cake
  2. Date and Walnut Cake
  3. Dulce de Leche Topping

Price Per Person: RM135

Cotton Soft Doughnuts

Sunday September 10th 10 to 1 pm

I love Doughnuts. I like it at its simplest form.  You will learn to prepare;




  1. Cotton Soft Doughnuts
  2. Sausage Doughnuts
  3. Doughnut Malaysia – with Ikan Bilis sambal
  4. Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Price Per Person: RM135


Curry Day

Sunday September 10th 2.30 to 5.30

These curries do not contain coconut so they can stand our open house concept.  So this Diwali let’s prepare;

  1. Devil Mutton Curry
  2. Chicken Varuvel

Price Per Person: RM140


Old Fashioned Butter Cake and Butter Icing Class

Saturday September 16th 2.30 to 5 pm




You will learn to make the Old Fashioned Butter Cake by hand and then do basic decoration with Old Fashioned Butter Icing.  Each person will get a butter cake fully iced to take home.

Please make your bookings by the 12th of September so there will be enough cakes for everyone.

This is a hands on class.

Price Per Person: $125


Shanghai and Kluang Mooncake

Sunday September 17th 2 to 5.30

I find Shanghai Mooncake much easier to make.  So here goes.  You will learn;


  1. Shanghai Pastry
  2. Kluang Moon Cake
  3. Shanghai Mooncake
  4. Walnut Mooncake
  5. Lotus Paste recipe will be provided and explained.


Step by Step Photos are available in my blog.

Price Per Person: RM150


Traditional Moon Cake

Friday September 22nd 2 pm to 5.30

Learn to make Traditional Baked Moon Cake.  You will learn;


  1. Pastry
  2. Mixed Nuts
  3. Various uses of Lotus Pate with Salted Egg, and other ingredients.

Price Per Person: RM150

Fish Head and Assam Fish Curry

Saturday September 23rd 2.30 to 5 pm

One Indian Style One Nonya Style..

Please Book Early.  Only Paid Bookings will be entertained.


You will learn;

  1. Assam Fish Curry
  2. Fish Head Curry

Price Per Person: RM140

Booking to be made by the 18th September as I need to order Fish Heads.

 More photos will be uploaded later.

Masala Raan

Sunday September 24th 2.30 to 5.30

This is an Indian style roasted Leg of Lamb rather ideal for Diwali or even for a small get together.  You will learn;

  1. Masala Raan
  2. Spicy Roasted Vegetables
  3. Palak Paneer
  4. Each person will make their own Paneer

Price Per Person: RM 150


Jelly Mooncake

SATURDAY  September 30th 10 to 1 pm

Jelly Moon Cakes might be blasphemous but it is still enjoyed by many.  You will learn to prepare;




  1. Chocolate Oreo Jelly Mooncake
  2. Jelly Mooncake with Egg and Yam filling

egg and yam mooncake (1)

Price Per Person: $130


Please email me at or whatsapp me at 0166827465 to book your place.

Classes are held at 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.



Nicholas Pilllai’s Sang Har Mein Recipe (Fresh Water Prawn Noodles)

Glorious Prawns on a Bed of Noodles - if only I liked prawns....

I am not a fan of seafood, but I do like to taste it once in a while and while I am more  a gravy and noodle person rather then a noodle, gravy and seafood, the people who eat with me tends to gain from this whole little foodie escapade.  Today I felt like having Sang Har Mein.  I just felt like eating it with just the gravy alone.

Another reason I don’t mind Sang Har Mein is because it is fresh water prawns.  Somehow there is always mixed reactions of the taste of fresh water and seawater prawns. I for some reason prefer fresh water fish and prawns because to me it does not taste so fishy and does not smell. Then you get other gourmands arguing that it tastes like mud. And my question is, how do you know the taste of mud?

Trust me I am a little warped when it comes to seafood, so do not take my word for it.

I used Seafood Tofu in mine because then I get to enjoy some form of protein. I’ve added some vegetables to it as well, you could use young endives or Brussels Sprouts.

So here is my easy peasy version.  I do sometimes add in a bit of Nam Yee into it. Nam Yee is stinky tofu, which I think is as versatile as sambal belacan.  A tiny bit though, because a little bit can go a long way with this ingredient.

Nice Large Luscious Fresh Water Prawns, say about 300 to 400 gm per prawn, cleaned, halved and deveined – Fry and leave aside

Seafood Tofu                             12 pieces to be sliced to about 6 slices per tofu

Fresh Ginger                              50 gms or so thinly sliced

Spring Onions                            2 or 3 talks – to be cut into 3 cm strips – keep the root

Garlic                                              2 or 3 to be minced

Endives                                         5 or 6 small buds or stalks – Optional

Brussels Sprouts                       150 to 200 gm – to be halved – Optional

Oyster Sauce                               2 to 3 tbsp

Good Stock                                  500 mls – better to have it hot

Corn Starch                                 2 tbsp to ½ cup water

Eggs                                                 2 nos

Hsiao Hsing Wine                     3 to 4 tbsp

Sesame oil                                     2 tsp

A little black vinegar                 1 tbsp or a little more

Sugar                                                1 tsp or a little more

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for deep frying and cooking the gravy

Good Quality Wan Tan Egg Noodles preferably the one without any alkaline


  1. Heat oil in a deep saucepan, sauté garlic and ginger. Add in oyster sauce and give it a stir before adding hot stock.
  2. Leave stock to simmer and add in sesame oil, wine, and black vinegar.
  3. Add in sugar. Leave to boil on high
  4. In the mean time heat a pan of oil for deep frying. Open up the egg noodles and with a wooden pair of chopsticks, swirl the noodles in the hot oil till it puffs.  Strain and arrange on platter.
  5. You may add in the endives and the Brussels Sprouts if you are using them
  6. Add in sliced seafood tofu.
  7. Once it is boiled, thicken with cornstarch mixture.
  8. Add in prawns and cook on high heat, season to taste.
  9. Drop beaten yolk from a height so it will have a dropped egg look.
  10. Gravy may become red if prawns has roe in it.
  11. Add in spring onions, and pour gravy and prawns over noodles.
  12. Garnish and serve immediately.

Kokonda – by Fijian Domestic Goddess Angela Ramacake Birch

Kokonda is a Fijian staple that I have always loved. The fact that most of you know I do not like anything fishy, would make you wonder why Kokonda. Well it’s like a salad of sorts.

Funnily long time ago I attempted to make Kokonda. I found the recipe in an Australia Womens Weekly and to think they copied the recipe from the Fijians renamed it and Australiafied a few ingredients and called it their own.  I used to eat Kokonda quite a bit when I was at University when I had quite a few friends who used to make it, unfortunately Angela was not quite the Domestic Goddess back then as she is now.

In fact I also have a Kokonda recipe in my Recipe book, Healthy Eating Recipes for the Asian Palate.

Now I was in  Fiji in April and I really did not want to eat anything heavy that night so Angela decided to make Kokonda.  Originally Kokonda has coconut cream in it but you can opt from using coconut.

Here is Angela’s recipe – Simple, tasty and comforting…

Any Solid White Fish – Mahi Mahi or Tuna, or even Mackeral (skin removed)   500gm

Bush Lemons or Lemons to taste                                                                              5 or 6

Chilly (Birds Eye) –                                                                                                  2

Salt to taste

Alternatively I am sure you can throw in salad vegetables like tomatoes and capsicums cut in to small pieces or diced just before serving or in Angela’s case, she uses coconut water.  Alternatively you can do what Angela does, she adds in fresh coconut water into it.

  1. Lovingly Cut the fish into little bite size cubes.

2.  Squeeze luscious bush lemons and make sure seeds are removed.  You can use as many as you like, its up to your own taste.  You also add in the coconut water at this stage, about a cup or so.

3.  Add a little salt and stir through. Leave aside for about 30 minutes or so.  You may fridge it for a few hours.

4.  Slice some birdseye chillies, now I really do not know where this chillie habit came from because as far back as I’ve known Angela, she could never eat anything spicy… nowwwww… she eats spicier stuff then me.

Leave the kokonda for a few minutes and you may drain out some of the juice before serving. Now after a nice, healthy dish like Kokonda, nothing beats this…..

A good old TIM TAM!!! And don’t ask me how she likes to have her Tim Tam these days, ask Danny Lim, he left a little legacy in Fiji!

By the way, Angela has a fair few recipes I need to scab off her, her muesli bars and biscotti..

Miss you Angela and Meretalai…See you next year.

My Oaty Chappati Recipe

My rather unround Oaty Chappati

I had this craving for Chappati the other day and was worried because of all the flour I would consume seeing that I like to eat my Chappati on its own. So cleverness here devised a way to make the rather carby and heavy Chappati into something with a little bit more fiber so hence Oaty Chappati Recipe.

Here are the ingredients:

Atta Flour                                 2 cups

Plain Flour                                ½  cup

Rolled Oats                              ½ cup

Vegetable Ghee                        1 tbsp

Water                                       enough to make a nice dough

Salt                                          about 1 tsp


The Three Carbs

  1. Place all the ingredients together with exception of the water.
  2. Stir it and the lowly pour in the water little by little.
  3. Mix the dough till it comes away from the sides of the bowl and does not stick to your hand.
  4. Leave aside or place it

    A Dollop of Ghee

    in the fridge for a few hours.

  5. Portion it into small balls and then roll it out
  6. Heat a non stick pan and place the chappati in it.
  7. Turn the chappati and use a kitchen tissue to press it as shown, This will make it more puffy.
  8. Turn it again and d the same thing. Do not cook it till it is dark or browned.
  9. Serve warm

It is a good idea not to prepare chappati when you are hungry as freshly mixed chappati dough is not as nice.  It should be kept aside a few hours.

You may cling wrap it and place it in the fridge for a few days.

My Chynnis inspired soup recipe – Fish Maw Soup

I have not found a group to go with me to Chynnis, my currently favorite Chinese Restaurant at SSTwo Mall  again because every weekend I’m either doing a class, or my friends are away and getting a few people together seems quite difficult.

And I certainly cannot go there just for a bowl of soup!!!

So I had to resort to my own devices for some nice soup hence my Chynnis Inspired Fish Maw Soup.  This is not Chynnis the Restaurants Soup, it is my own interpretation of what I ate and I think it is pretty close in flavor and all, but most importantly it was simply delicious and it was what I needed that day.


So here goes:

Dried Scallops                                            10 to 15 pieces – rinsed

Black Shitake Mushrooms                   4 or 5 – Soaked and stem removed

Silken Tofu                                                 1 piece – to be sliced

Ginger                                                          2 or 3 slices

Homemade Chicken Stock                 5 cups

Fish Maw                                                    roughly 200 gm or more  (I forgot to weigh it)

Chinese Rice Wine                             1 1/2 cups – use more if you like

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sugar                                                       1/2 tsp


1.  Boil stock, dried scallops, ginger and mushrooms till scallops are torn apart and mushroom is soft enough. You may use more mushrooms if you like, but then the flavor could be too strong.  This boiling should take at least an hour.  Simmer on low flame. Season to taste.

2.  Add in Wine.  You may add more or less depending on the strength of the taste, I like it stronger.

3.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, and then add in fish maw. Do not over boil the fish maw. 25 minutes tops (Singapore’s Kitchen Goddess – Teoh Seok Hean told me so  through sms when I was boiling the soup)

4.  Season to taste again if necessary.

5.  Lastly add in the tofu and do not stir as the tofu will break up. Serve hot.