Monday, 25 March 2013

Mama Pongkey's Seawater Prawns in Garlic Cream Sauce with Salad

We hadn't been eating at home lately, and it has come to the point that even the thought of going out is causing me dread. The weather is very hot and so it seems more pleasant to stay put where we have our fans and air conditioner going on. :-) Also, I posted an article today on eating at home in Facebook. Now I really should follow my own advice, eh? ;-)

So this is a little something I threw together in the wok, using what I had in the fridge. It cooked really fast and I had it with some plain basmati rice. Mmm hmm. Just that peeling the prawns took quite some time, as this time the prawns I bought were pretty small-ish.

Mama Pongkey's Seawater Prawns in Garlic Cream Sauce


0.5 kg seawater prawns (but after deveining and peeling them, probably only 350g left?)
200 ml cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
108 g cream cheese (I used one of those Kiri cubes, akin to Laughing Cow)
1 tablespoon palm oil
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups salad greens (I used iceberg and romaine)
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (for soaking salad and prawns, separately)


  • Rinse and soak the vegetables in water and apple cider vinegar. Leave to stand. When prawns have finished cooking, give the veggies a final rinse and spin dry in a salad spinner for crispy leaves.
  • Peel prawns except for the tail end. Remove head and take out the main vein on the upper back. Soak in water and a bit of apple cider vinegar to remove possible contamination for 15 minutes. Rinse in water.
  • In a pan, heat the oil and melt the butter. Add in the cream, cheese and garlic, and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Add in prawns and herbs, and stir until lightly pink. I dislike overcooked prawns, so when I judge the prawns are just before the point of being fully cooked, I turn off the heat and add in salt and pepper while I stir. And leave it to stand while I sort out the salad.
  • Arrange the salad in the bottom of a wide dish, then carefully pour the creamy prawns on the salad. Serve with love :-)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

My Home Remedies for Sore Throat and Fever

I have not been well. Yesterday was probably the worst, with blocked nose, reddish eyes, swollen throat, fever and a pounding headache. But alhamdulillah I am getting better. A combination of long-distance travelling, exhaustion, lack of sleep and perhaps walking in the polluted roads of KL (I imagined I was getting some exercise!) plus exposure to hubby who was suffering from a cold, knocked me down for a couple of days.

I would like to try home remedies before opting for some paracetemol, clarityne and antibiotics. So far for the past year and a half I have only had to use antibiotics once. Which is a major improvement for me, as I used to get prescribed antibiotics for a cold every few months.

So here are my tips on tackling a fever, blocked nose/sinuses and sore throat for adults. Please be mindful that this is the result of a lot of reading, other people's personal experiences and self-experimentation.

Ingredients for what I call the Elixir of Health (minus the vitamin C).
I think good old rassam will also do the trick. ;-)

  • Drink plenty of plain water. More than usual. Make a point of drinking a glass of water every 2-3 hours or so if you are the forgetful type (like me!)
  • Rest. Sleep. Plenty. Enough said. 
  • Plenty of vitamin C. My favourite is Calcium C Sandoz, in the form of an effervescent tablet, 1g. But when using this, please remember to increase your plain water intake to cope with the calcium load. I would take a tablet every few hours, alongside with several cups of water. Watch out for soft stools or diarrhea, as that is a sign of Vitamin C overdose. My personal tolerance limit seems to be 3g in 8 hours. For those who tend to have gastritis, it may be worthwhile to invest in a non-acidic or buffered form of vitamin C.
  • Magnesium, once a day. This helps calcium stay in a soluble form so it will be taken up by your body instead of becoming insoluble and end up being deposited where it is not wanted, like in your kidneys. Best form is magnesium citrate, but I make do with whatever I have. Watch out for diarrhea, as excessive magnesium intake can cause this too. You could also soak your feet in Epsom salts and warm water as an alternative magnesium source (Epsom salt is magnesium sulphate). Very soothing.
  • B complex to help your immune system, once a day.
  • Virgin coconut oil, 4 tablespoons a day during the cold.
  • Oil pulling with virgin coconut oil. Basically you swish around 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your mouth for a maximum of 20 minutes. I only managed about 5 minutes yesterday before I had to spit it out. Please do not swallow this!
  • Elixir of health, a recipe I obtained from my bestie. A dash of turmeric powder, some Bentong ginger, some honey and lemon juice in a mug of hot water. (See above picture for the ingredients I use). This is so comforting to a sore throat and contains turmeric, a well-known anti-bacterial agent.
  • The above honey contained a small amount of black seed oil mixed in it. I also took a teaspoon a day.
  • Did I mention plenty of fluids? Soups and broth can help too. Easy to digest and so comforting.
My favourite brand of extra virgin coconut oil because it tastes like coconut cookies. 

People who are used to fighting off infections using natural remedies tell me that, in the beginning, your body takes a long time to recover without modern medicine. But with each infection, your body recovers faster as it learns how to deal with illnesses naturally. I would still go for antibiotics if I don't see an improvement after doing all of the above. But the key thing here is still rest and plenty of fluids. This time around I was lax about the amount of plain water I was consuming and vitamin C. I was wondering if it was time to go for conventional meds. Ironically enough it was meeting up with my doctor relative that reminded me of the vitamin C and plenty of water. She was quite concerned, and while she was not pushy, she had already suggested clarityne and paracetemol. But I thought I should give natural remedies one last ditch effort before I succumb to her ministrations ;-)

I had a very good night's sleep last night, and woke up with no headache, my fever has gone down and my throat less sore. My nose is still blocked, so I will continue my regimen until I get better, if God so wills.

Yinkey Pet has been a valued companion. She reminds me to relax and take it easy.