Masak Lemak recipe

I discovered this delicious Malay dish in a little backstreet counter restaurant called Dapur in Lamb’s Conduit passage in central London. The colour, taste and spice were delicious. The version I had was vegetarian but it is commonly made with chicken or prawns. The core elements are a heavily turmeric-ky gravy with some fish sauce and lemongrass to add freshness.

Improvised recipe based on memory and Google translates of various Malay websites.

  • 5 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • Fresh ginger – 2cm chunk diced finely
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • Kale or Asian cabbage torn away from hard stems
  • Roasted butternut squash cut into large cubes
  • 1 tbsp of turmeric (yes, lots)
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce (more added to taste later)
  • Tamarind to taste
  • 1 stick of lemongrass
  • 3 deseeded green chillies
  • Coconut milk (250ml)
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Prawns (butterflied) or chicken thigh


  1. Heat 5 tbsp of vegetable oil in deep pan or slow cooker
  2. Add shallot, garlic and most of ginger to oil (save a little for garnish) and fry for 5-mins
  3. Add fish sauce, prawns, kale, chillies and turmeric then turn down heat (5-mins)
  4. Add stock, lemongrass, tamarind, squash and coconut milk
  5. Simmer or slow cook for 4-hours
  6. Serve with sticky rice
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Pizza Napoletana – Another pizza dough recipe

I’ve posted my basic and versatile pizza dough recipe before, but this is a different one which I’d like to share. It’s much simpler than the other recipe which can make a good range of different pizzas. This one on the other hand gets you as close as possible to the faithful original pizza Napoletana – how they have long done and still do it in Naples.

Read more →

More Medical French – Chest Trauma

  • poignarder – v. to stab
  • à plusieurs reprises – several times
  • un coup de couteau – a stab wound
  • un pneumothorax – pneumothorax
  • un hémothorax – haemothorax
  • une piquire – injection
  • il s’avère que… – It turns out that…
  • poser un drain thoracique – v. to place a chest drain
  • la pose – the placement
  • inspirer – v. to breathe in
  • expirer – v. to breathe out
  • retenir le souffle – v. to hold one’s breath
  • un côte – rib
  • la plèvre – the pleura
  • (espace) pleurale – pleural (space)
  • une radiographie des poumouns (debout) – chest x-ray (PA)
  • épaississement – thickening
  • une ponction – puncture
  • une plaie – wound
  • paroi (costale) – (chest) wall
  • la poitrine – chest

Argentiere, Chamonix – too much snow

Hommage to Daido Moriyama

From Hommage to Daido Moriyama, a set on Flickr.

Daido Moriyama and William Klein exhibition at the Tate Modern. Two great street photographers side by side.

Getting the Daido look

I tried to get the look by shooting Kodak Tri-X at ISO 3200 and then developing it in warm D76, still not noisy and contrasty enough for the Daido look. Damn he must treat that film badly!

Seemingly a large component of the Daido look is to heavily crop and enlarge small 35mm negatives to accentuate the grain.

French words for radiologists

un épanchement – effusion
un tassement – collapse
recul  – retraction
un débord – an overhang
susjacent – overlying
sousjacent – underlying
la moelle – marrow
disques  – discs
la charnière – joint
une saillie – protrusion
contusion – contusion
médullaire – cord / medullary
au niveau de – at the level of
garder  – to maintain (radiological use)

Mauritius: Port Louis on crutches

Port Louis was something of a mission, particularly with a girlfriend on crutches in tow. It’s just like every island capital, a bustling port with mild annoyances rather than real danger and seriously dangerous uneven streets and broken stuff everywhere. It smells like you’d expect, but the streetfood was fantastic. I devoured 4 roti dholl puris and a few samoussas during our few hours there.

One only needs 3 hours to see Port Louis. Sure, you could while away the hours in a sophisticats bar on the Caudan Waterfront marina development with its safety net of security guards and polished marble plinths – but why not throw yourself into the melee of Farquahar St market or the central food market like the locals. We got hassled to buy things we didn’t want or need, we saw glue for sniffing on sale but at no time was it a scary experience and people were more fascinated by us really.

There were distinct but small zones to the city, the colourful haggling Indians selling snacks and things for the home. The quiet Chinese business men on Royal street and the cold, unfriendly muslims who looked us up and down on their short strip.

The bus rides warrant a mention. It took us 1hr 40mins from Poste Lafayette via Centre de Flacq on the public bus (Rs 120 = 2.30 GBP). Flacq had a fantastic open air market which we shopped in on the way home. Jane sipped a glass of Alooda, whilst I bought chilli pineapple and cucumber which blew my brains out.

We also picked up some Green Island rum which came recommended and is delicious (Rs 150 = 3 GBP)

Mauritius week one

We arrived in Mauritius 5 days ago now and have mostly lounged around the beaches on the east coast. We are staying at Maison d’Ete near Poste Lafayette. It’s a nice Swiss run set of beach villas offering self catering with kitchenettes, but also a good onsite restaurant. The pools are small but pleasant and there are comfy sun loungers, all of which face the wild winter Indian Ocean.

It’s seriously windy, more so than expected and so much so that I struggle to take photographs. Those above were all grab shots on the iPhone.

The beaches here are lovely and wild. They are covered in volcanic black lava rocks, whilst the sand is a brilliant white contrast from the ground up dead coral. Swimming in the sea is difficult with the strong winds, but there are some living corals in the lagoon quite close to the beach and the fish are varied and pretty.

Apart from all the relaxing, activity has been a bit limited by Jane’s crutches but we have managed several short bike rides and a trip to Port Louis on the public busses which was an experience. More on that later…

London 2012 Olympics: Men’s road cycling race passing through Fulham

Leica M6, Summicron 40/2. Kodak Tri-X in HC110