Penang’s Must Do Cooking Class

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Destinations, Food, Foodie Tuesday, Malaysia, Penang | 9 comments

Penang’s Must Do Cooking Class…

Pearly Kee, with her husband Chandra, run the popular Penang Home Cooking School. If you are in Penang, don’t hesitate to book a class and try your hand at cooking some authentic Malaysian cuisine. Your class will begin with a tour of the Pulau Tikus Market. Delicious veggies, herbs and spices, fresh meat and fish; all available here for your cooking pleasure. Pearly is very knowledgeable about all the ingredients that she uses in her cooking, and loves to share this knowledge with her students.

Have you ever tried fresh lotus root? It’s very popular in Asian cooking. The Korean’s love them pickled. I’ve never cooked with the fresh, but often buy it pickled, here in Korea.


Penang Homecooking School at the Pulau Tikus Market

Penang Homecooking School at the Pulau Tikus Market


Purple carrots! There’s a first time for everything.


Fresh Vegetables, Pulau Tikus Market


Black chicken is very popular, throughout Asia.


Penang Homecooking School, and black chicken at PulauTikus Market

Penang Homecooking School, and black chicken at PulauTikus Market


This lady serves up delicious Nyonya cuisine from her popular food cart.


Nonya Food at Pulau Tikus Market, Penang

Nonya Food at Pulau Tikus Market, Penang


Then it was off to Pearly’s lovely home to cook up some delicious Nyonya cuisine. The menu included Curry Chicken, Roti Jala, and Pie Tee with chicken filling.
The kitchen is set-up so that each student has their own cooking surface. With Pearly demonstrating, and assisting, we all had the opportunity to get in on the cooking action.


First up, Chicken Curry…

We prepared the fresh veggies, lemon grass, chili and garlic. Soaking everything in water made for easy skin removal.


Ingredients for the Curry


Cooking the curry. The smells wafting from the clay pot brought on instant hunger!


Cooking the curry chicker


My chicken curry is ready to enjoy, one flavorful bite at a time…


Penang Home Cooking School, Curry Chicken

Penang Home Cooking School, Curry Chicken


But first, we need to prepare the Roti Jala…(recipe below)

This is a little bit tricky. The pan must be hot, and the batter spread evenly. Don’t walk away while this is cooking!


Roti Jala

Roti Jala


Ready to eat…I’m drooling as I take this shot!






The recipes…

Curry Chicken

3 chicken legs, cut to 9 or 12 bite size pieces
3 potatoes; peeled and quartered
50 grams coconut cream
200 grams water

Dried spices for sauteing:
2 cm cinnamon stick
4 pips Star Anise
4 cloves
6 Tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp salt
Garnish: kaffir lime strips

Wet paste: (pulverize until fine, add the dry powders and mix well)

4 red chilies
2 lemon grass
80 grams onions
2 cloves garlic


2 tbsp dried chili powder
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp cumin powder
2 tbsp fennel powder
2 tsp turmeric powder


In a pot over medium heat, saute the curry paste with dried spices and cooking oil for 3 to 5 mins., or until fragrant.

Add water, chicken pieces, potatoes, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Open lid, and turn up heat to allow water reduction,
if still too watery.

Once the chicken is exposed add coconut cream and salt. Adjust seasoning, turn off heat once it boils. Garnish with Kaffir Lime strips.


Roti Jala

220 grams bread flour/ 1/2 tsp salt/ 2 tsp of cooking oil/ 2 eggs/ 400 grams milk, water, or coconut cream/ 1/2 tsp turmeric powder


In a blender, add all ingredients and blend well. Let stand for 30 minutes. Use a Roti Jala cup to fill the mixture, and move in a circle over the non-stick pan to form a lacy pattern. Cook and fold to serve with curry.


Pearly’s class is both entertaining and delicious. If you’re in Penang, or planning a visit, I highly recommend that you include a cooking class from Pearly.

Website: Penang Home Cooking School/ email: [email protected]/ phone: 016-4374380 (Pearly responds very quickly)


Do you take cooking classes when you travel?


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  1. Love the purple carrots; they remind me of the purple potatoes from Peru~

  2. Looks like fun shopping and then cooking your meal, I love Malaysian food and the curries are delicious there!

  3. Love it! I’ve never taken a cooking class while traveling, but that is about to change. What is it about purple food, anyway? Purple taro buns are my favorite here on Kauai. The black chicken surprised me. Yum, yum.

  4. I’m curious about the black chicken, Nancie. How do they get black chicken? Is it from cooking or do they feed it something special to give it that colour?
    I’ve never taken a cooking class but I’m definitely open to it, especially if I get to learn how to make something different.
    Thanks for the link!

  5. Wow, love it! Cooking classes are such a great way to get in touch with a new place.

  6. I just ate dinner, and still your images made me drool! Do you find that you make these new recipes at home?

  7. I am so glad that you had a chance to take Pearly’s class. It seems that you enjoyed it as much as I did. To answer Marcia’s question, the black chicken is simply a breed that’s naturally that way. No special feed is required.

  8. Thank you for the recipe, Nancie…

  9. This is something I have wanted to do during my several visits to Asia. I adore Asian food and this looks delicious. A agree the aromas wafting off the blend of spices for the curry are mouth watering!

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