December 27, 2014

Christmas Cooking with PHILIPS and Chef Zam

Cooking with PHILIPS Airfryer and Pressure Cooker

T’was the week before Christmas and when I had received an invitation to attend a Christmas Cooking workshop by PHILIPS, it was like receiving an early Christmas present that had me jumping with joy! I have always loved to cook besides just eating. Cooking always relaxes me. My after fruits of labor, when savored by others, always never fail to give me much satisfaction. To be able to put food on the table to me is a blessing in many ways. However, having a full-time job, a blogger cum writer and a little one to take care, time is never my best friend. And so cooking becomes less as sometimes it can be a long process, of course depending on what you cook.

I have been a loyal follower of PHILIPS for a while. After joining two competitions by PHILIPS and other product, I am very pleased with PHILIPS cooking gadgets and have found that they are of great help when it comes to whipping up a meal for my family. They certainly make cooking so much easier, faster and healthier too. Having also been to their previous workshop here, I was already as excited as I can be for another sharing cooking workshop, this round themed ‘Christmas Cooking with PHILIPS and Chef Zam’.

I have met Chef Zam on several occasions and he was also one of the judges in the last PHILIPS competition I joined a few months ago. A charismatic chef, Chef Zam is likeable and funny. Minutes into the workshop held at Silverspoon International College and every one of us were already at ease and joking with him like we have known him for ages. The focus of the workshop was recipes sharing session using PHILIPS Airfryer and PHILIPS Electric Pressure Cooker in preparing several easy and fast recipes for the festive holiday seasons.

The workshop took off with Chef Zam briefing us our recipes for the day and also going through the ingredients and overall process. We were set to whip up Ayam Percik, Chicken Risotto, Cretan Kaltsounia and Banana Nutella Spring Roll using both PHILIPS Airfryer and PHILIPS Electric Pressure Cooker. Chef Zam then proceeds to give us his cooking demo before we all had our own hands on for the recipes.

Cooking for Chef Zam is fun, in fact he makes it fun and easy. Of course the PHILIPS electrical cooking appliance is the main reason why cooking can be fun and easy as well. Here are the recipes and notes that I have taken down for all four recipes that are just so simple to make for the festive holiday seasons. I paired up with Kylie Wenn and her little prince on our hands on session. It was great meeting her and others…


Who says one can’t have a Christmas meal with a Malaysian authentic and classic dish of Ayam Percik? It makes a great change instead of turkey, especially for those who do not have a large party. Plus, one can always tweak the recipe to a Western inspired chicken once you grab the basics of using the PHILIPS Airfryer.

Ayam Percik varies in color and flavour depending on the origins of the country. We were told by Chef Zam that the Kelantan version has a whitish hue as it does not have chilies in the spices while the Terengganu version has the bright orange red hue due to the addition of chilies. We are making the Terengganu version in the workshop.

Our Ayam Percik is so juicy and flavourful. I never thought I can airfry a whole chicken in 30 minutes but I can now with PHILIPS Airfryer. This is also healthier as I barely used any oil in the marinade.

Ayam Percik Recipe

For sauce (Ingredients A):
9 cloves of red shallot               }
1 clove of white garlic               } blended
½ inch ginger                           }
2 tbsp chili pepper
2 cups of thick santan                                                                                                 
¼ tbsp of fenugreek (halba)
3 lemongrass (serai) stalks       } crushed
Shrimp paste (Belacan)
Salt and sugar for taste
½ cup of water
Cooking oil for sauté

Marinating the Chicken (Ingredients B):
1 whole chicken (under 1kg to be able to fit into the airfryer)
4 cloves of red onions               }
1 clove of white onion               }
1 inch ginger                            } blended
1 lemongrass (serai) stalk        }
½ tbsp coriander powder
½ tbsp cumin powder

1.   Heat up PHILIPS Air Fryer with the Double-Layer Tray.
2.   Mix and marinate chicken with ingredients B for 20 minutes in the fridge.
3.   Then, using Philips Air Fryer, bake chicken for 25 minutes at 180°C. (timing depends on the size of the chicken so reduce or increase accordingly)
4.   For the sauce, sauté blended ingredients with shrimp paste and chilli pepper until there is a fragrant smell. Stir evenly before adding water.
5.   Add in santan and fenugreek, while stirring evenly.
6.   Add in lemongrass.
7.   Add salt and sugar for taste.
8.   Sauté sauce for 20 – 30 minutes over low heat until thick and color has deepened into a rich orange hue.
9.   Once done, pour sauce over baked chicken and bake for another 10 minutes, and it’s ready to serve.
10. Leftover Percik sauce can also be served poured over the finished chicken or served on the side.

·   Do not marinade the chicken more than 30 minutes as it will breakdown the enzymes of the protein and make the chicken too soft.
·   For every ½ kg chicken, allow 20 to 25 minutes for cooking time.
·   For another version of the sauce, pour in the blended spices together with santan and a little water and heat up on slow heat till the sauce thickens and the oil surface. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and seasoned well.
·   We actually ladled the Percik sauce over the chicken, baked it for 10 minutes and repeat this process one more time for added richness.


We love our rice, or at least I do, and so when I saw that the next recipe was going to be Chicken Risotto cooked in PHILIPS Pressure Cooker, it sure sounds easy since I know we can just put in all the ingredients and let the pressure cooker work its magic.

Though it doesn’t resemble a risotto fully, the rice is decently delicious. There should be a bit more liquid just like a risotto. The overall flavours have a comfort note and the dish is hearty and filled with protein, carb and nutrients from all the ingredients. It’s an easy one pot wonder dish that can be ready on the table in less than 30 minutes with all the prep and cooking time.

Chicken Risotto Recipe

2 cups Arborio rice
2 chicken thigh pieces (diced or sliced into pieces)
1.1 liter vegetable or chicken stock (else use 1 cube chicken stock & water)
2 tbsp olive oil
80g unsalted butter
2 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic (finely crushed)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
700g Swiss brown mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ tbsp. cumin powder
Salt and Pepper to season
Basil leaves for garnishing

1.   Using PHILIPS pressure cooker, heat up olive oil and 1/3 of the butter.
2.   Add chopped garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
3.   Combine chopped onions and cumin powder and allow to cook for a minute till soft.
4.   Add in the chicken to brown it, then add in mushrooms, followed by rice and stir well.
5.   Add in vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
6.   Close pressure cooker lid, bring it to pressure and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
7.   Remove from heat and release the pressure.
8.   Stir in basil leaves and baby spinach and cover back the lid to let the greens wilt for a few minutes. The heat from the rice should cook the greens.
9.   Stir in remaining butter and parmesan cheese and serve.


Desserts are always a favorite during festive seasons. The following desserts are super easy to make and uses PHILIPS Airfryer for a healthier and faster touch. These are sure crowd-pleasers because when we all tasted them fresh off the airfryer, these were super addictive and gone within minutes.

The first dessert is Cretan Kaltsounia, a baked ricotta tart from Crete, Greece. Chef Zam uses filo pastry instead of tart shells for the dessert. There are also various fillings available but the more classic one uses ricotta cheese. The second dessert is Banana Nutella Spring Roll, another great dessert using only four ingredients. Banana and chocolate combo always works like a charm.

Cretan Kaltsounia Recipe

For Pastry Wrap:
10 sheets of filo pastry (cut into a width of 2 to 3 inches)
200g melted butter

For Filling
500g Ricotta cheese or Mizithra cheese
2 eggs
Drizzle of honey

For Topping
1 cup coarse sugar
½ cup of water
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp of toasted sesame

1.   Boiled sugar and cinnamon stick in water until reduced to a thick consistency. Set aside to chill.
2.   To make the filling, mix cheese and egg with honey until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
3.   Brush each filo pastry sheets with melted butter generously and layer it with another filo pastry on top. Repeat this process till you get at least 3 to 4 layers of filo pastry all neatly brushed and covered with melted butter.
4.   Place one table spoon of filling on each cut pieces of layered filo pastry and fold into a triangle.
5.   Repeat the process to used up all the filo pastry and filling.
6.   At this point, one can freeze up the pastry till it is needed or simply airfry it.
7.   Heat up PHILIPS Airfryer at 180 degree celsuis for 5 minutes and airfry the kaltshounia for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
8.   Sprinkle sesame and drizzle with topping of sugar syrup before serving.

Banana Nutella Spring Roll Recipe

1 package frozen filo pastry (cut into small square pieces)
6 small banana (preferably pisang emas, peeled and sliced into half length)
1 cup Nutella
1 cup peanut butter
¼ cup melted butter
Vanilla ice cream (optional for serving)

1.   Spread 1 layer of filo pastry on a damp towel and brush with melted butter.
2.   Put another layer of filo pastry on top of the first layer and repeat the process until 5 to 6 layers.
3.   Place one peeled and sliced banana on it and top with 1 teaspoon each of Nutella and peanut butter.
4.   Fold the sides and roll it securely like a spring toll.
5.   Brush with more melted butter all over the roll and repeat the process until done.
6.   Preheat PHILIPS Airfryer at 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
7.   Arrange the rolls in the frying basket and airfry for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and flaky.
8.   Remove the spring rolls and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

It was certainly another fruitful and interesting cooking workshop by PHILIPS. Here are out fruits of labor together with other groups.

Group photo with Chef ZAM

Thanks to PHILIPS for the Christmas cooking workshop with Chef Zam! With PHILIPS Airfryer, I can now roast a chicken in half an hour and make Chicken Risotto in PHILIPS Pressure Cooker faster and easier.

For more information, check out the Philips Home Living at their Facebook: & Website:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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