Ili Sulaiman
Ili Sulaiman

“My mum is half-Chinese, half-British. My dad is half-Sri Lankan, half-Malay. I grew up loving food of different cuisines even though I grew up in Malaysia. Having been exposed to cooking since I was 7 years old, nothing gets me going like food. Malaysian food is packed full of scrumptious flavours -the kick of spices, the freshness of herbs, sweet vegetables, tropical fruit and a bounty of fresh seafood and meat. Recently, I’ve gone off gluten and diary, but I continue to stay true to cooking Malaysian food. And people tell me, my food tastes great. Watch me in the kitchen, save my recipes –join me on AFN, as I make Malaysian food that I love, and I’m sure you will love it too.”

Ili Sulaiman is a Malaysian chef. She has several shows of her own, including Home Cooked: Malaysia; Family Feast with Ili, and authored the hot-selling cookbook, For the Love of Food. Follow her on all socials @ilisulaiman.

Start Off Your Lunar New Year Feasting Right with Ili's 4 Course Recipes

Under 60 mins

Salted Egg Almond Cups

There’s just something about almond and salted egg that reminds you of Chinese New Year, and with these two ingredients, I’ve made these delicious Salted Egg Almond Cups to celebrate the festive season. This is my take on gooey meringue cookies with a gluten-free and Asian twist. Crunchy and super addictive, these sweet treats are best eaten fresh out of the oven.

DIY Spring Roll Starter Board (with Aromatic Crispy Duck and Tiger Prawns)

I love a good charcuterie board and have decided to incorporate my love of spring rolls into this Asian-inspired platter. During the festivities, you are probably busy in the kitchen preparing your food, so this DIY Spring Roll Starter Board is something you can prepare in advance. With a gorgeous array of fillings and sauces available, your guests are free to have fun and build their own spring rolls while you prep and cook the main dishes

Braised Spicy Chicken Hotpot

There’s nothing like a good hotpot. I love it so much I started my own hotpot business in Malaysia. It’s the perfect dinner party feast as you can customise the ingredients - the types of meat, vegetables, and dipping sauces - to suit the preferences of your guests. The recipe for my Spicy Braised Chicken Hotpot is flexible in that you can make it kid friendly by separating the chili oil, for a less spicy option. If you want to crank up the heat, feel free to go all out and add in the chili oil into the broth - guaranteed to fire up your Chinese New Year festivities!

Vegetarian Poon Choi

An auspicious dish that is rooted in tradition, Poon Choi is a must have for any Chinese New Year family gathering. This year, my family has decided to be more sustainable and a little lighter on the stomach during the festivities, so I found joy in adding a modern twist to this classic dish by creating my Vegetarian Poon Choi. Filled with over 16 different mushrooms, vegetables and meat free proteins, this veggie delight makes for an equally delicious and filling yet healthy meal.

Cook Along with Ili

Cook along with Ili this Ramadan with her delicious raya recipes that you can recreate easily at home. Join her LIVE on our facebook page every Tuesday, 5PM SEA as she whips up a new dish that's simply delicious.


Mochi Donuts

The perfect buka puasa treat. Mochi doughnuts are crispy on the outside with a sticky and chewy inside.

Sambal Tempeh, Kacang & Ikan Bilis

In just over half an hour, grab a handful of dried anchovies, peanuts, block of tempeh and a smatter of sharp garlic, ginger, juicy onions and sweet tamarind paste to make a magical dish. You’ll blend the herby-licious ones up, and toss everything into the hot oiled pan and watch them all transform into golden and caramelisy. A simple but umami-packed dish that can be eaten with mains for a satisfying breakfast, or anytime of the day. PS, we’re having it on the first day of Ramadan with a bowl of warm coconutty Lontong.

Roti Jala and Chicken Curry

Roti Jala, a tasty curry-spiced net-like crepe, is a must-have in the family during Ramadan meals of Iftar and Sahur. Now, this one’s a gluten-free version that uses liquid aminos in place of soy sauce. In all under half an hour, make this perfectly paired spicy curry to satisfy your Malaysian taste buds.

Mushroom and Tempeh Rendang

"Love the luscious, creamy rendang but can’t have meat? We’ve got you covered with our special Mushroom and Tempeh Rendang that packs the same punch while staying meatless! Mushrooms and Tempeh make for great vegetarian rendang ingredients due to their textures – slightly chewy and soft but not mushy when cooked. This wonderful rendang is spicy, sweet and tangy all at once. Serve it up with a steaming plate of basmati rice and you are all set.

Spicy Sardine Fried Rice - Nasi Goreng Sardine

Spicy, sweet, salty, this spicy sardine fried rice packs a flavourful punch. And it's so easy to make, and requires ingredients you may already have in the kitchen. A malaysian favourite, cook this tasty, easy dish today.

Soy Fried Peppery Chicken (Ayam Goreng Kicap Lada Hitam)

Devour this savory and peppery fried chicken, also known as Ayam Goreng Kicap Lada Hitam, as the perfect flavor duo!

Sotong Masak Hitam

Sotong Masak Hitam is one of Southeast Asian's all-time favorites. This recipe is easy to make for everyday cooking. A dish that is perfect for your next gathering.

Tamarind Chilli Beef Stew (Asam Pedas Daging)

Spicy and sour with beef that falls off the bone, meat that melts in your mouth. Stewed to perfection, this tamarind chilli beef stew (asam pedas daging) is what you need right now.

Coconut Jelly

Cold jelly on a hot day. That’s good, but what’s better? Well, cold coconut strips in smooth sweet cubes, on a hot day. And more? It takes just 20 min, and serves six. But we say, have the whole plate to yourself, some things are best indulged alone.

Chicken Rice Porridge

A sizzling mix of chicken fat, soy sauce and sesame oil is what makes this plain porridge magic. It’s helped by garlic and ginger fried to a exude a hypnotic smell that seeps through a warm pot of pillow-y white porridge. A simple and substantial 30 min meal.

Lotus Root Soup

A light Chinese soup eaten anytime and especially at Chinese New Year. Sip slowly the fat-infused chicken soup naturally sweetened with lotus root and big soft peanuts for a nutty, silky finish in between swirling herbal garlic and ginger bits.

Steamed Brown Cake

Creamy coconut milk and soft rich gula melaka makes this fluffy cake a loved Chinese dessert in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s thoroughly mixed into rice flour(a great gluten-free alternative), and steamed until you get a soothing sweet aroma. Eat warm.

Peanut Soup with Glutinous Riceballs

Golden brown peanuts first roasted then crumbed and tossed into rich butter. Then, they are portioned gently into chewy rice flour balls and bubbled in a brown sugared soup. When still warm, eat this traditional Chinese festive dessert comfortably, popping it whole or delightfully stretching it into two.

Salt Baked Chicken

A signature Hakka dish, the salt baked chicken is a salty, savoury, lightly spiced chicken that is tender, moist, and pairs addictively well with rice. After spending a night in the fridge to become firm, the chicken is wrapped in baking paper, encased in a thick shell of coarse salt, and left to soak in its juices. Perfect to have it with rice and soup at your Chinese New Year dinner.
Under 60 mins

Vegetarian Briyani

Looking to whip up something truly Malaysian? Why not try our Vegetarian Briyani recipe! This recipe is perfect for any festive season as the colors are vibrant - yellow color basmati rice from the saffron water, red from the tomatoes, white from the coconut milk, and lastly, green color from the garnishings. You can always replace the jackfruit in this recipe with potatoes, carrots, broccoli, or anything that you have in your fridge! It is always up to you! For those who are not a fan of spice, remember to add some sugar to balance off the spiciness!

Curried Sausage Rolls with Spicy Mango Chutney

Bite slowly into a flaky moist curried-spiced puff pastry stuffed with a plump sausage. Smell the intense flavours of garlic, garam masala and sharp ginger as they seep out with each bite. Add another layer of rich flavour when you dip it into a thick coat of sour-sweet mango chutney, or mango sauce.

Sugee Cake

Soaking through the sugee cake is a buttery rich and nutty taste, beautifully mixed with a creamy swirl of eggs and vanilla. The sugee cake, a type of wheat flour cake is baked to a deliciously almond-y aroma, and is perfect for those who wish to tuck into an unusual bake this Christmas season.

Stuffed Tofu Pok

You might love it when drenched in hot coconut laksa. But here, tofu puffs are deep-fried and potato stuffed, and you might love it too. A plate of tofu puffs are first emptied of tofu, then stuffed with a creamy, savoury mixture of mashed potato, rich eggs and soft tofu. Try it, it’s a mix cooked in culinary heaven.

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