If I was to write a list of my favourite things to eat, curry would generally not make it into the Top 10, simply because there are plenty of other foods I would prefer to eat for various reasons. There’s always an exception though and mine would be this Malaysian curry that’s probably not nearly as authentic as the real thing but still tastes fantastic.
The specific brand of paste used here is “Tean’s Gourmet” authentic Malaysian vegetarian curry paste but honestly, most Malaysian curry pastes bought from any decent Asian supermarket will do, bearing in mind they do come in varying degrees of spiciness. Note also that we have never made curry according to “type” (massaman, panang, etc); we pretty much just buy the sauce and throw in any ingredients we want.
Because it’s something my mum is especially good at cooking, here are the ingredients she uses and her instructions on how she cooks this curry:
- A packet of a Malaysian curry paste of your choice – depending on how many people you’re cooking for, you generally don’t need to use the whole packet. About 100g is enough for about 4-5 people.
- A whole onion – chopped, diced, whatever, it doesn’t matter
- Coconut milk – depends on how creamy you want it
- Vegetable oil
- Any ingredients you want with the curry, so meat, potatoes, etc. In the one in this picture, there is a large potato cut into chunks, an egg plant also cut into chunks and some chicken wings
- Thin rice noodles, otherwise known as rice vermicelli
- Fish sauce, for seasoning
- Fresh lemon juice
- Fresh mint leaves
Using those ingredients, do something along the lines of:
- Place oil in the saucepan/pot that you’ll be cooking the curry in
- Fry the onions on a low-ish heat in the saucepan/pot until they’re soft
- Add the paste in with the onions and cook on a medium heat until it “starts to smell nice” (her words, not mine)
- Drop in all the other ingredients into the saucepan/pot i.e. chicken, egg plant, etc
- Add some salt to taste (Note that you generally add in fish oil when you go to eat this and that’s really salty so be careful here)
- Continue stirring the curry while slowly adding in a little bit of water until the sauce covers about half the ingredients in the saucepan/pot (You can replace the water with some sort of stock if you wanted more flavour/saltiness). Be careful not to put too much liquid in as you don’t want it really runny
- When all ingredients are cooked, add as much or as little coconut milk as you want. For 4 people, about 165ml (a small can) is enough
- Leave that on a low heat and cook the rice noodles until they’re semi-soft to soft but definitely not soggy. Drain the noodles through a colander
- Serve the curry on top of a bed of noodles, squeeze over the juice of a lemon wedge, splash on some fish sauce depending on how salty you want it and top it all off with fresh mint leaves. My mum also likes to add some sliced cucumber as well but this is more for texture than taste. Bean sprouts also work to get that crunchy texture.
Hopefully that all made some sort of sense! It’s really straightforward and as I said, it’s probably not what you would find in Malaysia but that doesn’t matter so much for me in this case, especially when my mouth waters profusely every single time I smell this wafting through the house.