10 Dec Nasi kandar
Some of you may know that Mr Munch and I have a massive photo of a curry in our living room. Not your average decor, but it’s a bright colourful picture with great food and travel memories of Malaysia (plus, if you look closely you can see our reflections in the spoons!). The dish in question is Nasi Kandar, basically a sort of curry buffet ? We were introduced to nasi kandar at a restaurant called Line Clear in Penang via a Food Ranger recommendation. I’ve never seen so many different curries in one place – shelves full of whole curried prawns, chicken, lamb, fried eggs, as well as greens and cabbage cooked with turmeric and mustard seeds. My favourite bit was when the server used our plates as scoops to dish out our saffron rice from the massive vat in front of us. They don’t short change you here!
With such good memories we thought it would be really fun to recreate this dish for family. Cue bulk shopping and preparing tubs of curry for the freezer – I love a well stocked freezer! Both of us enjoy cooking so this was a thoroughly enjoyable process. We tried a mixture of new and well tested recipes. The chicken curry recipe (which I talked about in a previous post) was a no brainer option, to which we added a Sri Lankan prawn curry. This uses coconut milk so has a creamier sauce to it. It’s a versatile curry – I’ve made this with cod and salmon instead of prawns, and in fact the original recipe calls for mackerel. Our final meaty curry was a nyonya (chinese malay) chicken curry which uses a more finely ground paste and has quite a peppery flavour. For veggies I prepared saag aloo (indian spinach and potato curry) as well as some shredded cabbage inspired by our meal in Penang.
Malays really love their heat so I made a simple sambal (hot chilli paste). I used a processor as I don’t have a pestle and mortar so it may not be the most authentic but it certainly does the job! I used red chillies on this occasion, including one scotch bonnet, all without seeds. It depends on your preference but I’d say to four or five chillies add one chopped lemongrass, one anchovy and one tablespoon each of rice vinegar and soy sauce (or tamari in my case). Season with salt and blend to a chunky paste consistency.
If you would like more detailed recipes for any of the curries mentioned, let me know in the comments or send me a message on instagram. Please give this post a like and share it if you enjoyed it! I’d love to see what kind of food you enjoy sharing with your friends and families, especially during this festive season! Until next week, happy munchtime ???