Well, I’m still eating soft food! It’s winter here so we’re having lots of long-cooked dishes like soups and stews. I was inspired to make this dish after a visit to my local asian grocer, where I found a giant family sized pack of frozen parathas!
It’s so great having a good grocer nearby. I thought I had some curry leaves in the freezer that I harvested from our curry tree before leaving our old house, but when I went to get them I realised it was the kaffir lime leaves I’d harvested! ARGH! So I had to drop up to the shop again, hoping frozen curry leaves would be available. The assistant asked me, “Are you looking for something?” When I told her curry leaves, she said “We have FRESH ones!” Yay! I love that store. We are rather spoiled here in Perth to have so many excellent small asian stores. This one seems particularly good for its size, maybe because it serves the many Malaysian and Singaporean students right next door at the university!
So back home, and then on with the curry!
I have to confess I haven’t got an inside line on Malaysian curry…I just follow a simplified version of the recipe on the Alagappa curry powder packet! Some of my Malaysian friends put me on to that spice mix. Others prefer a Thai style red curry paste mix for the spice base.
I’m into rough methods (like my mother!), so here it is:
- Process a chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic and a small knob of ginger.
- Heat a little oil and add two anise stars, a cinnamon stick, four cloves and a handful of curry leaves. Let them sizzle a bit, then add the onion paste.
- When the water has come out of the onion, mix a couple of spoonfuls (depending on how hot you can stand it) of curry powder to a paste with a spoonful of water and add it. Add a little oil if it’s too dry. Gently fry and stir it until the paste is blended and fragrant. Season with salt.
- Add half a kilo or so of cut up beef (I used oyster blade), and a can of good quality coconut milk (e.g. Ayam). My friends suggest half coconut milk, half water. Sometimes I do this, sometimes not! Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add a few potatoes, peeled and chunked, and similar amount of carrots, also chunked (or like I did, small fat carrots left whole!) About 45 minutes later it’s ready to serve, with rice, paratha and some (not particularly authentic) steamed veggies!