I was planning to post another recipe today but Hubby loved our Sunday dinner so much that he insisted on this. But before giving the recipe I would like to share the small story attached to it.
When I came back from the hospital with the baby my Maa and MIL both were there. Post delivery diets are supposed to be healthy and certain restriction of ingredients are also there. Following which MIL cooked the food very healthy, almost devoid of any spice. I knew a new mother has to eat healthy and light but I like my food tangy so it tasted almost bland to me. Those days I used to have my meals reading cookbooks or watching cookery shows on TV. Those gorgeous pictures helped me eat my meals with ease. One such day while having rice and soy chunk stew for dinner I watched Culinary Asia, a food show featuring the cuisine of different Asian countries. That day they were showing Malaysian food and a lady cooked Laksa, a spicy prawn, tofu and fish ball soup with coconut milk. The final outcome looked so pretty and appetizing that I asked startled MIL (who also was commenting on its bland taste) to serve me more stew. I made a mental note of trying it sometime later. Then with the baby growing up and becoming naughty day by day I forgot about it. recently Hubby went to Malaysia and fell in love with their cuisine (it almost always happen with his trips abroad :-)),he loved their spice foods so much that for the first time he brought some ingredients like Chinese aromatic oil, Pad thai noodles etc from there and asked me to try them. It reminded me of Curry Laksa and somehow instantly i started craving that spicy wholesome soup. I googled and got the best looking curry Laksa on Leemei's site. She has an amazing collection of Asian recipes with yummy photos.
I had adapted the recipe from Leemei’s but also experimented a little bit to get a similar result as seen on TV. I would say this is my version of Curry Laksa, adapted to the availability of the ingredients and also to our taste. If you want to try the original one go here.
Here are the changes that I made. First, we dint have fish balls so I replaced it with Soy Chunks as the texture and look resemble a lot and its healthy and vegetarian. (Or probably the hangover of that soy stews,). I dint use chicken or clam. For fermented shrimp paste I used freshly fried shrimp which I later grounded in a mixie and replaced lemongrass with fresh lime leaves. By mistake I tipped in some turmeric which has made it look so yellowish. Next time I won’t repeat this and will get that gorgeous red colour and would definitely swap the picture then.
And was my experiment with this long standing recipe successful??? You bet. It was a sensational dish with a burst of flavors and taste. In every spoonful of this creamy soup you taste the heat of chillies, sweetness of the coconut milk and tanginess of the lime juice. This healthy, wholesome, one dish soup is perfect to warm you up in this chilly weather. Hubby simply loved it and before finishing his meal enquired when am making it next. So all you spice lovers go make your own bowlful and enjoy this utterly delicious meal.
Malaysian Curry Laksa (serves 2)
For the broth
Thick Coconut milk: 1 cup
Thin coconut milk: 1 cup
I used 1/2 of a fresh coconut. Scraped and boiled it with 1 cup water, strained to get the thick milk. Again mixed another cup of water and strained for the thin milk. If you get readymade coconut milk use 2 cups of that.
Vegetable stock cube: I used Maggi vegetarian stock cube. You can also use chicken stock.
For the paste:
Medium sized onion: 1
1/2" piece of ginger
3 fat cloves of Garlic
3 dry red chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
handful of coriander roots
2 tbspoon lemongrass roots (if you don’t have use 1 tbspoon lemon zest in the final soup)
French beans: 8 no.s, cut in 1" pieces
Tofu: I used 1/2 a packet cut in chunks
Shrimps: 200 gms
Soy chunk: 10 pieces
Yellow noodles: I used a pack of Top Ramen
Cucumber: 1 small
Oil: 2 tbspoon
Boiled eggs: 2 pieces
Brown sugar: 1/2 tspoon
Lime leaves: a few
Soak the soy chunks in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Wash under running water, squeeze and cut in medium sized pieces.
Peel and chop the cucumber, cut the lime leaves in stripes.
With the stock cube boil beans and noodles with 11/2 cups of water. I micro waved it for 10 minutes. Drain the water and reserve it for the broth.
Lightly fry the shrimps with salt. Take out a few and add the boiled stock. Cover and let it simmer on low flame.
In the mean time grind all the items for paste along with the taken out shrimps.
In another pan heat the oil and add the paste, sugar and salt. Fry it on low till oil separates at the side.tip in the soy chunks and tofu. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Now, add the thin coconut milk and stir to mix everything well. Add the lime leaves and cover. When it starts to boil add the thick coconut milk and again mix. After a couple of minutes add in the prawn stock and the boiled beans. Check for seasoning and again bring it to boiling point and your broth is ready.
Serve the Laksa with boiled noodles, boiled cut eggs, chopped cucumber and lime wedges or boiled and shredded chicken, sprouts, clams etc.
Mix everything together, squeeze some lime juice. As the lady correctly commented it’s almost like a treasure hunt in every spoon full. We swirled our spoons, dipped it in the soup and checked each other’s spoon to see what we got. We giggled and devoured the soup like little kids.
Mom of two beautiful kids, one 7 years old boy and a 2 years old girl.A true blue Bengali at heart, a self employed Designer who strives to strike a balance between her personal and professional life. Holds her family and memories close to her heart. Finds solace in cooking and feeding with love. You will get to see her whip up old Bengali recipes as well as other kinds from allover the world.