Friday, 2 July 2010

sayur lodeh

Casting about for ideas, I wanted some curry inspiration. Em, stuck ("stuck") in Singapore suggested that she would be cooking sayur lodeh for dinner, and maybe I too would like to give it a go. And indeed, I felt that I would.

Sayur lodeh is a delicious, spicy coconutty vegetable curry, thick with gravy, from Malaysia. It is a traditional Malay dish, very tasty, and has an odd flavour that you can only think of as Malaysian. This, as it turns out, is the flavour of the blacan. Blacan, incidentally, is not usually suitable for veg*ns, being made from shrimp, but due to a heads up from Chris at Eurasian Sensation, I went on an expedition to Box Hill and discovered some vegan blacan there. It's made from soyabeans. What a surprise.

sayur lodor

sayur lodeh

This should be served with lontong, but I was too lazy to make it. Also lontong is an overnight affair. Maybe next time!

2 cups shredded chinese cabbage (wombok)
1 carrot (diced)
1 potato (diced)
1 cup snake beans (halved or thirded)
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
300g tofu (diced)
a little bit of shredded coconut

for the curry paste
1 tbl vegan blacan
2 tablespoon chilli flakes, soaked in a tiny amount of hot water
2 shallots, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass
2cm ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 fresh chilli

For the paste, pound together all the paste ingredients. You can use a blender, but I find pounding more fun!

For the sayur lodeh, heat some oil (peanut or vegetable) in a pot, then add the curry paste until it is fragrant. Add the water and coconut milk, bring to a boil, and add the bay leaves (and, if you are so inclined, some more fresh chillies). Reduce the heat, throw in the vegies except the cabbage, and leave to simmer for ten minutes. Then add the cabbage and the tofu, and leave until the vegies are tender but not falling apart.

THAT'S IT. Garnish with shredded coconut. Serve with lontong, roti, or fresh steamed rice.

I love sayur lodeh.

1 comment:

Eurasian Sensation said...

Yo! Sayur lodeh is my mum's favourite thing to make... unfortunately I have eaten it so many times in my life I can no longer get excited about it! Nice though. I always thought of it as being Indonesian rather than Malaysian, but like a lot of dishes in the region it is both. And the Indo version is probably a little different.

Instead of bay leaves we would always use salam leaves (daun salam), which are sometimes wrongly described as bay leaves on the packet. Usually only the Indonesian grocers stock these. I don't think Malaysian food uses salam leaf.

We would always use galangal rather than ginger also. Corn and diced eggplant are common additions to the Indo version as well.