Chockful of hearty ingredients, this ‘curry of abundance’ promises greater prosperity this CNY

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 — A week into the Year of the Wood Dragon and many of us might be getting tired of all that sumptuous feasting and never-ending lou sang sessions. (Shocking, but true!)

Now that the reunion repasts have been completed and the relatives have all returned to their own homes (or hometowns), perhaps it’s time for a simpler meal.



However, given that it is still Chinese New Year (most of us celebrate till the 15th day), even a simple meal ought to foretell good fortune to come. Flavour is welcome; faring well in the coming 12 months, more so.

My mum would always cook a chicken rendang or a pork curry, typically loaded with plenty of potatoes and carrots, for Chinese New Year. This will always taste better the next day, and keeps well when frozen.

Here is my own take on her curry, still resplendent with a profusion of potatoes and carrots, but jazzed up with a “roux” of roasted tomatoes and garlic. Chillies for heat and some festive Chinese sausages for a nuanced boost in flavour.

Sometimes more is more.

So savour this “curry of abundance”, chock full of hearty ingredients, promising greater prosperity in the beautiful year ahead.

Potatoes and carrots give a curry real heft.


Roasting cherry tomatoes and garlic — making sure to use good extra virgin olive oil and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and sea salt — will give your curry an unexpected sweetness and aroma.

By puréeing the roasted tomatoes and garlic, these secret ingredients will melt into the curry and provide a surprising but welcome flavour when detected.

This tomato-and-garlic purée will also result in a consistency similar to a Japanese curry, but without the need for a store-bought roux.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic make the curry sweeter and more aromatic.

To add greater depth to the flavour base, we use some red cili padi and Chinese sausages. The former will add heat while just a few slices of the latter guarantees a hit of flavourful oils. It’s a subtle but discernible presence.

Finally, we get our requisite dose of green from some siu bak choy. Blanch these just before serving the curry, just enough that the leaves barely wilt, giving the dish another burst of colour.

Red cili padi add heat (left) while Chinese sausages provide flavourful oils (right).


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