I’ll start a bit like in school. “I like Asian Cuisine because…” Because it’s good. 🙂 Because it’s pretty. And because every meal turns into a feast.
Instead of one plate filled with dinner on the table are the whole army of plates, bowls, cups. Every one of them holds another dish, the flavors of sauces and dips is mixing with steam from the dumplings, and there are hills of dhals and currys, fresh vegetables cut into neat cubes and pegs are waiting for immersion in… oh.. I didn’t notice this sauce!
Sounds interesting? And imagine the colors. Lush green onions, celery, peppers, okra. Red peppers, and golden yellow turmeric and saffron. And all is shining, tempting with exotic scents…
So when Daria invited me to Cooking with Formula One Singapore Grand Prix – I knew that I MUST present something that not only be sample of Singapore cuisine, but also will show my fascination with Asian cuisine as a whole.
According to some people, Asian cuisine is divided into Singapore and the rest. 🙂 Somehow it can be true as Lion City cuisine is absolute fusion of everything. During its turbulent history of the city was occupied by the Europeans, the Japanese, belonged to the Sultanate of Malaysia.
The base of the Singapore cuisine are Chinese, Malaysian and Indian cuisines, but instead mutually displace or compete, they managed to create a harmonious and a fantastic whole.
An example is today’s dish.
Sukha Batet Nu Shaak is a simple curry with potatoes and cashew nuts, served with breads, poori and a mild yogurt sauce. You will not see sauce on the pictures, because I forgot to remove it from the refrigerator. I’m sorry, but trust me, there was yogurt.
Please, do enjoy this curry. 🙂
1 kg of potatoes
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
approx. 1 cup cashew nuts
2 teaspoons cumin – seeds, not minced
6 leaves fresh sage
0.25 tsp asafoetida – we can substitute it with a mixture of 0.25 teaspoon of minced garlic and 0.25 teaspoons of onion powder (or a few slices of stewed leek)
2 teaspoons chopped red chilli
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 large tomatoes (preferably raspberry, but it can be any fleshy tomatoes. At worst, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste)
0.5 tsp turmeric
half a cup of shredded fresh cilantro or parsley
mixture of salt:
1 teaspoon of lemon grass
1 teaspoon of sweet chilli
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon mixed pepper
teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
2 kafir leaves
2 teaspoons black pepper
300 grams of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil
Water – how much is needed (which depends on the flour), but not more than a cup
1 tsp any spice bread – I added a blend of curry
oil for frying
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon syrup of pine shoots
- Wash potatoes, peel, cut into fairly large cubes. Rinse in cold water. Lightly season with salt and cook until they are slightly al dente. When ready leave potatoes aside.
- Grind herbs of the salt mixture and set aside.
- In the second bowl, prepare: cumin, sage, asafoetida, pepper and ginger.
- Scald tomatoes with boiling water, peel off the skin and remove the seeds, and blend.
- Warm up the oil in a frying pan. Add the cumin mix, cashew nuts and fry on high heat approx. 2 minutes.
- Add the blended tomatoes and turmeric. Stir and cook for another 2 whole minutes.
- When a whole will be clearly aromatic – add potatoes. Reduce the heat and let potatoes simmer with spices approx. 10 minutes.
- Season with salt mix – quite carefully, because the mixture is very salty and sour. It is better to add a pinch every few minutes, giving the potatoes time to absorb spice, than to use all teaspoon at once.
- Add cilantro (or parsley), increase the heat and quickly fry the curry for a minute or two. Translate into bowls and serve.
Prepare poori breads:
It’s better to prepare breads in advance, especially since they are a bit time consuming – we fry them one by one.
- Sift the flour into a bowl, add oil and spices.
- Pour water and mix the dough. It should be a bit firm, but flexible.
- Divide dough into small pieces – I came out with 16 of them. Every piece form into a ball and rub with oil.
- Flatten balls of dough on the counter, and, if too sticky, rub with oil some more. Do not use flour for dusting, because flour will burn during frying. Thus oil. 🙂
- Roll very thin, we do not have to worry about the shape retention. We need to get thin pancakes. Set them aside and cover with a cloth, so they do not dry out.
- Preheat the oil and check it by throwing a piece of dough. If the dough raises steadily – the oil is hot enough.
Put one cake of dough into the heated oil and IMMEDIATELY help him swim. Using a spoon, lightly nudge a poori to freely float to the surface of the oil. If we do this correctly, we will see how our flat poori becomes a small ball. Then we turn it over to get this lovely golden brown color on all poori. And the we remove it to a paper towel.
I admit that I managed get them correctly at my third poori. But, when I saw how it is done? All my poori were perfect after this.
- Yogurt sauce: Mix all the ingredients and then put away the sauce in the fridge. Remove just before serving.
Poori are quite greasy and not necessarily healthy (and certainly not fit), but with a little yogurt and potato curry they taste brilliant. Sometimes you have to turn a blind eye and just eat something good. 🙂