Tauge Kerabu (bean sprout salad)

1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 red capsicum, thinly sliced
2 tbls spring onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp lime juice
1 red chilli, sliced
2 tbls roasted peanuts, lightly crushed

Combine sprouts, capsicum and spring onion.
Fry garlic until golden then mix with all
remaining ingredients.
Mix everything together and serve immediately.

Inspired by Chef Ismail’s buffet at Restoran Rebung – KL

Moo Pa-loh (braised five spice pork)

4 cloves garlic, pounded
500g pork, cut in large chunks
3 coriander roots, pounded
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
2 star anise
1 piece cassia bark
2 tbls kecap manis
2 tbls soy sauce
2 tbls fish sauce
2 tbls palm sugar
2 cups water
200g fried tofu puff
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Heat 2 tbls oil in a large pot and add garlic – stir.
Add pork – stir well. Add all remaining ingredients
except tofu and eggs – cover and cook 15 minutes.
Add tofu and eggs – cover and cook 15 minutes.

Inspired by coffee shop meal in Thanon Rama IV – Trang

Egg Masala (egg curry)

4 eggs, boiled 6 minutes & peeled
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cm ginger, pounded
3 cloves garlic, pounded
1 tbls tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
roti porota to serve, frozen ones from an
Indian grocer are quick to prepare.

Heat 2 tbls oil and sizzle cumin seeds.
Add onion, ginger and garlic – saute until golden.
Add tomato paste and spice powders – stir.
Add tomatoes – stir. Add 2/3 cup water, sugar and salt
– simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Serve sauce with soft-boiled eggs and porota.

Inspired by Tomy, dhaba on beach in Varkala – Kerala

Gaeng Kee-o Wan Neu-a (green beef curry)

350g lean beef, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbls green curry paste (see recipe)
3/4 cup coconut milk
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 tbls fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar
6 round green Thai eggplants, quartered
big handful Thai basil

Heat 2 tbls coconut oil and sizzle garlic until
just coloured. Add curry paste and stir well.
Add coconut milk and torn lime leaves – simmer.
Add fish sauce, sugar and beef – stir until colour changes.
Add 1/2 cup water and eggplants – simmer 5 minutes.
Add basil and mix well until wilted.

Inspired by ‘Rattana’, stall in Nang Leung market – Bangkok.

Aloo Thekkady (potato and tomato masala)

1 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chillies, halved
2 stalks curry leaves
500g potatoes, cut in 2cm chunks
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp sugar
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp coriander powder
300g tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 tsp coconut vinegar
roti porota to serve, frozen ones from
an Indian grocer are quick to prepare

Heat 2 tbls oil and sizzle mustard seeds,
dried chillies and curry leaves.
Add potato – saute 2 to 3 minutes.
Add turmeric, chilli powder, sugar, garlic and coriander
– mix well, cover and cook until potatoes are tender.
Add tomatoes and vinegar – cook until just softened.
Serve with roti porota for breakfast.

Inspired by Hotel Ariya Bhavan, Kumily – Kerala

Sambal Tumis Kacang Panjang (snake bean sambal)

100g snake beans, cut 5cm
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 birds eye chilli
1 tsp galangal, chopped
1/2 tbls lemongrass, chopped
1/8 tsp trasi (shrimp paste)
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1 salam leaf
1/4 cup coconut milk

Pound together garlic, shallot, chilli, galangal,
lemongrass, trasi, sugar and coriander powder.
Heat 1 tbls oil and saute this rempah paste 1 minute.
Add beans and stir-fry 5 minutes.
Add salam leaf and coconut milk – cook 10 minutes until dryish.

Replicated from Warung Wardani, Denpasar – Bali

Suan La Bai Cai (sour and spicy cabbage)

300g wong bok, sliced 5cm
1 tbls chilli bean paste
1/2 tbls ginger, pounded
2 tsp dried prawns
1 tsp sesame oil
‘SAUCE’
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls sugar
2 tbls black rice vinegar
1/2 tbls rice wine

Combine ‘sauce’ ingredients – set aside.
Pound dried prawns into floss.
Heat 1 tbls oil and fry chilli bean paste and ginger 15 seconds.
Add prawn floss – fry 15 seconds.
Add cabbage stalks – fry 1 minute.
Add cabbage leaves – fry 1 minute.
Add ‘sauce’ – stir. Add sesame oil and mix well.

Inspired by small eatery near Red Square – Beijing

Fu Rong Dan (egg fuyung)

6 eggs, beaten
25g wood fungus, soaked and shredded
110g minced pork
110g daikon, cut in matchsticks
110g green beans, sliced
2 cups wong bok, shredded
4 spring onions, shredded
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls rice wine
2 tsp sesame oil

Heat 2 tbls oil, add pork and stir 2 minutes.
Add wood fungus, daikon, beans, cabbage
and spring onion – stir 3 minutes.
Add pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil – stir 1 minute.
Add eggs and flip gently into pieces when set and browned.

Recreated from Zhong Ye Gong, small eatery near Forbidden City – Beijing

Uttapam (South Indian pancake)

‘uttapam mix’ is sold in 500g packets in
Indian grocery stores – MTR brand is good.

160g uttapam mix
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 small onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 green chilli, chopped
1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
sambar (see recipe) to serve
coconut chutni (see recipe) to serve

Combine uttapam mix with yoghurt and
about 1 cup water. Add chilli and coriander.
Heat 1/2 tbls oil in non-stick frying pan and
add half the batter to make to make a 1/2 cm
thick uttapam, top with onion and tomato.
Fry until crispy then flip using a plate and fry
until lightly browned. Repeat for second uttapam.
Serve each with a katori of sambar and chutni.

Recreated from Lakshmi Bhavan – Munnar, Kerala

Nariyal ki Chutni (coconut chutney)

1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen – NOT dessicated)
1 green chilli
1 tsp ginger
1 tbls chana dal, toasted
1/2 tsp urid dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 dried red chilli, halved
1 sprig curry leaves

Blend coconut, chilli, ginger and chana dal
with 1/4 cup water to a fine paste.
Heat 2 tsp oil and sizzle urid dal, mustard seeds,
dried chilli and curry leaves – mix into paste
and serve immediately OR store in fridge overnight.
Serve with idli or uttapam.

Inspired by every idli wallah across Tamil Nadu.