I love Indian food and mamak food in particular. We often go to one particular place in Kuching almost weekly for roti and thosai. The thosai comes with dipping sauces of dhal and coconut chutney but we like the fish curry sauce the best.
One day I got some pieces of fish to go along with the curry. It was delicious! But then we got the bill and it turned out that the fish pieces were 5 ringgit each! Being the pake person that I am, I decided that I should learn to cook fish curry for myself because then I could buy a whole fish for 20 ringgit and save some money.
Armed with just my instincts and the flavor profile that I got from having this fish curry over several visits I decided to try to recreate it.
Indian Fish Curry
Recipe for how to make this tasty, South Indian fried lentil snack called vada or vadai.
A few days ago, Nate and I were walking in Kuching’s version of a strip mall (more like a row of shop lots) looking for Christmas presents for our kids and we bumped into an Indian lady selling snacks outside a store. She spoke to me in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) which surprised me. I guess she must have lived here a good long time and have interacted with enough Chinese here to pick up the language. I bet her Hokkien is better than mine!
Anyway, she was selling vadai and some steamed chickpeas. Nate had been craving vadai for a long time so we happily snapped up some to munch on as we walked around shopping. Though they were tasty, they lacked the curry leaves that Nate loves dearly and they just didn’t have any heat to them. That is one problem with living here in Kuching—people don’t enjoy their food too spicy. My heat tolerance has probably gone down a lot since getting here. And being that this lady was local to Kuching, she has also tempered her food to match the local tastebuds.
Feeling somewhat deprived of good vadai, I decided it was time to try to make some of my own. I’ve had a Southern Indian cookbook that I bought many years ago that I’ve never gotten around to cooking from and I decided that it was time to look at the recipes again. True enough, there was a section on snacks and there was not just one recipe for vadai but several recipes.
The House of Annie has been pretty quiet lately, as Annie took the kids with her to Kuala Lumpur to visit with friends and family. I’ve been staying here at home in Kuching, living the bachelor life for the past five days. Fortunately, there’s a public holiday coming up on Friday so I’ll be joining Annie and the kids in KL for a few short days over the coming weekend. (Yay!)
So, what have I been eating? On Saturday, I ate pretty well, thanks to our friend Mike who took me to have FooChow beef noodle soup in the morning, Hainam chicken rice for lunch, and thosai and garlic naan for dinner. But the rest of the time, I’ve been eating leftovers for dinner.
Annie left me with a big dish of kau yuk – fried and steamed pork belly and taro . It took me three nights to eat it all, but I finally finished it. So here I am on Wednesday night with no more leftovers to eat. Besides finishing the prepared leftovers, Annie told me that I should cook the head cabbage that was left in the fridge. (more…)
Now, on with the Quick Asian Dish of the day, Mustard Potatoes. This dish is part of a weeklong series that I’m doing in honor of Steamy Kitchen Jaden’s birthday. She’s looking for recipes that take 15 minutes or less to prepare.
This dish was taught to us by friends of ours who invited us to their place for dinner. They are vegans from India, and they prepare dishes that are simply delicious. The food is so good, you can’t stop eating.