On the long list of ethnic foods I miss from my NYC days, Malaysian Curry nears the top.
Malaysian curry is really rad because (like most delicious food) it's a melange of regional flavors. There's Indian elements, Thai elements, and of course Indonesian stuff happening. You can purchase Malay curry powders in most ethnic grocery stores, but making your own is easy-peasy if you stock a well-herbed kitchen.
Malaysian Curry spice mix: (per can coconut milk or per 3 servings - increase exponentially for bigger amounts)
Turmeric, 1 tsp
Coriander, ½ tsp
Fenugreek, ½ tsp
Cumin, ¼ tsp
Cinammon, 2-3 grates
Fennel powder, ¼ tsp
Cayenne, dash, for heat
Dash ground cloves
Mix it all in a small bowl and heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-low. Toast the spices for 1-2 minutes, until they're very aromatic. This will help relieve the Fenugreek of some of its bitterness and make for a deeper, richer flavor. (A pregnant client of mine told me that she takes Fenugreek supplements, as prescribed by her Doc - so maybe this is good preggers food?)
Onto the rest of the curry! You'll need:
Cardamom, 2 pods
1 can coconut milk
1 ½ cups Gluten Free chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt or Gluten Free tamari
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups fresh, chopped veggies - Zucchini, green pepper, mushroom used here
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small tomato, chopped
½ avocado, diced (use a not-quite-guacamole-ripe avocado, if possible - it'll hold up better)
2 hard boiled eggs, to serve (optional, but delicious)
Fried, sliced tofu (also optional, and used here)
In a wok or large chef's pan, heat your oil to medium-high heat. Throw the garlic and fresh veggies in, stir, add a dash of water and cover (steaming the veggies a bit as you fry will quicken their cooking time). Stir once every minute or so for 3-4 minutes, until the zucchini has softened a bit.
Add your dry spices, stir to coat. Add your broth, coconut milk, cardamom pods, and cilantro. Stir well and simmer 5 minutes.
Add sugar and salt, and taste the curry - you want a savory, salty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Use additional sugar if necessary.
When you're digging your sauce, add the tomato, avocado, and whatever proteins you're using (ie, tofu, eggs) and stir gently.
Turn off the heat and let the curry sit 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Serve piping hot with Gluten Free Roti for dipping. Sooo goood.
Recipe Credit: No Face Plate