Spice up family dinners with this hearty one-pot dish. SHARIFAH ISMAIL, owner of Aiman Malay Food, shares her recipe.
For the lontong paste:
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 1 large onion, roughly chopped 1½ stalks lemongrass (10cm a stalk), sliced ½ slice galangal 150g ikan bilis, soaked for 5min.
For the vegetables:
80g carrot, peeled and sliced 250g yam bean, peeled and cut into 5cm strips 400g Chinese round cabbage, cut into bite-sized chunks 100g long beans, cut diagonally into 5cm lengths 2 daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves)*
2½ tbsp cooking oil 1 tbsp ground coriander ½ tbsp fish curry powder 500ml water Sugar and salt, to taste Ikan bilis powder, to taste (optional) 500ml coconut milk 2 tbsp sambal chilli oil 3 pieces tau kwa, halved into triangles and deep-fried 3 instant rice cakes*, boiled and cubed 6 hard-boiled eggs, halved 60g serunding (fried grated coconut)* Sambal chilli to taste, for topping.
*Instant rice cakes and serunding are available at Halal grocers; Sharifah recommends the Adabi or Nona brands of rice cakes. Daun salam is available at wet markets.
1 Blend all the ingredients for the lontong paste into a smooth mixture.
2 Heat the cooking oil in a deep pot and fry the lontong paste over medium heat for about 5min, or until fragrant.
3 Add the ground coriander and fish curry powder.
4 Pour in the water, mix well, and bring to the boil.
5 Add the vegetables and cook until softened. Reduce the cooking time if you prefer your vegetables to have a firm bite.
6 Add sugar, salt and ikan bilis powder.
7 Add the coconut milk, stirring it in as you pour so it combines evenly. The mixture should thicken.
8 Turn off the heat when the mixture boils. Add the sambal chilli oil for colour and aroma, and the fried tau kwa.
9 Pour the gravy over the rice cakes and eggs before topping with serunding and sambal chilli.
You can make the lontong paste 1-2 days ahead – keep it in the chiller until you’re ready to cook.