I am not sure what the link between colder weather and spicy food is, but when the weather turns colder, I always think of a bowl of hot and spicy noodles.
And so, that was what I made for dinner last night.
This is a bowl of spicy, spicy noodles, so if you are not really into spicy, then by all means use a lot less curry powder and chilli. Even with less chilli, it is still a bowl of heart-warming (and belly-warming) yumminess. The broth is thick and satisfying. I really don't think you can get such a thick and delicious bowl of curry unless you make it yourself.
I started by simmering anchovies in water for about 1 hour. Then I drained the mixture and reserved the broth. This was set aside.
While that was happening, I peeled and then chopped the shallots and garlic into smaller pieces.
Then I pounded them, along with candlenuts, using my trusty pestle and mortar. You can also use a blender to grind everything together but I think you get a better texture when you pound things.
I just like playing with my pestle and mortar. :)
I washed and stripped the leaves off a bunch of curry leaves.
And into a bowl, I added curry powder and chilli paste.
Into this, I also added the curry leaves and lemongrass, which I had sliced thinly.
I added some water to this and mixed everything to form a thick paste.
In a wok, I heated some vegetable oil. Once hot, I added the shallots/ garlic/ candlenut paste, and fried that for a couple of minutes.
The curry paste was added and fried for another 2-3 minutes, until I could smell the fragrance of the curry.
I added the anchovy broth to this, and brought the mixture to a boil. I also added some coconut milk as well as salt to taste.
I cooked the chicken thighs and taupok in the curry.
In the meantime, I blanched the noodles and placed them in a bowl.
Once the chicken was cooked through and the taupok had softened, I placed them on the noodles and ladled the curry into the bowl.
If you crave some curry noodles, this is a great recipe to try!
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Curry Noodles (Serves 6)
Adapted from Hearty Breakfast Treats by Patsie Cheong
300g prawns, (or pork or chicken, cut into smaller pieces)
10 pieces taupok (bean curd puff)
300g cooked bean sprouts - I omitted this
1kg yellow noodles, blanched
2 litres anchovy broth
150g curry powder
2 tablespoon chilli paste
4 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
6 stalks curry leaves
1/2 cup water
400ml coconut milk
Salt to taste
1. Make anchovy broth by simmering 100g of anchovies with 2.5 litres of water over medium heat for about an hour. Drain and reserve broth.
2. Pound shallot, garlic and candlenuts. Set aside.
3. Mix curry powder, chilli paste, lemongrass, curry leaves and water to form a thick paste.
4. Heat about 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a wok. Add shallot/ garlic/ candlenut paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add curry paste and continue to fry for about 2-3 more minutes, until fragrant. Add anchovy broth and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and season with salt.
5. Cook meat/ seafood and taupok in broth.
6. Place blanched noodles in a bowl. Add meat and taupok. Ladle curry over the noodles.
7. Serve immediately.