Updated: May 31
As much as I love the idea and process of doing things old school (i.e. greasing up the bingo wings and grinding out a curry paste with the mortar and pestle), the reality is that AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT NO MORE.
Stank has been a saviour in this department!
Using Stank Sauce as one of the key base ingredients of a curry paste has actually made it possible to whip up a properly satisfying, warming and easy curry.
The following is a simple guide to building your own paste blend, while the Ingredient Pairings section will give you some ideas on which ingredients really work with the pastes. Follow to the T or experiment.*
* Maybe have your UberEats on standby if you're doing the latter.
WHAT GOES IN?
Bare Basics Base for Malaysian Yellow Curry
(good ratio for 1L of stock or water and 100-120ml coconut milk)
2 medium to large onions
6 cloves garlic
1 thick stalk or 3 thin stalks of lemongrass
1 tbsp Stank Sauce of your choice
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds (ideal, but not essential)
6 cardamom pods (ideal, but not essential - add only at frying stage, do not include in paste)
5 curry leaves (ideal, but not essential - add only at frying stage, do not include in paste)
Malaysian-style Rendang Curry
(good ratio for 1L of stock or water and 200ml coconut curry)
Ingredients as above, except use only 1 tbsp of turmeric. Curry leaves and cardamom pods essential. Also add:
2 tbsp Ayam brand curry powder
2" peeled galangal root
2 tsp palm sugar
At the frying stage, throw these tasty extras in:
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
The Bare Basics Paste makes for a deeeelicious chicken or vegetarian curry.
Either way, try with one or all of the following:
Tomato (max 1 for sweetness)
Firm tofu, lightly panfried
Grilled or lightly panfried white fish, served on the side with vegetarian version.
Malaysian-style Rendang is typically done as a thick and slow-cooked beef curry, but would also work with lamb. You can add potatoes, if you wish, but for this one we prefer leaving it meat-only and serving with a side of simple, stir-fried Asian veg.
Enjoy both curries above with roti prata or steamed basmati rice.
GENERAL CURRY COOKING GUIDE
Whiz up your paste ingredients with a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil until thick and pasty. The paste can still have some chunks through it - it doesn't have to be strictly smooth.
Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in your pot or wok and fry the paste until aromatic.
TIP: fry about 2 tbsp of coconut milk on high heat at this stage, combining well with your paste, for max flavour.
Throw in meat (you can lightly flour your meat to thicken the curry slightly) and brown, before adding vegetables and stock. If you're doing a vegetarian version, try panfrying firm tofu lightly and adding it to the curry towards the end of the sit & simmer stage.
TIP: do not add too much stock/water to your curry. Add just enough to cover the meat but not the vegetables (if you're using vegetables). The vegetables will only take a few minutes to reduce down and sit in the broth eventually.
Bring to boil, then lower to simmer for at least an hour. For best results, slow-cook for at least 3 hours. And for a really luscious curry, slow-cook for up to 6 hours.
Leave uncovered to reduce/thicken for at least 45 minutes prior to serving if too watery.
... or both!
Search Ol Yella's Stank Sauce or use the handle @ol.yellas