Wednesday, 22 February 2017

#ewew cooks (Ratha Raub's Improvised) Mixed Vegetable Curry

Like last year, I cooked a pot of Chicken Curry with Potatoes as one of my contributed dishes for the Reunion Table in  Ipoh.  Although the chicken curry was well received last year, my husband did comment that it didn't quite taste like the one we had at Ratha Raub (and I agreed coz I know I didn't follow the ratio of chicken to curry paste to the tee).

So, this year, I tweaked the recipe a bit in the hope that it'll taste closer to the chicken curry we tasted at Ratha Raub.  And here were the changes I made.

1.  I blended 15 shallots and sauteed them in a little oil to start with.  This I hoped will give the curry that extra fragrance.  This extra step was not included in my previous chicken curry.

2.  I followed the ratio of chicken (400g) to curry paste (150g or one packet) more closely.  The weight of the chicken I bought was closer to 1.2kg this time.  The chicken was a huge 1.8kg previously.

3.  I decided to not follow the ratio of water to paste and reduced amount of water used to 750ml for three packets of paste this time.  The instruction on the packet was 375ml to one packet of curry paste.

4.  I cooked the chicken for 15 minutes before putting in the potatoes to cook for a further 10 minutes.  I dumped in everything (the chicken and potatoes) at the same time previously.  

I then stirred in two packets of santan + the curry leaves in the final 2 - 3 minutes of cooking.  At this stage, do a taste test to ensure the seasoning is to your liking (I didn't need to add anything).  This time round, I think it turned out better...the chicken was more tender, the potatoes not overly soft and the curry was thicker and more flavourful (compared to last year's).

So, I'll stick to this recipe in future if I want to make this again.  Although it still didn't taste 100% like the one from Ratha Raub, the taste was much closer and it's the best I can do.  I guess they can't give out all their 'secrets' in their paste, otherwise no-one will eat at their restaurant as they can just buy the paste and cook it at home...haha! ;D 

But the chicken curry was not the only thing I cooked this year for the Reunion Dinner.  I also improvised and made a Mixed Vegetable Curry using Ratha Raub's Fish Curry Paste.

I started by sauteeing 15 shallots (blended) in a little oil until fragrant.  I then added two packets of fish curry paste and 600ml of water.

I set the timer for 30 minutes and simmered the contents for 5 minutes to let the paste and water come together.

Next, go in the vegetables but not all at once (this is a common mistake by many) since not all vegetables soften at the same time.  It's best to start with the harder and sturdier vegetables first and end with those that soften quickly.  I started with the long beans first at the 25-minute mark (I used 10 long beans cut into 2-inch lengths).

After 5 minutes, the cabbage went in next (1/2 a cabbage roughly cut into bite-sized pieces).  Leave them simmering with the lid off.

At the 15-minute mark, I added the brinjal (one big brinjal cut into 2-inch lengths as well).  Try to refrain from adding water as the vegetables (when cooked down) do release water.

I cooked that for a further 5 minutes before throwing in the ladies fingers (10 ladies fingers cut into two).

For the final 5 minutes, I added the tomatoes (3 tomatoes cut into six), tofu puffs (1 packet of 10 pieces cut into two), santan and curry leaves.  At this point, I tasted the curry and found it to be a little sourish (as fish curry usually is), so I added 1/2 a tbsp of sugar.

Check that the softness of vegetables are at the level you want...and the Mixed Vegetable Curry is done :)

If you're preparing this ahead of time, you might want to shorten the cooking time so that the vegetables will not be overly soft when you reheat them later for serving.

But I know there are some of us who like the vegetables in their vegetable curry to be really soft (and I'm one of them).  Some even like it after a few rounds of reheating....if there's any left to reheat, that is ;)

The vegetables lend some sweetness to the curry and they taste delicious after soaking up all that gravy! ^o^

If you're looking for something fail-proof and easy to cook, this is it.  A big pot of this can feed a lot of people.

After the photography session (hehe!), it was time to pack up my Mixed Vegetable Curry and put it in the fridge.

And there you have three contributed dishes of Chicken Curry with Potatoes, Mixed Vegetable Curry and Braised Mushrooms with Abalone & Fatt Choy are ready and packed for this year's Reunion Table in Ipoh.

Serves 8 - 10


  1. I do love my veggies. I'd pack it full!

    1. Vegetables are great but even better in curries...and best eaten with rice :)

  2. I love the colour of your curries and they look perfect to me! I always eat both the Chicken Curry and Mixed Vegetables curry at the mixed rice shops.

    I am also a regular weekly diner at Ratha Raub and just sounded Phong Hong last week to eat their best Roti Chanai in KL. That was the first place I ate upon flying back from Sapporo. Tun Daim & Tengku Razaleigh are regulars too! I have been eyeing at all their ready-mixed curry paste on their walls as I often saw Chinese towkays buying them by big quantities!

    1. Their roti canai was the first thing you wanted to eat upon your return? Wah, you must really love their roti! You should so get a packet of their ready-mixed curry paste for your wife to cook at home ^_~

  3. I guess the nice thing about recipes like curries is that every cook's rendition is just slightly different from each other's, so you can really identify who it's by sometimes - like I can still recognize the taste of my aunt's chicken curry for example! Gosh, y'know, I think I haven't eaten home-cooked chicken curry in years (as in, really cooked in someone's kitchen at home and served at their dining table) ...

    1. But you get to eat lots of curries outside mah! ;D But I can understand that you'd sometimes miss that home taste of something cooked at home. You won't want to eat my home-cooked chicken curry coz mine won't have that home taste as it's made with ready-mixed paste from outside...haha! :D

  4. Your mixed vegetable curry is inspiring me to cook one! I love vegetable curries and come to think of it, hmmmm...I haven't actually attempted one. It's good that you shared your experience with the chicken curry. That would give me an idea how much to use should I buy the ready made paste. I find that chicken releases quite a bit of water, so I usually don't add too much or else the curry becomes too diluted.

    1. You're very adept at making dishes with sambal and all, so I'm sure you won't be needing these ready-mixed pastes. I'd like to see your mixed vegetable curry coz I'm sure yours will be made from scratch with your own pounded spice paste! ^_^

  5. Those curries are so perfect for recent rainy nights~~


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