Hello Dolly!…

…or Dollee, to be exact!

Well, if you’re wondering what I am going on about, not too long ago, my friend in Sydney, Australia cooked some curry laksa using this instant paste…

Tean curry laksa paste

…and the bowl in the photograph that she shared on Facebook sure looked good. Obviously, you can buy this Down Under and in that post, she also asked if this…

Dollee curry laksa paste

…was any good. A friend of hers was quick to point out the error in their spelling of kari (curry in Malay) as cari (pronounced as cha-ri, search) but when I looked carefully, they did get the “Pes Kari Laksa” absolutely correct – I wonder if that is in another language.

No, I had no intention of cooking that very popular noodle dish in the peninsula – what I had in mind was to try and use the paste to cook some sayur lodeh or what we call sayur masak lemak here. I’ve tried this brand but no, it did not turn out like the real thing, not at all. The only time when I did manage to get it exactly the way I wanted it was when I used this brand from Singapore but that is extremely expensive – around RM18.00 a box now, if I’m not wrong, and I certainly would not want to fork out that amount of money just for this.

Well, I had some prawn stock in the freezer (from boiling the heads and shell of some prawns that I bought some time ago) so I did not need any seafood to enhance the flavour of the broth. I just brought the stock to boil and emptied the contents of the packet, the Dollee, that is, into it. Then I added the sweet potatoes…

Sweet potatoes & baby corn

…peeled and cut into chunks and boiled those for a while first, considering that they would take a while to soften. Then, I put in the baby corn, cut into quarters.

The bean curd sticks, soaked in hot water to soften…and the tofu puffs, cut into quarters, went in next…

Bean curd sticks, tofu puffs and cabbage

…and after that, I added a box of santan, the same brand I used for my pankek that day, and once it had started boiling again…

Boiling

…I added the cabbage…

Cabbage

…and turned off the heat to let it cook in the residual heat and that was it!

A word of caution here – do not add too much of everything unless you want to end up with a huge cauldron that would take ages to finish. Other things that we sometimes add to our sayur masak lemak include paku (wild jungle fun) or cangkuk manis, for a bit of green colour, young buah tupang/pulo and corn on the cob cut into short lengths would add to the sweetness, that’s for sure. Usually, we would use our udang galah (bamboo prawns) – our freshwater prawns and that would give the dish a touch of red and you can add fresh chilies for that same purpose too, if you want. My mum would add tang hoon (glass noodles) as well but that would be best added right before serving or they would soak up all the broth and you would end up getting something quite dry.

So what was my verdict? Well, I would say it was very nice…

Done

…and spicy though a little bit salty (maybe I did not add enough water or there wasn’t enough stock) but generally, I would say that the soup would make a lovely bowl of curry mee, as nice as any that I had had before in KL or in Penang or here, maybe even nicer…but no, it was nothing near what our sayur masak lemak would taste like.

Now, if you are not familiar with the dish and are wondering what it is like actually, you can go for a bowl of Katong 328 nyonya curry laksa – that, I would say is exactly like it! Perhaps if I use half a packet of the paste instead, and dilute it a bit more so the curry taste will not be all that strong…and maybe, add a bit more santan, I may get something a little closer. I will try that with the other brand.

Anyway, the next morning, I still had a lot of the broth left, not much of the ingredients so I used it to cook this curry laksa bihun

Curry laksa bihun 1

…for breakfast and yes, it was absolutely perfect. Very very nice…

Curry laksa bihun 2

…and not salty anymore (I did add a little bit of water to it.). I most certainly enjoyed that bowl of goodness! Yum! Yummmmm!!!!