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!!!!

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

26 thoughts on “Hello Dolly!…”

  1. The last two photos had me drooling over the curry bihun. Absolutely delicious! Can really tell just by looking at the bowl of wonderful fragrant curry bihun.

    I remember watching Hello Dolly – Barbra Streisand dancing and Louis Armstrong singing Helly Dolly. As a matter of fact I can sing Hello Dolly. Yes, I am that old. ;p

    You saw that in the cinema too? Like me? Gee!!! You must be ancient! Like me! 😀 😀 😀 Yes, I remember Louis Armstrong’s cameo appearance in the movie to sing this song. I saw My Fair Lady in the cinema too – 50 cents students’ concession in the circle seats. The gorgeously classy Audrey Hepburn.

    Yes, the bihun was great. I would say this paste is really good for curry mee…but not that great for sayur lodeh, and ok, very nice if it is vegetable curry that you want.

  2. Those last two photos are making me hungry. LOL! 🙂

    You probably can get these instant pastes there but no, they’re not for you – they’re spicy.

  3. So many goodies in that bowl of curry laksa mihun. I am hungry!!

    Any good curry mee in Kuching? I know one very nice one here but I do not like how they serve the chunk of chicken whole – would prefer it shredded.

    1. Used to have one in Jln Sekama. A big drumstick, hard-boiled egg and lots of taugeh with yellow noodle. Not sure where it move too. Now I hardly could find nice curry mee here. I prefer it spicier than sweet. Hehe.

      Yes, the one here not sweet…and that’s what I do not like – the drumstick, whole. Dunno why but I prefer it shredded like the chicken in Sarawak laksa. Secret Recipe’s quite good too, if I remember correctly but of course, theirs would be more expensive…and the egg is not as nice as mine. Hehehehehe!!!!

      My friend’s photo on Facebook:

  4. I tried to send some curry pastes from Malaysia to my brother-in-law in Australia once and they got stopped at customs because one of the ingredients was milk powder. What I didn’t understand however was that I could pay a $50 AUD fine and still take the product through!!! If in the end I could take it through, what on earth is the fine for?!! Anyway, I’ve digressed. Your pics look yummy.

    They’re so strict? I thought they’re very lenient. My cousins will cart everything home when they make a trip back here…and stock up their pantry. Dunno why when they can easily get these there but maybe, it is so much cheaper here especially after conversion.

    This was in Melbourne:

  5. That bowl of curry laksa bihun looks absolutely great than the sayur lodeh. Your added ingredients of egg & fish cake makes it more tempting.

    Just whatever I could find in the fridge/freezer. Didn’t go all out, just wanted to finish the broth.

  6. I’m salivating over your bowl of curry laksa now.. I bought curry laksa paste from Cosway few years ago and made curry laksa bihun, very nice, but I have to add my own milk/santan of course.. Your laksa looks very lemak-ky and soup must be so tasty, yummmzzz 🙂

    Never tried the Cosway ones but I guess they’re all pretty close. Yes, this tasted very good.

  7. Now I am drooling over Malaysian food! Slurppp…. Reminded me of something too… I bought 10 over packets of paste of all sorts.. hehehe…

    Bet your relatives & friends there will love you for that! They’re all pretty good these days, give and take a little and when you’re so far away from home, they’re like heaven on earth!

  8. It does not come with extra chili paste? I like mine with cuttlefish and mint leaves too!

    Like how they serve it at the classier joints and you have to fork out a lot more for the little bit of extras, right? Secret Recipe’s has neither, if you take a look at the photo above…and theirs don’t come all that cheap either. Mine is the simple and easy whatever-you-can-find-in-the fridge or freezer version for the ordinary housewife or househusband like me and it is just as nice if not nicer. You can always go out and buy what you want to put in yours, of course. You would not find me going through the trouble.

    Extra chili paste? Nope, not that I’ve encountered in any of these Malaysian-made instant mixes and this one, in particular, is already VERY spicy, not for those not into spicy stuff. I know the Singapore brand has “chili dip” in its own sachet (and they have the mix for sayur lodeh too actually) but that costs 3 times as much. Poor old pensioner like me would just settle for anything that is cheaper…and nice.

  9. Drooling over that bowl of laksa…

    It was good, nicer than the Singapore version – I’d like that for sayur lodeh…but not for laksa and it is so so expensive here!

  10. One of these days I want to try making curry from scratch. As in, no curry powder, 100% from scratch..

    Wow!!! Aren’t you the “lazy man”? You can send me some to sample when you get down to that. 😀 We used to pound our own ingredients but we would use the ready-made curry powder. Now I am using instant curry paste – not the same, of course…but it is very nice so there has been no turning back since. No point going through all that trouble since the brand I’m using is also very good.

  11. I always thought that sayur lodeh is made with just coconut milk (and maybe some cili padi for some heat) but yours look like a vegetable curry (which is also nice). Incidentally, I bought a box of curry paste too…post coming up soon! Of course these pastes will not turn out as good as the real thing (but some come very close) and it’s good enough for the little effort put in.

    Yes, this looked like vegetable curry and tasted like vegetable curry…but if you use that VERY expensive Singapore brand, it is exactly like our family’s own version of sayur lodeh, their nyonya kari laksa – very much lighter than the peninsula one which is pretty close to curry as we know it (and actually that Singapore brand has its own sayur lodeh instant mix too, just that it’s not available here) …and NO, when we cooked that, we had A LOT MORE ingredients than just coconut milk and cili padi, almost as much of a hassle as cooking our own curry from scratch. That is why I am hoping to find one affordable instant paste that I can use as a substitute…and a shortcut but so far, it has all been in vain. 😦

    Curry paste – my favourite is A1 Mountain Globe, nicer than the others I have tried (though they are all nice too) and I have not used any others since. Sure saves a whole lot of trouble…and we enjoy it just as much.

  12. So industrious! If me aa… no recycle food item because already lazy to eat the same thing even though technically it’s not the same thing. SUka membazir bah saya. Lol

    It’s a sin to waste. A lot of the broth left…and at least, there’s something nice for breakfast. I will never miss the most important meal of the day – will cook something or buy from outside…or eat out.

  13. tat is simple i am going to try it out.

    So very easy, go ahead and give it a try! Of course, if you add prawns, squid, meat for the stock…those will surely bring the taste to a whole new level. I did not have any of those so I had to do without…but thankfully, I had some prawn stock in the freezer that I could use for the broth.

  14. Looks good! I haven’t cooked curry for a while. No mood lately 😦

    I would think this was better than the Ikan brand that I tried before or was it the Mak Nyonya?

  15. wah, i like the packaging for the paste … it looks very well done … helps make customers more confident about the product inside 😀

    Very pleasant. I guess the nicer the packaging, the more likely people would want to buy. The Sarawak laksa sambal people seem to have realised that – some brands have nicer, more colourful packaging now, not just one plain colourless piece of paper slipped into the transparent plastic pack.

  16. now everything become so much easier with all the paste thing!
    No longer need to slowly cut those red onions and cry all the way! HAHAHAHAHA

    And pounding them…and the chilies too!!! Guess who had to do all that when I was small and my mum wanted to cook curry…especially for Christmas and Chinese New Year open houses and she had to cook a lot. No blenders, those days.

  17. Its been a while I never had sayur lodeh though opposite my office, there was one malay stall selling. OK la…maybe I try it tomorrow but hate the long queue there. hahaha…

    My regular Malay food stall here has it – but no quality control, some days very nice, so lemak…other days, not really…and I do not like it when they use nangka muda, the smell.

  18. I tried that yellow packet and I love it, the white packet I need to find this week and give it a try as well

    It’s good, eh? That brand, I use its bak kut teh spices, very nice…but never tried this. I also bought a packet, will try that sometime soon.

  19. The last two pictures reminds me of a recipe I saw in my newest Korean cookbook by Emily Kim aka Maangchi. I mainly purchase them to look at the pictures and to learn how different various cultures prepare food. I’ll have to check to see what the lady called her dish. The title of her book is Maangchi,’s Real Korean Cooking. http://www.maangchi.com/blog

    My girl and my missus are so into anything Korean these days. Thanks for the link, will hop over and have a look.

  20. I like the egg, I think the egg had caught my attention to it. Actually I like it more when you cook it like the next morning with the bihun, looks more yummy, hahaha..

    8 minutes after you cover the pot when the water has started boiling, you will get a moist yolk like that. 6 minutes, it will still be a little runny. Have to keep time…and once out of the boiling water, put in iced water to prevent further cooking on the residual heat. I am pretty good at it now.

  21. That CA Ri Laksa is Vietnamese 🙂 Anyway, I love Dollee Curry Laksa paste too …

    Yes, pretty obvious it’s not Malay. Thanks for the tip-off. That was pretty good – will want to try the rest that they have sometime.

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