Nyonya-Inspired Vegetable Curry with Cheese
(Vegetarian | Contains Dairy | Gluten-Free | Slightly Spicy)
Many of my foodie ohana are Peranakans, descendants of Chinese immigrants who settled in Malacca, Penang, Singapore and Indonesia and inter-married with local Malays. The old Malay word “nyonya”, a term of affection and respect for women in Peranakan culture, is now also widely used to refer to the cuisine of the Peranakans. And what a delicious, indelible cuisine this is!
Just like how Singapore’s story is a complex tale of assimilation, our food story is a corresponding exhilarating ride of cultural infusion. This National Day is a befitting occasion to remember the traditional and popular and mix things up a little! I’ve created this nyonya version of the traditional sayur lodeh, added pineapple to give it a refreshing tang, as well as cheddar and cream cheese for a natural umami taste and silky smooth texture. Instead of the traditional ketupat, you’ll find Korean rice cakes to make this a thick soup for a complete meal. It’s familiarity and regional influences all in one alluring bowl of piping hot curry!
Ingredients: Vegetable stock (water, root vegetables, herbs), white radish, round cabbage, carrots, eggplant, potatoes, lotus roots, long beans, okra, pineapple, sharksfin melon, bean curd, tofu puff, rice cakes, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, onions, garlic, curry powder, turmeric powder, ginger, spices, red chillies, salt
Condiments: coconut cream, fried tempeh bits, shredded cheese