menu of Quentin's.
My mother prefers Mrs Handy's recipe as it is the one which her mother used to cook. And, of course, that's the recipe we've had for the longest time. Our local daily domestic also learnt how to make the dish and today, I swear her version is the best ever. She has long retired, and so I have to cook it myself if I want to eat it. And actually, it is far easier than one would imagine.
Fish - about 500-600g. Can use ikan kurau (threadfin), red fish. The photo above features sea bream.
2 stalks lemon grass or serai (white portion only),
1-1.5cm of galangal or lengkuas
4 candlenuts or buah keras
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
2 large onions
1.5cm ginger, cut into strips
250ml coconut milk
Vinegar, sugar, salt to taste; flour for thickening
Pound the lemongrass, galangal, candlenuts together (or blended together), mix in the tumeric powder.
Fry the ginger and onions till soft but not brown, add the pounded ingredients and fry till fragrant. Add 150ml of the coconut milk, diluted with 500ml water (or so) and pinch of salt. Gently poach fish in the coconut gravy (gravy should reach at least two-thirds up the fish). Cover the pan whilst poaching. When fish is almost cooked, turn it over, and add the remaining thick coconut milk plus vinegar and sugar to taste. Thicken with flour as required to reach desired consistency. Top off with deep fried onions/garlic/chillis as desired. Aside from the topping, this dish has no chilli, so it is not spicy at all.