Hearty and fulfilling, sambar dhal is a spicy vegetable stew that will warm your tummy and keep it satisfied. Dhal and assorted vegetables are cooked with a myriad of spices making this an ideal accompaniment for chapati and tosai. More »
Golden, crispy and flavourful, it's no wonder that these spicy tidbits are so addictive. We used muruku powder to simplify the recipe. Muruku powder is made up of rice powder and a mixture of ground spices. It can be bought at most supermarkets. More »
With its mix of soft and crispy textures and tangy tones, tosai goes so well with the fresh flavours of chutney or the spicy tastes of curry. I love the textural variations and its slightly sour taste that whenever I go to a mamak stall, I would usually opt for tosai instead of roti canai or chapati. I've always wanted to know how to make tosai so when… More »
Give new life to boiled eggs by cooking them in a curry gravy. Spices infuse the eggs making them yummy and flavourful. We're kinda shameless when it comes to recipes so we got this one from Aunty Buvaneswari, our social media dude's mum. More »
Mutton Varuval is a dry curry dish. The meat is cooked until the gravy almost dries up. Spices like fennel seed and cumin seed are used to infuse the mutton with their spicy flavours. More »
"Biryani here is fieeerrcee..."
Fierce Curry House sits on a back street in Bangsar. Most people who would even know of this road are journalists who work in the newspaper offices nearby or people who have been driving in KL for a while. In actual fact, it is literally a stone's throw away from Jalan Bangsar. Who knew a true culinary gem had been hiding there these past few months?
Herukh Jethwani, who used to work at Bangles (that old and fancy North Indian restaurant in town), now has his own place, a little shop his family took over from a chap fan place. The set up is deceptively simple, as it looks just like any other mamak shop: foldable plastic chairs, buffet steam table, and open air, so the smell of curry and spices can reach the street and entice people in. And what you get when you go in, my friends, is one of the best Hyderabad biryanis in the Klang Valley.
Using almost 30 different spices (!), their biryanis are complex, exploding with flavour. Ingredients are assembled in little metal pots, sealed with plain capati dough and steamed for a few hours. Herukh points out that the dough helps keep the steam in, while providing an excellent marker as to when the contents in the pot are cooked: if the dough is cooked, then the biryani is cooked. Once it's served to you, you then use your spoon or fork handle to pry off the dough and carefully open the top. Try, please, to not faint at the delicious scent of the steam.
We had the mutton biryani and the vegetarian biryani that day, as Fridays are their special biryani days, serving all four of their biryanis (the aforementioned along with chicken and fish). The mutton biryani was chock full of tender chunks of meat, these guys sure are generous! It's also boneless, meaning that you don't get that nasty surprise of chipping your tooth on a shard of bone as you do in a lot of other places. Flavour-wise it's intense. There's a hum of onions, the hit of herbs and spices, and the meat is actually sweet. This is because they get their meat delivered every day (their supplier is about 20 steps away from the shop) and everything is fresh, fresh, fresh.
What steals the show for us is their vegetarian biryani. As soon as we take a spoonful, our eyes go wide, sighs of delight take over the table and we silently shovel the rice and vegetables into our mouths. Carrots, cauliflowers, what looks like beans (at this point we don't really care and trust Herukh with our lives), all mixed up in a melange of equally complex but completely different combination of spices as the ones in the mutton biryani. The flavours in this one are a little more assertive, brighter, showing us that they don&3#39t use a one spice mix-for-all approach. In fact, they're so concerned about their biryanis that the biryani preparation gets its own kitchen!
"Just like how my grandpa ate back in the day..."
I can count with one hand nasi kandar sellers that still practices the old art form. Most of them are in Penang and one of the them is this nameless stall in Kedai Kopi Tai Min along Jelutong Road (just opposite the Jelutong Balai Polis). You can't miss this place. They have queues that start as early as 6.30am. Just look out for that and you're there. Nasi kandar that is made the old school way has a smooth taste, although (mind you) we are talking about curries here. And the mixing process of different curries personalises the plate to you. So, no two nasi kandar plates are ever the same. Also, due to the double boiling process perfected over the generations, the rice is not starchy so that you can eat more.
The nasi kandar stall at Tai Min is now run by Mohamad Ali bin Amier. A 3rd generation nasi kandar 'currista'. According to Ali, his grandad started selling from the Merdeka days and from the same spot. He was not a cook or chef. His recipes were a trial and error based from his memories eating back home at the Ramnad district, India. A successful obfustication of recipes resulted in a small stall way back when Malaysia just got its feet and starting to stand up tall.
Since day one, they have always served their nasi kandar wet. The currys are light, flavourful and forms a small pool on your plate. It is friggin drenched. Thin but not quite watery. The rice is what the malays call 'ceroi' (the rice does not stick) which for some reason carries the curry gravy quite well when mixed together. You must try their famous beef curry with the black gravy. Slow cooked over fire for hours, the beef is tender. The black gravy is a closely guarded secret but in general made from curry mixed with soya sauce. A good nasi kandar seller must have good black gravy and theirs are wonderfully delicious. The right amount of curry spice with the right balance of soya sweetness.