Eurasian Cooking – Celebrating 100 Years in Singapore
Rich, hearty and flavourful. These are three words that sum up Eurasian food – a cuisine that is very unique to Singapore. A marriage of European, Asian, Portuguese and Malay influences resulted in the creation of iconic dishes guaranteed to whet everyone’s appetite. In the lead up to the Eurasian Association’s 100th anniversary celebrations in Singapore, help your readers cook up a fiery storm this season with traditional Eurasian cuisine recipes written by well-known Eurasians in Singapore.
One of the most famous dishes is ‘Curry Debal’ – a one-pot dish cooked with left-over meat. It is a very spicy curry flavoured with candled nuts, Galangal and vinegar. As a traditional dish brought over from Malacca, the mispronunciation of the Kristang word ‘Debal’ as ‘devil’ by the British colonial masters led to its more commonly known name: ‘Devil’s Curry’.
Fancy a sweet treat? The timeless ‘Suji Cake’ made with semolina and almonds makes for the perfect accompaniment to any birthday, wedding, anniversary, on the weekends or for any occasion that merits a gathering of family and friends.
DEVIL CURRY (CHICKEN)
By Dorothy Tessensohn
1 chicken, cut into smaller pieces
1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger, sliced
5 pieces garlic, sliced
10 pieces shallots
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp Black sauce
2 cucumbers cut into 2-inch pieces with skin on
Blend the ingredients below into a paste:
3 tbsp dry chilli paste
1 tbsp fresh chilli paste
1 tbsp Belacan (shrimp paste)
1 tbsp fresh Saffron
Slice garlic & ginger.
Blend shallots, dry chilli, fresh chilli, Belacan & Saffron into a paste.
Fry ginger & garlic in oil until fragrant, then add the blended paste and fry well.
Add chicken, then add water and mix until the chicken is cooked.
Add vinegar, black sauce, sugar and salt-to-taste and cucumber.
Slice some red and green chillis and garnish the dish together with a bunch of parsley.
By Robin Pereira
50 ml oil
2 stalks curry leaves, stalks removed
3 dried chillies, each cut into 3 pieces
2 onions, sliced
10 gms mustard seeds
5 cloves garlic, chopped
800 gms lady’s fingers, cut into 2 cm pieces
½ tbsp turmeric powder
½ tbsp salt
Heat the oil in a wok.
Fry the curry leaves, dried chillies, onions and mustard seeds.
As the leaves start to get crispy, add the chopped garlic and lady’s fingers.
Lower the heat and stir-fry, then cover the wok.
After 3 minutes, remove cover and add turmeric powder and salt.
Mix thoroughly for 1 minute then remove from heat.
By Gregory Gomes
250 gms soft butter
250 grams caster sugar
250 grams Semolina
250 grams ground Almonds
50 grams plain flour
2 tsps vanilla essence
3.5 tsps baking powder
8 egg yolks
1.5 egg whites (Whisked till frothy)
Soak the Semolina in the soft butter for at least three hours or preferably over-night.
Beat the egg yolks and the sugar together till the sugar dissolves and the mixture is light and smooth.
Fold in the butter and semolina mixture gradually into the egg yolk and sugar mixture alternating with the almonds and plain flour.
Fold in the whisked egg white into the butter, egg yolk, sugar, almonds and semolina mixture.
Fold in the baking powder.
Add in the essence of vanilla.
Grease the walls of an eight inch square or round baking tin with butter and line the base with grease-proof paper.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for about two hours and fifteen minutes at a temperature of 170 degrees F.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about half hour before eating.
These Eurasian recipes have been handed down over generations, and written by the following celebrated Eurasian Chefs in Singapore.
– Robin Pereira, the father of Chef Quentin Pereira of Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant.
– Mary Gomes, the head chef at Mary’s Kafe, who created Singapore’s first ever Eurasian cookbook titled ‘My Eurasian Cookbook’
– Dorothy Tessensohn, a pioneer in the Eurasian community and an active member of the Eurasian Association
Image Credits: http://www.righthook.com.sg/
This article is the collaboration effort of several members of Team FUCHSIA.