Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sayur Lodeh, Malaysian Vegetable Curry

When it comes to making this well known Malaysian/Indonesian dish, I do have very strict rules on the vegetables I use - cabbage, long beans (or green beans), carrot and eggplants, no more and no less! This is another of my nanny Fatimah's recipes that I grew up eating so I wouldn't change anything. This is not a vegetarian dish as both shrimp paste and dried shrimps are used - for a vegetarian version simply omit both ingredients but increase the amount of lemongrass and shallots. Together with the sambal telur , we had a very satisfying "meatless meal"!
P.S Lontong (pressed rice cubes) can be added to turn this into a "one dish meal".

serves 6 to 8 as part of a Malaysian meal
for the curry paste;
10 dried chillies, soaked in hot water til soften, seeds removed
3 red chillies, chopped
6 candle nuts (macadamia nuts and brazil nuts are good substitute)
4 garlic cloves
6 shallots (150 g), chopped
1.5 tbs of turmeric powder
1 cm piece of shrimp paste, toasted
30 g of dried shrimp, soaked in hot water and chopped
a 5 cm knob of ginger
a 5 cm knob of galangal or 1.5 tbs of galangal powder
2 lemongrass (white parts only), chopped

you'll need this;
350 g of long beans or green beans, cut into 5 cm length
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 5 cm strips
1/2 cabbage, cut into pieces
1 eggplants or 3 oriental eggplants, cut into chunks
10 fried tofu puffs, halved
1 x 400 ml coconut milk
1 cup of stock
3 kaffir lime leaves

Prepare the vegetables and tofu puffs.

Prepare the curry paste, blend everything to a fine paste.

Saute curry paste til oil separates.

Add coconut milk, stock and kaffir lime leaves and bring it to a boil.

Add in the vegetables gradually and cook til tender. Check for seasonings.

Serve as part of a Malaysian meal. You'll need plenty of steamed rice with this.


  1. I am happy to have this on a meat free night too! I am loving your Malaysian recipes!

  2. Is this same as Lotong? Looks delicious!

  3. This looks really good, I would like to know how to make the pressed rice to go with this :) My sambal tumis turned out great! Thank you!

  4. This vegetable curry must be extraordinary flavourful and savoury with so many shallots!

  5. I have tried a few recipes and not overly happy with the results, I am going to give this a try since it is something that you grew up with! I love that very bright yellow from the turmeric!

  6. I love this dish! Can easily go with rice just add in a little kicap manis. Yummm....

  7. why is it everythime I come here im get soo hungrry..you are just amnazing!

  8. This looks like a wonderful curry. I can't wait until things are settled here to start cooking meals like this one.

  9. Wooww, wow..I love curry!

  10. Wor I love this veggie curry, one bowl of rice is definitely not enough!

  11. I can just imagine how flavorsome is the broth with all the spices used. I am looking forward to more Malaysian dishes. Btw we are going to make a batch of the sambal tumis, will let you know the result!

  12. Yasmin ,
    Thank you! I am glad something is going right at the moment!

    It can be served with lontong, thank you!

    KL girl in MELB ,
    Glad to know your sambal turned out well! I'll try to do a post on how to make lontong.

    It is indeed, the dried shrimps and shallots give the broth such wonderful sweetness.

    rosa ,
    Hopefully this recipe will work for you! If you use fresh turmeric you'll get even nicer colour!

    My Little Space ,
    Yeah we had this with sambal kecap on the side too!

    Oh thank you very much, I haven't been in the right frame to cook so just very simple dishes.

    Fresh Local and Best ,
    I am looking forward to more great posts from you once you have moved to the new place!

    Amanda ,
    Thank you very much! kisses!

    Sonia ,
    Oh at least 2 bowls!

    darren ,
    It is a very flavoursome broth! Good luck with the sambal!

  13. Looks so sedap! Yeah, it's one of my fave dishes. :)

  14. I now have so many beautiful Malaysian dishes to try, I am happy to go meatless if this is served!

  15. Wooo...I like this. Add in some rice cakes and becomes almost like Lontong. :)

  16. Yummy!

    Are tofu puffs the same as deep fried tofu?

  17. I like how you choose to keep the selection of vegetables simple. You are so lucky to have access to so many different family recipes! Thank you for sharing all of them with us too!

  18. Thanks Ju! I'm glad this is one of your fav dish!

    shanshan ,
    I hope you'll try them one by one!

    Yeah was going to make lontong but didn't have time to make any.

    Brisbane Baker,
    Thanks! They are fried tofu but the spongy type.

    love to eat,
    Haha I guess that is how I always remember sayur lodeh to be :) Very lucky indeed!

  19. 3 hungry tummies i love anything Malaysian curry! i would love to dip this into bread or even eat it with spaghetti noodles. i know weird but it tastes pretty good !

  20. Yumm, this looks so good. I really miss this dish, thanks for sharing :)

  21. Harriet from CarltonMarch 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Something I would order at Indonesian restaurant, this looks really good!

  22. I'm loving the way you're keeping faithful to the original recipe. There's too much experimentation for the sake of it nowadays.

  23. Darling, adding lontong is a great idea. I recently had sayur lodeh with capsicum and broccoli in it, it was horrible! Now tell me how many recipes are there from you nanny Fatimah? :)
    Sophia xxx

  24. vegetable curry, one of my faves. I need extra servings of rice. You guys are really eating well at home!

  25. You are making all my favourite food. gosh I hate and love you so ;)

  26. You amke the grandest curries. love everything in this - now just need to find a source in the midwest for dried shrimp.

  27. oh good another recipe from nanny Fatimah! This looks wonderful! The fried tofu puffs look so good, I have to try them, and I have never heard of candle nuts before. I love checking family recipes that are tried and true! We feel special! Thanks!

  28. What a lovely curry. I've recently found dried shrimp in a local market so I'll be able to get everything I need to make this. This looks well worth trying.

  29. Is this the month of Malay foods at your place? All dishes that came from your kitchen so far were fabulous and this one is no different. I love this vegetable curry with a Malay spin on it.

  30. That's so full of flavors and colors..yummm

  31. hi...makcik rasa seperti hari raya bila lihat sayur lodeh .Selalunya makcik masukkan fresh prawns dalam sayur lodeh ni.sedapp

  32. Looks amazing. I love meatless meals that are hearty enough so that you are not hungry a few hours later.

  33. I think that's the shortest list of ingredients I've ever seen in a curry. Heh.

  34. Aiyo, what a mouth-watering curry dish! Looks a bit like 'lontong'. Can go well with nasi impit.

  35. Interesting curry!!...bet it must have tasted great..looks abslty yummy!

  36. I was just thinking of vegetable curry today and now here you are with it. You must be reading my thoughts...haha. Looks very delicious. I wish I can have that bowl!

  37. Ok 3 Tummies ... do you really use that many dried chillies? On top of the 3 birdseye chillies (I'm assuming this is what you use as the normal sized red chillies sold here might as well be capsicums)? Pedas Sial!!

    I love love love love Sayur Lodeh!!! And I think the real reason is I love the ketupat and sometimes its served with serondeng which is heaven!!

    You can always use the Prima mix ... hehe!

  38. this is wonderful !!
    i can adapt this so well for me !!
    tomorrow i am going to taste this !!

  39. Ann,
    There is nothing wrong to do what you mentioned, I often pour this over fresh rice rolls and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over :)

    Thank you! Looks like I'm cooking dishes you like :)

    Thank you very much!

    Mr Noodles ,
    Often that is the best way I think, especially when they are recipes that are given to us.

    Sophia darling,
    That sounds wrong to me but hey I'm pretty stubborn just like I will never touch phat thai with carrots in it :)
    Mmm recipes to open Fatimah's kitchen! xxx

    Thank you! I had too many bowls of rice myself!

    Oh can't hate me! I'll invite you over next time.

    Claudia ,
    Thank you very much! If you can't find them I have a recipe on how to make your own dried shrimp.

    Lyndsey ,
    Thank you very much! Try it and love your feedback! Candlenuts are used quite a bit in Malay/Indonesian cooking, if not brazil nuts or macadamia nuts can be used.

    Mary ,
    Thank you! Isn't it great to find new ingredients from time to time? We sometimes take that for granted here.

    Cool Lassi(e) ,
    Thank you very much! It looks like a Malay week indeed, I guess once I started cooking I simply can't stop haha!

    Gulmohar ,
    Thank you very much! I simply love the colour given by turmeric too.

    cikmanggis ,
    Lain kali saya pasti tambah udang, terima kasih tipsnya ya macik!

    Lady Ren,
    Thank you! I think the tofu has made the dish a lot more substantial, I was still happy a few hours later without having to raid the fridge.

    I have to agree it is pretty short.

    Cheah ,
    Yeah I was too lazy to go and get broken rice for the lontong, can't get instant impit here :(

    Thank you very much!

    Haha I must have :) I was missing this curry since I have not cooked this for a very long time.

    Oh yes, I used the mild variety which really just gives me the colour, it might sounds like a lot but remember this is a very large pot.
    Yeah I love to serve this with lontong too, adding serunding sounds like a very good idea!
    It is a lot tastier not to mention economical using homemade paste :)

    Caio Fernandes ,
    Thank you! Let me know how it goes!

  40. Ooh.. you know where you can find a good Indo version? The Asian grocery/cafe in Caulfield Plaza.. but might be too far out for you =)

  41. Sayur lodeh!! I love this dish that is full of flavours!

  42. After reading about all this beautiful Malaysian dishes here, I somehow wish they are more good quality Malaysian eateries here in Melbourne. I will stop buying packet sauce from now on ;)

  43. It is so unfair that you have all this recipes from childhood while the only family recipe I have is roast with 3 veg, So wonderful of you to be sharing them and that's why I just love coming here, thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!

  44. love curry vegetable and your color look great too!!

  45. This really looks so delicious!

  46. What an excellent vegetable curry, such wonderful flavors, I cannot wait to try it!

  47. Now i know where to go for good curry recipes! These looks good!

  48. msihua ,
    Oh that is certainly too far for me as I don't drive.

    It is indeed! Full of flavours from home!

    LMH ,
    I feel the same too, there are some good ones but they are all in the burbs ;(

    Thank you! I'm now sharing mine with you! :)

    Thank you very much!

    Thank you! Must try!

    5 Star Foodie,
    Thank you! I hope you will!

    Haha I hope you will come back soon!

    FoodLovers ,
    Thank you!

  49. This dish is wonderful, I love!
    curry with all those vegetables that should really be exellent, the pictures are very nice, bravo

  50. My daughter was bugging me to cook vegetable curry. So i went in search for a simple vegetable curry recipe and i came across yours. Followed exactly according to your recipe and the result was simply delicious,especially when its eaten with hot steaming rice! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe :)

  51. Hi is oil needed to stir fry the paste?

  52. Hi is oil needed to stir fry the paste?

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  54. Tried this recipe and the result is amazing! Very delicious veggie curry, perfect for an evening with my vegetarian friends. I did load up on he vegetables..

    One question, how do you fry the paste till it pecah minyak? I was cooking it for 5 mins and it just gets drier and drier.

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