What I love about food is that it can be adapted to suit taste, the seasons and even mood. So this is my take on Laksa, it may not be traditional but it is to my taste (and those lucky enough to have had it for lunch today!)
I have spoken many times about him before but whenever I make a curry paste, my thoughts escape to my sister’s boyfriend Kelly – his rituals, patience and understanding of Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan flavours.
While I haphazardly threw my curry paste ingredients into my tired, overworked blender I thought about the last curry we made with a rabbit kindly gifted to us by Tony – their entirely sustainable and often a little tipsy neighbour. We stood for hours in Kelly’s Croydon kitchen – feeling, smelling and discussing each ingredient, then chopping (with a meat cleaver the size of my head) and finally bashing and grinding the flavours together in the mortar and pestle. When I am in Kelly’s kitchen learning about Asian vegetables, tropical fruits and cooking techniques I get feelings of excitement and passion that you only get when you learn or cook something for the very first time. Every time I cook with Kelly I gain a little more insight into Asian cuisine – last time I learnt about fried lettuce, longons v.s. lychees, fresh snow pea leaves and the “fastest dinner in the world” (a Japanese-inspired omelette). And I learn valuable skills to make me cook more like a turtle rather than a hare.
Even though a blender was used to make this curry paste, it was still a beautiful dish with layers of flavour and texture and the right amount of warmth for this intensely foggy and cold June day.