Cook's Hideout: Malaysia -- Vegetarian Curry with Coconut Milk

September 15, 2014

Malaysia -- Vegetarian Curry with Coconut Milk

BM# 44: A-Z Cooking Series -- Around the World in 30 days
Country: M for Malaysia
Dish: Vegetarian Malaysian Curry with Coconut Milk
We are going to the Malaysia today. It is located in Southeast Asia. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. The population can be broadly divided into 3 ethnic groups: Malays, Chinese & Indian. Most of the Malaysian dishes have strong influences of all these countries.
One of my very good friends is from Malaysia and I asked her help in picking a recipe. She suggested couple of dishes that required procuring ingredients typical to Malaysia. Then I asked her Malaysian curry recipe and she sent me the recipe and then even made it for us. I planned on clicking her curry, but it was all gone so quickly that I didn't get a chance to take pics.
Malaysia -- Vegetarian Curry with Coconut Milk
Then I found another Malaysian curry recipe that was slightly different from my friend's version. I double checked with my friend and after getting her nod of approval, I made this curry with freshly made curry paste and coconut milk.

Malaysia -- Vegetarian Curry with Coconut Milk
Difference between Indian & Malaysian curries is that the veggies are cooked till fork tender and never over-cooked in Malaysian curries. Also what I found was the tang factor missing, there are no tomatoes or tamarind in the curry. But all in all this is a delicious curry that is best served with steamed rice.
Malaysia -- Vegetarian Curry with Coconut Milk
Recipe adapted from here:
For the Curry Paste:
Dry red chilies - 3 (I used Indian red chilies that were very spicy, if you are using milder chilies, then increase the quantity)
Thai red chili - 2
Galangal - 2tsp, grated
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1" piece
Lemon Grass - 2, use only the white soft part
Red Onion - 1 small, chopped (or use 2~3 shallots)
Cashews - 12 (or use candle nuts/ macademia nuts or brazil nuts)
Turmeric - ½tsp

For the Curry:
Japanese/ Chinese Eggplant - 2, sliced
Cabbage - 1 cup, chopped
Zucchini - 1 small, sliced
Carrot - 1 small, peeled and diced
Green Beans - ½cup, cut into 1" pieces
Soy Puffs - ½cup, cut in half (these are available in Asian markets in the refrigerator section)
Coconut milk - 1cup
Kaffir Lime leaves - 3 (I didn't have any, so skipped them)

  • Prepare the Curry Paste: Soak the dry red chilies in some warm water for 15 minutes. Drain before using.
  • Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • To make the Curry: Heat 2tbsp oil (I used coconut oil, but any oil can be used), add the curry paste and saute till the oil separates.
  • Next add the coconut milk and 1 cup of water (or veggie stock) and kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil.
  • Next add all the veggies and tofu puffs. Lower the heat and simmer till the veggies are done to the desired tenderness. Malaysians traditionally don't overcook their veggies, so carrot and beans are usually left crisp tender.
  • Season with salt, mix well and turn off the heat. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice. Curry usually tastes better for the next meal as it has more time to absorb all the flavors. But served hot, it tastes delicious too!!
Malaysia -- Vegetarian Curry with Coconut Milk



  1. Malaysian curry looks so creamy and colorful. Very well made..

  2. A very hearty and filling curry. Really like the fresh made curry paste.

  3. That colorful curry is inviting. Those lime leaves and galangal must lend a citrusy flavor to the dish.

  4. looks delicious, i love malaysian veg dishes and this looks perfect , going to make it soon. if you have time visit me too.

  5. Lovely medley of colourful vegetables, am sure lime leaves and galangal take this curry to a different level na..

  6. oh what a colorful healthy curry .Nice info abut the cuisine too .You got such a lovely space pavani .Bookemarked few recipes .Happy to follow u .Glad if u follow me back .

  7. wow such an tempting combo of veggies used for making this inviting curry :) very very flavorful one !!

  8. Such inviting looking curry Pavani..very nicely presented..

  9. Pavani I would love cooking this curry...the flavors are awesome and I like to grind them very very fresh..a very flavorful curry.

  10. Bowl of curry is inviting and beautiful pictures. I will try this curry.

  11. Very flavorful curry. My husband is very fond of this curry paste with lemon grass and galangal/ginger.

  12. I love Malaysian food and this curry looks delectable

  13. Sinfully delicious. I love the flavours here and with rice wow in heaven.

  14. Looks super delicious pavani!!! very tempting with rice!

  15. Lovely curry and that last pic is truly making me hungry...

  16. Can I use a food processor to grind the ingredients together for the curry paste?

    1. Jessica, sure you can use food processor to grind the curry paste. Hope you like the dish.


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