Coordination Yeong Kar Yan Photo Jasper Yu Art Direction & Styling Nikki Ho Bowl Robinsons The Heeren Aiman Malay Food  CCMW Coffeeshop, #01-462 Jurong West Street 41

Recipe by Sharifah Ismail

Serves 5 – 6


For the lontong paste:
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 ½ stalk lemongrass (10cm a stalk), sliced
½ slice galangal
150g ikan bilis, soaked for 5min

For the vegetables:
80g carrot, peeled and sliced
250g yam bean, peeled and cut into 5cm strips
400g Chinese round cabbage, cut into bite-sized chunks
100g long beans, cut diagonally into 5cm lengths
2 daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves)*

2 ½ tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tbsp fish curry powder
500ml water
Sugar and salt, to taste
Ikan bilis powder, to taste (optional)
500ml coconut milk
2 tbsp sambal chilli oil
3 pieces tau kwa, halved into triangles and deep-fried
3 instant rice cakes*, boiled and cubed
6 hard-boiled eggs, halved
60g serunding (fried grated coconut)*
Sambal chilli to taste, for topping

*Instant rice cakes and serunding are available at Halal grocers; Sharifah recommends the Adabi or Nona brands of rice cakes. Daun salam is available at wet markets.


1. Blend all the ingredients for the lontong paste into a smooth mixture.
2. Heat the cooking oil in a deep pot and fry the lontong paste over medium heat for about 5min, or until fragrant.
3. Add the ground coriander and fish curry powder.
4. Pour in the water, mix well, and bring to the boil.
5. Add the vegetables and cook until softened. Reduce the cooking time if you prefer your vegetables to have a firm bite.
6. Add sugar, salt and ikan bilis powder.
7. Add the coconut milk, stirring it in as you pour so it combines evenly. The mixture should thicken.
8. Turn off the heat when the mixture boils. Add the sambal chilli oil for colour and aroma, and the fried tau kwa.
9. Pour the gravy over the rice cakes and eggs before topping with serunding and sambal chilli.

This article was first published in Simply Her April 2016.