DIY Xmas: Peranakan-style pumpkin curry

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By Rebecca Lynne Tan, Eunice Quek

The Straits Times

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013

  • Christmas is a week away and if you are starting to fret about what to cook for your dinner party, stop.

    Six Singaporean chefs from five restaurants have put together festive recipes for home cooks including appetisers, main courses and a dessert.

    They have come up with a total of seven recipes that can each serve eight people.

    Bryan Chia and Petrina Loh, both 31, chef-owners of Morsels, a sharing plates restaurant in Mayo Street off Jalan Besar, whip up a recipe for a warm beef tripe and cannellini bean salad with roasted Roma tomatoes.

    They also share a recipe for a roast lamb shoulder with glutinous rice stuffing - a slightly Asian take on traditional versions of stuffing, which usually feature bread.

    Joseph Yeo, 31, chef and co-owner of SPR MRKT, a bistro in McCallum Street, offers a festive version of his bistro's grilled corn soup that includes crispy polenta cubes and chunks of turkey ham.

    For a decadent spin on Yuletide fare, chef-owner Bjorn Shen, 31, of Artichoke at Sculpture Square, dishes up a chicken double down burger with a honey butter glazed grilled ham.

    It is a slice of ham wedged between two chicken breasts, which form the "bun" for the burger - there is no bread here.

    He secures the burger with a candy cane instead of a toothpick, which imparts a hint of peppermint to the patty.

    Meanwhile, Matthew Mok, 38, of private dining restaurant The Rabbit Stash in Alexandra Road, pays homage to his roots with a Peranakan-style pumpkin curry that includes a spicy rempah and coconut cream drizzled over the dish.

    For dessert, let your guests help themselves to frozen berries, hot white chocolate sauce and a crunchy crumble, or plate it for them if you prefer.

    The dessert is by pasty chef and owner of Patisserie G, Gwen Lim, 40. It is inspired by a dessert she had at The Ivy in London, during her university days in the late 1990s.

    The best part about some of these chefs' recipes is that they offer ways to use up leftovers.

    Chop up ham and turkey and shuck yesterday's grilled corn to make chef Yeo's grilled corn soup.

    And in place of chicken breasts for chef Shen's chicken double down burger, use turkey.

    Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.

  • 1kg pumpkin, seeds and skin removed, and roughly chopped into wedges
  • 100g yellow onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • For the rempah
  • 200g red onion
  • 1 chilli padi
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 30g galangal
  • 4 candlenuts
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped into
  • 5cm sections
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 20g curry powder
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml water
  • 150ml coconut cream
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. In a tray, spread out the pumpkin wedges and yellow onion, and drizzle oil over them.
  • 2. Cover the tray with aluminium foil and bake the pumpkin and onion in the oven for 40 minutes. Set aside.
  • 3. Place rempah ingredients in a blender and process until fine.
  • 4. Heat oil in a deep pan and add the rempah. Fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  • 5. Add the lemongrass, curry leaves, curry powder, 200ml stock and 200ml water. Simmer the curry for 30 minutes over medium heat.
  • 6. Place two-thirds of the baked pumpkin into a medium-sized pot. Stir in the remaining stock and water.
  • 7. When the mixture comes to a boil, use a hand-held blender to blend the pumpkin to get a soupy consistency.
  • 8. Holding a sieve over the pot of pumpkin, slowly pour in the curry from step 5 through the sieve. Adjust the consistency and amount of curry to pumpkin according to your preference.
  • 9. Mix coconut and whipping cream together, with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 10. Scoop the curry into a big bowl and add the remaining pumpkin wedges.
  • 11. Drizzle the cream over the curry and serve with toasted parmesan bread or garlic bread.
  • You can also add chicken or other meat to this curry.
  • Serves eight to 10.