Monday, September 22, 2014

Pumpkin and Tomato Laksa

"Ladle It Up", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC).

For this week, I've selected Pumpkin and Tomato Laksa, recipe from The Kitchen Diaries. I have some leftover pumpkins which I needed to clear, and some tomatoes too in my fridge. In the recipe instructions, the pumpkin is peeled,  and cut into chunks, then steam for a few minutes until tender, where they will be added to the laksa gravy towards the end of cooking time.  I feel that this is an unnecessary step, as pumpkin gets cooked really fast. I omitted the steaming and simply added the pumpkin chunks along with the tomatoes into the laksa gravy, and cooked for about 8-10 minutes until they are soft and tender. 

The laksa paste smells really nice. Made up of red chillies, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, lime leaves, coriander roots and leaves, which are all blended into a fine paste. I've added half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Nigel has used only half the amount of the paste and he says to keep the other half for another day's use. I have adjusted the amount slightly to cook for only one meal. The paste is supposed to be cooked briefly in a saucepan, and he did not mention about using any oil at all. I have however, cooked the paste in some cooking oil, which I heated first, and fry the paste until they are fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Then add in some stock and coconut milk (I've added the coconut milk at the last step of cooking). At this stage, I've added in the chopped tomatoes and pumpkins. Season to taste with some lemon juice, fish sauce and salt, let it simmer for 8-10 minutes until the pumpkin are soft and tender. I added in some fish balls during the last few minutes. And the coconut milk is added in, let the gravy come to a simmer, and ladle into bowls of pre-cooked noodles of your choice. I've used rice vermicelli. And garnish with some chopped coriander and mint leaves, and hard-boiled eggs, just because!



Simple and easy to cook. Though it does not exactly taste like our local laksa which is really rich and spicy, this bowl of mild laksa makes a nice meal. This is the first time I'm using pumpkin in a noodle laksa, and it makes such an interesting ingredient. The hard-boiled eggs and fish balls are my addition. Some cooked chicken meat may be added for a more substantial meal.  


Pumpkin and Tomato Laksa
Did not realize how messy the bowl looks after I stirred the laksa until I see this photo much later!

** my changes listed in blue
Pumpkin and Tomato Laksa
(adapted from "The Kitchen Diaries", Nigel Slater)
250gm pumpkin, unpeeled weight
5 small, red bird's eye chillies (I use 4 fresh red chillies)
4 cloves garlic
a lump of ginger the size of your thumb
2 plump stalks lemon grass
6 lime leaves
5 or 6 coriander roots
a large handful coriander leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (my addition)
a little vegetable oil
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk
24 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons nampla (Thai fish sauce)
the juice of half a lemon
100gm dried noodles, cooked as it says on the packet
a large handful mint leaves

Cut the pumpkin into large chunks and place in the top of a steamer (alternatively, steam them in a colander balanced over a pan of boiling water). The pumpkin should be tender in twelve to fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat. (I omitted this step, I simply add in the pumpkin chunks along with the tomatoes later)
Chop the chillies, removing the seeds first if you wish, peel the garlic and ginger and chop roughly. Put them all into a food processor. Discard the outer leaves of the lemon grass and roughly chop the inner leaves, shred the lime leaves, then add them to the chillies. Scrub the coriander roots and add them to the chillies, along with half the coriander leaves and stems. Blitz them to a pulp, adding a little vegetable oil if the mixture needs it to go round.
Place a fairly deep pan over a moderate heat, add half the spice paste (keep the other half in the fridge for tomorrow) and fry it, moving it round the pan so it does not scorch. Do this for a minute or two, then pour in the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil. (I heated some oil, fry the spice paste for about 5 minutes until fragrant before adding in the stock)
Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the soup (together with the chunks of pumpkin), with the nam pla and lemon juice. They will take seven to ten minutes to cook. Add the chunks of pumpkin and continue cooking for a minute or two. (Add the coconut milk, let it some to a simmer). Place a swirl of cooked noodles in each of four bowls, pour over the laksa and add the mint and the remaining coriander leaves.
Enough for 4.

**************************

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week "Ladle It Up"



and
SouperSundays

and
Cook-Your-Books

28 comments:

  1. Wow, looks so appetising. Never thought of this combination!

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  2. Hi Joyce, this is so tempting and the colour of your laksa is driving me crazy. Coming over for lunch now! Have a great day and week ahead :)

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  3. Hi Joyce
    This laksa sounds so special and really appetising. Never thought about pumpkin and tomato the combination cook for laksa

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  4. Hi Joyce, very combination and sounds healthy too! Yummy...

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  5. drooling over this delicious bowl of laksa!!

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  6. I could smell the nice fragrance of laksa paste ... coconut milk ...mint leaves. This truly a unique combination pumpkin + tomatoes added to this laksa. Any extra ?! Hee hee !

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  7. I've never had laska and this recipe looks like it would be a great introduction to it! I find that many of Nigel's recipes can be streamlined by skipping steps or cooking things in the same pot rather than separately; it was a good call to cook the pumpkin in the soup.

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  8. wow...this is pretty nice:) Will surely this soon:)
    do look at my blog:)

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  9. This is what I feel is a complete and delicious looking meal. Wonderfully prepared.
    Deepa

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  10. That's a very interesting recipe with pumpkin. The spices in the laksa sounds very good! It's a warm dish to have for autumn. It's just perfect for our weather here since it's getting cooler! :-)

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  11. Hi Joyce,
    WOW! This laksa looks so sedap & mouth watering ! Love the spicy looking thick gravy ! The addition of pumpkin & tomatoes are very interesting . And I like your idea of adding hard-boiled eggs and fish ball . YUM! ;)

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  12. Hi Joyce , this dish looks deliciously divine , pinning ... thanks for sharing ;- D

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  13. This dish looks mouthwatering! Interesting and healthy recipe. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. wow... now i'm gonna keep this for my laksa-sucker hubby.. and this will be his halloween meal!

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  15. Hi Joyce,

    This "ang-moh" style kind of laksa sounds very alternative with the addition of pumpkin and tomatoes. Interestingly, you have made it with more Asian style with the addition of fish balls :D

    Zoe

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  16. wow, damn delicious tangy laksa!!!
    good job my friend, definitely worth to try....

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  17. oh wow! Doesn't this look hearty and comforting. I love the tomato and pumpkin combo. I dont believe I have ever used those two together before

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  18. I read about this recipe many times.... when I saw the title, already know it's Nigel Slater's recipe hehe. The mild flavours would be just nice for kids :)

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  19. Joyce , nevermind the mess , I love the look of it :D Another recipe to try sometime !

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  20. This sounds and looks like comfort food!

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  21. I remember when Sue made something similar to this and I was very intrigued. I don't cook with pumpkin much, but this certainly looks delicious in every way! I love all the components of the laksa and I think it would be very satisfying.

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  22. Love, Love, LOVE Laksa and I love the pumpkin and tomato combination. I am tagging this one to make. Thanks for sharing it this week at Souper Sundays too. ;-)

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  23. Joyce, this is the first time I've heard of a pumpkin and tomato laksa, definitely lighter than our usual creamy santan version. I like how it looks, you made it so homely and wholesome. Yummy!!

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  24. Joyce, this laksa sure looks so appetizing! Never mind the messy bowl. It makes the laksa look even more tasty!

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  25. My husband LOVES laksa -- he lived for years in Malaysia -- I should try this! Thank you for sharing it!

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  26. Now that I have Laksa I can make this. This looks delicious.

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  27. Sensational, Joyce. I made one of Nigel's pumpkin laksa for an earlier challenge. I roasted the pumpkin first for a bit of extra flavour, and I love the way pumpkin carries all the flavours of the laksa so well. I'm loving your addition of the fish balls and boiled eggs.

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