Made to celebrate a couple’s love for each other, this opulent and festive dish usually contains seafood, but the vegetarian version is just as lovely.
To make the chilli paste, heat the coconut oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Fry the onion, pandan leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and chilli flakes for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is golden. Stir in the curry leaves, garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Sprinkle with the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Blend into a paste and set aside. You will only need a small amount for this dish; the remainder will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Wash the rice and cook according to one of the methods.
Meanwhile, in a large sturdy wok, heat the coconut oil over medium heat and add the curry leaves. When they pop, add the carrot, winter melon and cashews and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
Stir in the chilli paste and turmeric and cook for a few minutes, then add the peas and raisins and stir for 2 minutes.
When the rice is cooked, fluff the grains using a fork, then add the rice to the vegetable mixture, tossing in the wok until well combined.
Garnish with fried curry leaves and serve immediately, with your favourite relish or pickle.
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