Over the recent Chinese New Year, and for my family’s reunion dinner on the eve of the Chinese New Year, I prepared a special curry for the occasion. My contribution to the potluck reunion dinner do at my parents’ home.
A curry which has its origins from Portuguese roots (and which I learnt how to cook from watching my husband’s aunts- and with some improvisation on my part), the Portuguese Devil Curry is aptly named because it is a flaming hot, spicy, rich-tasting curry that will leave you craving for more. For the virgin palate, the Devil Curry is an acquired taste, because of its sharp tones (from vinegar mixed generously into the gravy and which gives it a special touch). Throw in pork or pork ribs, chicken or even spam, with lots of quartered tomatoes, potatoes and carrots, and your Devil Curry will swill in a wonderful aroma of smells and flavours. My husband loves my Devil Curry and will drown a mountainful of rice with the rich, flavourful gravy, and eat with his hands!
The key ingredients which gives the curry its wonderful flavour are fresh turmeric, which gives it that wonderful Curcumin colour, like a bowlful of yellow-orange sunshine, dried red chillies, fresh red chillies, candlenuts and shrimp paste (or as we call it, “belacan”). Mustard seeds popping in a wok of delightful golden oil coupled with a thick paste of the key ingredients blended together, is the root of all things that make this curry such a sinful indulgence.
As my family members said to me after tasting the Devil Curry, it was “one helluva curry”.