Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Post and EaT Everything WeekEnd Lame LeftoverS

This seemed like a timely post given the whole Pete Wells shananigan. While people have things like strawberries, a carrot or two, and crusty bread as leftovers, I have things like a whole container of chicken curry or the remains of some lunch dish from several days past. Straggler ingredients like the odd handful of spinach, a sole tomato, or two sticks of celery usually find their way into the dog's bowl at dinner. Either that, or they get made into some sort of cake over the weekend. Like my oven, my fridge is pretty small for one with such a huge appetite as mine, so I try as much to purge it of ingredients that will probably spawn moldy children or go limp.

Over the weekend, I rummaged through the freezer to find a Tupperware of chicken curry from several weeks ago. I figured now was as good a time as any to indulge in one of my all-time childhood favourites: Prata and curry. The prata goes by many names—the Malaysians call it Canai, some Indians refer to it as Paratha, and I've heard some Caucasian friends call it Roti (Malay for 'bread', go figure). Whatever name it goes by, the perfect prata should be flaky and crispy on the outside and soft and slightly stretchy on the inside (the result of lots of ghee and a very hot griddle). Like the doner kebab in the UK, the prata is the unofficial late-night food of Singapore, not least because most prata stalls are open 24 hours. It's also typical breakfast food, dunked in a spicy dahl-char (dahl curry) and accompanied by a steaming cup of teh-tarik. Heaven.

Strangely enough, I had to drive to three different places to finally get my hands on some prata that day. The first stall I drove to at Frankel had closed down; the second one, no doubt gaining from the other stall owner's loss, was so crowded I couldn't find a parking space; and the third had sold his last prata mere minutes before I arrived. Thankfully, not far away from that last stall, I found joy.

The chicken curry I had it with was made Peranakan/Eurasian style—with very little or no coconut milk and a few green chillies broken into it at the end. I've posted the recipe here.

I know I'm early, but the Post and EaT Everything WeekEnd Lame LeftoverS (PETE WELLS) event hosted by Tomatom kicks off on 13 March.


Blogger Gustad said...

i love those fresh paratha's. good stuff

1:21 am  
Blogger Elaine Perlov said...

YUM! I love that dish. My husband and I always order it at Malaysian restaurants, called Roti Canai or (stuffed with potatoes) Roti Telur. I know what you mean about ingredient fragments in the fridge!

2:02 am  
Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Nice! I was not aware of the event, great idea so thanks for the heads-up! My fridge was in need of "things to go " before our recent trip and I had made this:

3:00 am  
Blogger Ed Charles said...

Wish my leftovers were that good.

8:02 am  
Blogger J said...

hello!funny post, as always ;) as a kid, a treat was prata sprinkled with sugar...most people i've ever told this to think it sounds revolting, but it really is good (or sugar sandwiches, for that matter - pappy gardenia smeared with butter and sprinkled with sugar)

12:09 pm  
Blogger Eggy said...

Hi Elaine, isn't Roti Telur the variety stuffed with egg?

Bea, I read your post. Loved it.

J, sugar and prata is a classic. I used to have sugar on top of my curry too. Yes, just another facet of my greediness. As for the Gardenia, it was condensed milk on top of bread for me.

9:14 pm  
Blogger ana said...

I suddenly missed the Roti dunked in curry there in Singapore. Yum! Will have to settle for the one in Banana Leaf here in Manila. =(

12:04 pm  
Blogger shaz said...

im not a paratha person, but give me indian food any day.

4:07 pm  
Blogger cass said...

hello, i just tagged u for a meme... check out my blog for more info ... www.casslovescooking.blogspot.com

11:19 pm  
Blogger Elaine Perlov said...

Stuffed with egg? Really. In restaurants here, they stuff it with potato. We are gettting a false version.

1:42 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home