What I really craved when I was studying abroad in Australia, especially on those cold nights when I especially missed home, was some good hearty Malaysian food. I wasn't much of a cook growing up, having much preferred baking, so pasta and some simple stir-fries (oh and of course, maggi mee too!) were my go-to meals when I was there. Simple and fast did the trick.
A lot of times I relied on ready-made pastes and bottled condiments for my taste of home. There was quite an okay variety at the Asian grocery in the suburb where I stayed - mostly Japanese, Korean or Chinese stuff. Sure, bulgolgi and plum sauces, tom yam pastes were nice, but they weren't Malaysian to me. And when I say Malaysian, I mean fiery nasi lemak sambals, piquant curries, slurp-worthy laksas... yum.)
Which is why when I saw the well-rounded range from DOLLEE, I couldn't help but wish that they were around during the time we were in Melbourne. A Malaysian home-grown connoisseur of local flavours and essences, Dollee has today created a large variety of ready-made pastes and condiments through years of painstakingly perfecting its timeless recipes.
At a recent afternoon luncheon, we got to see for ourselves just how easily Dollee recreates some of our favourite dishes.
We started off with the Chicken Curry Paste, where all we needed were some chicken, potatoes, and coconut milk.
|You can use either the ready boxed coconut milk, or instant coconut cream powder - both work the same :)|
- 1 packet Dollee Chicken Curry Paste
- 1.5kg chicken
- 2 potatoes, quartered
- 350-500ml water
- 200ml coconut milk or fresh/low fat milk
1. First, stir fry 1 packet of Dollee Chicken Curry Paste with 1.5kg chicken pieces and 2 potatoes which have been cut into cubes for approximately 5 minutes.
So, we added in the paste first to heat it up, and then in went the chicken!
At this point, my tummy started growling embarrassingly loud because the aroma from the spices began filling the kitchen. Too good!
2. Next, add 350-500 ml water, depending on how thick you'd like your curry to be, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the meat is tender and potatoes have softened.
Dollee recommends to use a variety of chicken cuts, a mixture of parts with some fat and bone for a better tasting curry. However, if you'd like to use chicken breast instead as its less fatty/oily, then remember to simmer it for a little longer to get a tender, succulent bite.
3. Add 200ml coconut milk or fresh/low fat milk. Stir well and bring to a quick boil. Serve hot!
We followed the recipe to a tee, and we found the level of spiciness and the thickness of the gravy just right for both Adam and I. If you'd like something less spicy, you can always add more water or coconut milk in steps 2 & 3 above.
The result was a richly-hued chicken curry, robust in both flavour and spice. The chicken was tender and absorbed the flavours of the paste extremely well; plus, Adam & I loved how home-cooked the curry tasted, like mom had combined the spices from scratch. He even went for second helpings. Best part? It feels like an extremely laborious dish, but in actual fact, it's really very easy!
Next up was the Curry Laksa Paste, which was even more idiot-proof, if you can believe it. You may need more ingredients, but the steps are simpler.
Before starting with the laksa broth, choose your type of noodles and sides - whatever floats your boat! Lightly blanch the noodles, and set aside any other ingredients you'd like - tofu is a must have for me, and we find that fish balls or even steamed chicken make a great addition to a bowl of laksa.
- 1 packet Dollee Curry Laksa Paste
- 1400ml water
- 200ml coconut milk
- 100g tofu puff
- Rice Vermicelli or Yellow Noodles
- Bean Sprouts
- Ingredients of your choice such as steamed chicken, cooked prawns or fish balls
2. Next, add 200ml coconut milk and 100g fried tofu puffs (here, we popped in our fishballs as well!) and bring to a quick boil.
3. While the laksa broth is boiling, you can quickly distribute your blanched noodles and bean sprouts into bowls. We also had some lightly pan-fried egg plant and long beans as well.
4. You can top each bowl with more ingredients of your choice (some cooked prawns would work as well!). I like my laksas big and bountiful, so the more the merrier.
5. Finally, pour piping hot Curry Laksa Soup into the bowls of noodles and serve immediately for a tummy-warming bowl of spicy goodness.
Overseas, Dollee products are at major Asian groceries near you in Australia, the UK (like Wing Yip), the USA, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Holland, Hong Kong and Canada for now.
For more information on Dollee products:
We were quite surprised at the little amount of time it took; perfect for someone like me who is quite illiterate in matters of anything to do with spices and herbs.
I loved that the outcome wasn't too spicy, because we could easily slurp down spoonful after spoonful of the tasty broth without suffering (I downed nearly every drop :p). I've tasted god-awful laksa-s before, where the soup was one-dimensional and lacked any real blend of spices, but I can assure you this was anything but. My mom has also tried making a packet at home for dinner one day and my family enjoyed the authentic soup thoroughly.
The curry broth was not as creamy as Adam would have liked it because he's more a Singapore Katong laksa kind of guy where it's santan galore, but that can be easily fixed by tweaking the amount of water and coconut milk used to suit his/your palate. It's absolutely versatile, and extremely easy. (I'm quite sure Adam also can make lor...)
Besides the two above, Dollee also has some pastes like Prawn Noodle Paste, Seafood Curry Paste (for some lip-smacking fish curry) and Meat Curry Paste (for red meat) under its belt. In addition, it also has a host of other Malaysian favourites like ready made Nasi Lemak Sambal, Hainanese Chicken Rice Paste and even Kaya (coconut spread). Sounds heaven-sent, especially if you're away from home... this can more than make up dinner for every night of the week okay. :D
Like I've said, the pastes are incredibly easy to use and taste good to boot - to those of us away, Dollee delivers a nostalgic taste of home; and for the rest of us, a hassle-free way to enjoy Malaysian favourites any day of the week.
Dollee products are halal-certified.
In the Klang Valley, Dollee products are currenly available at these locations:-
- A'Han Nyonya Kuih (next to myBurgerLab in Seapark, PJ)
- Bake with Yen outlets
For more information on Dollee products: