Christmas curry? Malaysian inspired curry of Brussels sprouts, tofu and potatoes

2 Dec

Christmas curry? Malaysian inspired curry of Brussels sprouts, tofu and potatoes

On Christmas Day, one of the things I most enjoy eating is a good, crisp, roasted potato that is a fluffy and moist cloud on the inside. The subtle sweetness just takes me away to a land between the chippie of my childhood and a really good gastro pub that makes juicy and delicious vegetable sausages with steaming hot onion gravy.
I think I kind of enjoy the roastie banter too. My dad thinks he makes the best ones though, naturally. He does this funny thing of squashing them just before they are ready.

The sprouts though. Some of us love them (like me) and some won’t even give them a friendly prod at Christmas. As a result, we always have loads of them knocking around in the bottom drawer of the fridge. I love the Brussel sprout with its many layers, pretty like a flower. I love that they are silky, they soak up juices between those layers and I love that they are in season.

This curry is one of those that warms the tummy and keeps it flickering and teases the taste buds. It’s a glowing bowl of aroma and an utterly balanced dish for the senses. It looks mor complicated than it is…once you’ve made the curry paste, it’s very, very straightforward. What you get is a heat, sweetness and zing. You get the perfumes from star anise, kaffir lime leaves and some wonderful lemongrass. The great thing is that the potatoes, Brussel sprouts and tofu soak up all these juices.

It’s a Malaysian inspired dish. There are so many varieties of a Malaysian curry, even the term Laksa refers to plentiful variety. This is my way…give it a go.


One pack of firm tofu, drained and cubed into 3cm chunks
3 tbsp ground nut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 star anise
1 stick of cinnamon
2 medium potatoes, cut into 3-4cm chunks
200g Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 can of coconut milk
2-3 kafir lime leaves
300ml water
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tbsp lime juice

For the paste

5-6 small shallots
2 red chilies
1.5 inch galangal
2 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of lemongrass
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground nut oil


1. Shallow fry the tofu in 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan until they are lightly golden. Remove onto kitchen paper.
2. Make a paste by grinding together the ingredients for the paste, it should be smooth.
3. Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan and add the cumin, coriander, star anise cinnamon and lime leaves and heat through for a minute.
4. Stir in the curry paste and on a low flame, cook for 4-5minutes until the oil is absorbed into the paste.
5. Introduce the potatoes, sprouts and tofu and mix gently.
6. Add the coconut milk and water as well as the lime juice.

Serve hot with rice.

13 Responses to “Christmas curry? Malaysian inspired curry of Brussels sprouts, tofu and potatoes”

  1. Deb December 3, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    My curry always seems to be a saucy avenue for using up odds and ends of vegetables. Potatoes are a must, otherwise what would soak up all the lovely sauce? With cold evenings here to stay I will have to try your tempting recipe to delight my family!

    • Deena Kakaya December 4, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      Hi Deb, so nice to see a comment from you! I have to agree with you, I love potatoes in a curry…and yes, sometimes I chuck in whatever I have. The star of this curry is the sprouts and quite deliberately so. They are an unloved seasonal jewel! Please do share a pic when you try this one out…I hope you all enjoy it! Xx

  2. EA-The Spicy RD December 4, 2013 at 6:29 am #

    I’ve never thought to add Brussels Sprouts to a curry before, but what a fabulous idea! This looks so delicious as I am a huge fan of any kind of curry. Ok-so I have to ask…what is a roastie banter???

    • Deena Kakaya December 4, 2013 at 8:03 am #

      Hello lovely, lovely lady. So nice to hear from you.

      I’ve got a stuffed Brussels sprouts curry on the site too! So many people say that they don’t like the sprout, but I wouldn’t either if it were its boiled or steamed; yuk! When they are cooked in a curry they take on the juices so well.

      Ha ha, roastie banker is the chat that seems to go on around the perfect roasted potato 🙂 it can’t get quite competitive, don’t you think xx

  3. anita menon December 4, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    The curry looks delicious

    • Deena Kakaya December 4, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      Hi Anita, so nice to hear from you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      The curry is delicious and pretty easy to whip up. The leftovers were even tastier 😉 x

  4. shaheen December 4, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    I made a similar dish a couple of years back with home grown sprouts, so I know this is going to be good.

    • Deena Kakaya December 4, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Hello Shaheen, it’s great to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m so glad that you like the look of this recipe, did you make your curry with Malaysian flavours? Xx

  5. Joanne December 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I love curry every day of the week!! I think it would be great on Christmas or with these Christmas-y infusions!

    • Deena Kakaya December 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Hello Joanne,great to hear from you!

      Ha ha, you know, when I was growing up I would accompany my dad to the open fruit and veg market twice a week. He would fumble around with non-Indian veg and always ask the question, ‘I wonder what this would be like in a curry’. X

  6. kellie@foodtoglow December 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Gorgeous ingredients that are perfect for this sudden drop in temperature. The Brussels will be extra fabulous now that there is well and truly a nip in the air. Great to include this much-maligned veggie in with so many pleasing spices

    • Deena Kakaya December 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Hi Kellie, so nice to see a comment from you.

      I do understand why the generous sprout is much-maligned; I think if I were given boiled or steamed sprouts i would shove them to the side of my plate! They just taken on such a lovely juicy character when they’re in a curry. All those leafy layers take on the curry so well. Xx

  7. junehashim December 22, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Hello Deena,

    Great vege recipes and with compliments of the season! Quick question; you had fennel seeds on your Ingredient list yet no mention of it in the Method. I am guessing that it will all go in Step 3.

    In Malaysian cooking (Malay and Indonesian cuisines) star anise and cinnamon is hardly used to flavour veges so I am keen to give this a go. As for the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds, when used, it is always grounded or powdered form.

    I love tofu and brussel sprouts so this might just be one of my favourites. Cheers!

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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