Eurasian children are taught from a young age that spicy food would make you big, strong, healthy and clever. Their parents would brag to one another that their children could eat a few bits of sambal belachan with their rice.
Nan would make a variant of this dish with pork belly that came to be called “Not-hot-curry” as a way of easing her grandchildren into spicy food. Not-hot-curry was based on the classic coconut milk laden Malay ‘sayur lodeh’ of which this is a replica. Even today, with all the gloriously spicy dishes on offer at Nan’s dining table, Nan’s youngest granddaughter still makes a beeline for this curry.
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