Squid curry: A Nasi Kandar staple to enjoy at home

Squid curry: A Nasi Kandar staple to enjoy at home

Squid curry is often the side dish of choice for lovers of Nasi Kandar. (Low Bee Yinn pic)

Most Malaysians are familiar with Nasi Kandar, that unique Indian-Muslim dish of steamed rice drowned in copious amounts of curry with myriad side dishes.

With so many choices of side dishes, it can be hard deciding which to eat, but some people swear by squid curry, or gulai sotong.

There are two secret ingredients for a great squid curry: curry leaves and a blended spice mix of cumin, fennel, black mustard and fenugreek seeds.

This is a family recipe to enjoy at home.


  • 450 g squid, cleaned
  • 1 tomato, cut into wedges
  • 165 ml coconut milk
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons Baba’s fish curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon spice mix: fenugreek, black mustard, cumin and fennel seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, discard the stem
  • 470 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon chilli oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Clean the squid and set aside.
  • Sauté the shallots in the cooking oil until they are fragrant and add in the squid, curry powder, curry leaves, spice seeds and tomato wedges.
  • Quick stir for one minute, remove the squid and set aside (to prevent overcooking).
  • Add coconut milk, hard-boiled eggs and water and bring the curry to the boil for eight minutes. Put the squid back in and quick boil for one or two minutes (before they shrink in size).
  • Add chilli oil and salt to taste and serve hot with steamed rice.

Tip: Some people find the squid head and tentacles off-putting. Shove them into the tube so they are not hanging loose.

This recipe first appeared in Rasa Malaysia.

Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.

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