With Love, Curry

There really isn’t any other way to make Popo’s Curry, except with love.


My new challenge this evening, was how to cook the curry for only one person, my friend, the Dog Whisperer.


How to even begin describing the smell of spices, fried garlic, ginger, shallots and onions?  It is the smell of distant lands, sweltering heat, tropical trees, and my omnipresent grandmother; a formidable force in her kitchen, and all our lives.

19792_10151737642617576_1786443631_n Popo and her daughters, 2013.  Photo credit- Audra Huang

Please don’t stress!  Said the Sweetest Friend.  Just a simple get-together ok!

No stress at all!  I usually make a pot for like 10-15 people!  It’s really relaxing for me to cook- so thank you both for giving me a reason!


Fixing Popo’s Curry always makes me happy, because it stirs up, the fondest childhood memories.  My grandmother in her sarong, spatula in hand, standing by a large pot, a large wok.  The tiles on the floor of her kitchen, so cool against bare feet.  Her kitchen again, quiet in the early hours of the morning, where I sat waiting; her hands sifting my hair into a tight braid.


The ready-made coconut milk is unfortunate.


Sorry, Dog Whisperer!  I can’t make the milk from scratch here…


Why the curry?  Asked Zen.

They’re coming for lunch on Friday- remember I asked you?

Wah, but today is only Wednesday!

Yah… the curry needs time to rest.

Wah, yumz!  Said Dr Chan.  Please can you cook your curry for me?

10679623_661950403916054_8886972382929743932_o 2014 Clerkenwell Christmas Curry, for him


Popo’s Curry is pure pleasure, pure joy.  Even my mother-in-law is a huge fan.  How wonderful that a dish transcends time, draws people closer, puts us all in a good mood.


Popo?  The curry is you.  You’re still here.


  •  The curry powder for Popo’s Curry is purchased at Rumah Bebe, 113 East Coast Road, Singapore. It cannot be found at the local grocery stores in Singapore, or in any of the Asian markets in London.  This is a Peranakan-style curry, made preferably with freshly-squeezed coconut milk.

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