Healthier Malaysian Comfort Foods for the Soul

June 24, 2019 | Blog

It goes without saying that Malaysians love their food, especially their local ‘comfort’ foods. Whether our favourite foods are necessarily the healthiest, however, is a very different story. For those who can’t stay away from local delights, here are a few recipes to try out for a healthier spin on some of our best-loved meals.

Soya Milk Chicken Curry

What is better on a rainy day than some curry? Substitute your usual coconut milk with some dairy-free soya milk instead. Packed with protein, soya milk is a great alternative for this recipe due to its milder, creamy flavour.


What You’ll Need:

2 tbsp vegetable oil

500g chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 onion, sliced finely

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp ground turmeric

4 tbsp curry powder

1 lemongrass stem, trimmed, thinly sliced or chopped

1 small red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced

400ml soya milk

15 fresh curry leaves

1 cup coriander leaves

Coriander sprigs

1 cucumber, sliced (optional)

Rice of your choice (to serve)


How To Make It:

Marinate the chicken in 2 tablespoons of curry powder and salt. Add the chicken into a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil on high heat to cook, turning occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes until golden then set the chicken aside. Reduce the heat to medium-high, then add in the remaining oil, onion and garlic and let it cook for 3 minutes while stirring frequently. Stir in the soya milk and curry leaves and bring it to boil before reducing it to low heat. Add the potatoes and the cooked chicken, cover the wok and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is tender. Stir in the coriander for flavouring, then top it off with coriander sprigs! Serve it with cucumbers and steamed rice.

Mixed Vegetables Curry Puff

If you’re craving some curry puffs for a savoury snack, you’re in luck! This recipe features a meat-free take on this Malaysian favourite filled with some nutrient-dense ingredients for the best kind of guilt-free teatime nibbles!


What You’ll Need:

2 sheets of puff pastry

2 tbsp oil

1 ½ cups leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced

1 egg

½ cup fava beans, cooked

¼ cup dried chanterelle mushrooms, chopped

⅓ cup beets, chopped (roughly 1 small beet)

½ 500g potatoes, cut into ¼ inch pieces

½ tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp garam masala

Juice of 1 tangerine


How To Make It:

To start, soak the mushrooms in ¾ cup of lukewarm water and set aside for 30 to 60 minutes. Heat the oil on medium heat in a wide saute pan, stir in the leeks and cook until soft for about 10 minutes. Cover and cook the potatoes, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and salt, and the ½ cup of water for 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft, stirring every 5 minutes. Then, stir in your fava beans and chopped mushrooms before covering the pan to cook for 5 more minutes. Add the beets, stir and cook for 2 minutes, then turn the heat off and stir the lemon juice in. Cut the puff pastry sheets into 6 even pieces while your oven preheats to 205ºC, and place 2 tablespoons of potato filling into each pastry section. Brush the dough edges with water, then fold into half and seal before cutting vent holes on the top crust. Whisk the egg and tangerine juice together and brush onto the pastry. Transfer the pastries onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for around 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Serve it warm and enjoy!


Brown Rice Vegetable Porridge with Tempeh


Sick food, comfort food, rainy-day food: porridge is the go-to. This recipe is not only comforting, but also packs some essential nutrients by swapping out ordinary white rice with high-fibre brown rice instead.


What You Need:


1 cup brown rice

2 tbsp ginger, freshly grated

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 bag baby spinach, roughly chopped



1 tbsp sesame oil

½ onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

228g tempeh, crumbled

2 tbsp soya sauce


Fried Shallots

3 shallots, peeled and sliced into rings

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp sesame oil


How to Make It:

Bring the brown rice, ginger, garlic and water to boil in a large pot and add salt. Reduce the heat to maintain it at a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 and a half hours until it reaches a thick soup-like consistency. Stir in the spinach. While the porridge cooks, make the tempeh. Saute the garlic and onions in a large skillet and add the tempeh, cooking until browned for about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of soya sauce to season and cook for about 1 minute, then set aside. Toss your shallot rings and cornstarch together in a bowl then heat the shallot mix in oil on medium high in a small skillet, flipping halfway through for about 2 minutes per side. Serve the porridge garnished with tempeh, fried shallots, green onions, eggs, pepper flakes, and anything else you fancy. Lastly, enjoy!


Can’t wait to get cooking? Just drop by Village Grocer to get all the ingredients you need for these recipes that are guaranteed to satisfy both your health and happiness!


Keep it fresh,

Your friendly neighbourhood grocer.


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