Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Food: Lured by Little India, Singapore

Little India in Singapore became my ‘home’ during my three-day stay in Singapore. It is an ethnic hub of Indian living and trading. And here, the vibrant energy of merchants selling authentic Indian fabrics, genuine silver, bronze jewelries and bindi, the striking sights of Tamil and Indian Moslem temples, the smell of turmeric and curry being sold at the market, and the sound of thumping beats of Indian rap were all an overwhelming attack in the senses.

Singapore and Malaysia, which were at the crossroads of ancient trade routes, definitely had Indian influences in the culture, especially in the cuisine. A great example? Curry. And what better way to start a stroll in Little India than by taking a sampling and eating a good curry dish!

Together with a fellow backpacker, a Canadian named George, our escapade landed us in an eatery called Bangles Tandoor Eatery.

The chicken curry and rice I was served looked rather unassuming with its standard yellowish sauce with red undertones. Sati, the daughter of the owner, told us that they use red curry instead of the usual, more common yellow and green varieties which made the dish spicier and creamier in consistency.

Other dishes we ordered were equally savory—stir-fried sweet-chili shrimps with vegetables, barbecued lamb cuts with shallots, whole stewed squids, curried vegetables, fish fillet in oyster sauce and tofu soup. And to douse the spicy fare, we gorged on luscious tropical fruits such as mangoes, chico, young papaya and durian.

Indeed, Little India’s culture is mesmerizing and the food was already a heady cultural experience in itself.

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