DEBAL curry or Devil's Curry is a delightful traditional Malaccan dish that has Portuguese roots.
If you find yourself in Klang and hankering for this Eurasian treat, one of the places you can find it is at God Pa's Fugang stall at Happy Land Kopitiam in Taman Chi Liung.
Fugang means "kitchen" in the Kristang language.
Stall owner Timothy Gomes, 53, enjoys a steady stream of customers who come to savour his Devil's Curry and other Malaccan Portuguese dishes.
According to him, the fresh ingredients used and method of preparation have garnered rave reviews on social media.
"Our Portuguese dishes are unique.
"They might seem simple to prepare, but a rich mix of fresh ingredients is key to the dishes' burst of flavours and distinct taste," he explained.
Devil's Curry got its name from the chillies used to make the dish.
Gomes said that while the original "Gomes family recipe" for the curry paste was spicy, he had toned down the heat.
However, the dish still appears to be fiercely hot because of its flaming red hues.
"This is why it is fondly called Devil's Curry. Those who want 'more kick' can ask for extra spicy," he said.
The curry's distinctive and robust tang, he added, was from the use of white vinegar while mustard seeds lent a mild wasabi-like taste.
Born and bred in Melaka's Portuguese Settlement, Gomes said he always helped his late mother Falaman in the kitchen.
He said the thick paste in Devil's Curry, which consisted of dried and fresh chillies, garlic, galangal, ginger, mustard seeds and small red onions, was a reflection of Sri Lankan and Goan curries.
"The Portuguese style of cooking also has distinctive local flavours owing to the Portuguese conquest of Ceylon, Goa in India and Malacca.
"Here in Malaysia, we use lemongrass and lots of dried and fresh chillies that gives the dish its fiery colour," he elaborated.
The Devil's Curry meal served at God Pa's Fugang consists of two pieces of chicken, fried egg, diced cucumber, pineapple pickle, and prawn crackers served with white rice. It is priced at RM8.50.
God Pa's Fugang also serves Portuguese Baked Fish.
For this, Gomes uses ikan talang (doublespotted queenfish) or ikan kacang (barracuda), which he buys from the wet market to ensure their freshness.
"Ikan talang and ikan kacang have meaty textures with fewer bones," he said.
The fish is baked in an aluminium foil parcel lined with banana leaf to ensure maximum flavour.
Gomes said his customers enjoyed the Portuguese Baked fish mainly because the white vinegar in the curry paste slathered on the fish added a sharp, acidic edge while the shallots provided extra oomph.
The baked fish, served with the same side offerings as the Devil's Curry, is priced at RM9.
Gomes said for takeways, there was an additional charge of RM1 for packaging.
He encourages customers to bring their own tiffin carriers to prevent wastage.
God Pa's Fugang also offers catering services and those interested can call 016-679 0017 or 012-200 9644.
God Pa's Fugang is located in Happy Land Kopitiam at No.23, Lintang Menalu, Taman Chi Liung, Klang.
It is open from 8am to 2.30pm daily, except Tuesdays.
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