Pulau with Octopus, Chickpeas, and Vegetables served with Mint Raita

Looking for a delicious seafood curry to delight and entertain your guests during a summer evening? This wonderful dish comes from the gulf of Malaysia. It may seem complex with different components coming together, but with a little prep you’ll be able to nail it in no time.

Serves 10

Panch Phoran (to season the dish)

2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (bayleaf, coriander seed)


Combine and use at the beginning of the cooking with oil or ghee, or to temper the dish just before serving.

Chickpea and vegetable curry


2 blonde onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30 gr fresh ginger, grated1 tsp tomato paste
500 gr canned tomato (only tomato, no liquid) OR 700 gr fresh tomato
750 gr cooked chickpeas, net weight without water
300 gr carrot, chopped
300 gr Swiss chard leaves, thinly sliced
100 gr soaked raisins
8 cardamom seeds
water as needed


Heat the olive oil in a pot. Add onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook on medium heat until the onion starts browning. Add grated ginger and tomato paste, allow to caramelize. Add chopped tomato and carrot, salt lightly, and cook for 5 minutes. Afterwards add chickpeas and Swiss chard followed by ground cardamom seeds, raisins, and water until the dish is covered. Cook for 15 minutes until the cooking liquid thickens and all flavors are blended. Salt to taste.

Octopus stew


1 kg boiled octopus1 tbsp panch phoran mix
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 green chilis, sliced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, ground
300 gr canned tomato OR 500 gr fresh tomato
200 gr coconut milk
400 ml water/stock
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Heat the olive oil in a casserole, then add the panch phoran mix and let sizzle for 1 minute on medium high heat. Add onion and chilis and let cook on medium heat, when soft and golden (4-5 minutes) add the chopped tomato and cook 5-6 minutes or until soft. Salt to taste. Adjust spiciness by adding chili flakes if necessary, add ground mustard seeds and turmeric, let cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and water and cook for 5 minutes to let flavors blend. Cut the octopus into medium size chunks and add to the sauce.

Cook gently for 10 minutes. Salt to taste.

Mint raita


200 gr plain/greek yogurt
50 gr water
90 gr blonde onion, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
10 mint leaves, finely chopped right before adding


Salt the minced onion and let rest for 1 hour. Combine  it with the yogurt, water and

mint. Let rest for 1 hour.

To serve

Plate with the curry and octopus stew side by side, accompanied by white basmati rice and the raita. Sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander to finish before serving.