From the Garden: Love in a bowl of Singapore laksa

Over a bowl of laksa, Madam Evelyn Sng shares memories of learning how to cook laksa from her mother, and how her husband helps perfect the recipe today with fresh ingredients from their garden.

SINGAPORE - Madam Evelyn Sng is unable to enjoy a bowl of laksa without thinking of her mother.

"I used to live in a kampung at Bukit Arang, and we had a neighbour with many kids to raise," said the 61-year-old. "So my mother felt that if she could teach him this recipe, he can sell laksa to the villagers to help raise his children."

She continues to perfect her mother's recipe with the help of her husband, 60-year-old tour guide Francis Cheng.

The couple have planted over 10 types of herbs and vegetable plants outside their Housing Board unit, with some of them used as ingredients for their laksa.

These plants include sage, oregano, rosemary, chocolate mint, lemon basil, curry leaves, chilli, and spring onions.

"The key to a good bowl of laksa is the fresh ingredients," said Madam Sng.

As for Mr Cheng, he also has an interest "to propagate plants" and volunteers at a community garden.

"I am very interested in helping more people to produce more fruit trees so that they can enjoy (gardening)," said Mr Cheng, who grew up in a village where his father was a fruit seller.

The couple's affinity for laksa features in "Love in a bowl of Singapore laksa", the second instalment of From the Garden, a video series that gathers stories from the people who grew up learning how to grow their own food, and how they carry memories of their childhood in urban Singapore.