August 22, 2008

Ray's Chicken Curry

My mum loves this curry and it's sorta like stuff of legend in the family. Imagine how devastated she was when I turned vegetarian 3 years ago and would refuse to cook meat. Well good news, I'm not a vegetarian anymore (I can still remember my parents cheering in the background) and I decided to make her this curry for her birthday party since she's been deprived of it for years. This recipe was handed down to me from my grandmother (my mum is a lost cause, ha ha). The curry is much darker but the flash from my camera makes it almost whitish.

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces.
8 medium sized potatoes, cut into large chunks.
Oil, enough for frying.

1 medium sized onion, chopped.
1 tablespoon chopped garlic.
2 cinnamon sticks.
1 teaspoon cloves.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
Curry leaves, about 1/2 cup.
2 stalks lemongrass, cut into pieces and bruised.
1/2 cup oil (oil from frying potatoes and chicken).
2 cans coconut milk (480 mL).
1 cup water
Salt to taste

Mix into curry paste:
1 cup Mae Ploy Thai Panang curry paste.
1 cup curry powder.
1 tablespoon turmeric powder.
1 tablespoon red chili powder.
1/2 cup water.

Heat oil in a pot. Fry potatoes until slightly browned. Set aside. Fry chicken pieces in the same oil until slightly browned. Set aside. When oil cools, reserve 1/2 cup of oil and discard the rest.

Heat the reserved oil in a wok or pot on medium heat. Fry cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds and cloves for a few seconds. Add in curry leaves, onion, garlic and lemongrass. Fry until onions are brown. Add in curry paste. Lower the heat and fry curry paste for about 20 minutes until fragrant and oil starts coming out from the curry paste. In Malaysian cooking, this technique is call pecah minyak. If the paste is too dry, add a little bit of coconut milk. Stir constantly so you don't burn the paste.

Add potatoes, chicken, coconut milk and water into the wok or pot. Turn the heat up back to medium. Cover the wok or pot and cook the curry for an hour, stirring frequently so the bottom doesn't burn. Serve with rice, naan, roti canai or nasi kunyit.

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