My mother makes the best curry in town. Therefore, I was dumbstruck when she said she liked my chicken curry better than hers. "Really?", I had to ask again. And she reaffirmed with another bite into that glorious piece of meat. I was pretty ecstatic and a bit befuddled at that moment. Hey, it is not often you get a praise from her.
That was the glory but it did come with hours of diligent labour, the labour to make an ultimate knock-out curry paste. I always believe that in making a good curry, like its rendang peers, there shouldn't be any shortcuts. This curry consists of at least 10 different types of ingredients, and a good hour from preparation to sauteeing the curry paste, just to get that paste into its wonderful aroma. The longer you fry, the more aromatic it would be and the better is the curry. I normally make the curry paste in a large batch to be frozen. That way, it saves at least three times my work whenever I need to make curry.
Making a good curry also requires plenty of oil. You need the oil to fully coat the slurry of ingredients so that every bit of the slurry is being fried. If you are as terrified of oil as I am, you could skim off the oil after cooking but not all. You still need some oil to give flavour and colour. This recipe is separated into two parts - the curry paste and the chicken curry. I made thrice the amount of paste needed but if you do not like to have extras, feel free to reduce the amount.
Curry pasteMakes approx. 600 g of curry paste
2 lemongrass, crushed (head only)
30 g ginger
50 g turmeric
50 g galangal
100 g candlenuts, soaked for 2 hours in water
45 g garlic
60 g shallots
15 g of shrimp paste or belacan, toasted
1 cinnamon bark
1 star anise
35 g dried chilli, soaked in hot water
130 g curry powder
1 1/2 tbsp grounded coriander
2 cups cooking oil
1. Cut ginger, turmeric, galangal garlic and shallots into small pieces fit for blending. Toast your shrimp paste.
3. Using the same blender, blend candlenuts with water until fine. Gradually add the rest of the ingredients. Use as little water as possible.
4. Add the slurry, chilli paste, cinnamon, star anise and crushed lemongrass into a wok and fry in high heat to evaporate the moisture. This would significantly reduce oil splatter later. When the the slurry turns pasty, add oil and continue to fry in low to medium heat.
5. Add in curry powder and grounded coriander. Continue to saute. Fry until the paste becomes fragrant and oil starts to separate. The longer the ingredients are fried, the more fragrant it will be.
1. Traditionally, the ingredients in the curry paste are pounded using a mortar and pestle. This method does not require the curry paste to be heated in the wok to evaporate the extra moisture.
2. I made the chilli paste separate so that you could add according to the degree of heat you want for your curry.
Best Chicken Curry Recipe 加哩鸡
800 g chicken
1/2-1 coconut milk
180 g curry paste
400-500 ml water
3 large potato, cut into large pieces
3 large onion, cut into wedges
3 stalks curry leaves
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp tamarind paste
30 g sugar or to taste
20 g salt or to taste
1. Saute curry paste in hot oil until fragrant. Add in chicken. Continue to saute until chicken releases oil.
2. Add in water, tamarind paste, curry leaves, potato, onion, sugar and salt. Let chicken simmer in slow fire until potatoes becomes soft and chicken is cooked thoroughly.
3. Lastly, add in coconut milk and cook until oil starts to separate. Remove and serve.
Also check out my Prawn Sambal recipe here: