Cooking Curry Chicken can be easy with ready made curry powder and are usually edible. However, a good dish of curry chicken is signified by:
1) Well blended taste ~ not too hot and spicy yet with enough 'lemak' (direct translation: thick and oily)
2) After cooking, chilli oil will float upwards ('naik minyak')
3) Coconut milk is well blended, i.e. not separated from the rest of sauce
4) The dish will last, unless everyone sticks their spoons into the pot or the dish is left sitting for more than a day in hot and humid weather
I usually cook mine using the 'tumis' method, which makes it more lasting and the overall taste is very lemak.
1 no of chicken about 1.5 kg, chopped into pieces
3-4 medium potatos, quartered or slightly smaller
1 no of coconut + 1/2 glass of water squeezed about 500gm of coconut milk
3 tbsp of red onion
2 tbsp of garlic
1 small packet of babas curry powder or 4 tbsp of good quality curry powder
2 pieces each of cinammon sticks, cardormon seeds, star anise and cloves
1/2 cup of oil
1 stalk of curry leaves (optional)
1 serving of spice mixture
salt and pepper to taste
I usually mix my own rather than buying ready packed ones from Indian stalls so that I would have no prob cooking this overseas in case I need to:
2 tbsp of ketumbar paste
3-4 tbsp of chilli paste
11/2 tbsp of kunyit paste
1 tbsp of jintan manis paste
1/2 tbsp of jintan puteh paste
1 tbsp of buah keras paste
1-2 tbsp of fried coconut/kerisik (optional)
1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped and blended
1/2 tbsp of kakas (optional)
1) Season the chicken with curry powder and light soya. Set aside for an hour or so.
2) In a heated wok, with 1/2 portion of oil and medium heat, stir fry the chilli paste till chilli oil starts appearing on the side of the chilli paste.
3) Add garlic and red onion and continue stir frying till fragrant. Add rest of the oil and then rest of the paste mixture, the cinammon stick, star anise, cardarmon and cloves. Stir fry till well done and fragrant. Drizzle some coconut milk (about 6-8 tbsp from the top of the coconut mixture) and stir fry till you see sizzling oil start appearing on the side of the mixture. This is the tumis method. Will ensure the 'naik minyak' bit and lemak bit.
4) Add chicken and stir fry with (3). Cover and simmer the chicken till it looks slightly shrunk. Add rest of coconut and let it boil. Then leave simmering with chicken, curry leaves and potatos till cooked. During simmering use low fire, pot lid half covered and stir occasionally so that the mixture is not burnt at the bottom. This will ensure the lasting bit and coconut milk will not separate.
5) Add seasoning as required. Taste with clean utensils.