Friday, November 14, 2008
A MALAY CHICKEN CURRY
I mention Malay curry because there is also the Indian/Mamak (Indian Muslim) curry in Malaysia which does taste slightly different. The Indian curry uses more of certain spices and is oilier with a slight sourness to it, probably due to their use of yoghurt in most of their curries. Its very good and I have no complaints but the Malay curry is what I cook at home. On the whole I think it's lighter in the spices and uses no yoghurt. It's very easy to make and this is what we eat with our rice, rotis and it is what we serve on special occasions as well.
Strangely for some reason that I have never been able to understand we do not use curry leaves for the Malay chicken curry or any meat curry for that matter. The only time we use curry leaves for a curry is when we cook a fish curry. Indian curries are are more liberal in their use of curry leaves, whole mustard and fenugreek seeds and a range of other spices in all their of curries. As a result the Indian curry has more aroma coming from the spices while the Malay curry has a sweetness to it as a result of the coconut milk (original Indian curries do not use coconut milk).
The Malay curry is, as a result, simpler and straightforward, is slightly sweeter than the Indian curry and the curry on the whole is not overwhelmed by the spices and it tastes very good as well in its own less complicated and less spice boggling way.
The recipe :
6 whole chicken legs, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 large or 3 medium large red onions
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch ginger
2-3 heaped tablespoons meat curry paste (I used Baba's)
Some water to mix with the curry paste
1 small stick cinnamon
1 star anise
220 ml thick coconut milk
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons cooking oil
Salt to taste
Grind or process the onions, garlic and ginger to a paste. Add water to the curry powder until it has the consistency of thick cream.
Heat up the oil in a pot. Saute the onion paste. Throw in the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves. Saute the onion paste until translucent, then add curry powder paste. Stir to mix and then continue to saute until the curry powder turns a darker shade and the oil rises to the top.
Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Put in the chopped chicken pieces and stir. Bring to the boil again and then lower flame to a simmer. Add salt. Cover and allow the chicken to cook through. Add the 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil and then simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Done.
You can add some potato chunks 3/4 of the way through the cooking but I did not because I was too busy flipping the naan and forgot.