Sunday, October 11, 2009

Singlish Chicken Curry

I remember when I was younger and had to help my mom prepare curry ingredients, including pounding the onions, garlic, turmeric etc, and spending a long time to fry the spice mix until its fragrant and done. The end result was superb though.

Nowadays, I think the easiest way to get good curry is by simply purchasing a good curry mix. This A1 Mountain Globe brand (product of Malaysia) has been tried and tested by my dad and quite a few friends and its quite good in that you don't need to add much seasoning. The Singapore/Malaysia curries taste quite different from the Thai ones served here in Sweden in that they are much spicier and not so sweet.

One trick to make premix more fragrant and tasty is by looking through the ingredients of the premix, and duplicating them with the fresh versions. We always add minced shallots & ginger, and lemon grass to our curries. This can be done for both the chicken or fish curry. If you want variation, you can also use pork for the meat curry mix or prawns or squid for the seafood mix. Just take note of the cooking time.

My dad gave me quite a few packets to bring to Sweden as Johan loves curries but since we are mostly cooking for two, one packet of premix can be used 4 times, just keep the rest in the fridge or freezer if you are not intending to use it up soon.

Preparation time for chicken curry - around 45 minutes

Serves 2

1/4 portion of A1 Mountain Globe Brand Meat Curry Mix (You can see the drawing of a chicken and lamb)
300g peeled and quartered potatoes
500g of chicken fillets or other chicken parts you might prefer
1-2 stalks of lemon grass
1 shallot
2 cm fresh ginger
150ml coconut milk
100ml water
Oil for frying the potatoes and about 3 tablespoons for the curry premix

  1. Heat up the oil and fry the potatoes till they are half-done. This is to keep the firmness of the potatoes and also decrease the cooking time with the meat.

  2. Meanwhile, rub the spice mix on the chicken pieces and set aside.
  3. Set aside the potatoes when they are done, leave about 3 tablespoons of oil in the pot

  4. Minced the shallot and ginger finely, and fry them over medium heat until they are slightly brown and fragrant.

  5. Add in the premix marinated chicken pieces and fry for a few minutes.

  6. Add in the water, and bring to a fast boil. Do not add too much water as that will dilute the taste and turn the curry flavor too watery. The water level should be just enough to cover the meat.
  7. Add in the potatoes and lemongrass, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer.

  8. When the meat and potatoes are about done in about 15-20 minutes, depending on the cut of meat, add in the coconut milk last and bring it to a boil. This will help enhance the fragrance of coconut milk. If you cannot find coconut milk for some reason, evaporated milk can also work. (Remember, its evaporated milk, not sweet condensed milk!). Season with salt according to taste and if necessary.

    Served with homemade sandwich bread :)

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