Powerful Indian Chicken Curry (Kari Ayam India Power)
Hehe...that's what my husband said. This is a powerful chicken curry. You just can't get enough of it. I cooked this over the weekend. Had it with another signature of mine, Kurma Rice. Of course, the recipe for the rice will be up in my next post. I have tried cooking chicken curry in many ways, varying the ingredients here and there and I finally settled with this one. The ultimate of all my chicken curries. I have not cooked it in any other way ever since as this is the way that my husband loves it most.
A tip I learned from my paternal Aunt Fatimah, is that a good curry always uses slightly more garlic and ginger. It enhances the fragrance and the taste of the curry. You will see that my garlic and ginger proportion in this curry is slightly more than usual.
When I first learned to cook curry, I was afraid that I would use too much oil in my cooking. Since I have always been a supermodel ;), I tried very hard to limit the oil that I used in cooking. I realised however that my curry or any other food that I cooked for that matter, did not taste as good. Over the years, I realised that I need enough oil to get the spices to cook and release their fragrance. There is no such thing as a good curry or even a good cooked dish, if you don't use enough oil. We are not talking about using more oil here but more about using enough oil and enough oil makes a cooked dish good enough. And no! I am a supermodel not because of my fat intake. I am a supermodel because I am a "rice person". I eat lots of rice. A carbo plus sugar addict which I am really trying very hard to cut down on. I am also no longer cooking foods with trans fats or low fat. I am sticking to pure saturated fats. As research have now shown, pure full cream and pure fats will do your heart good (go google and find out or watch the youtube videos on my side bar). The reason though is not so much of how I want to look (cos my husband loves me as I am and I am already sweet..ehem!) but more about how much healthier I want to be for myself and for my still very young kids and my butts are beginning to feel like a bag of stones! I better do something about it!! :-o
Ok, back to our curry cooking topic! Since the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, I am going to share this recipe specially for wives who would love to cook a powerful chicken curry for their husbands. Let's smother them with our cooking and bury ourselves deep in their hearts. ;) For the rest of the ladies out there, go ahead and impress those lucky ones who get to taste your cooking and do this magic with your own hands...hehe...;p
One thing I like about chicken curry is that it is the simplest of meals to prepare for your family or your guests when you are really short of time. It is something not too complicated but yet delectable. It goes with any kinds of rice and if you are even more pressed for time, just go out and get some bread. If your curry tastes good, your family or your guests would sure be very satisfied with their meal. Just be prepared to have an empty pot at the end of it all.
Let's take a look at the ingredients, shall we?
10 to 15 pieces chicken parts - washed and cleaned
5 potatoes - peeled and quartered
1 to 2 carrots - peeled and split in halves and cut into smaller pieces
3 tomatoes - cut into fours
3 green chillies - cut into twos
1 large onion - finely sliced
1 lemon grass - cut into two and crushed
1 cinnamon - about 3-4 cm
2 star anises - full sized
8 pieces of curry leaves - I didn't use much, I just want a bit of its fragrance
4 tablespoons of meat curry powder - mixed with water as needed to form a paste (I used House Brand)
2 teaspoons tomato puree
1/2 teacup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon full cream yogurt (I used Nestle brand)
1 to 2 bowls of water (about 500 ml)
2 spoons sugar
1-2 teaspoon of Ajinamoto (optional)
salt to taste
a small bunch of coriander leaves - chopped into smaller pieces (about 3 to 4 stalks)
(**items to be blended in a food processor with water as needed)
2 large onions**
3 to 4 cm ginger**
1. Heat enough oil in deep based pan/wok/pot. Add in the lemon grass. Saute for a few seconds.
2. Add in the curry leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms and star anises. Saute for a few more seconds.
3. Add in the sliced onions.
4. Saute until the onions are withered.
5. Add in the blended ingredients. Saute for about a minute.
6. Add in the curry powder paste. Saute until oil separates or fragrant.
7. Once you see reddish coloured oil collecting on the surface of your sautéing mix, oil has separated and your mix should now be fragrant. Can you smell that? If you are not sure, saute for a few more minutes. It is totally okay. The curry paste has to be properly cooked to avoid a raw herbal taste. Once oil has collected on the surface or in between the sauteing mix, add in the tomato puree. Add in sugar, Ajinamoto (if you prefer) and salt.
8. Saute for another two to three minutes.
9. Add in water. Give a stir.
10. Add in the evaporated milk and the full cream yogurt. Give a stir.
11. Add in the chicken pieces. Fold them in.
12. Add in the potatoes and carrots.
13. Fold the ingredients in to properly combine.
14. Cover your pan/wok/pot for about fifteen to twenty minutes or until your chicken pieces are cooked. You may lift the lid every once in a while to give a stir.
15. Take off lid. Make sure that your chicken pieces are cooked. Use a fork and poke on your carrots and potatoes to make sure they are cooked too. Add in the green chillies. Fold them in and let simmer for about a minute.
16. Add in the tomatoes pieces. Let simmer for another minute or two. Always do a taste check! Add whatever you need to your taste if necessary. If the food taste good on your tongue then it will taste good on someone else's!
17. Add in the chopped coriander pieces. Stir them in to combine.
18. Off fire and serve.
Enjoy with any kinds of rice or white bread. Happy Kitchen-ing!!