Tilah's Chicken Kurma (Kurma Ayam Tilah)
Hello fellow Cooks! How was your day yesterday? My day was good because it was a sunny day! So sunny that I had to squint my eyes while walking on my way to lunch with a colleague yesterday. It's a nice change after a few days of heavy rain.
Tuesday evening I cooked a chicken dish. There were nothing left in my freezer except for my favourites, chicken and chicken. No fish, no beef. So I decided to cook chicken kurma, the indian green curry. This is my own version of the recipe which I am going to share.
Of late, my pictures have not been propped. As usual, I cook in the evenings after I get back home from work and I usually have to chop-chop with the cooking and rush with the photo taking (which would by then be night time) because Suhaym, my younger one would want me to carry him or just be near him once I am home. I try not to hold him before I get my cooking done as I would be too lazy to start cooking once I have relaxed and played with him. I think all mothers can relate to this. Then the next morning, I gotta rush off to work so I only get to take daylight pictures during weekends.
I even had in mind to get nice props for my pictures taking session but haven't really had the time to go out on a proper hunt. Even if I did manage to get them, I don't think I have the liberty of spending my time to set things up for picture taking. Perhaps I should just wait a few more years till my baby is more able to "set me free"! Hehe... ;p Not that I am a professional at taking photographs anyway but props always make it a little bit more pleasant and add more ambience to the pictures.
Nevertheless, I hope all that I have here, is good enough. So, I hope the pictures as they are, would tempt you enough to make you try the recipes.
Let's get to the ingredients:
1 whole chicken cut into pieces or 10-12 pieces of chicken parts - cleaned (I used a packet of 12 pieces of frozen drumsticks)
4 potatoes - peeled and cut into fours
1 large onion - finely sliced
2 pieces star anises
3 pieces cardamoms
4 pieces cloves
2-3 cm cinnamon
3 tomatoes - cut into fours
3 stalks green chillies - slit into halves and cut into twos
1/2 a can of full cream evaporated milk - you can substitute with low fat, if you prefer
3 tablespoons of full cream yogurt - you can substitute with low fat, if you prefer
a handful of fried shallots - you can buy readily packed from any supermarkets or provision stores
a small bunch of coriander leaves - chopped
2-3 bowls of water
1 teaspoon of sugar (or Ajinamoto, if you prefer)
1 lime - juice extracted
salt to taste
(ground into a paste with a little bit of water) - this can be optional though it is a must for me
2 tablespoons of cashew nuts
(mixed into a paste with a little bit of water)
2 tablespoons of kurma powder (I used Malabar Masala brand - it's my favourite, but this is not a Malabar Masala advertisement so you can use any other brands of choice)
(**items to blended in a food processor)
2 large onions**
2 cm ginger**
1. Heat oil in pan and add cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves and star anises. Saute for a few seconds.
2. Add in the finely sliced onions and saute until withered.
3. Add in the blended ingredients and saute for about two minutes.
4. Add in the kurma powder paste and saute.
5. Saute until fragrant or until you see the oil collecting on the surface of your sauteing mix. This may take a while and it is totally okay. In fact, it is better. Take as long as you want. Go for a stroll in the park hehe...kidding lah! It is important that your mix is properly cooked to avoid the herbal raw taste. Once you see oil on the surface, your mix is ready for the next step of the cooking process.
6. Add in two bowls of water for now. Stir.
7. Add in sugar (or Ajinamoto) and salt to taste. Stir. Bring to a boil.
8. Now add in the potatoes, the evaporated milk and yogurt.
9. Give a stir. During the cooking process hereforth, if you find that your gravy gets too thick for you, you may add in more water bit by bit.
10. Add in the chicken pieces. Fold them in. Cover your wok or pot for ten minutes. Lift up the cover every now and then to give a stir for a few seconds.
11. After ten minutes, add in the cashew nut paste. Give a stir. Cover the wok or pot again for another five minutes.
12. After five minutes, add in the green chillies. Fold them in and cover the wok or pot again for another ten to fifteen minutes (or until your potatoes and chicken pieces are cooked). Again, lift up the cover every now and then to stir for a few seconds.
13. Take off cover. Once chicken are cooked, add in the tomatoes. Stir them in. Simmer for a minute or two. Do a taste check. Off fire.
14. Add in the extracted lime juice. Add in the chopped coriander leaves. Stir them in.
15. Add in the fried shallots. Stir them in.
16. Ready to be served.
Enjoy with any kinds of rice or white bread. Happy Kitchen-ing!