When the beast was galavanting around London some months ago, Malaysia night was happening in Trafalgar Square. One of the highlights was obviously all the free stuff, which happened to include recipe cards from Malaysia Kitchen for some of the most popular and traditional Malaysian dishes. As these cards were starting to collect dust in my cabinet, coupled with the fact that every store except those in Chinatown were closed over the Easter weekend, I decided to give it a go and make some kari ayam, or Malaysian chicken curry.
Through various readings it seems to be that Indonesia takes credit for kari ayam as an Indonesian curry and Malaysians consider it a Malaysian curry. Singapore also tries to get in there too. I’m not going to settle any ancient curry disputes on this blog so let’s just all agree that curry is wonderful and we should all eat it all the time.
Fun fact of the day: The word curry was adopted and anglicised from the Tamil word kari meaning ‘sauce,’ which is usually understood to mean vegetables and/or meat cooked with spices with or without a gravy.
Recipe courtesy of Malaysia Kitchen with a few minor amends. You can use prawns (shrimp), beef or just vegetables for this recipe. For a vegetarian curry, sweet potato, aubergines (eggplant) and butternut squash are recommended.
- 400g chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 3tbsp Malaysian meat curry powder (Adabi brand recommended)
- 1/2 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon bark, 5cm
- 1 pandan leaf, tied in a knot (use bay or curry leaves as an alternative)
- 3 tbsp tamarind juice
- 100ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 100ml coconut milk
- 4 baby potatoes
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup jasmine rice (Cook according to instructions)
*Note: this recipe did not call for use of any chili oil or fresh chillies but I would add 1 tsp of chili oil and one or two chopped fresh chillies
Wash the chicken breast and cut into thin slices (so the meat can absorb the flavours of the curry sauce. Set aside.
Peel potatoes and carrots. Cut the potatoes into quarters and slice the carrot pieces about 1cm thick. Blend the onion, garlic and ginger until pureed (adding a little water if required). If you don’t have a food processor make sure to chop these into extremely tiny pieces.
Heat up 8 tbsp of cooking oil (I used vegetable oil) in a saucepan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until the aromas rise.
Next add in the star anise, cinnamon bark and pandan leaf. Cook until the ingredients start turning brown, then add in the curry powder, water, salt, sugar and tamarind juice. Cook until the oil separates from the rest of the ingredients. Add in the chicken pieces, potato and carrot. Simmer on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 15 minutes.
Add in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and serve with rice.