Malaysia has a varied and distinctive cuisine but not a lot of people know much of the country’s food is derived from the influence of Chinese immigrants during the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Kari Ayam – or simply chicken curry – is an absolutely delicious aromatic dish utilising cooking techniques and ingredients from across China and South East Asia and would be a most unusual addition to any dinner party!
For the curry paste: 4 garlic cloves, 2 cm ginger root, 4 shallots, 5 cashew nuts
For the spice mix: 5 curry leaves, 2 cloves, 2 pods cardamom, 2 cm cinnamon bark, 2 star anise
2 tbsp curry powder
4 chicken thighs, boned
300 mls coconut cream, 300 mls milk, 500 mls water
200g Broccoli or waxy potatoes
4 tbsp groundnut oil (or any unflavoured oil)
Begin by frying the spice mix in 1 tbsp oil until fragrant:
To a frying pan add the curry paste and ground spices and cook for about 5 minutes on a medium to high heat. Make a roux with the curry powder and combine with the ingredients already in the pan:
Now add the chicken thighs and 500 mls of water:
Serve with rice or roti canai et voila!
Amazing. Incredibly aromatic, and because the chicken has been cooked on the bone, really rich.
If you want to give this dish a bash, follow the recipe as closely as you can. Things to watch out for: don’t use too many shallots in the curry paste because this will make the gravy too thick. And feel free to experiment with different kinds of nuts or maybe use galangal instead of ginger; there are many variations out there if you don’t fancy my recipe.
Good luck and happy cooking!
Cost: 4 thighs – £2.23; spices bought in bulk from Garden Fresh Exotics, Glasgow and cost about 30p for quantities used in this recipe; spice paste: 20p; coconut cream/milk 80p; broccoli: 30p. Feeds 3-4 depending how much rice you make so about £1/portion.