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Chicken Curry January 11, 2008


I showed up at Chef Aklay's door with a whole chicken and asked if we can make chicken curry instead. He paused, said ok, took his trowel and went outside. Huh? Why would he need a trowel to get his curry powder? He comes back with fresh turmeric roots, still partly covered in! Then he goes to his cupboard, takes out cardamon seeds, star anise, chili, ginger, cloves, cumin and pepper. I didn't think we'd make curry from scratch. This is waaaaay too cool!

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head garlic (1 bulb, not 1 clove)
  • chayote
  • broccoli
  • salt
  • curry ingredients - chili, cardamon seeds, star anise, chili, ginger, cloves, cumin and pepper (for approx quantity, look at picture)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 pack coconut milk

Cut up chicken in serving pieces and smother with pepper. Chop garlic, onions, chayote and zucchini. For broccoli, core the stem and cut-it up. Separate the florets. Peel the outer skin from the cardamon seeds and discard. Grind with pestle and mortar all the curry ingredients until it turns into a pastey consistency. Stir about 1/2 cup water to coconut milk.

Cooking Process
Put oil and butter in pan and turn to high heat. When butter sings, layer the chicken, turning only once until both sides are brown. Toss in the onion, garlic, chayote, broccoli core and salt. Stir to coat with chicken oil. Remove pan from heat and add the curry paste to the chicken mixture, tossing until the chicken and vegetables are well coated with curry paste. Add water, cover, and return pan to fire on high heat until it boils. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add zucchini, mix, cover and bring heat to high for 15 seconds, then to low. Simmer again for 10 minutes. Make sure that there is little water left after the 10 minutes. If the water level is too much, you may just partly cover the pan to increase reduction. Turn to high heat, add the broccoli florets and coconut milk and mix for 1 minute to coat. Shut down fire. Don't let it boil. You're done.

The dry curry ingredients when ground released a bouquet that filled my senses...a lot better way of doing curry than using instant powder. Curry could be a combination of as much as 21 different spices - curry leaves, tamarind, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cumin, fennel or anise seeds, fenugreek seeds, nutmeg, coconut, turmeric root or powder, and rosewater to name a few. The curry flavor of the dish was mild but unmistakably curry and not even yellowish, something characteristic of the British curry (because they use masala powder being heavy in turmeric root). The veggies were done right, still crispy instead of soggy. The many variations of curry as done uniquely in different regions (Indian, Andhra, Bengali, Karnataka, Malayali, Punjabi, Tamil, etc.) provide an almost infinite number of ways to enjoy them.

--- TheLoneRider

    Aklay Tips:
  • spices are best fried with oil to release all that flavor. However, it gets easily burned and tastes bitter after. To ensure that it's fried without burning, take the pan off the heat and add the curry paste and toss until all is coated. Add water and bring back to the fire
  • once the coconut milk is added, make sure the thing doesn't boil otherwise a lot of its flavor is lost
Comments? Rate this Recipe! Email

Reader Comments:

(Jan 12, 2008) Galing....Reminds me of my favorite dish at UCC...teriyaki curry chicken

Paul Villegas
(Jan 12, 2008) wow! patikim!!!!! nagugutom na ako!:)

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