I don’t believe in complicated dishes, especially when I am cooking at home. I cooked this simple spicy chicken curry earlier in the week. Depending on my mood, there are 4 different methods that I use to cook my curry. It depends on how much time I have got and how hungry I am.
Method 1. Make my own paste. This takes a bit more time to prepare. But cooking time is almost the same as the other methods below.
Method 2. Use a curry paste. I usually use the “Mae Ploy” brand for Thai style curry.
Method 3. Use a pre packed curry powder. I usually use the Malaysian brands, and there are many types. The best I have tried is Alagappa’s curry powder.
Method 4. Combine and use different dry spice curry powders with a mix of fresh spices to blend into my own twist of spicy curry paste. This method is fun, experimental and interesting. Some time it works. Other times, it doesn’t.
There are also different ways of cooking the curry. Some people like to fry the paste first in a hot oil. Others may prefer to brown the meats, add coconut milk, then mix in the spices. There is no one standard method of cooking curry. There are hundreds of different curries throughout Asia. And, western countries like Australia has several modern and trendy Asian eating places that have modernised a traditional Asian dish into something new and modern in a competitive food industry, which is both exciting and disappointing at times.
I use the first method to cook my Spicy Chicken Curry earlier in the week.
Step 1: Prepare the curry paste
Chop all the ingredients – lemongrass, chillies, ginger, garlic, onion
Shave one kaffir lime for the lime zest
In a mortar and pestle, pound all ingredients until you reach a consistent texture. Never mind if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can blend all the ingredients. But, make sure there are some coarse texture in the the paste. Do not blend the ingredients until they are too smooth.
Step 2: Prepare the other ingredients
Cut the chicken thigh fillets into bite pieces. Marinate with a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Cut all the vegetables into bite pieces, except the cherry tomatoes. You can use any kind of firm vegetables. Traditionally, meat curry has meat only with probably a mix of potatoes. Unless I cook another vegetable dish, I usually add some firm vegetables in my curry for that little bit of healthy mix. 😉
Step 3: Cooking
Heat a cup of vegetable oil in a hot wok
Add the curry paste. Fry until fragrant. Do not burn the paste. Turn the heat down a little of the paste is starting to burn
Toss the chicken pieces. Mix the chicken through the paste
Add 2 cups of chicken stock. Turn the heat up. On boiling, turn the heat down to slow cook
Add the potatoes, zucchini and carrots. These vegetables take time to cook. You can pre boil the potatoes until almost soft, then rinse in cold water and set aside before using them
When the chicken and vegetables are almost cook, add the remaining vegetables except tomatoes. Add two cups of coconut milk, or more if you like yours super rich, or use coconut cream. Continue to simmer for a few minutes
Finally, add the cherry tomatoes and let simmer for 2 minutes. Add some seasoning – salt and sugar to taste
Now, you are ready to dish out the curry and plate on a shallow dish. Garnish with dried shallots and coriander.