Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry. As promised. Everyone loves a good chicken curry. (Everyone except a vegetarian like me, sorry to be a buzz kill!).Whether to mop up with a fresh slice of bread or with steaming hot rice, chicken curry sure does the trick.

This particular one is a favourite of my hubby and I like to think my brother quite likes it too, although he likes to brag, now that he cooks for himself, that his chicken curry is better than mine. :)

Before we get in to the nitty gritties, there is something I need to say about the earthenware that is used in Sri Lankan cooking. Of course, now we have all moved to easier ones, copper, aluminum, cast iron etc etc, but in a traditional Sri Lankan kitchen food is cooked in earthenware pots and pans. While they are without a doubt healthier to use than their metal counterparts as food does not react with them, Sri Lankans also believe that food cooked in earthenware dishes are tastier. It is true of course that certain dishes such as "Fish ambul thiyal" and "polos ambul" taste much better when cooked in an earthenware pot. So here, I've used an earthenware pan or what we call "mati walanda" just to show you what it looks like. But you can use whatever pan you have handy.

Let's begin shall we?

serves 2


Four or five pieces of chicken
5 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
few curry leaves
2 inch piece of rampe leaf (pandan leaf)
1 small tomato
2 green chillies
1 tsp roasted curry powder
1 tsp chillie powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup water

How to
Slice the shallots into thin slices, chop the garlic and the ginger, halve the two chillies lengthwise, and slice the tomato.
Put the pan on medium heat and let it heat up. Put the tablespoon of coconut oil, let it heat up for about thirty seconds.
Add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Add garlic, ginger, shallots, curry leaves, rampe, tomato slices, and the halved green chilles.
Stir with a spoon and let them temper in the oil for about a minute.
Add the spices, i.e roasted curry powder, turmeric and chillie powder, also add salt to taste and the vinegar. Stir.
                                         spices and the herbs together.

Keep on stirring for about a minute.
Add the chicken and mix.
                                         Mixing after adding the chicken.

Add the water. Mix. Let the curry cook without stirring until the chicken is cooked halfway.
                                         The chicken cooked halfway.
Add the coconut milk.
                                         Right after adding the coconut milk.

Stir well. The milk will bubble and simmer after a while. At this point, stir the curry (this will take about five minutes) until the gravy has thickened and halved.

If you want to use the chicken curry as gravy for bread, don't thicken the gravy, just add the coconut milk, let it simmer once and then take off the fire. Thickened curry is great with rice.

                                                       Bubbling away.

Your curry is done.
This is excellent with steaming hot rice, with or without other accompaniments.

This particular lunch plate has, white rice, beet root curry, curried chick peas, cucumber salsa, and stir fried broccoli. (I lost you at broccoli right?)


Here's what to do if you can't find any of the ingredients.
Can't find coconut oil? Use regular cooking oil.
coconut milk? add water or regular milk. (The taste won't be the same, but who's to know right?)

I will be more than happy to answer any question or to clarify any doubts. Just leave a comment. :)

See you next time with Coconut Sambal.

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