I grew up with curries and have always love them especially chicken curry with potatoes is cooked in every household in Penang, Malaysia; no matter what races or occasions. I remembered going with grandma to dry market in the Indian vicinity and bought fresh paste from the ‘paste man chewing betel leave and spice with red/yellow teeth.
All Grandma needed was to tell the man what curry she wanted to cook, and he would mix the different ingredients for her. As the years went by Grandma made the paste from scratch herself. She is also experimenting her spices and I watched her and there is no recipe written. So, I had to browsed on google too for the amount needed to make the paste. Out there, there are many recipes you can browse for yourself.
Today, I am cooking chicken tofu pok and potato curry. It’s my first time making this curry from scratch – memory of what I remembered from Grandma and other chefs, tasting checking, and adapting the amount to put, and it worked. Let’s cook before my stomach starts growling loudly like a hungry tiger roar!!!!
Do the curry one day in advance. This ensures aromatic flavour develops overnight.
4 Tbs olive oil
8 pieces boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size
8 medium size washed potatoes, peeled and quartered; parboiled
1 packet tofu pok, cut half, add in when want to eat time
4 curry leaves
165 ml coconut milk
100 ml coconut cream
450 – 600 ml water, if you want more curry gravy
salt to taste
Blend spice paste A
8 fresh red chillies, seeded and sliced
6 dried chillies, seeded
1-2 Tbs lemon juice
2 dessert spoons coriander
2 star anise, pounded
1 dessert spoon cumin
1 small piece cinnamon, pounded
1/2 inch fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
Blend spice paste B
10 shallots, peeled and quartered
3 candle nuts
3 slices galangal
2 cloves garlic
1 lemongrass white part only, pounded, sliced
1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
Blend all ingredients Spice Paste A and B separately to a very fine paste. Don’t mix the spice paste when blending. You needed to blend them in two separate blenders. If you don’t have 2 blenders. Blend spice paste B first then set aside. Wash and dry blender before blending spice paste A.
Heat up oil in a heavy base pot on medium high heat and stir-fry spice paste B for about 3 minutes or until aromatic; light brown in colour. Next add chicken and stir well. Then add salt, spice paste A, coconut milk and curry leaves. Stir for 3 minutes before adding the water.
Cover pot and lower heat to medium. Bring the curry to boil and then lower the heat, add potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes or so or until the chicken and potatoes is about to cooked. Add coconut cream and allow it to simmer further about 5 minutes till gravy is thick. Add in tofu pok give a stir or two to mix well with everything in pot for a further 2 minutes. Serve the curry with rice immediately with a glass of white wine.
Note: You can omit tofu pok if you don’t like it. You can use ready mix curry such as chicken curry paste A1 Action One, you can get it from Asian grocery. You don’t have to do the curry in advance if you have no time do it on the day itself. You can make a vegetables dish to accompany the curry.
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