Curried chicken, javanese style

Curried chicken, javanese style

By
From
Cooking from memory
Serves
5
Photographer
Mark Roper

This dish is a thick brown–red curry with an appetising appearance due to the separated oil.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80ml peanut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 bulb lemongrass
4-5 dried salam leaves, available from Asian shops
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
1 cup hot water or chicken stock
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 chicken, cut into 10 pieces
200ml coconut milk
1 small cube palm sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
hot chilli sauce or ground black pepper, to taste

Indonesian curry powder

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Basic Paste

Quantity Ingredient
3 garlic cloves
5 candlenuts
1/2 tablespoon mild chilli paste
1cm thick slice ginger
1 bulb lemongrass, finely chopped

Method

  1. To prepare the curry powder, dry-fry the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds until fragrant. Grind the warm spices in a coffee grinder to a fine powder. Mix with turmeric. Only 1 tablespoon of curry powder will be required for this dish. Store the remaining powder in a container in a cool place.
  2. To make the paste, blend the garlic, candlenuts, chilli paste, ginger and lemongrass.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the onion over a high heat until it yellows and starts to look dry. Lower the heat and add the paste, frying gently until the oil separates out.
  4. Cut the stalk of the lemongrass about 15 cm above the bulb and crush with the salam and kaffir lime leaves in a mortar. (These herbs can be used singly or in combination. When using them in combination reduce the quantity of each to half.) Add the lemongrass mixture to the frying pan and then the stock or water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to keep the dish from burning. Increase the heat to medium and add the chicken, coating it with the mixture.
  5. Mix 1 tablespoon of the curry powder with a few tablespoons of water to make a wet paste and add to the frying pan. Continue to fry for half a minute on a low heat. Slowly add ½ cup of water and simmer for a couple of minutes. Pour the coconut milk over the simmering dish, taking care not to let it boil. When using coconut milk, use a plastic or wooden spoon to prevent the coconut from turning dark.
  6. Add the palm sugar and return to a simmer, uncovered, on a low heat until the oil separates out. Th e sauce should be thick enough to coat the mixing spoon. Remove from heat, add the tamarind juice and hot chilli sauce to taste. Serve with steamed white rice.
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