Malaysian Style Chicken Curry (Kari Ayam)
Kari Ayam is what they call this in Malaysia, in English simply Chicken Curry. It is a dish made out of chicken usually the bony parts like ribs, wings, thighs and legs marinated in a spice blend of chillies, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, shallots, belachan and candlenuts cooked with coconut milk together with potatoes served with rice and roti.
I don’t know what makes this dish so addictive to me, is it the spices, the tasty chicken broth from the bony chicken used in this dish, the pungent but umami filled belachan or the oily crispy chewy roti that accompanies it? I guess it’s a combination of all of the above because if one of these elements is not here then I am afraid you will not have the same experience.
I was initially introduced to this one back in Malaysia and this was one of my usual lunch fare when I go to a nearby food stall near our office, I usually order roti with it which I used to wipe all of the remaining sauces from my bowl as well as my plate. It’s such a comfort dish, a dish where you try it once you will definitely want to have it over and over again.
- 8 pcs shallots, peeled
- 10 dried chillies, seeds separated
- 4 fresh red chillies, seeds separated
- 5 pcs candlenuts
- ½ head garlic, peeled
- 2 inch ginger
- 2 pcs lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 20 g belachan
- 1.5 kg chicken, use bony parts
- 3 pcs medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2½ cups chicken stock
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 pcs star anise
- 4 pcs cloves
- 6 pcs green cardamoms
- 6 pcs curry leaves
- fish sauce
- brown sugar
- In a food processor combine all Spice Paste ingredients, process until it becomes a paste. Add chilli seeds to adjust to the hotness you want.
- Place spice paste in a covered jar and let the flavours mature for at least a day.
- In a bowl combine spice paste and chicken then let it marinate for not more than 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a big wok then sauté cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, green cardamoms and curry leaves, stir fry until fragrant.
- Add the marinated chicken together with all of its marinade and fry on low heat, continue to fry until it’s really fragrant. (You might need to open your windows when doing this especially if you made a spicy hot version)
- Pour the chicken stock, turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat, cover the wok then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, cover again then simmer in low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, cover then simmer for 20 more minutes.
- Season with fish sauce and brown sugar then serve with freshly cooked rice and roti.