Good evening, dear friends
I learned how to cook the Chinese version of Chicken & Potato Curry from my late mother-in-law more than 20 years ago. She was a really good cook (as all mothers are! ) and I’m glad I had learned many traditional Hokkien and festive dishes from her before she passed away when she was 82 years old.
This Chicken Curry dish is a must-have for my husband and it is one of his comfort foods – the other one is Braised Pork Ribs With Chestnuts. On festive occasions, this curry will be on the dining table and often eaten with Hokkien Mee (Egg Noodles).
My youngest son, Daryl, helped me to take these pictures while I was cooking the curry for our Winter Solstice Festival Dinner…..so, this will be like a pictorial recipe that I will be walking through with you.
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, deep fry in oil until half cooked
2 large onions, peeled and cut into chunks
1 rice bowl (about 15) chopped shallots
2 boxes of coconut milk, or santan from 2 coconuts (mix 3/4 of the thick coconut milk with 2 cups of water, reserve the 1/4 left for later use)
RM2 of wet chicken curry paste bought from an Indian spice stall
(or substitute with 5 tbsps curry powder, 5 candlenuts/buah keras, 5 cloves garlic, 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, 3 fresh red chilis – all blended)
3 whole chicken legs, cut up and marinated with 2 tbsps salt and 3 tbsps curry powder
1 bunch curry leaves (from my garden)
2 stalks of lemon grass/serai – smashed a bit to release its aromatic oils
1) In a hot wok, heat up 1/2 cup (125 ml) of oil and fry shallots until golden and aromatic.
2) Add in the curry paste and keep stirring to prevent burning until the oil separates from the paste and it is very aromatic, about 5 minutes or so. This gives the curry a rich, bright orange colour when it is cooked.
3) Add in the marinated chicken pieces and stirfry until it is half cooked – this is to seal in the chicken juices and make the chicken fragrant and tasty
4) Next, add in the half-cooked potatoes, large onions, lemon grass and curry leaves.
5) Give them a good stir for about 2 minutes.
6) Pour in the diluted 3 and 3/4 cups of coconut milk. My rule of thumb for this is to make sure that the coconut milk is enough to just cover the chicken and potatoes.
7) Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to medium to simmer the curry for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender, the potatoes soft. Remember to stir the curry often to prevent burning. Add a little more water if the curry appears to be drying up.
8 ) When the curry is ready, season with salt and pour in the last 1/4 cup of thick coconut milk. The coconut milk loses most of its aroma when boiled for a while, and by adding a bit of thick coconut milk at the last minute gives the curry a richer, aromatic taste.
Voila! The Chicken & Potato Curry is ready to be served!
I hope you will like this curry if you try cooking it at home – it goes very well with white bread or hot rice.