Saturday, 18 August 2012

Creamy Curried Kev

Here follows a creamy and milder recipe for chicken curry.
As before, the same rules apply...relax, only add ingredients that YOU like and enjoy the process.  Like with the medium-spiced curry, we'll do a marinade.  This is certainly not compulsory, but I find that it adds to both the taste and texture of the chicken. 

Let curry making commence...


Ingredients for marinade:

Tomato Purée 
Range of Spices:  Personally, I like the balance between creamy and spicy, so for me, I would still include chilli powder, paprika and turmeric but the rest of the spice list can include more aromatic and interesting choices, such as ground cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and ground cumin.  Experimentation is always the key.
Curry Powder - I always buy mild/medium curry powder - anything stronger will usually overpower any other ingredients within the wok.
Kaffir Lime Leaves - an alternative to Bay Leaves; available in good supermarkets.

Other Ingredients:

Fresh Garlic - or jars of 'Lazy' alternatives, available in all supermarkets.
Fresh Ginger - as above.
Chopped Onions/Shallots - optional.  Chopped or sliced to personal taste.
Sugar - optional.  Just a light sprinkling, or a pinch, is sufficient.
Chopped Tomatoes - optional here.  I like the taste of tomatoes.
Groundnut Oil
Salt & Pepper
Pilau Rice - Loose.
Coriander Leaves
Corn Flour
Cream/Natural Yoghurt - small to medium sized pot.  
Coconut Milk/Creamed Coconut 

Optional Extras:
Sweet Peppers - optional for added taste/texture.  Yellow or orange peppers.  
Pineapple - Completely optional.  Fresh pineapple is best, cut into small cubes.
Cherry Tomatoes


1 - Making The Marinade.

a) Chop chicken into small cubes.  Place in casserole dish and put to one side.
b) Making the curry sauce...first, take a jug or small bowl.
c) Add a few squirts of tomato purée.
d) Add a little water and stir.
e) Add chosen spices - about half a teaspoon per person is a good rule.
f) Add more water and stir well.
g) Place Kaffir Lime Leaves in the casserole dish with the chicken.
h) Pour your spiced sauce over the chicken, making sure nothing is left at the bottom of the jug/bowl.
i) Add seasoning.
j) Add lid to casserole dish and place in fridge for anything up to 24 hours.  A few hours minimum.

2 - Making Stuff In The Wok.

As before, it might be a good idea to look at the rice situation before we start cooking anything.  Measure out 100g of rice for every person and place in saucepan.  Cover the rice with water and leave for at least 30 mins.  OK...back to the wok...

a)  We're going to stir-fry our garlic and ginger in the groundnut oil.  First, heat the wok on a low-heat setting.  Secondly, cover the base of the wok with the oil. Add the garlic and ginger to the oil and watch for spitting.  Have some of the curry sauce from the casserole dish on standby...a couple of spoons of this will tame the spitting.
b)  After about a minute, add the optional onions/shallots.  Keep the heat low and manageable.  If anything starts going black/cremated then quickly remove the wok from the heat and remove the offending burnt item.
c)  Once the onions are sizzling nicely (a few minutes), add the chicken from the casserole dish, plus some sauce.  Stir occasionally, until chicken is well cooked through.  Remove the Kaffir Lime Leaves from the casserole dish and discard.
d)  Add the optional chopped tomatoes and stir well.
e)  Add a couple of teaspoons of corn flour to the mixture and raise the heat for a few minutes, making sure everything is nicely cooked.
f)  Lower heat to a simmer and add a lid to the wok if you have one.  Simmering time is at least half an hour.  Stir every few minutes.
g)  Rice Time!  Sieve the rice from the starchy water.  Add boiling water to the rice and place on a hob.  Add seasoning.
h)  Time to add the 'optional extras'...I can't emphasize the importance of taste testing here.  The balances between creamy, over-creamy and under-creamy consistencies are narrow.  The golden rule is to add small amounts at a time.   Have curry powder or garam masala on standby also...if you 'over-sweeten'  the wok then you'll need something to bring the taste balance back.  Go slowly.  No rush.
i)  Add the creamed coconut or coconut milk - if it's the creamed coconut bars then about an inch should do it...with milk, the very small jars should suffice. Stir well.
j)  How much cream or natural yoghurt you use is down to personal taste.  As a good rule of thumb, I'd say about 3-6 tablespoons of either (depending on the number of people eating).  Add cream SLOWLY and stir it well into the curry before adding more.   
k)  Time for optional peppers, optional cherry tomatoes and/or optional pineapple bits.  Be careful not to overload the wok.  Taste-test regularly.  I like a fine balance between creamy and spicy, (creamy texture but with a slight growl at the back of the throat) so I'll usually aim for that.  You do it how you like. Experimentation is our friend.
l)  Add coriander leaves to the curry just before serving.  When the rice is cooked then it's serving up time.  Raise the heat on the wok for a couple of minutes before serving.  Season well and add any optional sugar.   


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