Tuesday, January 18, 2005

chicken curry

"cari ga"...the kittens were clamoring for fast food. husband relented since they've had a long enough abstinence from the forbidden fatty patties. i took it as perfect timing for making curry, which they (so far) abhor, for two ...
couldn't decide between the Laotian style or the Vietnamese style until i dug out the ingredients to see if i had everything. Vietnamese style won because i had to use up the eggplant, sweet potato and lemon grass before they wilted too badly.
the Laotian style would have been easier; using a can of red curry paste would eliminate the chopping and smashing... but remembering the fragrance of the shrimp paste and curry powder gave this cold and peckish mommy some new inspiration...

4 smashed garlic cloves
4 thinly sliced shallots
2 stalks of trimmed and bashed lemon grass
3-4 dried red chilis
a handful of "Kaffir" wild lime leaves ( or 3-4 pieces of lime peel--but not as fragrantly flowery as wild lime leaves)
2 tsps. of fine shrimp paste ("Koon Chun" brand)
2 tbsps. of Madras curry powder
4 whole chicken legs, cut at the joint and sliced thru the bones, bite size pieces
1 can of coconut milk ("Aroy D"brand)
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of beer*
3 large Idaho potatoes
2 large Asian sweet potatoes
2 Japanese egg plants, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 3 inch pieces
salt or Vietnamese fish sauce, and pepper to taste

in two tbsps. of vegetable oil, over medium heat, saute garlic, onions, lemon grass, and dried red chilis, until fragrant. stir in shrimp paste and curry powder and mix well to blend. add chopped chicken and brown. pour in coconut milk, lime leaves and water. simmer about 20 minutes. add potatoes, sweet potatoes and beer, mix well and simmer 15 minutes more. when potatoes are almost tender add eggplant. season and adjust to taste, with salt, patis (fish sauce) and pepper.

curry, delicious over hot steamed rice or rice noodles.
*the addition of beer makes it un-traditional...an ex-playboy er boyfriend added it to a potato curry he cooked for me and i found it gave a faint sweetish pleasantly candy-like finish to the flavor..discarded boyfriend, kept the beer-for-curry habit. am smart, sometimes.