Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Chicken Curry Kapitan

First off, I want to say that I'm not sure if what I cooked here is really Chicken Curry Kapitan. I searched the net for a recipe and I think it is sort of like that lah. The reason for cooking this dish is none other than to fulfill my DH wishes. He is the "I-love-to-eat-spicy-food" kinda person. He has even requested that there be a curry dish at least once a week. Sigh! Big challenge for someone who grew up not knowing how to eat spicy food. It is through his influence that I've come to acquire the taste for chili.

Anyway, this dish has a spicy-sour taste. DH says that "it's almost there." We can't figure out what I'm missing out. He also can't quite remember what authentic Curry Kapitan taste like. It may not taste like authentic Kari Kapitan but it still taste good.

So, if you are game to try, here is the recipe. Oh, before I start, must say that this dish does require a bit of work and planning. It's not one of those dishes that you can decide impromptu and pull things from your kitchen cabinets. My very talented FIL does a wonderful job stocking our fridge with ready made chili paste. Let me give you his chili recipe first:

  • 50g dry chili (take out the seeds. Wash and soak in hot water).
  • 250g shallots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Belacan, 1 finger long
  • Lengkuas (about 1 inch)
  • Kunyit – if fresh, about 1 inch, if powder form 1 tsp.
  • 3-4 lemon grass. Cut away the top and chop it up.
  • 6-8 candlenut. Smash it
  • 20-25 pcs cili padi (depends on how spicy you want it).

In a blender, blend all the ingredients above to a paste.
In a wok, put about 1 cup oil then add the paste. Cook under medium fire until it comes to a boil. Turn down to low fire and keep on stirring for 20-30 minutes. The longer you stir, the longer you will be able to store it. Put in container and refrigerate.

Tip: Be sure to have sufficient amount of oil so it doesn’t burn.

With this ready to go chili paste, cooking any curry or spicy food becomes a breeze. If you have to prepare chili paste each and every time you want to cook, then cooking becomes time consuming. So it is good to allocate some free time to prepare this chili paste and store in the freezer.

Okay, now for the rest of the CURRY KAPITAN RECIPE.

  • Chicken cut into bite size (I used about 1/2 a chicken). Marinade with about 1 tbsp of kunyit (turmeric) powder, some salt and a sprinkle of belacan granules.
  • 2 big onions - quartered
  • 2 tomatoes - quartered
  • Garlic - minced
  • The above mentioned chili paste.
  • 4-5 lemon grass. Chopped up and then pounded.
  • Curry leaves (just because DH bought a whole bunch that was on sale).
  • Coconut milk
  • Lime leaves (the fragrant ones).
  • Lime to make lime juice
  • Put oil in wok and start frying the garlic.
  • Then put in the pounded lemon grass and onions.
  • Add in your chili (how much depends on how spicy you want it to be).
  • Next is some sugar (to take away some spiciness).
  • Fry (or us Malaysians like to say "tumi") until fragrant. Hokkien we say "phang-phang".
  • Add in the chicken and keep on frying for a little while.
  • A dash of soy sauce.
  • Pour in the coconut milk. Sorry I didn't measure. I just bought the packet of fresh coconut from the shop and poured into the wok about 2/3. If estimate, I would say about 1 cup of milk?
  • I added in a bit of water too, so the chicken can cook, simmer and stew.
  • Dumped in some lime leaves, a bunch of curry leaves and the tomatoes.
  • Also added 1/3 cube of chicken stock.
  • Covered the wok and let it simmer till most of the gravy has evaporated. Stirring occasionally.
  • Towards the end, add the rest of the coconut milk and the lime juice.
  • Cook for about another 5 minutes. Gravy should be quite thick now.
  • Don't forget to taste and see if it's salty enough etc.... Suit your taste okay.
I read some recipes calling to add thin coconut milk in the beginning and then thick coconut milk at the end. Aiyah, sorry-lah. Me lazy to buy the shredded coconut and do the squeezing myself. So, I'm voting to forgo the thin and thick part. I just buy the already squeezed coconut milk and use that. First part of the cooking I poured in the milk and then added water, so can consider as thin milk I guess. Then towards the end I just add the rest of the coconut milk (without water), can consider that thick milk right?

Okay, I think you guys get the picture that my cooking isn't exactly like the pros. But hey, it still tasted darn good.

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