Some weeks ago we had a very nice dinner at a Malaysian restaurant. This was the first time I tried the Malaysian kitchen and I was fascinated by the abundance of taste that these dishes had to offer. One week later, I tried to make the curry myself and it was very delicious. It was the very first time I made the curry mixture from scratch by myself and it was definitely better compared to the ready-made curry paste. We prepared this curry two days in a row and still I could eat it again anytime! 🙂
Ingredients for blend of spices (this amount is sufficient for 2 curry preparations for 2 person)
- 2 teaspoons long grain rice
- 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
- ½ tablespoons fenugreek seeds
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 clove
- ¼ star anise, crushed
- 1 cardamom pod, crushed
- 1-2 cm cinnamon stick
- 2 dried chillies, cut into fine stripes
- 4-5 tablespoon ground turmeric
Ingredients for the sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 cm long piece ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
- 2 sticks of lemongrass, cut vertically through the middle
- 2.5 – 3 dl coconut milk
- ca. 2 dl water
- salt and pepper
Roast the rice until it starts getting a light brownish color (be careful not to burn it!). Add all spices, except turmeric, into the same pan with rice. Roast the spices at middle heat until they start to smell. Attention, the rice must not burn! Take off from the heat and let cool down for 5 minutes. Put all spices into a mortar or a coffee grinder and pound it into fine powder. If you do it with mortar and pestle, this might take some minutes and will cost you some energy, too. 🙂 At the end, add ground turmeric (never roast or grind turmeric!) and mix until all spices are combined.
Chop finely onion, garlic and ginger. Heat up the oil or ghee in a pan and roast the choped vegetables until the onion and garlic start becoming golden and translucent. Mix 2-3 of the prepared spice blend with several spoons water to get a paste. Lower the heat and add the paste and lemongrass to the roasting onion, garlic and ginger. Stir for a minute or two. Pour coconut milk and water. Let it simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, or until your curry reaches a nice viscid consistency. Remove the lemongrass and season to taste with salt and some pepper, if desired.
In the separate pan add some oil or ghee and quickly roast the chicken breast. Add it to the curry sauce and boil once again. Take off from heat and serve with naan bread or rice.
Note: instead of chicken breast, you can also create a vegetarian version of the curry, e.g. cook 200 g of red lentils, roast some paneer or cook some eggs and combine with the sauce at the end. The spice blend can be stored airtight for up to 6 weeks.