For me, I personally think my home curry has 2 influences. The thicker texture to the gravy, the use of yogurt, and the more spices used - are more Indian than anything. On the other side, the use of santan (coconut milk) and the occasional stalks of lemongrass might be more Malay.
How does a Malaysian home made curry taste like? Depends! Many homes will offer you unique tastes, but we're Malaysians. And that is the beauty of it. These distinctive tastes makes Malaysian curry (and many other dishes) interesting and never boring.
When it comes to chicken curry, we make it mild, so the kids can enjoy it without fearing the spiciness. It also saves people with a sensitive tummy like me from the possible tummy upset and gastric.
Chicken curry consist of chunks of chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. It goes well with rice and many types of bread, fresh or toasted. Malaysians eat curry any time of the day. With bread for breakfast, rice for lunch, and bread for dinner. For special occasions, we have it with flavoured rice such as tomato rice, briyani, nasi hujan panas (direct translation : hot rain rice :) which is a type of flavoured rice served commonly on Malay weddings.), and sticky rice.
Sounds interesting yet? Here's a simple and tasty recipe to share.
:: Ingredients ::
1/2 chicken, cut to medium chunks
1 big red tomato, cubed
1 medium carrot, cut to small pieces
1 big potato, cubed
1 stalk lemongrass (optional, but very flavourful)
1 pandan (screwpine) leaf (or curry leaves)
1 small packet of chicken curry powder (I recommend Allagappa's or Babas)
1 cup of santan (coconut milk) or 1 cup fresh yogurt (I prefer yogurt)
2 cups water
Mixed spices: Aniseed, cloves, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon bark - very little of each
1 green or red onion, cubed
Blend of : 2 garlic, 4 shallots (or 1 onion), 2cm of fresh ginger - just put in the food processor for a minute or so.
1. Prepare the ingredients to blend first. Pour the curry powder in a small bowl and mix with some warm water to form a paste.
2. Heat up a pot with some cooking oil.
3. Fry the mixed spices until fragrant.
4. Fry the blended mixture in. Add in pandan & lemongrass.
5. Add curry paste, fry until aromatic and until the oil start to come up.
6. Add water, chicken pieces, potatoes, onions and bring to boil.
7. Add carrots, tomatoes. You can also add in the santan/yogurt in while stirring. Add little by little so the curry does not get too creamy.
8. The curry should be smooth and not watery. Have a taste. Add santan/yogurt or water according to your preference.
Serve warm with rice or bread.