What a bliss it is to be away from work, and having time to cook anything at my own sweet time?! There's so many I want to try, and this time it is a special flavoured rice that Sue (my sister) introduced to me. I'll post that one up soon. It tastes very similar to Indian Briyani - only it is Arabic. To accompany the flavoured rice, I also made some Cucumber Salad, and Chicken Curry.
To some, curries are very spicy - and it really depends on how the curry powder was prepared. In the olden days, people would buy curry powder according to their specific mixture at the curry powder shop. Well, we rarely see those shops around anymore. At least in my place. The curry powders are now pre-mixed and sold in small and medium packets everywhere - to name a few popular brands in Asia such as Babas, Alagappa and Adabi. Milder (and more instant versions) of curry powder would come under Maggi, Masterfoods and etc.
Normally I would use Babas or Alagappa, but somehow decided to try Adabi's - one of the more popular brand of curry powders and spices in Malaysia. And to make my chicken curry, I add some fresh herbs and spices to sweeten up the deal.
Curry powders aside, did you know that a cup (240gm) of fresh santan (coconut milk) contains 552 calories as compared to a cup (245gm) of fresh yogurt with only 137 calories? And one cup of yogurt contains 47% calcium as compared to only 4% for a cup of santan? Though santan has that sweet, smooth taste, I'd prefer to substitute santan with yogurt whenever possible. You may get a slightly different taste (yogurt is sour) but the health benefits compensates well.
:: Chicken Curry using tomato puree and yogurt ::
Prepare in advance onion, garlic & ginger paste:
1 inch ginger
1/2 cup water
Roughly chop these ingredients and blend them into a paste. You can make more and store it in small plastic containers in the freezer for future use - very convenient.
Half a chicken, cut to 8 or more pieces
1 packet Adabi chicken curry powder (mix with 1/2 cup warm water to form a paste)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 medium potato, quartered
1 tomato, quartered
1 carrot, chopped
Spice mix (1 cinnamon, 1 star anise, 4 cardamons, 5 cloves)
1 red onion, quartered
2 garlic, smashed
1 fresh pandan leaf
Some fresh curry leaves
2 tablesppon of the above onion, garlic & ginger paste
1 teaspoon salt & sugar to taste
Heat up a medium pot with oil and fry the spice mix until crackling. Throw in onion, garlic, pandan and curry leaves. Stir until aromatic and add in the onion, garlic & ginger paste.
Add in the curry paste and stir over low heat until the oil comes up, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree. Add in chicken and add 1 cup water, when chicken is cooked halfway, throw in potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add in yogurt, salt & sugar. Stir well and taste.
Serve with rice or warm bread.