Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Cookbook Challenge Week 38 Spice

Book: Sri Lankan Flavours: a journey through the island’s food and culture by Channa Dassanayaka Theme: Spice Recipe: Chicken Curry

I may or may not have previously mentioned about how much I am taken with Rick Stein’s Far East Odyssey. Mainly because Rick Stein is just so damn funny. But his episode on Sri Lanka made me want to run and make a really awesome Sri Lankan curry. I would have preferred to make the Sri Lankan chilli crab dish but alas it was a weeknight and I literally had to scrape all of the ingredients from what were in the fridge freezer.

(roasting spices to make the curry powder)

And while we are here, why not kill two birds with one stone with the Cookbook Challenge! I raided my spice cupboard (which is actually quite well stocked, believe it or not) and the freezer for lemongrass, pandan leaves etc. All the lovely ingredients into the ever-important homemade Sri Lankan curry powder

Roasted Curry Powder

Channa said that this is the curry powder used for all meat dishes. The curry powder used for vegetarian curries are not roasted.

  1. 6cm stalk of lemongrass, chopped
  2. 1 stick of cinnamon
  3. 1/2 cup of coriander seeds
  4. 10 curry leaves
  5. 10cm piece of rampe (pandan leaf), chopped into smaller pieces
  6. 2 green cardamon pods
  7. 3 cloves
  8. 1/4 cup cumin seeds (I only had ground cumin, so I substituted this part with 1/4 cup less 1 tbsp of powder)
  9. 14 cup of fennel seeds

Crush  the cinnamon stick and toast with the lemongrass on a frying pan until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients except the cumin and fennel. Roast the spices for another minute or so. If you’re using ground spices, do not toast them at all. They will burn. Remove from heat. Add cumin and fennel or any ground spices you are using. You can pound this mixture up using pestle and mortar (too much effort for me) or blitz them in a food processor  (I did). And there is your roasted curry powder you can feel very proud of making!

Chicken curry for two

  1. 4 chicken drumsticks ( you can use thigh fillet but I am a firm believer in chicken on the bones for curries)
  2. 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  3. 1 tbsp of roasted curry powder (above)
  4. 1 tsp of ground tumeric
  5. 2 tsp salt
  6. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  7. 1 onion, sliced
  8. 5 cm piece of pandan leaf (I keep them in the freezer for pandan emergency, noone shall now tell me I do not need emergency pandan, mmkay?)
  9. 10 curry leaves (I also keep them in the freezer for curry leaf emergency, I think I raided these from Nat’s little curry tree)
  10. 1/2 cinnamon stick
  11. 3 cardamon pods
  12. 1 tbsp of chopped lemongrass stalk (again, freezer. Yes my freezer is shockingly full)
  13. 1 green chilli, chopped
  14. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  15. 1 thumb-sized ginger, chopped (my thumb size, so about 1 tbsp chopped)
  16. 3 tomatoes, chopped
  17. 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
  18. 1/2 can of coconut milk (about 250 ml)
  19. a few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Make a few incisions in the chicken drumsticks so they cook faster (I am impatient). Rub the chicken with roasted curry powder, chilli powder, tumeric and salt and leave to marinate for 15 minutes. Add a little bit of oil to get things going faster if you like but that’s not in the recipe.

Fry the onion, pandan leaf, curry leabes, cinnamon, cardamon, lemongrass, green chilli, ginger and garlic with hot oil until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften (about 2 minutes). Add the chicken and pepper and brown the chicken until cooked through (about 6 minutes). Keep the chicken moving otherwise it will burn.

Add the coconut milk and bring to boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken falls apart. Taste and add more salt if required.

Serve with coriander leaves sprinkled on top. I didn’t have any :/

Not bad for something from a fridge/freezer/pantry only ingredients, eh?

This time last year I made:Twice-cooked pork with noodles