Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This dish is not a bad choice for a casual celebration, especially around Chinese New Year. It's simple to make. That, you will admit, is a cardinal virtue.

One three pound chicken, chunked.
Two big potatoes, peeled and boiled, cubed.
Three or four Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
Three or four garlic cloves, minced.
Two onions, chopped.
One cinnamon stick.
Two whole star anise.
Three green cardamom pods.
2 TBS ground coriander.
1 TBS turmeric.
½ TBS ground cumin.
½ TBS cayenne.
1 Tsp. dry ginger.
½ Tsp. fenugreek powder.
½ Tsp. ground pepper.
½ Tsp. English mustard powder.
1½ cups coconut milk, or somewhat more as needed.
1 cup regular milk.
½ TBS sugar.
½ Tsp. salt.

Gild garlic and onion in a little oil. Add the whole spices, stir till the aroma rises. Add the chicken pieces and cook till coloured. Add the powdered spices and a splash water, fry fragrant. Put in the tomatoes, fry for a few moments and loosen with another splash water. Pour in the coconut milk and the regular milk, simmer till the chicken is done.

It should be a very wet curry - adjust with a little water if necessary.
Stir in the sugar and salt, add the potatoes, and simmer for two or three minutes longer.
Garnish with cilantro.

Serve with plain white rice, and a plate of thick sliced cucumbers, as well as serundeng, sambal, and atjar tjampur.
Plus some vegetable dishes.

NOTE: a few green chilies can be floated on top during the simmering once the liquids are added. Left whole, they will impart their fragrance, but only a little of their heat. The cooking will temper them somewhat, so adventurous diners may choose to eat them with some of the sauce.