Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hari-hari Chicken Curry

[ Warning: long post! ]

Been taking breaks from work to try and maintain my sanity. Will be going back into Solitary Confinement mode again tomorrow.

In line with that, I've decided to cook up something that will sustain me for the next few days. And since it'll be a while before I get to mess around in the kitchen again, I might as well cook something more challenging - Chicken Curry!

"What so challenging about chicken curry?", you might ask. Well, I have absolutely no idea how to cook it, and this time, I refused to refer to online recipes. Oh yes, fun fun fun for the whole family.

Bulk cooking. Time to break out the big heavy pan.

Ok. Ingredients. The only ingredients I'm sure of are, well, Chicken and curry powder (chicken curry mah...). The rest? Well, hentam oni lah!

* Chicken drumstick (scored to make sure they cook faster)
* Curry Powder
* Chopped onions
* cubed potatoes
* carrots (cut in 2 different shapes, just for fun)
* Long beans
* kicap
* salt
* pepper
* err.. and whatever I could think of. Can't recall what else I threw in.

Almost forgot about these guys. Dried Bird's Eye Chilli. Don't underestimate these buggers. They give a kick stronger than cili-padi.

With fingers crossed, the cooking began.

On medium heat, sauteed onions till fragrant and slightly brown.

Once the onions were ready, I turned around, and the first thing I saw was the curry power. Since I didn't know how much or when to put, I assumed that now would be as good a time as ever. So, two tablespoons went in.

Mixed everything up real good, and the room was invaded by the unmistakable smell of curry. Ahh.. good start.

Next up, the chicken. Sprinkled on a little more curry powder for good luck. I let it cook for a while, hoping that somehow the chicken will be infused with the curry flavour and aroma of onions.

When the surface of the chicken showed signs of getting cooked, in went the potatoes.

Cover up, and let it cook for about 3-5 minutes. I think I also added a little bit of water to steam the chicken and potatoes.

By this time, I realised two things - 1. this dish was going to take a while, and I was starving; 2. I didn't have a spare tuppeware to store the Curry.

Out came my left-over pasta from lunch. Gobbled it down, 'alas' the 'perut' a bit, and now I had a container to store the curry. Very gooder.

By the time I finished my appetizer, the chicken looked half cooked. Good time to add the rest of the ingredients.

In went the veges..

.. and one cup of milk (no santan, so had to improvise loh).

The curry looked too diluted, so I added in a little more curry powder. Perhaps that wasn't such a good move. Oh well, what's done is done.

Final piece of the puzzle: crushed Bird's Eye Chilli.

Gave it a good stir, and let it simmer till it reached the thickness that I was aiming for.

I was happy. My first chicken curry seems to be turning out pretty well. Next thi... BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP ..!!!


Bloody Fire Alarm!

.. cover pot

.. off stove

.. rushes out of apartment!

Other residents were already gathered outside.

AArrrgghh!!! Damn COLDDDDD!!

Lesson learnt. Next time there's a fire alarm, put on some warm clothes before going out. The fire can wait..

Firemen arrived about 5 minutes later. As they were investigated the cause of the alarm, I was shivering in the corner and, of all things, worrying about my curry.

"what if it cools down, and the milk curdles?"
"If chicken still raw, and the blood start flowing out, how?"
"Curry powder and milk can harden wan ah?"
"err... did I off the stove ah?"
"shit, what if it was my curry that triggered the alarm? Die loh.."

.. 15 minutes later, the friendly firemen came out and announced that it was a false alarm. Probably some dungu smoking in the rooms. Ciken. Back to my curry...

When I came back, the curry had thicken quite a bit. I used a big heavy pot, so it probably stored enough heat to continue cooking while I was gone. Turned the heat back on.

Very soon, my Hari-hari Chicken Curry was ready!!

Most of it went into storage. Will probably eat it with bread of pita for the next few days.

The rest was served with rice.

How did it turn out?

Well, it wasn't the best curry I've tasted, but acceptable lah. I was aiming for something on par with Nasi Kandar Pelita (Seberang Prai one, not PJ). Perhaps I just had too high an expectation.

Post mortem:
* too rich. Next time, put less milk and curry powder.
* too much chilli. Hot is good, but not till it is overpowering. It masks all the subtle tastes that enriches the whole eating experience
* too sweet, which was weird since I don't recall putting in anything sweet. Perhaps it was the potatoes (I used "salad potatoes" instead of normal ones). Or the carrots? Hmm.. *scratch head*
* It somehow doesn't have that uumph that you get with Nasi Kandar. Can't point a finger on what it is. Add ganja?
* Other things to put in next time: lady finger, brinjal, tomatoes, cauliflower, hard boiled eggs?

Hari-hari Chicken Curry


At November 17, 2005 2:55 am, Anonymous BawangMerah said...

The curry looks tasty. Now I'm hungry.

At November 17, 2005 10:56 am, Anonymous ninja said...


next time, to counter the sweet taste, try adding tomato. and carrot is sweet. two tablespoon for that lot already can kill. instead of milk, can try cream.

=D uncle should have come to my party, we all missed u. the boys say hi

At November 17, 2005 11:14 am, Blogger shawnchin said...

carrot = sweet
tomato = to unsweeten
curry = 2 tbs
milk = cream

Set.. i'm ready for a second attempt! :)

Send my regards to the boys too.. (err.. who the boys ah?)

At November 17, 2005 11:44 am, Blogger TechTalks said...

maybe you can courier some back home for us to taste? =)

At November 17, 2005 12:00 pm, Blogger shawnchin said...

techi: Hehe.. it will be frothing and berketul-ketul by the time it reaches there man.
I've been waiting for my Hot Sauce delivery for more than a week, tak sampai sampai lagi. .. and it's from within UK.

At November 17, 2005 3:52 pm, Blogger w3s said...

Chef Shawn rocks!

At November 17, 2005 3:57 pm, Blogger shawnchin said...

Heheh.. ROck indeed!

Tummy going thru some Rock and Roll today.. dun feel so good.

Hopefully not becos of the curry :p (will find out soon enough, after I eat the rest of it.. weeeeee!)

At November 17, 2005 4:27 pm, Blogger TechTalks said...

I guess it's times like these you wish you were back home where sambal belacan, and all sorts of chilli stuff were just a mamak/tomyam stall away?
Guess i'll have to take a rain check on that curry of yours! ketul-ketul curry is bound to reak Montezuma's Revenge on your A-hole buddy! =)


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