Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chicken Curry- Sri Lankan- My Mother's Version

When it comes to cooking chicken curry, I will never win over my mother's version. She's got almost 60 years of cooking curry under her belt.  My mother and I had a cooking day recently and I wanted to document her chicken curry so my husband (who loves it so much) can have it at our house not just at her house.  She had such a hard time with measuring ingredients because she is a intuitive cook.  It's always add some of this and some of that... so when I pulled out the measuring spoons it was a long drawn out process for her. I actually made the curry as she sat patiently on a stool directing me.  Now this is a pretty spicy dish, of course you can tone down the red chili powder in the dish to your taste.  We like it spicy and even my small children loved this curry. We ate it with rice the first day and the leftovers were eaten with crusty toasted bread.  Everyone loved it so much, I better start making it again.

3lb of bone-in, skinless chicken.  You can use any part of the chicken you want, I used the breast
1 small onion chopped
1-2 green chilies chopped
4-6 green cardamoms
4-6 cloves
10-12 curry leaves (optional)
1 stalk of lemon grass cut and bruised(optional)
small handful of pandan leaves/rampe (optional)
1 (1inch) cinnamon stick
1 tsp of fennugreek seeds
2-3 cups of water (more if needed)
1 cup of milk

Chicken Marinade:
1 Tbs of minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs of minced fresh garlic
1 tsp of turmeric
1-2 Tbs of red chili powder (to taste)
1 (8oz) can of tomato sauce
1-2 Tbs of curry powder (to taste)
Salt and pepper

Cut your chicken into pieces. I cut 3 large chicken breast into 2-3 inch chunks. You can leave thighs and legs as they are.  Then mix with the marinade.  I added only 1 Tbs of the chili powder and 1Tbs of the curry powder into the marinade to start. You can marinate for 20-30 minutes on the counter or if you would like to keep it longer in the fridge for up to 4 hours.
Heat 2 Tbs of canola oil in a large pot. Add your onion, green chilies, curry leaves, lemongrass, pandan leaves, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon stick and fennugreek seeds and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add your marinated chicken into the pan and fry for another 3-5 minutes.

Then add your water and simmer on high until the chicken is cooked. Taste for seasoning.  I added an additional 1Tbs of chili powder, 1Tbs of curry powder and some more salt.   Finally add your milk and simmer for a few more minutes then your done.   Chicken curry can be eaten with rice, roti, chapathi, naan, bread.  Enjoy.

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