When I first started out cooking, one of the dishes I aim to master was a really good chicken curry dish (the Malaysian style, of course) as I simply adore spicy food.
The main difference between Malay style chicken curry (i.e. those from Malaysia and Indonesia) as compared to Indian chicken curry is that the former uses curry paste while the later uses curry powder mix. All curry mixture either in paste or powder form generally comprises of chilies and spices combination. The spices used differs by region.
However, I soon discover that although cooking chicken curry using instant curry paste was a breeze, the results were not as ideal as I would hope. The biggest problem was that my chicken curry was always too runny. The curry gravy simply won’t thicken up. This really affects the feel and taste of the dish.
How to thicken Chicken Curry
Hence, I started experimenting with different ways of cooking the curry. After countless trials and errors, it is my pleasure to share with you my easy one pot curry chicken with vegetables recipe. I have also compiled a list of the few things to note. These tips will work with any brand or type of ready mixed curry paste:
Water – when I was a novice cook, one of my biggest mistake was not measuring and following the manufacturer’s recommended amount of water. Adding too much water was the No. 1 reason that caused my curry gravy to be too runny. By the way, it is not necessary to submerge all ingredients under water at the initial stage of cooking.
Potatoes – try not to omit potatoes. The starch from potatoes help to thicken the gravy. You may however substitute the potatoes with other starchy tuber such as sweet potatoes and yam.
Santan (coconut milk) – I find that using fresh coconut milk really elevates the taste of the dish. However, using fresh coconut milk do seems like a luxury nowadays if you don’t frequent the wet market. Hence, using pre-processed coconut milk or cow milk is fine too, whichever is your preference. Your kitchen, your way…
Vegetables – for convenience and practical purpose, I always add lots of vegetables to my curry chicken. This way, I don’t need to cook additional dishes and adds bulk to the dish so that I have leftover for the next day!
I recommend adding vegetables like cabbage, long beans and brinjal which really soaks up the gravy. It’s the same principles why “tofu pok” and dried bean curd skin (“tau ki” or “foo chook”) tastes good with curry too. Tofu and dried bean curd skin is commonly added by Chinese in curry chicken recipes.
Ready-mixed – I always use the ready-mixed curry paste from A1 Mountain Globe (for Meat) as recommended by my mother in law. After trying out a few different brands I find that I prefer this brand of curry paste too.
Storage – curry chicken is one of those dish that tastes even better the next day. However, you need to be careful as curry chicken especially those with coconut milk spoils very easily especially under hot weather condition.
The purist may have a problem with adding vegetables to a chicken curry dish, but I do urge you to try it. It won’t taste weird, I promise…
This Malaysian style chicken curry with assorted vegetables combined results in a delightful one pot dish that is suitable for family meals as well as for pot luck meals