I eat this curry at Jimmy’s Malaysian Diner in Sydney all the time. I always have to insist the pushy girl behind the counter to be less stingy with the sauce, not because she’s being particularly frugal, more the fact that it’s so delicious that I want as much as I can reasonably ask for. I recreated with a combination of careful observation of plate when I ate it last week and by checking out a few Malaysian recipes. The taste is very similar. As far as tastiness goes, it’s right up there with Burmese Chicken Curry, which is high praise indeed.
For the Malaysian Curry Powder
4 cardamom pods
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
2 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 1/2 tablespoons chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the curry
1kg chicken thighs (cut into 1/3 pieces)
2 onions (roughly chopped)
8 cloves garlic (peeled & chopped)
1 heap teaspoon ginger (grated)
12-15 fresh curry leaves
5 tablespoons Malaysian curry powder
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 400g can coconut milk
2 whole star anise
2 medium potatoes (cut into 1″ dices)
1/2 small lemon (juice of)
For the curry powder:
In a dry small frying pan, toast the cardamom, fennel and star anise until aromatic. Remove and grind to a fine powder in a mortar or spice grinder. Add all the other ingredients to it and combine with 4 tablespoons water into a thick paste.
For the curry:
In a food processor or with a hand blender, blend the onion, garlic and ginger into a paste. Heat the oil a large pan over a medium temperature. Add the curry leaves and fry for 10-15 seconds. Add the onion paste and fry for 4-5 minutes until brown. Add the curry paste and gently fry for 2-3 minutes until aromatic and the oil starts to separate. Add the chicken, turn up the heat and stir for 2 minutes to coat well and lightly seal. Add the coconut milk, and 2 cups of water. Add the star anise and some salt and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes, giving it a stir once in a while. Add the potatoes and simmer uncovered for a further 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Check for seasoning and squeeze in the lemon juice and you’re ready to eat.
Proper Malaysian Roti is like soggy Indian Roti but I dare say nobody would get hurt if you used shop bought Indian roti. It’s equally as nice with plain boiled rice.