Chicken in Coconut Gravy

| 1 Comment

recipe thursdayThis is a recipe I first encountered in Singapore. It's in the Nonya tradition--the Straits Chinese who settled early in the area and mixed their culture with the Malaysians.

There's a lot of paste-making to do and though you can use a knife to chop everything extra fine, a small grinder makes it easier.

If you can't find fresh lemongrass, you can use dried; if you can't find either, try a few strips of lemon peel. I've seen lengkuas labeled "grater galangal" and "laos"; it looks like big, pink ginger. Pandan leaf doesn't seem to exist outside SE Asia but if you can find it, use it. It imparts a subtle, sweet, grassy flavor to the dish.

Chicken in Coconut Curry
serves 4-6

1 chicken, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 in fresh ginger
16 shallots (or 1 onion)
2 cloves garlic
3 stalks lemongrass
6-8 fresh chilies
2 slices lengkuas
3 Tbsp oil
3 cups thick coconut milk (coconut cream)
1 pandan leaf (optional)
1 tsp salt

Mix the turmeric with a little water and rub the resulting paste on the chicken pieces. Grind ginger, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chillies and lengkuas into a paste. Fry the paste over medium heat in a wok for 5 minutes, then add the chicken and fry for 5 minutes, making sure the chicken is well coated with the spices. Add coconut milk, pandan leaf and salt. Coconut milk needs to be stirred constantly as you bring it to a boil so that it doesn't curdle. When it boils, turn down the heat and simmer 30-45 minutes until the chicken is tender and gravy has thickened.

1 Comment

Looks yummy. If lengkuas is what I think it is, it is also known as white ginger or galangal and can usually be found if your area has a chinatown or asian grocery. You'll also be able to find lemongrass stalks there. I usually strip the outer layer from the lemongrass and cut the lowest "joint" off and the top 4 inches or so. And although they're much more work, try to use the shallots - the taste is much more subtle than onion. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • Seth: Looks yummy. If lengkuas is what I think it is, read more