Malaysian Three Course Menu- Part 2: Kari Ayam

Two years ago, my significant  other and I made a trip to South East Asia. We were influenced by the cultural richness, the beautiful nature but also, perhaps above all, the food. Whilst in Malaysia, we visited a cooking course in order to learn directly from the natives about their traditional, authentic cuisine. Our cooking class at LaZat is even today, one of the most precious memories of our trip. We chose their Wednesday class, which involved cooking Malay/Nyonya specialties, but we also participated in a guided market tour together with one of the class teachers. The colors of fruit and vegetables was mesmerizing and the diversity was huge.

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The cooking itself took place in a beautiful setting and location, in a Malaysian home environment and the three course menu was splendid. We made and ate the following dishes:

  1. Starter: Otak-Otak/Fish with Spices and Herbs in Banana Leaves
  2. Main course: Kari Ayam/Chicken Curry
  3. Dessert: Onde Onde/Palm Sugar in Glutinous Balls

I have recooked all of the dishes at home and the ingredients were all easy to find in Asian groceries.

Kari Ayam/ Chicken Curry

Serves 1-2 | Time needed ~ 40 min

130 g chicken fillet, bite sized
3 tbsp oil
1 stalk of curry leaves
2 cm piece of a cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cloves
2 cardamoms
4 shallots
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cm ginger
2 tbsp curry powder mixed with 2 tbsp water (curry paste)
180 ml water
30 g potatoes, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp salt
70 ml coconut milk

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the curry leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and cardamom until fragrant.
  2. Pound the shallots, garlic and ginger together to form a fine mixture. Add to pan and sauté until aromatic.
  3. Add the curry paste and fry a couple of minutes, then add the potatoes, water and salt. Let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Mix in the coconut milk and chicken and cook on medium heat until the chicken is done.
  5. Enjoy with rice or lacy pancakes.

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