Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nyonya Kari Chicken Kapitan

Since I was on a Nyonya high already, I couldn't go past this very famous chicken curry that you are bound to get from any good Malaysian eatery.  I think the locals could probably make this dish with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their backs.  Well with both eyes open and both hands in operation I attempted a Gordon Ramsay version of this dish - not so Malaysian is he?  Put his on screen (a possibly off-screen in the kitchen) bad temper aside, I actually have much respect for Gordon (first name basis, 'cause we go way back..!) as a chef and businessman and I have followed a few of his recipes before and they have turned out superbly.  The term Kapitan was a name given to chiefs during the settlement days, early on in Malacca's history.  This kari dish may have been prepared especially for them or on occasions to honour the chiefs. So I figured "Ch(i)ef Ramsay's" dish seemed a worthy recipe to take on and adapt to my own.  The result was an exceptionally tasty curry with the right spiciness, sweetness and sourness that tasted really authentic.  
6 x chicken thighs, cut into small bite size pieces
3 tbsp x Light soy sauce
1 tbsp x Dark soy sauce
Pepper to season
2 tbsp x Cooking oil
2 x Onions, finely diced
1 440ml can x Coconut milk
1 heaped tbsp x Tamarind pulp, soaked in ½ cup of hot water
6 x Kaffir lime leaves, left whole, extra cut into fine strips for garnish
2 tbsp x Palm sugar, grated
For the rempah (paste)
4 x Red chillies (or more if desired), deseeded
2 x Lemongrass stalks, white part chopped
1 tbsp x grated Fresh turmeric, (or 1 tsp of Turmeric powder)
2 tbsp x grated Ginger
2 tbsp x grated Galangal
5 shallots, peeled and chopped
4 x Candlenuts, soaked in a little warm water
1 tsp x Cinnamon powder
1 tbsp x Belachan, (dry shrimp paste sold in blocks), dry roast in a pan for for a few minutes before use

Combine chicken pieces with the soy sauces and the pepper
Marinate in the fridge for about an hour
Place all ingredients of the rempah into a food processor and blend to a coarse paste

Squeeze the soaked tamarind pulp, retaining the juice, discard the skin and seeds and keep juice aside
Stir fry the chicken in batches until about three quarters cooked and reserve in a bowl
Cook the onions until they are translucent then add the rempah and fry for a further 2 minutes
Return the chicken to the wok and pour in the coconut milk, bring to a slight boil
Now add the tamarind juice, lime leaves and sugar
Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning
Garnish with finely sliced lime leaves and serve with rice or crispy roti canai


Sarah said...

That looks fantastic! My mum makes that dish for Chinese New Year. Who would have thought Gordon Ramsay would have had such an authentic-looking Malaysian recipe? :)

ngizee said...

Thanks for dropping by Sarah. Yes indeed I too was surprised that Gordon Ramsay does such a good Nyonya Kari recipe. It was well worth the try and tastes awesome. I converted a few Indian curry lovers on the night I cooked it.