It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘curry’

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Those of you who know me will know that I love a curry. This vietnamese chicken and sweet potato curry is one of my favourites – once all of the ingredients are prepared, you just chuck them in the pot and leave it to cook. Once the sweet potato is soft, it is ready to serve. It also benefits from the addition of a small amount of caramel – sweetness is very good for relieving hot raw spices, and if I am cooking a curry that tastes too hot, I will generally add a teaspoon of sugar, leave it for a few minutes and then taste again.
Vegans can adapt this curry by using vegan fish sauce and chicken substitute.

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I got this recipe from Ghillie Basan’s Vietnamese cook book, but I have added a few tweaks of my own.

One and a half tablespoons curry powder (I use Indian Madras curry powder – if you feel really adventurous you can make your own)
One and a half tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon turmeric
500g chicken skinned – thighs are juicier, but I like to mix thigh and breast meat (If you are vegan you can replace the chicken with Tofurkey chick’n pieces)
One and a half tablespoons brown sugar (any type)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 shallots (or half a red onion) chopped finely
2 garlic cloves chopped or crushed
4cm galangal (if you can’t find it, use ginger), peeled and grated (it will be mushy when grated)
2 lemon grass stalks (remove the outer fibrous leaves, cut the end off to reveal the white middle, keep about 3cm intact, and make 4 long slits in the other part then bash with a mallet or flat heavy knife blade to release the flavour)
2 teaspoons chilli paste (sambal oelek – or use a large dried red chilli)
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons fish sauce (use vietnamese nuoc mam if you can find it) If you are vegan use vegan fish sauce
600ml coconut milk
small bunch coriander chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the curry powder, garam masala and turmeric in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to coat with the dry spices.
2. Heat the sugar on a low heat with one and a half tablespoons of water, after a while it should dissolve and turn golden. Remove from the heat.
3. Heat a large wok and add the sesame oil. Stir fry the shallots (or onion) with the garlic, galangal and lemon grass until they smell fragrant and lovely. Stir in the chilli paste.
4. Now add the chicken with all of the dry spice mix (don’t leave any behind) – stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the coconut milk, mix well. Then add the caramel, fish sauce and sweet potato. Rinse out the caramel saucepan with 150ml water, and add it to the curry.
6. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato is tender.
7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the coriander. Remove the lemon grass stalks before serving.

Jhinga Caldeen (Goan Prawn Curry)


This curry is fairly quick and easy to make – if you want to be super organised, you can make up the sauce in advance and then just heat the sauce and drop the prawns in when you want to serve it. Make sure that you use raw prawns – they are readily available in supermarkets or your local fish market. Make sure that you remove the shells if you buy them shell-on, and the black gut (as it will be bitter). If you want to make your prawns go further you can slice them lengthways or chop them up. You can also use fish or crab in this curry. The curry is light and coconutty, and you can add as much chilli as you want
depending on your ability to cope with chilli. If you are allergic to garlic like my friend Kara, just replace the garlic with half a small red onion, and season a little more (i.e. add extra salt and garam masala at the end when you are tasting it).
This recipe serves 4 people.

400g fresh or thawed raw prawns, gut removed (prawns are ‘jhinga’ – it’s fun to learn the Indian names)
Half a teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons white wine or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin (jeera)
2 teaspoons ground coriander (dhania)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (haldi)
A quarter teaspoon chilli powder (mirch) you can double this amount if you like a hotter curry
Half a teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns (gol mirch)
1 small onion finely chopped
2.5 cm fresh ginger peeled and grated
4 large cloves garlic peeled and crushed
2 fresh green chillies seeded and sliced (you can ad extra at the end if the curry is not hot enough)
1 tin of coconut milk (approx 400ml)
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves chopped

1. Put the prawns in a mixing bowl with the salt and white wine or cider vinegar – leave to marinate for approx 15 minutes.
2. Mix the dry spices together in a bowl and set aside – this is the cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli and black pepper.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil (sunflower, peanut or similar non-flavoured oil) over a medium heat and fry the onions gently until they are golden – this will take about 8 minutes, don’t burn them.
4. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute.
5. Add the little bowl of ground spices and fry for another minute.
6. Add the coconut milk and the fresh green chillies. After warming this through, taste and add more salt and chilli if required.
7. Add the prawns and cook until they are just opaque – don’t overdo them or they will be tough. Garnish with the fresh coriander.
8. Serve with rice and veggies (e.g. aloo gobi, bombay aloo, mushroom bhajee)

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