Monday, November 15, 2010

Curry leaves

How could it not dawn on me and those around me when I was going through my teenage years in Brunei that I was never meant to have a figure like Miranda Kerr? This blog is a living proof of why I was a phat [not fat] and healthy teenager.

One of my fondest memories of my mom's kitchen is the fragrance of curry leaves boiling away in a yellow/orange mixture in a massive wok.

Back in the 90s, whenever my mum would cook curry, she'd ask one of us kids to head to the back of the house to pluck some curry leaves from the pot. I would then go around, sniffing all the plants until I found one that reminded me of curry. I kid you not.

So you can imagine my delight when I saw a tree full of curry leaves in the farm. 

I asked my mum what one could do with curry leaves and she said that you could fry them with peanuts and anchovies. Add salt and sugar for flavour. It is a simple yet enticingly addictive entrĂ©e or party snack. Ma advised "not to eat too much" because it is high in cholesterol.

You can also make a beautiful curry dish using the essences of the curry leaves. And yes, I am about to impart to you my mum's easy curry recipe.

Marinate chicken with salt. Chop up small white and red onion and fry in a wok with oil. Side note: if you do not have a wok, pamper your tastebuds and buy yourself one. While you are there at the Oriental store, get a packet of curry powder. And a coconut cream powder packet. Santan (pronounced "sun-tun") is a Malay term for coconut milk.

Right, where were we? Fry the mix of onions until they are brown, add the chicken and also, potatoes followed by the curry and coconut powder (heat on high). And finally *drums roll* you can add the beautiful curry leaves. I am pretty sure you can buy the leaves at some stores.

Let it simmer on medium heat for about half an hour if you like your chicken a bit tough. If you prefer it tender, give it about an hour.

And when it is done, serve it with a bowl of rice. 

Red dish: Homemade belacan

By the way, my mum used to work as a hairdresser and I always ask ma to give me a haircut when I am back in Brunei. This time, she gave me a nice layered hairstyle and I am loving the length. Saved me AUD$70!

Right, I better go help my mum in the kitchen. Last I check, she was shelling prawns to make prawn crackers and I think she is mixing the ingredients now.

Till next time, happy feeding!

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