An easy and delicious, one-pot chicken curry meal that will tantalize your tastebuds.
Recently at our Friday fellowship, we celebrated a birthday by having a potluck. Most times, on our regular Friday nights, we end the night with some food but mostly it’s bought food like kolo mee, cakes and snacks. But whenever we have a celebration potluck, we all try to bring something home-cooked. It’s a good time of sharing and also a good time of discovering new foods.
One of our friends brought a curry with her. Now, whenever there is curry, there is a swarm of people ready to eat it. Just make sure you have enough rice, and there is no stopping the carnage.
This time, our friend WC, made assam (tamarind) curry chicken. I’ve never had assam curry chicken before, always associating assam curries with fish or seafood so I had no idea how good it would be. Well, let me tell you, it was delicious! And according to WC, who is also a working mom, it was pretty easy. Well, easy is one thing that I can do with these days, so my ears perked up, and I got her to tell me how she made it.
And of course, in the tradition of all Malaysian cooking, it was a non-measured recipe. She told me that she could give me approximations of what she used and I said that was fine. I would go home and figure it out myself. And so as we sat down to eat, Nate whipped out his Blackberry and took notes of the ingredients as she recited it to us.
That weekend, I bought all the ingredients I would need to make it and set out to cook it for a mid-week dinner. And it was easy to make and the best part was that my kids LOVED it and devoured it just as quickly as the adults did. And it made so much that Nate and I had enough to take to lunch the next day!
Assam Curry Chicken
Prep time: 30 minutes, Cook time: 45 minutes
2 kg chicken, chopped into 16-20 pieces
2 Tbsp Madras curry powder
2 tsp salt
5 stalks lemongrass (only the last 6 inches), bruised
Watch Brand Madras Curry Powder
4-7 (Malaysian red chillies are not very spicy so use your chillies based on your heat tolerance), cut into big pieces, seeds removed
6-7 shallots, peeled and rough chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and rough chopped
For the curry:
250 g sour tamarind paste (the packet with seeds) mixed with 3 cups water and strained of pulp and seed
2-3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp Madras curry powder
salt to taste
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Marinate your chicken with 2 Tbsp curry powder, 2 tsp salt, and the stalks of lemongrass. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Cook the curry: Heat up a large work or sauté pan. Add the vegetable oil and let that heat up. Next, add in the blended spices and stir that around on medium low heat. Don’t let the spices burn. Continue to sauté for about 2-4 minutes or until you can smell the aroma of the spices coming through.
- Add the chicken along with any marinate and lemongrass into the cooked spices and stir over medium high heat. Turn chicken around every so often until chicken pieces have become opaque, about 5-7 minutes.
- Pour strained tamarind juices into the wok with the chicken. Turn heat up to high and let juices come to a boil. Add 3 Tbsp more of curry powder. Once it has come to a boil, stir and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Add sugar and salt to taste. Stir and simmer again for another 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Serve assam chicken over plenty of rice.
Assam Curry Chicken
If I had thought it through even more carefully, I could have added some other vegetables to the curry and it would have been a one-pot meal! Next time, I’ll remember to add some long beans, eggplant and okra when I’m cooking this (all vegetables that I would add to fish assam curry so why not into chicken?).
So thank you WC for the yummy recipe! I can’t wait for you to share more of your food with us at the next potluck.
Other curry recipes using tamarind:
Assamese Sour Fish Curry on Rosa’s Yummy Yums
Assam Pedas Fish on Rasa Malaysia
Chicken Curry with Tamarind on Live.to.Eat
Pineapple Shrimp Curry on The Perfect Pantry
Assam Curry Stingray Tail on Kong-Kay