There is no fire like passion, No crime like hatred, No sorrow like separation, No sickness like hunger, And no joy like the joy of freedom. Buddha Dhammapada.

The fragrance of sandalwood and rosebay, Does not travel far. But the fragrance of virtue, Rises to the heavens. Buddha Dhammapada.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Khmer Chicken Curry (Curry Sarch Mann)

There are many kinds of curry and it makes little different taste by different countries.We know that curry is originally from India, and by the culture influence, the curry has become one of our Khmer national dishes and since then it was adapted by other countries in the same region. Khmer curry might be not exactly same like Indian curry but more closer to Thai curry. For Cambodians, curry is a very special food and is cooked only for special event or occasion only, for example on Khmer New Year, Pchum Ben or a special day. And by the traditional and local way, to cook curry takes longer time as we have to make our own fresh curry paste from fresh Lemongrass, Turmeric, Kaffir Lime leaf, Garlic, Shallot…etc before cooking, even such peanuts are used in the curry paste as well (I remember when my mother told me to grind and mix all those lemongrass, turmeric…with our heavy stone mortar & pestle; I was very lazy to do it as it took like 30minutes to get all of them ground & mixed well together, and when finished my hands were yellow color - it took a few days to get the color gone from my hands). We even have to make and take the milk from the coconut. So it’s a long process to get all done. And we never cook for a few portions but with a big pot which could serve 10people or enough to eat for 2-3days. This is a story of curry from my experience. But since there is ready-made-curry-paste is available, I never want to think of making my own paste anymore. Curry can be cooked with many kinds of meat such as beef, chicken or pork. But the fast recipe is chicken because chicken is tender, - no need to cook longer time like beef or pork. And as I have mentioned in my note that I don’t use fish sauce in my recipe while the local taste needs to use fish sauce and shrimp paste extra for cooking; however, you will find out that it’s also great and delicious without using stinky fish sauce and shrimp paste even more healthier for sure.

Recipe for One Portion:
Ingredients: 200g of Chicken thigh boneless and skinless (or chicken breast), 1 mid size of Potato, 1 mid size of Onion, 1/2of mid size of Eggplant, 400ml of Coconut Milk, 100ml of Low Fat Milk, 2sp of Oil, 1sp of Red Curry Paste, 2 + ½ tsp of Sugar and 1 + ½ tsp of Salt.

1. Slice chicken into small pieces, peel and chop potato and onion into small pieces. Chop eggplant into small pieces as in the picture, do not need to peel the skin.
2. Heat up pot and pure oil then put red curry paste to fry for 1minute. After that put chicken to fry for another 1minute. Then pure coconut milk, low fat milk and chopped potato in and mix them well together, after that cover and cook for 5minutes.

3. After 5minutes, open and start to put sugar and salt in. Stir it well little bit, then put chopped onion and eggplant. Cover and cook around 10minutes. Add extra salt or sugar up to favorite, then ready to serve with Steamed Rice.

Note: Red Curry Paste is spicy so do not need to put extra red chili.

Language Tip = English =) Khmer
Chicken = Sarch Mann
Coconut = Dong
Coconut Milk = Kti Dong
Delicious = Chha nanh
Lemon Grass = Sleuk Krie
Milk = Teuk Dess Ko
Special = Pi Sess
Stinky = Sar Ouy