This curry is extra tasty, and I have made the actual curry paste myself, instead of using a bought one. This was really quite easy and meant there were no preservatives or other "nasties" in it.
The coconut gives it an extra nice flavour, and it was even nicer heated up the second day when all the flavours had gone through the meals.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus 30 minutes draining time
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients For the curry 25 g flaked or desiccated coconut
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
1 tsp ginger
½ tbsp chilli flakes
½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cardamon powder
½ tbsp cold water
500 g chicken thighs (trimmed of fat), sliced into bite sized pieces
250 ml coconut cream
1 whole star anise
1 small (or ½) cinnamon stick
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp tamarind puree
1 tbsp coconut sugar
For the spicy rice 1 cup rice
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil
1 large shallot, finely sliced
½ tsp cardamon powder
½ piece cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
About 6 whole peppercorns
¼ tsp turmeric
3 tbsp cashew pieces
6 dried curry leaves
¾ tsp mustard
1 chilli or 4 small dried ones, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander -to decorate
2 tbsp coconut, to decorate (optional)
Method For the rice
Make the rice first as this takes the longest to cook, and the curry can be started shortly after the rice is underway.
Rinse the rice well and leave to drain for about 30 minutes.
Heat half of the butter and oil and fry the shallots with the cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, and peppercorns. Keep stirring.
Add the turmeric and rice and cook, stirring until the grains are coated.
Add 2 cups of hot water with some salt (this recipe needs the salt) and stir well. Bring to the boil and cover.
Turn the heat to as low as possible and cook for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another small pan, heat the remaining butter and oil and fry the cashews until they are brown. Take them out of the pan with a slotted spoon, to leave the oil in the pan.
Fry the curry leaves, chillies and mustard for a minute or until it is fragrant.
Uncover the rice, and pour the fried mixture over the rice, mixing it gently.
Put some rice onto a serving plate, and top with the browned cashews, chopped coriander leaves and coconut (optional).
A delicious rice which could easily be eaten as a meal with a salad or vegetables.
For the chicken curry
Heat a bit of oil in a wok and stir fry the coconut for about 3 minutes or until it goes a golden colour.
Take it out of the pan, leaving the oil in the wok.
In a food processor/blender, blend the garlic, shallot, coriander, ginger, chilli flakes, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom and water. Blend until it forms a paste.
Home made curry paste
Heat the oil again in the wok over a medium heat and add the curry mixture. Cook this until it is aromatic.
Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for about 5 minutes or until well mixed.
Add the coconut cream, cinnamon, star anise and the salt.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Add the tamarind puree, sugar, half of the coconut, and mix until well combined.
Put this either on top of, or next to the spicy rice and top it with the balance of the browned coconut - it is nicer on top of the rice as the curry paste also soaks into the rice.