Tag Archives: star anise

malaysian chicken curry

20 Nov

I have eaten one too many curried sweet potato soups in my day and I’m tired of curry powder.  I’m sick of it.  I never want to see it again.  I haven’t used it in years because it’s so… bleh.

Thankfully, my friend introduced me to Malaysian curry powder (thanks Stacey…) and it has renewed my faith in dried curry spice blends.  It’s just better in every way than your average curry powder.

If you’re in Toronto you can buy it at this fantastic store in Kensington.  They have everything you need and more when it comes to spices and exotic sauces plus they’re super friendly and helpful.  If you are unable to find Malaysian curry powder you can just substitute the same amount of turmeric, it’s what the original recipe I used calls for.

You can get the original Gordon Ramsay recipe I used here but I’ve written down the recipe as I ended up making it.  I made a few changes: took the seeds out of most of the chilies (because I’m a pansy), used whole chicken legs (because I’m lazy), used green onion instead of lemongrass in the curry paste (because they didn’t have lemongrass at the store that day), also I added potato (because potato!!).

Maybe I probably changed / forgot other things too.

It’s fine.  Tastes good.

P.S. I used Thai bird chilies for my curry, and I cut them up, and I didn’t wear gloves, and my hands were burning for the next two days.  Wear some rubber gloves or something, ok?  I forget every time.  Learn from my mistakes.

Serves 6 as a main dish with rice.

malaysian chicken curry

from Gordon Ramsay

ingredients

for curry paste

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 red chilies, seeds removed from all but one, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp Malaysian curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • olive oil

for curry

  • 4 whole chicken legs, skin removed
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp Malaysian curry powder (or turmeric)
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 400 ml  coconut milk
  • 1/2 c water or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 large handfuls green beans, tipped and tailed
  • 3 small potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • cilantro

preparation

In a blender or using a mortar and pestle combine garlic, chilies, green onion, ginger, shallots, curry powder and salt.  Blend, adding olive oil until it becomes a smooth paste.

In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat.  Add the curry paste along with 2 tsp curry powder for a minute – until fragrant.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes – until soft.  Add chicken legs.  Turn to coat in curry paste.

Add kaffir lime leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, coconut milk, water / stock, soy and fish sauce and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a low simmer, add potato and let cook gently for 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove chicken legs and use two forks to pull the meat from the bone.  It should pull away easily into manageable chunks.  Return the meat to the curry along with the green beans and simmer for a few moe minutes – until beans are just tender.

Serve over plain basmati rice, or rice and peas, topped with cilantro leaves.

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plum + cherry yoghurt cake

12 Aug

So I made panna cotta from a recipe I had used before (successfully, I might add) but made the mistake of trying to transport it to a friend’s house before it was fully set.  It ended up being less of a dessert and more of a sloppy yoghurt and cream mess.  But was I discouraged?  Nay!  I soldiered on.  I brought that mess home with me and used it, along with the compote I had made to serve with it, to make a cake.

It turned out moist and yummy and not too sweet (so it makes a good breakfast?  yes.)

You see sometimes, when a genius gets impatient and makes a mess of things, it turns into a tasty cake…

plum + cherry yoghurt cake

ingredients

compote

  • 4-5 plums
  • 2 large handfuls fresh cherries (or 2-3 extra plums if cherries aren’t in season)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract – real stuff not synthetic, it makes a big difference here)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise

cake

  • 4 tbsp butter, at room temp.
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c plain greek yoghurt (I particularly like Liberté Mediterranean)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 c flour

preparation

compote

Cut the plums in half, remove pits, and cut each half into 4-6 chunks.  Put plums along with pitted cherries in a large saucepan along with sugar, star anise and cinnamon and turn heat to medium.  Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds into the saucepan then add the pod.

Once the fruit starts to bubble turn heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until the fruit is soft enough to mash easily with back of a spoon.

Let it cool and it can be refrigerated up to 3 days.  Any extra compote left after the cake is made is delicious on ice cream or yoghurt.

cake

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter and sugar.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth.  Whisk in baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in flour (in three parts) alternating with yoghurt (in two parts) until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ cake pan.  Place about 1/4 cup of compote in the center of each quarter of the cake (about 1 cup total) and swirl it in and around the batter with a spoon so there are ribbons of fruit throughout but it’s not fully combined.

Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.