With a name like Curry Leaf Chicken, you would automatically assume this is an Indian Dish. However, you would never, ever find this dish in an Indian shop or restaurant. You WOULD however, find it in a CHINESE Restaurant! This is how Malaysian food has evolved with Chinese Cuisine borrowing from Indian as well as Malay cuisine - giving you a dish that is authentically and uniquely Malaysian.
The Lovely Wife and I both enjoy this dish and we order it rather often whenever we go out with family and friends for Chinese Food. Regular readers of my blog would know that The Lovely Wife has caught my disease of trying to replicate food that we have eaten outside in our own kitchen. She has become very succesful in not only replicating dishes without the aid of a cookbook, but doing even better than what we eat outside.
Getting Chinese Food to taste as good as you get outside is particularly difficult du to the high heat used and the heavy wok that distributes the heat so well - thus enabling the food to be cooked so fast. Most chinese shops also love to use MSG - Monosodium Glutamate - that although makes the food taste good, leaves a drying feeling in the mouth long after the meal has been consumed. That's another reason why home cooked food is always better!
This chicken dish is spicy, with loads of chilli padi (birds eye chilli) and even dried prawns to give it an added crunch and flavour!
This is what she did:
1 inch ginger
6 cloves garlic
2 big onion - sliced
400g Chicken Fillet - cut into strips
5 stalks curry leaves
10 birds eye chillis (chilli padi) - chopped finely
1 tsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
25 g dried prawns - soaked and pounded
1 Tbsp Honey (if needed)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Marinate chicken with salt and pepper. Blend together ginger and garlic then Sautee
in a little oil. Add onions, chilli powder, curry powder and cook well till fragrant. Add in curry leaves, chillies and prawns. Cook well and then add in chicken. Add a little water if needed. Keep stirring until chicken is cooked through and liquid is reduced. When half dry, add soya sauce and continue cooking till mixture is dry and the chicken is well coated. Add the honey if too spicy!
This dish goes really well with rice. She also served it with some Yau Mak that also happens to be my son's favourite vegetable dish. The Yau Mak goes really well as the oyster sauce and crunchy greens help to tone down the spiciness, or rather piquancy (is there such a word?) from the chillis.
A highly tasty and succesful replicating endeavour from The Lovely Wife. As has become the case of late when either one of us replicates something succesfully, the kids will pipe up - "Another dish that we dont have to eat outside anymore!"