Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Creamy Curry Chicken

Before that, a simple announcement:
Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends and I'll be away for the weekend, so no postings and I can't reply any urgent questions regarding my posts, if you're planning to try them during this holiday. Will be back in action on Monday

Here in Malaysia, within the Chinese community, there is a tradition of having a supper buffet the night before the wedding, be it the groom's side or the bride's side. Something like a bridal shower that involves a heck lot of people. People will be busy looking at pre wedding shots, looking at the wedding room(groom's house), looking at the gown (bride's house), chat chat chat, drink drink drink... all night long. It's real entertaining!!!

Unlike the wedding reception where only those invited are supposed to attend, like if the card names Mr X only , you're not supposed to bring your kids, and your aunts along. But you may do so for the supper buffet. Why? Because in Malaysia, there is a culture of giving monetary gifts for the wedding reception, and it depends on how many are attending. And the seats are limited. Some of our friends from the other ethnic groups jest by saying the Chinese buy tickets to attend wedding dinners. But for the supper buffet, No gifts are accepted so, no worries, just come.. anyone, any amount.

I was the cook for my brother's supper buffet. I did it all under RM500/300 pax. That was his budget that included paper cups and plates, and disposable cutlery.

The menu was :

4 types:

with 3 types of sauces
pork bolognese,
meat and mushroom gravy
curry chicken

Red bean and black glutinous rice sweet soup,
Bubur Chacha,

Orange Cordial, Chinese tea.

Mom's friend made some taro mantous for the night as well.
I just wanted to do something out of the norm that usually consist of fried noodles, curry chicken, fried chicken or fishballs, and sweet soups, and maybe some other kuih and snacks, and I spent only RM300/++

The guests came unexpected of the menu. They told my mom that they shouldn't have taken dinner beforehand (Because usually it's the expected stuff, it's a bit boring, you know, so better eat dinner before you come) . Everybody was eating their heart out, especially the curry chicken.

When it came to my pre- wedding supper buffet........ I became my own cook.

The menu was:
Pandan Coconut Rice (green nasi lemak, using basmathi rice)
Japanese Shortgrain Coconut Rice (yeah, this one sticks while the basmathi is fluffy, choose one :P)
Chili Squid Sambal, hard boiled eggs
Acar Rampai (Malay style pickled veggies)
Curry Chicken (This one cannot be missed out from the menu, as I got so many rave reviews during my brother's wedding)
Fried Hutou Vermicelli
Fragrant Glutinous Rice (with mushrooms, chinese sausages and dried shrimp)
Marbled Pudding
Water Chestnut Dessert (changed to Soy Barley in the end, because the chestnuts smell bad)
Taro Sago Dessert
Orange Cordial and Chinese Tea

You may say I'm crazy, to do my own pre-wedding supper buffet. I even got so many discouragements to do it. Argued with my mom on that day, and I shed a lot of tears because "somebody" kept saying I was looking for trouble instead of lending a hand, on that supper day itself, you know.. and I was so busy in the kitchen and that somebody was just mumbling away.
Well, I can't stand the regular menus that caterers can provide me. I'm sick of them. How can I serve them to the guests??? Call me picky, yes I am.

At the end of the day... I'm just glad that everybody loved the food, and I didn't have much leftovers.
You know how my guests eat the curry chicken this time???? I made a larger pot of it, and luckily we didn't bring all the curry out at once, they ate the curry by the platefuls. My mom looked in shock, it's like as if they were slurping curry. But it was humourous.

I was so tired out when everything was cleared up that I fainted in bed. Good thing, so that I don't need to anticipate the arrival of "day" looking at the ceiling. :)

Even after the wedding, at some other house parties, some do come up to me and said, hey, this curry is not as good as yours. Your curry chicken is my favourite.

Actually this curry is not difficult to make at all. It was a recreation of what I've tasted my my friend Yen Cher's house. My friends and I went to Kuantan for a short holiday and stayed at her house. Her mom cooked us a simple creamy curry chicken. I slowly savoured the curry, trying to think, how did she make it so nice.

Now, you don't need to slowly savour mine and dicipher the recipe, I'll give it to you, read on.

600gm (+/-50) chicken (I used 2 whole legs about this weight)
1 tsp salt
60gm shallots (about 4 rather large ones)
10gm garlic (2 large cloves)
1/4 cup oil, or sufficient oil to fry the aromatics, make sure it's not too dry, or else it won't be nice.
2 lemon grass (4 inch from base, lightly smashed) and some curry leaves (both are optional)
50gm chicken curry powder (1 small pack)
200ml Thick Coconut milk or milk extracted from 1 fruit
400gm Russet Potatoes, about 2 medium sized ones. Or any other floury potatoes.
Extra salt for seasoning

1. Chop the chicken into smaller pieces. Marinate with 1 tsp salt. Leave for 30 minutes.
2. Finely chop shallots and garlic, or you may use a food processor, but I don’t find that necessary.
3. Heat wok with oil. Put in chopped garlic and shallots, fry until slightly golden and fragrant.
4. Put in curry powder and fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Add in lemon grass and curry leaves now ( if using) and toss for a while.
5. Put in chicken and cook until the skin looks cooked. Put in2 or 3 tablespoons of the coconut cream (upper layer of the coconut milk) and cook until the milky colour disappears (the milk has turned to oil) Put in water to cover the chicken.
6. While the water is coming to a boil, peel and cut potatoes into chunks. Put them into the wok to cook with the chicken. Cover the wok. (Remember to stir them once a while as the spices tend to settle at the bottom and can get burnt)
7. Cook the curry until the potatoes soften and then reduce the gravy to desired amount.
8. Lastly pour in the remaining coconut milk. Bring to a boil and taste season with salt.
9. Remove from heat and dish up.

*Do not season anything with potatoes way too early. If not you will end up with a bland curry and extra salty potatoes.

This Curry Chicken is not spicy at all.  If you want to add some  heat to it, just add chilli powder or some ground  dried chillies into step (3)

This is a creamy curry chicken, with the creaminess derived from the melted russet potatoes and the coconut milk that is added at the end. It taste almost like Yeo's canned curry chicken, but Yeo's has candlenuts added in and mine doesn't.


  1. Oh mine.. this is great! Will definitely put this in my must-try-list. :) Thanks for sharing Wendy. Btw, really salute you for preparing your own pre-wedding buffet. Most of the brides at that time, will only care of their painted nail and ensure that their nails are not broken before the BIG day.. hehehe :)

  2. Lisa,
    I painted my nails that night itself, my cousin did it for me.

  3. Wow, RM300 for 300 person? You really done a very good job!

  4. Oh my goodness...Wendy, you are totally amazing! I would collapse under the pressure...haha. I'm sure all the guests went back happy and very full! I would have easily over eaten looking at the menu. Love your curry. Would be so good with the rice and vermicelli.....mmm

  5. Little Inbox,
    Actually you can see, I didn't make a lot of stuff also la...
    And my brother was in luck that pasta was on offer during the time I shopped, and they were going for less than RM3 per pack or 450gm. I quickly buy 16 packs.

    Haha, I planned everything properly, from which to cook first and which to cook last.
    I did quite a lot of prep work before the cooking day itself.

  6. Love your creamy curry chicken. My mom's style is the same as yours. Creamy and best dipped with bread.

  7. I love curry! And your pictures and description are making me drool. Now I will have to look for chicken curry for dinner. Haha.

  8. Your homemade curry looks very delicious! Make me hungry now, still too early to have my dinner :)
    You are real super woman! If one day you become business woman in food catering, you sure earn a lot of money :D

  9. You are a wonder woman, cooking on the eve of your big day! The greatest gift you got was that everyone went home that night contented with your curry.
    My girls love curry cooked this way and like you said, slurp up the gravy whenever I cook it.

  10. Yea, I know. It's actually unhealthy to eat like this (literally like binge eating) during such late hours at night. Oh, well ... I'd take those hours as an opportunity to catch up with my relatives.

    Wendy, I also cook my chicken curry in a similar way! Wah, we have quite a few similiarities! I love mine with gravy, creamy and thick. I dislike runny and thin gravy. Yuck!

    Hey, no worries! If I were you, I know it does sound disheartening, I wouldn't be bothered by all those words. Why?

    1. They sound superstitious.
    2. I love anything home-cooked and home-baked.
    3. I dislike the mentality of the people in our area: 愛面 (ngoi meen) and 驚輸 (geng shoo-ee).

    Yeap, I've heard that the bride isn't supposed to do anything (e.g. physically taxing work) before and on the days of her wedding. As if like she's supposed to stay calm and quiet, stay home and be a 乖女 or 淑女. BS lar ... I don't give a damn about it. I love the spirit of many Mat Saleh and Malay in which they help out among family members and friends by cooking up and baking up a storm for any wedding feasts. Hardly any caterers are hired!

    Let's say one day if my Big Day ever comes, I might as well do the same. It'd be especially fun when the fiance/husband helps out! Btw, who likes nagging!!?? I'm with you! Hey, at least your dishes at your pre-wedding buffet spread were so well received! Sadly, my cousin's will not be like yours. That's why I'm not quite motivated to go ... but only on the wedding day itself as I need to 敬茶. LOL!

  11. You cooked all the food for your pre-wedding buffet? Maybe I should call your superwoman :) You are right. Those catering food all look and taste the same. Homecooked ones are different. Taste better and much healthier too. Your curry reminds me of my mom's curry. Minimal ingredients but full of flavor.

  12. Mmm...sounds delicious!! I've never heard of this supper buffet but this sounds so interesting!! I totally understand why you catered for your own one =) And the menu sounds delicious too! I've never cooked for a large number of peolple (only four- my family) but I reckon this would be heaps of fun!! The recipe is surprisingly simple for such a good tasting curry =)

  13. Wendy, your brother is so lucky to have you here for him! haha... Saving him lots of $$$$$! I think the Chinese spent too much on their weddings, right! And also too many things to prepare. Very very tiring especially dinner time. The guests always an hour to 2 hours late! Terrible-lah!
    Regards, Kristy

  14. I agree with everyone - what a worker bee - wish I could have this for lunch

  15. My family (aka my wondermum) used to cook for buffet spreads at home during celebrations (like birthday or ... well birthdays) and I like the fact that we always have an awesome spread of food.
    But lately, we don't, oh but that's also because, we don't do birthdays and invite the whole clan anymore.

  16. I really like the idea of this supper buffet. And the way you cooked everything sounds great, I'd me more than happy to stuff my face with that chicken!

  17. Wendy, you are super woman! You go open a catering service (my mil best frd's daughter did and she is flirty rich now, her catering service is well known in Spore and expanded so fast that she opened a factory as well. She is staying in the bungalow @ Sentosa cove with a yacht, she is living like a 暴发户:P), you are really amazing.

  18. oh and Wendy, your curry chicken looks salivating, exactly the type of curry I love. I will serve myself a big bowl with lots of gravy, u know I drink gravy like soup too hahaha...

  19. Wow,I didn't know that there is the custom of pre-wedding supper... You cooked for 300 people all by yourself? That's amazing!

  20. Fabulous looking curry! I can think of so many ways of eating it!

  21. My air liur meleleh.. I like your recipe as it doesn't need so many spices. I cooked curry chicken once before, i got the recipe from my indian friend u know la indian curry need to put so many spices one..only recently i feel like want to try again but am looking for easy to cook it and now i got it from u. thks for sharing :o) but i think i will add dry chillies cos we love spicy.

  22. I love creamy curry chicken. Yours is just like my mum's. Hers not spicy at all and I can add many plates of rice just with her curry :p

  23. Wah, you are very good leh! Superwoman indeed! BTW, this curry chicken looks too good! Make sure you make this if we ever meet...I will bring the steam rice, lol! Thanks for the recipe. ;)

  24. Wow I must salute you! You are cooking for so many and on your pre-wedding day! I don't think I can ever do the same. :P

  25. Belly Good Cooking,
    thanks. Yayaya, with bread and it's super yummy.

    Hahaha, so, how was your curry chicken dinner?
    Craving satisfied?

    I mainly do mass cooking for the fun of it. And I will always volunteer for such events. I don't think I will ever do a catering business.

  26. Busygran,
    Yup, I'm so glad everyone went home with happy tummies.
    That's the best wedding gift that they brought me.

    No la, it's not because of superstitious la.
    It always out of concern for the bride.
    What if
    1. The bride cooks and accidently hot oil splashed on her??
    2. The bride does the deco for the wedding and falls from the chair or ladder??
    3. The bride runs errands all around town and got involved in an accident????
    Everybody was discouraging me out of concern, they do not want me to tire my self out nor do they want anything to happen to me. But that time all I wanted was help, peace and quiet instead of all the discouraging words. I almost wanted to throw my spatula on the table and said to those of no relations to me that were mumbling away, "Ok, you do it, I listen to you and don't want to cook oredi". But I don't want my mom to lose face, so I just kept quiet.

  27. Pei-Lin again,
    BTW, the hubby cannot help out one la, he has his own supper buffet over at his side. And what if ur future hubby's hometown is 200km away, he won't be able to come over one la.
    Eh, even the Malays one hoh, the bride dun do anything but pretty up herself. The bride gets pampered instead of get worked up.
    I am rather experienced with mass cooking, so I could plan out everything, the job sequence, the pots and pans usage so that I won't end up with nothing to keep the food, and prep work goes weeks before the real thing. A lot of thoughts and prep work goes into it.

  28. Gert,
    Yalor, sometimes, a simple dish taste better than something will so so many ingredients.
    Very sien hoh those caterer's stuff, and very very oily.

    Hahaha,oh yes it's fun, but planning and prep work is very important, if not, it'll be a total headache to get everything done.

    Haha, some places la, 2 hours late. So far Kampar is quite on time la, maximum 1 hour late start dinner.

  29. Jennifurla,
    I am only a bee when it comes to cooking ;)

    Swee San,
    Very fun hoh to do all this entertaining at home.

    Hahaha, oh don't stuff you face with it, it's spicy!!! Won't want to burn your preety face. hahahah!!!

    Jess Bakericous,
    Hahaha, no la, I won't be a caterer lor. Too much work for me oredi. Hahahha.
    Yeah, this type of curry will be very suitable for you to lick with plate clean.

  30. Shirley,
    Hahaha, that time my brother still had a maid to help out with the cleaning. Some family members did help out a bit with this and that, but I was the one with the stove and wok la.
    I won't be able to clean and do everything 100% by myself.

  31. 3 hungry tummies,
    Name me the ways, then maybe I can try it out too :)

    Jes's Deli Corner,
    Yalor, I'm very lazy to use lots of spices for my curry too. If I'm a bit more rajin, I'll grind some chillies too.

    Hehehe, actually it's pretty common and simple and nice :)

  32. Bee,
    Haha, and when will that be?

    wow, like that meh??? no need la, hahaha.

    Hehehe, I enjoyed it alot, but tiring lor.

  33. I haven't found one curry chicken that I don't enjoy...yours looks mouthwatering!

  34. That's why I always marvel at all your bakes and cooking...and I'll always remember how you made those 300 (I think) mango konyakus for my
    Chinese Language Society''s Hari Usahawan Sale in PESS...You are just too systematically SUPER!!

  35. Wendy
    thanks for sharing this recipe. Thumbs up. I have book mark this for so long and got it try today. My gravy did not turn out as creamy as yours.. probably added too much of the water. But still its nice =) !

  36. Hi Wendy, this curry is very delicious. I've cooked it twice already. Mine comes out yellow in color, unlike yours, very nice color.

  37. Dear Wendy, yesterday i have made my very first curry chicken with your recipe and everyone in the family love it! Even the children kept asking for more :D Thank you very much for your generous sharing of great recipes!

  38. delia,
    I think it's due to the curry powder.
    I'm using Baba's brand. Some brands are more yellowish due to lower chilli powder content

    Kah Chin,
    It's mild enough for your kids? Or is it your kids can be 'hot", hehehe.
    Thanks for the feedback

  39. Hi Wendy, I made this Chicken curry ystd & my 2 boys (5years & 3years) just love it. They finish their rice without single comment. I reduce the curry powder intake (as they can't take hot food) & substitude the coconut milk with Ideal milk, yet the curry was superb... Thks for sharing

  40. Hi wendy, what brand of the chicken curry powder you recommend? I bought meat.curry powder for my curry puff last time but it taste too strong n salty.

  41. vianice,
    I usually use Babas and sometimes I will use Alagappas. Previously I've used Adabi before, works just as good

  42. Hi Wendy, I followed your creamy curry chicken recipe and it turned out great!! Really appreciate your sharing. Thank you.

  43. Hi Wendy, may i know how do you keep the spaghetti moist throughtout the party?

  44. Joo Joo,
    Keep it in a pot covered, and lightly oil the spagetti. I used garlic oil.


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