Friday, May 28, 2010
Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)
Almost every country in Asia has it's own version of chicken curry (or curries) and Vietnam is no exception. Vietnamese curry is relatively mild (and unknown) compared to it's Indian, Thai or Malaysian counterparts but extremely fragrant and full of flavours no less. I first cooked this curry a decade ago using a recipe from 'Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table' and fell in love with it right away. Now I am able to cook this dish with my eyes shut, well....... almost. I recently tried goat curry served with baguette at a Vietnamese eating place and I think that too might be appearing on our table soon.
P.S Try using a selection of different sweet potatoes in the dish to add even more colour and texture to this beautiful dish.
serves 4 to 6 as part of a Vietnamese meal
1 x 1.25 kg free range chicken*
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 onion, cut into wedges
5 tbs of Vietnamese curry powder
3 tbs of roasted chili flakes
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemongrass, cut into 3" lengths and bruised with a hard object
2" piece of ginger, sliced thickly
3 kaffir lime leaves or bay leaves
1.5 cups of chicken stock
800 ml of coconut milk
3 tbs of sugar
4 tbs of fish sauce
salt to taste
spring onion, coriander leaves and Thai basil to serve
* Use chicken thighs if you are not comfortable chopping up a whole chicken.
Mix chicken pieces with 3 tbs of the curry powder and a pinch of salt. Leave it for 20 minutes.
Have all the ingredients ready.
Saute chopped garlic, shallot, curry powder and chili flakes for 30 seconds then add in the chicken pieces. Continue to stir and cook for a few minutes on high heat.
Add lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, seasonings and stock. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.
Next in go the coconut milk and bring it back to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Add sweet potato and onion wedges and simmer uncovered til sweet potato pieces are tender. Check for seasonings.
Serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice or some French baguette.
Remember to check my equally delicious Vietnamese goat curry.