How To Make Bomb AF Curry From Scratch
What keeps you awake at night?
Your rumbling tummy? Your own loud thoughts? Missing home? Your annoying intermittent wifi connection??
For my friend, it was the smell of strong curry wafting from her neighbour's kitchen into her bedroom, every other night. Some people bake at odd hours to escape stress, and so, just like my friend's neighbour, I could understand the late night inspiration to pound the wok.
I mean, have you ever been so bored out of your eyeballs that you just want to bust out and do something exciting? It's at those times that I get a whiff of inspiration to Eggsperiment!
I'm so glad I did because I found a way to make bomb AF curry with two very IMPORTANT TIPS:
1. Master The Fire
2. Balance The Curry Paste
Firstly, flavour the oil with spices like cinnamon stick, cardamom, star anise and some cloves.
(If you can't see cloves don't worry, they ain't here, your eyes are fine. I added cloves later because I think they should not be omitted.)
When the spices release their fragrance, add chopped onions into the wok.
Please take note that should you ever blitz the onions, do not grind them to fine paste. Keep them in their original form, in smaller chunks because what you want to do is to use high heat to coax the natural oils and fragrance from the onions. Remember, start with medium heat to temper the spices then turn the flame up and use high heat to fry the onions.
Haaah... next comes my favourite.. ginger garlic paste. I am not sure how other people like it, but I like my paste more gingery than garlicky. So my eyeball ratio of ginger to garlic is 5:1.
When the paste dries, keep adding water and watch it sizzle, you're on the right track. Do this over and over again and you will see that the aromatics are combining to form a paste.
See...it's on its way to becoming a bomb AF curry now. Add curry leaves; followed by chilli, curry, cumin, turmeric and coriander powders. Then add a few cracks of black pepper and salt.
Do a taste test. Here are some tips for balancing:
Add sugar by tiny pinches if it's not caramelized or sweet enough (natural sweetness is imparted by cardamom and onions but you can correct taste this way)
Add cumin by quarter teaspoons if the curry is not pungent enough
Add a dash of turmeric if it's not fragrant enough
Taste it again, are you happy? If yes, proceed to the next step.
Now lay down the chicken pieces you have been marinating. Best to let them marinate about an hour in buttermilk, paprika, salt, white pepper, onion and turmeric powder.
Add more curry leaves into the curry and turn the heat down to medium flame.
Let it cook for 30 minutes.
Let me know if you like this recipe.
Best part of the paste is that you can tailor it however you want and evolve it into other recipes. Find out how I evolved it into a Seafood Noodles Curry here.
Recipe serves 2-4
Prep time: 1 hour (including marination)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
4 chicken legs, approx 1kg+ (marinate in buttermilk, paprika, salt, white pepper, onion powder, turmeric) 4 onions, blitzed to coarse pieces 3 tbsp ginger garlic blitzed to paste (I like mine to have mostly ginger with a little bit of garlic cloves) 1 cinnamon stick 2 star anise 2 cloves 1 tbsp cardamom pods 2 - 3 tsp curry powder 3 tsp coriander powder 2 tsp cumin powder A few cracks of grounded black pepper 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 2 tsp chilli powder 7-8 sprigs curry leaves Salt and sugar to taste