I decided to cook Malaysian lunch for a few Malaysian friends who live here in Hong Kong. Was thinking what to cook and decided that nasi lemak with curry will be great.
One of my husband’s favourite is Indian food and I have always wanted to try cooking that over these past few years. But every time I read the recipes, I just gave up cos of the list of spices to get. But recently, I’ve been into Indian food and I thought let’s try it then. I pushed myself to get all the spices I needed which was quite a lot and of course, refer to my favourite cook – Jamie Oliver. Actually if you have all those spices, the cooking part is really not that hard. I went through recipes and finally decided to make the Chicken Tikka Massala. However, I made slight modifications to the original recipe.
First, you need to make the masala paste. As I was cooking a few dishes for lunch, I prepared the paste a day before to save time. (Click here for original recipe)
Tikka Masala Paste
2 cloves of garlic
a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garam masala
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 fresh red chillies (I used chili padi)
a small bunch of fresh coriander (chinese parsley)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp ground almonds
2 tsp of mixed spices (cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds)
1. Peel the garlic and ginger
2. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds for toasting.
3. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.
4. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder.
5. When you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste. (As my food processer doesn’t grind finely when it’s too dry, I added a little bit of water)
Then, we can start cooking the Chicken Tikka Masala. This recipe was taken from Jamie’s Ministry of Food.
4 skinless chicken breasts (sliced into 2cm thick strips)
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 fresh red chili, finely sliced
a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, finely sliced
a small bunch of fresh coriander, pick the leaves and chop the stalks
a knob of butter
tikka masala paste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
a small handful of flaked almonds
1. Put a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the butter.
2. Add the onions, chilli, ginger and coriander stalks and cook for 10minutes, until softened and golden.
3. Add the tikka masala curry paste and the strips of chicken.
4. Stir well to coat everything with the paste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the tomatoes and the coconut milk.
6. Fill one of the empty tins with water, pour into the pan and stir again.
7. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
8. Check the curry regularly to make sure it’s not drying out and add extra water if necessary.
9. When the meat is tender and cooked, taste and add a bit more salt and pepper.
10. Before serving, sprinkle over the almonds and coriander leave and squeeze some lemon over it. (I did not add the yoghurt per the original recipe).