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Cookery: Far East curries

16 June 2009

by Deanna Baynes

MOST people have tried Indian, Thai, and even Malayan curries, but not Cambodian. In this recipe I am using chicken, but I have given a vegetarian option as well.

Cambodian yellow chicken curry
(serves six)

Basic sauce, blend together:

zest of 2 limes

3 lemon-grass stalks

2 medium onions, chopped

100g (3½oz) peanuts, dry-roasted till brown and crushed

1 flat dessertspoon turmeric

6 cloves garlic, 5cm (2in.) ginger, peeled and chopped, large redchilli,

all puréed with

1 dessertspoon sunflower oil

Blend all ingredients together.

For the curry:

1 × 1.5kg (3½lb) whole chicken, jointed

1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 medium onion, diced

400ml (14 fl oz) coconut milk

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 dessertspoon honey

250ml (8fl oz) chicken stock

salt and pepper

Heat the oil and ghee together, then add the onion. When translucent, throw in the chicken pieces until they brown. Stir in the curry sauce, then the stock, soy sauce, coconut milk, and honey, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Serve this with coconut rice:

Coconut rice

450g (1 lb) Basmati rice


400ml (¾ pint) coconut milk

½ onion, roughly chopped

salt to taste

Wash the rice and rinse eight times, put into a saucepan and pour in the coconut milk — it will cover the rice. Add 5cm (2in.) boiling water, heat until it comes to the boil, and add the onion. After 2 minutes turn off the heat, cover. After ten minutes un­cover, stir, and season with salt.

Vegetable curry (instead of chicken, use the following):

350g (12 ozs) sweet potato, peeled and diced 5cm (2in.)

115g (4 ozs) aubergine, diced 5cm (2in.)

350g (12 oz) cauliflower, divided into florets and blanched for 2 minutes

1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and diced 5cm (2in.)

sunflower oil

Blanch the cauliflower. Have two trays ready with greaseproof paper: lay the aubergine on one, and the butter­nut squash and sweet potato on the other. Sprinkle one dessert­spoon of the oil on the aubergine, and two on the squash and sweet potato. Put them into the oven at 190°C/375°F/Gas 5; bake the tray of aubergine for 20 minutes, and the other tray for 45 minutes. Using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, make your curry sauce, and gently lift in the vegetables, including the cauliflower.

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