Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Kurma ayam

This recipe is for chicken kurma but beef can be substituted. Chicken takes 1 hour to cook. Beef takes a longer time to cook.

1 kg fresh chicken (cut into 8 pieces and clean; use half kg if less people)
4 medium potatoes
1 carrot (can omit)
1-2 small-medium tomatoes (can omit)
1 large white onion
2 cloves garlic
1 slice ginger
1 stalk lemon grass (serai)
1 tumeric leaf (daun kunyit)
3 stalks coriander (daun ketumbar)
3 stalks small celery (daun sup)
1 asam keping
3 small pieces star anise (3 kelopak bunga lawang)
3 pieces cloves (3 bunga cengkih)
1" cinnamon (kulit kayu manis)
2 cardamom pods (buah pelaga)
2 small shallots (bawang merah kecil) & 1 garlic - slice and fry for decor
3 tablespoonful cooking oil
hot boiling water
1 packet santan (can omit)
a little bit Knorr or Maggi flavouring (can omit)
1 small packet Adabi kurma (any brand will do; can also mix with a little curry powder for pedas)

1 big pot
1 wooden ladle (senduk kayu)

Cut chicken into small pieces and wash, strain off excess water and blood.
Chop large onion & slice garlic.
Heat pot, add oil and fry chopped large onion, sliced garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, serai & daun kunyit.
Fry till onion & garlic are golden and fragrant.
Add dry kurma spices and stir (can also premix the kurma spices with water and add that).
Add water to avoid kurma spices from burning (nanti bau hangis & rasa pahit). Stir.
Let spices cook for 5-10 minutes till it becomes fragrant (tak rasa mentah & cepat basi).

Add santan and stir (can use 1 packet or half packet or omit).
Let santan cook (boil) once before adding chicken or salt. 

Add chicken pieces and stir. Add hot boiling water to cover all chicken pieces. (Do not use cold water.)
Let chicken pieces cook. Stir and top up with hot boiling water to cover chicken pieces. Repeat adding hot water till chicken pieces are almost done (almost cooked but not over cooked).

Add salt. (Do not add salt at the beginning when cooking chicken at it will make the chicken stiff and very salty. Chicken cooks faster and tastes better when cooked without salt - but add the salt later when chicken is almost cooked, add salt 5-10 minutes before adding potatoes. Do not forget to add salt.)

Peel potatoes and soak in water.
Cut each potato into 8 pieces (cut each piece into half till you get 8 pieces).
Clean a cut carrot into 1" long pieces.
Clean and cut each tomato into 4 pieces.
When chicken is almost cooked, add potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, celery, green chili, daun ketumbar, daun sup and asam keping.
Adjust salt to taste

Timing when to add salt is very important - know that potatoes absorb a lot of salt and water; chicken pieces absorb salt if there are no potatoes. Potatoes may turn out salty while chicken has no taste.
Do not add too much salt as potatoes are salty even though the gravy is not salty (kuah memang tak masin tapi ubi dah masin).

If kurma is too salty, add more hot water and do not dry down the gravy.

Let potatoes cook for 10 minutes.
Cooking time for potatoes will vary according to variety. Some potatoes take a long time to cook while many varieties cook within 10 minutes.
Pierce a piece of potato with a fork to check if it is cooked.
Switch off the fire when potatoes are done (cooked).
Dish out kurma into a big flat bowl and top with fried onion & garlic, chopped celery, etc.
Serve hot with rice.
Bon appetite!