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The Curry Kapitan served on a plate for our lunch. (8 July, 2017)
Today my wife makes Curry Kapitan. You can get a recipe for it from this book, Nonya Flavours, A complete guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine, jointly published by The State Chinese (Penang) Association and Star Publications (M) Bhd, page 102. My wife's recipe below is the "agak-agak version" of the book's recipe. I say this because my wife has a tendency for not measuring anything. She simply picks whatever is available and toss them in with casual abandance.
Ingredients for my wife's Curry Kapitan
- 6 chicken thigh (about 1.5 kg)
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- enough oil for frying
For Sautéing with Spice Paste
- two big onions, sliced thinly
The Spice Paste
- 20 dried chillies, cut and soak in hot water until soft
- 9 fresh red chillies (if you want extra hot, add bird-eye chilli too)
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 30 medium-size shallots
- 3 cm fresh turmeric
- 3 cm ginger
- 3 cm galangal
- 6 stalks of lemongrass
- 10 candlenuts
- 3 cm x 3 cm x 1 cm of belacan
To be added when cooking
- RM3 (Aug 2017, Penang) worth of coconut milk
- 10 freshly plucked kaffir lime leaves
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- salt and sugar to taste
- 3 tablespoons or more of lime juice
First of all, marinate your chicken thighs with the turmeric powder and salt for at least two hours. We worked on this as soon as we returned from the Jelutong Market this morning. After that, you deep fry the chicken in hot oil until it is brown. Then remove them from the wok and put aside.
Create the spice paste by grinding the shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, turmeric, candlenuts, lemongrass, the soaked red chillies and belacan. (If you can, toast the belacan to bring out its aroma.)
Next, add cooking oil in the wok and sauté the onions and the spice paste until fragrant. Next, add in the chicken and cook over medium flame for about 5-7 minutes. Add the kaffir lime leaves as you stir the chilli paste, to release the aroma of the leaves. Then add the coconut milk and brown sugar, and continue to cook until the chilli paste releases its oil (that's called "pecah minyak").
I took a photograph of it in the work at this moment.
Finally, add lime juice, mix well, and it's ready to be served as our lunch today. My wife scooped up enough chicken for the two of us to have with bread, while the balance she puts into a black claypot.
My wife's Curry Kapitan while still in the wok (8 July, 2017)
The Curry Kapitan in a black claypot (8 July, 2017)
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