Saturday, August 2, 2014

Burmese-style "Dry Curry" with Chicken

The reason this is called a "dry curry" is because it is cooked until the liquid in it is nearly all evaporated. With this, it's the coconut milk, that is reduced until it's very thick and the oil in it has started to separate. The traditional way to cook this requires a lot of ingredients that I rarely, if ever, have on hand like garam masala. I know it's probably easy to make my own and even easier to just buy it already made but, hey, I'm lazy and cheap so I have to be more creative with the ingredients. One ingredient that I do manage to always have on hand is Maesri Red Curry paste. It come in little 40z. cans and I tend to use about a teaspoon at a time and it keeps for a long time in the fridge. That having been said, my version of this doesn't have any garam masala but it does have some of the ingredients in it only because I just happen to have them around fairly often.

about 2-3 tbls. minced garlic, fresh or from a jar
1-2 tbls. minced fresh ginger
2-3 tbls. vegetable oil 
1 lg, onion, sliced or cut into chunks
1 tbls. hot paprika
red pepper flakes to taste
about a tsp. Sichuan peppercorns
1 lb. boneless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks
1 can of coconut milk (not Coco Lopez!)
1/4 cup of raisins
1 tbl. sugar
2 tbls. nam pla (fish sauce)
1-2 tbls. soy sauce
2 or 3 pieces of dried galanga

I use my non-stick skillet for this because, if  I use my cast iron one, I have to season it all over again and ain't nobody got time for dat!
So, heat the oil over medium heat until it's pretty hot. Add the onion, curry paste, peppercorn, garlic and ginger and cook slowly, stirring to keep it from burning, until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often to coat it and brown it a little. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, raisins and galanga. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring often to keep it from burning, until the coconut milk is reduced until it's very thick and the oil starts to separate from it. Done! 

Serve with lime wedges, Thai basil leaves, cucumber slices, hot pepper slices, carrot curls, or any crunchy fresh veggie over hot rice.

Note: This may be very spicy to some people (wussies!) so add the paprika, chilies, peppercorns, etc., to your particular taste. Beef, pork or, I guess, shrimp can also be used but be aware that thinly sliced meat or shrimp will cook pretty fast so add that stuff when the sauce has reduced to about half.

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