2 large onions
1 bulb of garlic
Green chilies (number varies on how spicy you can take it!)
Notes before cooking:
1) The key to making any real Asian dish is to cook it for at least 3 hours, which requires a great deal of dedication from the chef. You cannot make a good curry in 20 minutes, whether it be a Sri Lankan curry or Thai or whatever. Anyone who tells you otherwise is ignorant about Asian kitchen traditions. The spices need time to infuse and without the hours of cooking your curry will taste weak. If you do not have the minimum three hours then do not even attempt this dish.
2) Never add water to your curry! Never! Never! If you cook the curry properly there will be no need to add water. The chicken and the onions will reduce to make the sauce. If you must add liquid, only add a little bit of coconut milk or add another onion. The curry sauce will form naturally. If you need to deglaze your cooking pan during the roasting of the curry powder and onions stage, then you can add minute tablespoons of water, but add them very slowly to give the juices time to work their way out.
3) Never add dry powder to the curry after you have started cooking! Never! Never! Decide how spicy the curry will be and roast all of your spices together at the beginning with the onions and a splash of olive oil. If you decide later on that you want the curry to be more spicy or you didn’t add enough curry, just leave it alone! Or add another green chili. Adding curry powder once the curry has begun cooking in earnest will make a grainy and clumpy sauce. Yuck.
4) Read the above three points once more and make sure they sink in before you continue.
Preparing the Curry:
Slice the onions lengthwise into thin slices. Add them to the pot with the peeled bulb of garlic. Decide how much curry powder you will add. If your curry powder is yellow in color, it means it has no chili in it and you should add the green chilies as well as some red chili powder. If you do not want your curry to be that spicy then skip adding the chili. I usually add about a heaping tablespoon of extra hot curry powder to my curries and green chilies and extra red chili powder…
*Note: Curry powder is usually a combination of spices, unless you have the curry leaves themselves or pure curry powder. You can experiment and add more of already existing spices into your curry. The curry powder most readily available will have curry, cloves, cinnamon, anise, cardamon, black pepper, red chilli, nutmeg, cumin and others already in it. You can alter the taste of your curry by adding more of these spices to your pre-made curry powder. I like adding more cinnamon and black pepper.
Once you have your spices, onions, and garlic in the pot with the little bit of oil, heat them on a high flame while stirring to distribute the spices throughout. When the onions begin to reduce, the spices are distributed evenly, and you can smell the roasting scent of the spices, add the meat and continue to stir to make sure the spices are distributed evenly over the meat. Continue to stir the meat, spices and onion mix on a high heat until the meat is cooked on the surface with the spices.
Lower the heat and cover the curry to simmer. The next hour is crucial for your curry. After covering, you must stir the curry every 10 minutes or so in order to prevent the curry from sticking to the bottom and burning. When stirring, do it quickly so that you don’t lose a lot of steam which will end up becoming your sauce. You should notice after about 30 minutes that the sauce is beginning to form at the bottom.
Leave the curry on a low flame to simmer for about three hours. Once the sauce has formed, you only need to stir it occasionally and very carefully as the meet will get so tender it will begin to fall off the bone in curried deliciousness.
Depending on what time you eat dinner, it is good to make the curry early in the afternoon so that the cooked curry can sit for a few hours before you eat it. Reheat it gently and serve. If you have leftovers, you will notice how much better the curry tastes the next day so if you are a real planner, make the curry the day before and keep it refrigerated overnight. Sooo yummy.
Lately I have been adding a large eggplant, cubed, after the first hour of cooking. The eggplant thickens the sauce and gives a lovely added flavour.
Serve with rice and plain yogurt in case it is too spicy. Enjoy!!!
How to (properly) make rice:
Two cups of water for every one cup of rice. Add the rice and water and cook on a high flame until boiling. Reduce to simmer and cover for 20 minutes. When the water has evaporated turn off the flame and leave covered for five minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. NEVER stir rice when it is cooking! Never! Never! It makes it turn to a nasty mush and tastes horrible.)