Chicken curry is basically a one pot stew dish. There are many variations of this dish in India all depending on where you are from and the ingredients available in that region.
Here’s a rundown of the most popular:
Indian chicken curry
Usually made by frying onions, ginger and garlic then adding tomatoes and spices to create a masala sauce. Into this you add the chicken and leave it to cook on a low heat until the meat is coming away from the bone and a thick spicy sauce is produced. In south India, chicken curry may include the addition on coconut milk and curry leaves.
Curry made its way over to the Caribbean Islands as Indian populations were brought over as indentured workers. The curries evolved as these new settlers began to use what was readily available - coconut milk and scotch bonnet chillies. The curry base is usually onion, ginger and those chillies which are cooked with a blend of ready mixed spices or curry powder. The chicken is then added to this and cooked together with the creamy coconut milk. The Jamaican Indians also added potatoes to their curries, which add yet another twist to this classic dish.
South East Asian Curries
The curries from this region are again made in a very different style. Rather than the meat being cooked in a masala base, it is cooked in a raw spice paste (essentially it's a similar concept - cooking the meat in a thick intense base of strong flavours but the execution is very different). The pastes are created in a pestle and mortar and contain ingredients unique to the area, such as shallots, lemon grass, kaffir, lime, galangal, birds eye chillies and Thai basil. The meat is cooked in this and for more sauce, coconut milk is added simply added. Malaysian curries, by the way, can be dry or wet, usually with the addition of potatoes.
These are typically red or green and these colours refer to the colour of the dish. The ‘green’ is produced with a green chilli paste which give the dish a light, fresh, grassy colour and a real pungency. The ‘red’ is made with a combination of the same ingredients but the green chillies are substituted for dried red ones instead. The intense paste is also used as an ingredient or base for many other dishes, too.Back to Cooking guides