Sunday, June 7, 2009

Curry Kapitan with Yellow Tumeric Glutinous Rice

I'm not sure where Curry Kapitan originates from but it certainly has its roots well planted in Malaysian cuisine. This dish probably originates from the Peranakan culture (a mixture of inter-cultural Malaysian Chinese and Malays). Curry Kapitan is one of the more famous curry dishes in Malaysia and some claim that the best to be had is on the island of Penang. Curry Kapitan used to be served for special occassions like family feasts and local weddings. But nowadays it is not just confined to such eleborate events but incorporated into every day cooking. Although it is called a "curry" this dish does not use any curry powder whatsoever. Rather it is blend of freshly grounded ingredients such as red chillies, shallots, tumeric, ginger and coriander, amongst others.

I served this curry with yellow tumeric glutinous rice or what we locals would call "nasi kunyit". The word "nasi" means rice and "kunyit" means tumeric. This rice dish is also another accompanient for curry based recipes and served during special occassions. Although this is my first time cooking Curry Kapitan and Tumeric Glutinous Rice, I was totally surprised as to how well both dishes came out. The curry was extremely delicious and frangrant, with a hint of lime leaves mingled with the spices. The rice was indeed a great pairing with this curry.





Curry Kapitan with Yellow Tumeric Glutinous Rice
(serves 4)

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Ingredients:

1 whole medium sized chicken (750g) cut into 16 pieces
3 lemon grass (use only the white part), sliced finely **
1 1/2 inch galangal **
226g of fresh red chili (seeded and sliced) – 226g **
8 small shallots (sliced) **
1 inch ginger **
6 candlenuts (soaked in warm water) **
1/2 inch fresh turmeric **
1/2 teaspoon belacan (fermented shrimp paste) **
1 cup coconut milk
8 pieces kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt to taste

** Ingredients to be finely grounded

Method:

1) Blend all spices to a very fine paste.

2) Heat up some cooking oil in a work and stir-fry paste until aromatic or a thin layer of oil rises to the top.

3) Add chicken and continue stirring until it’s almost cooked.

4) Add the coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes, over low heat.

5) Add salt to taste and serve hot.

Yellow Tumeric Glutinous Rice (Nasi Kunyit)

Ingredients:

500g glutinous rice
1 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
2 pieces dried tamarind skin (asam keping) or 1 tbsp lime juice
1 grated coconut (or packet coconut cream)
1 tsp salt
20 white peppercorns
2 pandan leaves, knotted

Method:

1) Wash and soak glutinous rice in clean water. Add turmeric powder and dried tamarind skin or lime juice and set aside overnight.

2) Add 3 tbsp water to the grated coconut to squeeze out thick coconut milk. Add just enough water and squeeze out thin coconut milk. Put rice in a steaming tray and add thin coconut milk to cover the rice. Mix in peppercorns and add pandan leaves.

3) Steam rice over high heat until nearly cooked for 20 minutes. Combine salt with thick coconut milk. Remove rice from steamer. Stir in thick coconut milk and continue to steam for another 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with the curry.



13 comments:

Pei-Lin said...

Jo,

Hi there! The title of this blog post itself is powerful enough to catch my attention! I'm drooling in the middle of the night LOL!! Haven't had these for a LONG time since I left home ... Too bad, can't make them as I don't have access to most of the ingredients. Great job and looking forward to more of your edible projects!!! Cheers!

Pei-Lin

pigpigscorner said...

Your pictures look so mouth-watering and the colour looks so appetising! I've only made curry kapitan from instant packets. Thanks for the recipe!

The Duo Dishes said...

Yes, we agree with everyone else that this looks amazing. The smell had to have been intoxicating.

Maya said...

I have been craving this for the longest time!!

5 Star Foodie said...

Great to learn about this dish which is new for me. Beautiful pictures and it sounds absolutely delicious, would love to try it!

tricky said...

that looks so good - i think i could eat far too many bowls of it.

艾丽西娅 said...

I just cooked my very first attempt of Nyonya Curry Chicken :) and Curry Kapitan with Yellow Tumeric Glutinous Rice (what a perfect match!!) Guess I am going to try the recipe...thks for sharing!

Emily said...

Wow, interesting information. I had no idea! I can't tell you how good this looks. I really enjoy curries.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

this looks so delicious! i fell in love with malaysian food while we lived in sydney (where it is much better and easier to find than in new york city. my husband and i used to go out for kapitan chicken there all the time!! now i can make it at home!

Jude said...

This sounds like my kind of dish. For a second I thought this was Filipino. "Kapitan" is tagalog for captain :)

chiaros69 said...

The name of the dish is KARI Kapitan, NOT "Curry Kapitan". hence your confusion and erroneous comments.

"Curry powder", as you say is not used, is a BRITISH invention, thought to be derived from the word KARI which simply means SAUCE.

Does that make better sense to you now?

chiaros69 said...

In addition, even if one allows that the Penang Nyonyas (amongst other folks in SE Asia, as distinct from the Indian sub-continent) used "Kari" to refer to the type of dish imagined by English-speakers by the term "curry", many of the components in the general recipe for Kari Kapitan amounts to quite a number of the ingredients that would go into "curries" - it is just that they are added/used as distinct, separate ingredients which is what someone in SE Asia or South Asia (= India) would do, rather than use "curry powder" which is NOT what a decent cook in those places would use.

chiaros69 said...

Oh, I forgot to mention - Kari Kapitan is a Penang Nyonya dish, really, which is why I mentioned it in my previous post.

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