Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Curry Kapitan

It has been a long time since I cooked something nice for WB.  He loves his mother's Curry Kapitan, a nonya chicken curry dish. Nonya cuisine is a unique example of a successful fusion cuisine created by the Chinese people moved to Malaysia and adapted their cooking with the local spices. Curry Kapitan is named for Kapitan China, the title that the Portugese gave to the head of the Chinese clans in Melaka in the 15th century.  I was first introduced to this dish by my mother-in-law.  I used to have lunch at her place during the weekend when WB and myself were courting :p and I fell in love with WB  this dish at first taste.  It took me 20 years married to WB to master this dish to perfection.  With WB constantly comparing his mom's dish and mine, of course I finally managed to get as close to his mother's signature Curry Kapitan but landed me with pain for days on my operated arm :(  I carried the heavy old fashioned mortar and pestle ! forgetting my operated arm for a minute.  I have a blender but I preferred the spices to be pounded rather than machined. I prefer pounding the spices the old fashioned method even though it gives me pain after the pounding LOL!   Today , the pain is lessen but it was worth the pain.  No pain no gain ! :p  WB gave me 99.5 points !!!!  Dancing on trotters despite the pain :p

Curry Kapitan - adapted from WB's Kitchen


4 chicken legs or 1000 gms of any other parts  - into 3 pieces each leg
5 kaffir lime leaves
200 ml thick coconut milk
salt to taste
1 lime juice
3 tbsp of vegetable oil

Spices for pounding

2 stalks of lemon grass - sliced
15 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
15 pieces of fresh red chillies or 4 tbsp of chilli boh ( chilli paste)
1 thumb size piece of fresh turmeric
1 thumb size piece of galangal
4 or 5 candlenuts ( buah keras )
1/2 inch square belacan ( shrimp paste )


Pound all the spices till fine ( you can blend them if you like ).

Fry the spice mix and kaffir leaves till fragrant and oil surfaced .  Add in the chicken pieces until chicken is browned and almost cooked.  Add in the coconut milk and bring to boil and the chicken is tender and cooked.  Add in the lime juice and salt to taste.

Enjoy !

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