Khmer Chicken Curry
Curry or ‘Kari’ in Khmer is considered a special food mostly cooked during specific occasions in the family when family members are together, for example, the house warming party, the birthday party of family member. It’s also cooked in the big festivals of the year like Khmer New Year, especially Pchum Ben Day, in which curry is the special food offering to the monks.
Khmer curry is unique because of the composition of the Khmer Kroeung or Khmer curry paste that is also used in national dish, Amok, which will give pungent flavor and aroma.
Ingredients for Khmer curry paste
2 inches galangal root, trimmed and sliced
4 inches tumeric, sliced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 shallots (ខ្ទឹមក្រហម) peeled and sliced
4 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely sliced
10 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
200g red dried chili
2 tablespoons Kapis (shrimp paste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut and soaked red dried chili in water for about 30 minutes, then drain and chop it well. Put all the ingredients (except shrimp paste) into a mortar and started to pound it. When it’s finely pounded, add the chopped red chili and shrimp paste, continue to pound until it forms a smooth paste.
Other ingredients for Khmer chicken curry
1kg of chicken meat
1/2kg of potato, peeled and cubed (sweet potato also can be used, but it’s must be fried)
1 onion, cut it half then cut each half into 3 parts
250ml of thick coconut milk
1 litter of thin coconut milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1. Heat the 250ml thick coconut milk in a big pot until it boil, then add the Khmer curry paste, stir fry it with moderate heat until it boil and the color become red and aroma.
2. Add chicken meat, sugar and fish sauce, heat until the meat get cooked.
3. Add the thin coconut milk into the pan, increase the heat to make it boil faster.
4. Add potatoes and cook with moderate heat for about 15mn, then both chicken meat and potatoes are cooked.
5. Add onion and adjust the taste, bring it to immediate boil. Then take it off from fire.
Khmer chicken curry are typically serving with Num Banh Chok (Khmer noodle) with many other fresh vegetables like banana flower, cucumber, long bean, bean sprout, cabbage, and coriander (ជីរ). We call it Num Banh Chok Samlor Kary. It’s also served with bread which is most popular for children then Num Banh Chok.