My version of Chicken Curry is Javanese style, adapted from Foods Galore, a bilingual cookbook published by the American Women’s Association in Indonesia. I did not make my changes until after we returned to the U.S. after living there. I wrote my recipe on a card and although I vary the ingredients from time to time, I still use this basic recipe. When I decided to share it with you, I pulled my trusty cookbook out and looked at the original ingredients which included most of mine plus 1 cup of coconut milk from 1/2 coconut! I am glad I have canned coconut milk now! That recipe also created its own blend of curry powder with turmeric, cumin, lemon grass, laos (ginger) and a red chile, crushed. I am happy to use one of Penzey’s many delicious blends of curry powder these days.
You might like to know that in Jakarta, Chicken Curry is called Ayam Kari Java. I first made this version for Joe, Ben and me on July 22, 1995.
Chicken Curry, Javanese Style
4 chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon curry powder of your choice, or to taste
1 can coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
Rub chicken with salt and brown oil until golden brown. Remove, add onion and garlic. When onion is beginning to brown, add ginger, cilantro, and chili flakes. Cook 1-2 minutes, add curry powder. Add coconut milk, blending well. Return chicken to sauce and cook until done. Serve over rice.