How To Cook Chicken Curry That's Extra Special For The Holidays

You'd be surprised how easy it is to make a more authentic tasting curry.

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If you visit the spice section of your local supermarket, you might be surprised how many kinds of curry are available. There is the typical yellow curry that we use to cook the chicken curry that we all know and love, but there is also the green and the red curries. The colors tell you exactly how spicy it is. Green is commonly the mildest of the curries while the red spice mix is the spiciest of the group.

You can use curry powder for more than just chicken curry, and may know all you need to cook chicken curry. However, what you really need to know is that you can make your own curry powder spice mix. The packet of premade yellow curry powder is made with at least 12 spices and herbs, plus turmeric, MSG, onion, powdered milk, salt, garlic, and some other ingredients. The main ingredient is turmeric or luyang dilaw since this is responsible for the brilliant golden yellow hue of the curry. These ingredients are can be found in the international section of your major supermarket but you can also source these online from spice shops and specialty shops, too. 

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What's key for making chicken curry extra special is using fresh ingredients. The freshly ground spices as well as the fresh ingredients added to the coconut cream and chicken pieces create a chicken curry dish that you might prefer over the saucy version we're used to.

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We have two recipes for a fresh and easy curry spice paste that you can try. Both are yellow curry pastes that are mixtures of dried and fresh spices that you mix and simmer with coconut milk or cream and the chicken. 

Photo by Rico Jose
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The first recipe is used for the Khao Soi recipe or Thai chicken curry noodle soup. This is a common breakfast meal in Thailand and uses shredded chicken so it's easy to eat with the noodles. Here are the ingredients you need to make this curry paste: 

  • • cilantro seeds
  • • cardamom
  • siling labuyo
  • • onions
  • • garlic
  • • lemon­grass
  • • lemon zest
  • • turmeric or luyang dilaw
  • • ginger
  • • cilantro leaves or wansoy
  • • salt 

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The second recipe is used to make Kari Kay or a laksa-style chicken curry recipe. This version is heartier than the Thai version and includes the potatoes that we love eating with the chicken. It uses these ingredients:

  • • dried chilis
  • • shallots or sibuyas Tagalog 
  • • garlic
  • • belachan or dried shrimp paste
  • • turmeric
  • • coriander
  • • cumin
  • • fennel seeds
  • • star anise
  • • either dried cloves or cinnamon sticks      

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You'd be surprised how easy it is to make a more authentic tasting chicken curry dish using these recipes. Try it and find out for yourself how these curries differ from your usual premade curry spice mix. 

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Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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