Thursday, September 9, 2010
Before that, a simple announcement:
Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends and I'll be away for the weekend, so no postings and I can't reply any urgent questions regarding my posts, if you're planning to try them during this holiday. Will be back in action on Monday
Here in Malaysia, within the Chinese community, there is a tradition of having a supper buffet the night before the wedding, be it the groom's side or the bride's side. Something like a bridal shower that involves a heck lot of people. People will be busy looking at pre wedding shots, looking at the wedding room(groom's house), looking at the gown (bride's house), chat chat chat, drink drink drink... all night long. It's real entertaining!!!
Unlike the wedding reception where only those invited are supposed to attend, like if the card names Mr X only , you're not supposed to bring your kids, and your aunts along. But you may do so for the supper buffet. Why? Because in Malaysia, there is a culture of giving monetary gifts for the wedding reception, and it depends on how many are attending. And the seats are limited. Some of our friends from the other ethnic groups jest by saying the Chinese buy tickets to attend wedding dinners. But for the supper buffet, No gifts are accepted so, no worries, just come.. anyone, any amount.
I was the cook for my brother's supper buffet. I did it all under RM500/300 pax. That was his budget that included paper cups and plates, and disposable cutlery.
The menu was :
with 3 types of sauces
meat and mushroom gravy
Red bean and black glutinous rice sweet soup,
Orange Cordial, Chinese tea.
Mom's friend made some taro mantous for the night as well.
I just wanted to do something out of the norm that usually consist of fried noodles, curry chicken, fried chicken or fishballs, and sweet soups, and maybe some other kuih and snacks, and I spent only RM300/++
The guests came unexpected of the menu. They told my mom that they shouldn't have taken dinner beforehand (Because usually it's the expected stuff, it's a bit boring, you know, so better eat dinner before you come) . Everybody was eating their heart out, especially the curry chicken.
When it came to my pre- wedding supper buffet........ I became my own cook.
The menu was:
Pandan Coconut Rice (green nasi lemak, using basmathi rice)
Japanese Shortgrain Coconut Rice (yeah, this one sticks while the basmathi is fluffy, choose one :P)
Chili Squid Sambal, hard boiled eggs
Acar Rampai (Malay style pickled veggies)
Curry Chicken (This one cannot be missed out from the menu, as I got so many rave reviews during my brother's wedding)
Fried Hutou Vermicelli
Fragrant Glutinous Rice (with mushrooms, chinese sausages and dried shrimp)
Water Chestnut Dessert (changed to Soy Barley in the end, because the chestnuts smell bad)
Taro Sago Dessert
Orange Cordial and Chinese Tea
You may say I'm crazy, to do my own pre-wedding supper buffet. I even got so many discouragements to do it. Argued with my mom on that day, and I shed a lot of tears because "somebody" kept saying I was looking for trouble instead of lending a hand, on that supper day itself, you know.. and I was so busy in the kitchen and that somebody was just mumbling away.
Well, I can't stand the regular menus that caterers can provide me. I'm sick of them. How can I serve them to the guests??? Call me picky, yes I am.
At the end of the day... I'm just glad that everybody loved the food, and I didn't have much leftovers.
You know how my guests eat the curry chicken this time???? I made a larger pot of it, and luckily we didn't bring all the curry out at once, they ate the curry by the platefuls. My mom looked in shock, it's like as if they were slurping curry. But it was humourous.
I was so tired out when everything was cleared up that I fainted in bed. Good thing, so that I don't need to anticipate the arrival of "day" looking at the ceiling. :)
Even after the wedding, at some other house parties, some do come up to me and said, hey, this curry is not as good as yours. Your curry chicken is my favourite.
Actually this curry is not difficult to make at all. It was a recreation of what I've tasted my my friend Yen Cher's house. My friends and I went to Kuantan for a short holiday and stayed at her house. Her mom cooked us a simple creamy curry chicken. I slowly savoured the curry, trying to think, how did she make it so nice.
Now, you don't need to slowly savour mine and dicipher the recipe, I'll give it to you, read on.
600gm (+/-50) chicken (I used 2 whole legs about this weight)
1 tsp salt
60gm shallots (about 4 rather large ones)
10gm garlic (2 large cloves)
1/4 cup oil, or sufficient oil to fry the aromatics, make sure it's not too dry, or else it won't be nice.
2 lemon grass (4 inch from base, lightly smashed) and some curry leaves (both are optional)
50gm chicken curry powder (1 small pack)
200ml Thick Coconut milk or milk extracted from 1 fruit
400gm Russet Potatoes, about 2 medium sized ones. Or any other floury potatoes.
Extra salt for seasoning
1. Chop the chicken into smaller pieces. Marinate with 1 tsp salt. Leave for 30 minutes.
2. Finely chop shallots and garlic, or you may use a food processor, but I don’t find that necessary.
3. Heat wok with oil. Put in chopped garlic and shallots, fry until slightly golden and fragrant.
4. Put in curry powder and fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Add in lemon grass and curry leaves now ( if using) and toss for a while.
5. Put in chicken and cook until the skin looks cooked. Put in2 or 3 tablespoons of the coconut cream (upper layer of the coconut milk) and cook until the milky colour disappears (the milk has turned to oil) Put in water to cover the chicken.
6. While the water is coming to a boil, peel and cut potatoes into chunks. Put them into the wok to cook with the chicken. Cover the wok. (Remember to stir them once a while as the spices tend to settle at the bottom and can get burnt)
7. Cook the curry until the potatoes soften and then reduce the gravy to desired amount.
8. Lastly pour in the remaining coconut milk. Bring to a boil and taste season with salt.
9. Remove from heat and dish up.
*Do not season anything with potatoes way too early. If not you will end up with a bland curry and extra salty potatoes.
This Curry Chicken is not spicy at all. If you want to add some heat to it, just add chilli powder or some ground dried chillies into step (3)
This is a creamy curry chicken, with the creaminess derived from the melted russet potatoes and the coconut milk that is added at the end. It taste almost like Yeo's canned curry chicken, but Yeo's has candlenuts added in and mine doesn't.