Okay, before I start, I should tell you this. I just found out that the Westerners call any gulai that we Malaysian cook, as curry. Be it our Rendang or Kurma, it's all curry. So, hahah, Ayam Masak Lemak is also 'curry'.
(cam pelik je but terima je la en, nak translate gulai un cam payah je an. =,=')
For dinner last night, these are what I prepared.
Ayam Masak Lemak ( Mild Chicken Curry )
Stir-fried Cabbages with Caramelized Meat
And here's how to do these two.
For the Ayam Masak Lemak, you'll need,
Some chicken. How much, well, it depends on you, really. I used about 15 pieces.
1/2 packet of Coconut milk
2 Bombay onions
5 cloves of garlic
Some fresh tumeric
Some fresh tumeric
Some ginger, about an inch.
1 Asam keping. ( I have no idea what this is called in English. >.> )
1 cup or so of water
. Crush the onions, garlic and ginger using mortar and pester (lesung batu ). Now, this is the proper and traditional way of doing it. But me, I'm real lazy, so I blended them all. Hehee.
. Clean the chickens, put them in a pot, over medium heat.
. Put the crushed/blended ginger, onion and garlic into the pot, as well as some water. As the chicken cooks, the water in it will draw out. You don't want the gulai to be too thin, so when you put the water in, make sure it's level ( ampuh ) with all the chicken, or slightly less. Never more.
. Add in the asam keping and the lemongrass.( beat the lemongrass a bit with the pester beforehand, though, to make it easier for the flavours to draw out )
. Let them cook with the chicken for a while, stirring occasionally. You can put a lid on to speed up the cooking.
. When the chicken are cooked, ( this takes about 20 minutes or so ), add some salt to taste.
. Lastly, pour the coconut milk in. I'm using instant ones, so it takes less time for the milk to cook. If you're using fresh ones, you'd have to put the milk earlier, as it takes longer to cook. When you've put the milk on, you'd have to stir it constantly. Jangan tinggal, The Mother would often say to me when I was younger. Now the reason for this is because if you leave it, the milk would curdle and the oil separates from the milk. (due to too much heat, stirring distributes the heat evenly )When this happens, it'd look hideous and taste different, ie; tak sedap. >.>
. Taste. As Jamie Oliver ( lovelovelove :3 ) always say, you've got to taste your food, every time you cook it, make sure the taste is balanced.
And there you have it. Quite simple, actually. And ouh, if you want it a bit/a lot hot, you can also use some chillies, usually cili api. Crush a handful or less/or more of these together with the onions and all, and add them in the same step.
And on to the next one. Stir-fried Cabbages with Caramelized Meat.
1/4 cabbages, finely sliced
2 tbsp of chilli paste
100g of beef meat, finely sliced
1/2 an onion, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
a pinch of salt
. In a pan, medium heat, add some oil, and put the meats on. I used boiled meats, so it takes less time to caramelize, so I used high heat. If you're using fresh ones, medium heat is the best . When it's cooked, take them out and dry them with kitchen towels to get rid of any excess oil. Leave it aside.
. In the same pan, add the onions and garlic, brown them for a while, stirring constantly.
. Add the chilli paste, stir until it's cooked. How do you know the chillies are cooked? When they are, they release a bit of oil, and they'll be darker in colour. Stir constantly, make sure it won't burn. ( this happens to me a lot =,=' )
. Toss in the cabbages and the meat.
. Add a pinch of salt, toss toss toss, you're done ! :)
I do hope you'll try these, they're absolutely easy. For the meat, you can substitute it with chicken or prawns. The same method applies. :)
Until the next, I wish you well. :3