Saturday, 27 October 2012

Burmese Chicken Curry - Gaeng Gai Bama

Burmese Chicken Curry - Gaeng Gai Bama

This is a wonderful Chicken dish cooked with coconut milk and a very little spices. I had this dish cooked by an ex-colleague of mine, who was Half - Burmese. She learnt this from her Burmese mother. This curry is very easy to prepare and is essentially served with hot and freshly cooked rice on Banana leaves. The flavours and the aroma of the dish are so good that this mouth watering dish does not last for long. So here is a little warning for my friends, who plans to cook this dish over the weekend... do cook a couple of extra servings.

Preparation Time  : 20 minutes
Cooking Time       : 30 minutes
Difficulty               :  Easy
Serves                   :   4

Ingredients :

  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil (I used Sunflower oil)
  • 8 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 450 grams skinless, boneless Chicken Meat, cut into large piece 
  • 2 tablespoons Red Curry Paste (For Curry Paste Recipe, see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon Curry Powder (You can use any packaged Curry Powder)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk (if you can't take the trouble of making fresh, use packaged ones, they are equally good)
  • 1/4 cup Pureed Tomato (same applies for this)
  • 2 tablespoons Fish Sauce (original recipe calls for a fermented fish paste, which according to me has a distinctive pungent smell, which most people can't take, so I opted for a lighter version, by using Fish Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon Palm Sugar (if you don't get Palm sugar, use jaggery instead)
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch Cilantro/Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as per requirement


    Method :

      1) Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over low heat.

      2) Stir fry the shallots until browned and tender.

      3) Drain shallots on a Paper-towel lined dish, reserving the oil in the skillet.

      4) Place the chicken in the skillet with the reserved oil, and stir in the curry paste and curry powder to evenly coat. Stir fry for a couple of minutes.

      5) Pour in enough water to cover, and bring to a boil.

      6) Reduce heat, cover skillet, and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

      7) Stir the coconut milk, tomato puree, fish sauce, palm sugar, and 1/2 the tomato wedges into the skillet.

      8) Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Check the taste and then add salt as per requirement.

      9) Mix in the remaining tomatoes, and continue cooking until tender.

     10) Top with cilantro and the fried shallots and the dish is ready to serve.
     11) Serve Gaeng Gai Bama with steaming hot rice, preferably on Banana Leaf.

    Note :

    It requires the following :
  • 3 Dried whole chilies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger roots
  • 1/4 cup garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup shallots
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (you can use Thai or Chinese shrimp paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Lime Zest
  • 1 tablespoon Cilantro roots
    Slice shallots, lemongrass, ginger and cilantro roots into small pieces. I use one stalk of lemongrass. Peel off the hard outter leaves. Slice thinly or grate the lime zest. They will grind into fine paste with smaller fibers

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