Leila's Guyanese Chicken Curry

A Guyanese friend of mine gave me this delicious recipe, which I have used time and time again. What makes it slightly different to other Caribbean curry recipes is that you make your own spice mix and then combine it with some ready-made curry paste. The spice powder can be kept in an airtight container for several weeks. Although the recipe is for chicken, both lamb and beef would taste equally delicious. I have skinned the chicken, making the dish less fatty. Also, without the skin, the spices can seep further into the chicken meat.

Recipe courtesy of "Curry: Fragrant Dishes from India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia" by David Thompson, copyright 2006. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Leila's Guyanese Chicken Curry

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    1 tsp ground turmeric 6 curry leaves
    1 tbsp Madras curry paste 2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
    2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp coriander seeds
    1 large onion, finely chopped 1 tbsp cumin seeds
    5 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tbsp cardamom pods
    1 tsp grated fresh root ginger 1 tsp black peppercorns
    2 red chillies, chopped 1 tsp cloves
    3 1/2 lb (1.6 kg) chicken, skinned and cut into 8-10 pieces 1 cinnamon stick
    4 medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped 2 tsp black mustard seeds


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    • 1

      To make the curry powder, roast and grind all the spices. Mix 2 tbsp of the curry powder with the turmeric and curry paste. Add 2 tbsp water and mix well.

    • 2

      Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan and fry the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chillies until golden brown. Add the curry mixture and fry for 3–5 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure that the mixture does not burn. Add the chicken pieces to the saucepan and turn them so that they are thoroughly coated with the spice mixture.

    • 3

      Add the tomatoes and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute, then add the potatoes and 125ml (4fl oz) water. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Stir the curry occasionally during the cooking, to make sure that it does not stick to the pan. Serve immediately with rice or roti.

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