Nasi Lemak with anchovies, hard boiled egg, sambal bawang and kari kapitan gravy.
This post is specially for Merdeka. We are having a cyber (too bad! 🙂 ) Merdeka [tag]open[/tag]-[tag]house[/tag] with a theme call –
[tag]Malaysian[/tag] Recipes Long Forgotten
My contribution is Kari Kapitan which I believe is of Nyonya origins. The ingredients are mostly herbs found in our garden and chicken, which I supposed, once upon a time, were fondly reared by grandma, slaughtered, plucked the feathers and prepared for the cooking pot.
I decide to take out my mortal and pestel and a rattan basket for the ‘authentic and ethnic’ look. 🙂 Ingredients seen above are onions, garlic, lemongrass, chillies, lime, kaffir lime leaves and fresh tumeric.
I had seasoned the chicken since last night with some tumeric powder and belacan granules. Normally, I like to season the chicken that I bought from the supermarkets and store them in the freezer. This way, we will have a more flavourful meat as most chickens are tasteless due to the short time they are reared. Unlike those kampung days when chicken run wild in the kampung for several months before meeting their days in the cooking pot. 😛
Of course I did not pound my ingredients in the mortar and pestel because I don’t think I have the patience with flying pieces of lemongrass, sobbing over pounded onions or getting hot chillies smarting my palms. All of them go into the blender and within less than five minutes, I have my paste. Seen above are what I had blended plus candlenuts (buah keras).
I added in the chicken when the paste is fragrant, add a box of 250 ml coconut milk, the juice of the limes, some sugar and salt and simmer till the chicken is cooked. Note that no water is necessary because kari kapitan is usually dry.
Quick [tag]recipe[/tag] – Resipi Kari Ayam Kapitan :
- 10 dried chillies – soaked and remove seeds
- 10 red chillies
- 4 onions
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 thumb size tumeric
- 6 candlenuts
- 6 lemongrass
- 1 piece belacan
Blend them into a paste and fry with oil till fragrant. Add in one chicken (about 1.2kg, cut into 6 huge chunks). Simmer and add coconut milk and lime juice. Season with a bit of sugar and salt.
Just before serving, slice kaffir lime leaves and sprinkle on the chicken.
Kari Kapitan has a mild flavour and yet very addictive due to the refreshing taste of the herbs and lime juice. Once can eat a huge plate of white rice with just the gravy. Kari Kapitan was usually served at Chinese traditional weddings where the banquet consists of a long table called t’ng tok in Hokkien. Other dishes would be lor bak, jiu hoo char, kiam chye ark, too tor th’ng, cucumber acar, just to name a few dishes.
The whole village was normally invited, very much like a Malay kenduri. Bowls and bowls of the dishes will be placed on the long table and guests arrived and have their fill. One can go back and have lunch, dinner and whatever leftovers days after the wedding. Such was the camaraderie of traditional Chinese folks.
I actually have another dish in the making, i.e. Ikan Belah Belakang. It uses almost the same ingredients as the above paste. I have some leftovers so watch out for Cencaru stuffed with sambal in a day or two!
Selamat Hari Merdeka to all. Do surf over to Babe’s site on Merdeka Day for the updated URLs of all the bloggers who took part in this cooking project. Thanks, Babe!