Burmese Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes
The fragrance of a Burmese curry is so inviting, it will have you lusting over the memories it evokes.
The very first kitchen hand I hired for my Leederville cafe back in 2003; was a young Burmese man named Sammy. In the first few years of ops, my family and I forged a close bond with him. He used to regale us with rich stories of his simple upbringing; in a remote part of Burma, about 4 hours by boat northwest of Rangoon. He always appreciated my homestyle curries and loved my Pork Red Fry. Sadly, Sammy passed away in 2006, within 3 months of being diagnosed with a terminal disease. I fondly remember him, with nothing but deep appreciation and beautiful memories of cooking together.
Burma/Myanmar’s cuisine is heavily influenced due to its geographical position with its neighbours – China, India and Thailand. I can say for certain that this Burmese Chicken Curry definitely has an Indian and Thai influence but in combination with its own unique characteristic; like many Southeast Asian curries. The heady mix of ginger, lemongrass and fish sauce permeates the air making it known, something special is cooking.
Ingredients − Serves 4
- 1 kg bone in or boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp dried ginger
- 1 tbsp Latasha’s Kitchen Turmeric Spice Magic
- ½ tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large sweet potato, chopped into wedges or chunky pieces, tossed in 2 tbsp coconut oil and roasted in a very hot oven until crispy around the edges
Mince in a blender
- 3 cloves garlic
- Thumb size piece of peeled ginger
- 2 small peeled shallots
- 2 hot, long, dried chilli, pre soaked in warm water to soften
- Roots and stems (well washed) of bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Latasha’s Kitchen Madras Curry Concentrate Paste
- 1 ripe tomato, chopped
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups Ayam coconut milk
- 1 tsp Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 quartered for garnish
- 1 lemongrass, bashed
- Salt to taste
- Coriander leaves
- Store bought crispy shallots
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- Cut the chicken thighs into chunks and marinate overnight with the dried ginger, Latasha’s Kitchen Turmeric Spice Magic, coriander, and oil. It’s best marinated overnight but if you don’t have the time, just toss the chicken pieces with the spices at least half an hour before you start cooking.
- In a food processor, mince together garlic, ginger, shallots, dried chillies and the roots and stems of the coriander.
- Heat some of the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, over medium-high heat.
- Fry the chicken pieces in small batches until they begin to brown. Continue until all the chicken is browned and keep aside. Heat any remaining coconut oil in the same pot with Latasha’s Kitchen Madras Curry Paste, diced tomatoes and blended mixture from Step 2 and let it cook until fragrant.
- At this stage add ½ cup of chicken stock, curry leaves and lemongrass and continue cooking until the mixture is well combined. Then add the browned chicken and the remainder of the chicken stock and bring to a low simmer.
- Cook for half an hour, until the chicken is tender. Then stir in the roasted sweet potato, fish sauce, lime juice, Latasha’s Kitchen Garam Masala and coconut milk. Bring it back again to a low boiling simmer.
- Adjust salt to taste, stir in the coriander leaves, top with the crispy shallots and serve with the lime wedges.