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Bird's eye chilli chicken

Sometimes curries are simple, with a few ingredients that go together well. This is one of those curries.

This coconut milk-based curry is spicy, though you can adjust the spice level to your liking. The chillies pop with the base of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf. The flavours are simple, as compared to other complex Malay curries, but delicious. The sweet potatoes complement the tender chicken with a hint of sweetness that is lovely. this is one of those simple curries that can be made in a hurry but is still delicious.

Mandy Yin is a London-based lawyer who started her foray into the world of food with the Sambal Shiok restaurant. Sambal Shiok translates to "shockingly good sambal", and this book follows these steps with excellent recipes. The recipes swing from traditional to contemporary while maintaining wonderful flavours. This is a lovely cookbook for those who want to venture into the complex world of Malay cooking.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


12-15 red bird's eye chilli, or to taste

1 inch fresh or 1 teaspoon turmeric

4 tablespoons water, or as needed

3 tablespoons oil

6 chicken thighs, or chicken cut of your choice

2 1-inch pieces of lemongrass, lightly bruised with a pestle

2-3 kaffir lime leaves

1 cup coconut milk

3 cups water

Salt, to taste

2-3 small sweet potatoes, or potatoes, peeled and chunked

Add the chillies, turmeric and water to a small blender and purèe till very smooth.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the chicken, chilli paste, lemongrass and kaffir leaves and fry for 10 minutes on medium heat. Cook till the liquids have completely dried up and the paste fries and sticks to the chicken.

Add the coconut milk, water and salt and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and mix in well. the potatoes should be well submerged in the curry, if they are not add a touch of water. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes till the potatoes atr very soft.

taste for salt and spice. the curry should have thickened a bit to the consistency of light cream and the chilli should pop.

Serve hot with either rice noodles or rice.

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