RECIPES

Suriani home-style chicken curry (‘ishtu’)

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Suriani home-style chicken curry (‘ishtu’)

An aromatic and spicy chicken stew served with coconut-flavoured rice.

Ingredients

For the chicken stew

For the sweet and sour rice

Method

  1. For the chicken stew, heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan or sauté pan. Add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, followed by the garlic, ginger, onions, chillies and curry leaves. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft.

  2. Add the chicken, salt and pepper and stir for a minute. Pour in the coconut milk and 125ml/4fl oz water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, soak the rice in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain well. Heat the oil in a large, lidded saucepan. Add the star anise, cardamom and bay and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the onion, curry leaves, salt and sugar and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the vinegar, coconut milk, 300ml/10fl oz water and then the rice. Mix well, then simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 7–8 minutes. All the liquid should be absorbed.

  4. Take off the heat and stir. Cover with the lid again and set aside for 10 minutes to let the rice finish cooking in its steam.

  5. To serve, add the vinegar to the stew, sprinkle over the garam masala and mix well. Remove from the heat and serve with the sweet and sour rice.