Mauritian Chicken Curry

Mauritian Chicken Curry

Cook time: 1 hour|  Total time: 1.5 hour  |  Serves: 4

Mauritian Chicken Curry is one of those dishes that take me back to my childhood. Every Sunday back in the '90s in North Carolina, we would go to my grandmother's apartment for the afternoon and this dish was always on the menu. My grandmother (and mother) was born in Mauritius, but at a time when the Hakka Chinese community was still quite insular, still practiced traditional Chinese customs and didn't integrate with other ethnic communities—my mother would change that, thank god. Back in the day, my great grandmother even made her own rice wine... I'll have to research that Chinese moonshine recipe one of these days. Anyways... back to the food. Mauritian curry tends to be lighter in flavour than Indian curry and has a stronger hint of cumin. It's also more brothy. In many ways, it's like a mix between Indian and Caribbean curry. You can buy pre-mixed bags of Mauritian curry, however, I prefer to use my cheat recipe, which my friend Sheik, a native from the island, tells me tastes like the real thing. Next challenge: making Mauritian Curry powder from complete scratch. Stay tuned.

What you'll need and how much:

— 1 whole chicken (or 4 thighs & 4 legs)
— 1 onion (chopped)
— 5 garlic cloves (minced)
— 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
— 1 red chilli peppers
— 1 chopped tomato
— 4 potatoes (peeled and chopped into squares, soak in water so that they don't turn brown)
— 1 tablespoons of chopped coriander
— 4 tablespoons of white wine
— 2 tablespoons of salt
— 1 tablespoon of black pepper
— 5 Tablespoons of Mild Madras powder
— 2 Tablespoons of Cumin powder
— 1 Tablespoon of Coriander (seed) powder
— 1 Tablespoon of Tumeric powder
— 1/2 cup of water

See and read

Or skip to abridged recipe

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces (leave the bone on for more flavour, remove bones if your guests are Guai Lou and get scared by bones). Salt and Pepper the chicken and set aside for about 30 min.
 

Add the following in a bowl:
— 5 tablespoons of Mild Madras powder
— 2 tablespoons of Cumin powder
— 1 tablespoon of Coriander (seed) powder
— 1 tablespoon of Tumeric powder

Pour in 1/2 cup of water and mix together to form a nice paste.

Chop and mince the onion, garlic, ginger and red chilli peppers (remove the seeds and the light areas in the pit). Combine the red chilli peppers and the garlic in a mortar and pestle and grind into a chunky paste. Combine this mixture in a bowl or plate.

Heat about 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in your large pot. Fry the chicken pieces on medium high heat in a pot until the skin side is light brown. Remove chicken pieces, set aside.

Add the chopped onions to the pot and fry on medium heat until the onions become translucent, stirring it around the whole while. Add 2 tablespoons of white wine to soften the onions. Then add the ginger, garlic, and red chillis.
 

Add the curry paste to the pot and continue to fry and stir for about 4 minutes. Add alittle water, if the mixture seems to be getting too dry.

Add the chicken and fry and stir for about 5 minutes. The chicken should be coated in the curry. Add about 1.5 cups of water so that the chicken isn't full submerged in the water, but the water reaches about half an inch below the top of the chicken. Cover and simmer on medium/low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the chopped tomato and the potatoes. Cover and simmer for another 25 minutes. (Taste the broth midway through it make sure there is enough salt. If it's too salty, the potatoes should absorb the salt. If it doesn't and you've accidentally put too much salt, add alittle sugar to offset the salt.)

Throw the chopped coriander on top before serving. Serve on Jasmine rice.

Abridged Recipe

Ingredients

—1 whole chicken (or 4 thighs & 4 legs)
— 1 onion (chopped)
— 5 garlic cloves (minced)
— 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
— 1 red chilli peppers
— 1 chopped tomato
— 4 potatoes (peeled and chopped into squares, soak in water so that they don't turn brown)
— 1 tablespoons of chopped coriander
— 4 tablespoons of white wine
— 2 tablespoons of salt
— 1 tablespoon of black pepper

Curry Paste
— 5 tablespoons of Mild Madras powder
— 2 tablespoons of Cumin powder
— 1 tablespoon of Coriander (seed) powder
— 1 tablespoon of Tumeric powder
— 1/2 cup of water

Recipe

  1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces (leave the bone on for more flavour, remove bones if your guests are Guai Lou and get scared by bones). Salt and Pepper the chicken and set aside for about 30 min.
  2. Mix the paste together: add the powders and add enough water and mix to make a thick paste. 
  3. Chop and mince the onion, garlic, ginger and red chilli peppers. Combine this mixture in a bowl or plate.
  4.  Heat about 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in your large pot. Fry the chicken pieces on medium high heat in a pot until the skin side is light brown. Remove chicken pieces, set aside.
  5. Add the Number 3 (onion, garlic, etc...) mixture to the pot and fry on medium heat until the onions become translucent, stirring it around the whole while. Add the white wine to soften the onions.
  6. Add the curry paste to the pot and continue to fry and stir for about 4 minutes. Add alittle water, if the mixture seems to be getting too dry.
  7. Add the chicken and fry and stir for about 5 minutes. The chicken should be coated in the curry. Add about 1.5 cups of water so that the chicken isn't full submerged in the water, but the water reaches about half an inch below the top of the chicken. Cover and simmer on medium/low heat for 10 minutes.
  8.  Add the chopped tomato and the potatoes. Cover and simmer for another 25 minutes. (Taste the broth midway through it make sure there is enough salt. If it's too salty, the potatoes should absorb the salt. If it doesn't and you've accidentally put too much salt, add alittle sugar to offset the salt.)
  9. Throw the chopped coriander on top before serving. Serve on Jasmine rice.

Photo Credits: Jenny Smart

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