A bowl of rice, memories and some good chicken curry! Gong Hei Fatt Choy!

Does a bowl of rice brings back memories of the past?

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For me it does. Well, I’m Chinese after all.
We are mostly labeled “fan tung” – rice bin for a reason. We eat rice in the morning, for lunch and for dinner.

Even until now, though I’m on my crazy workout regime and trying to eliminate carbs from my diet, I find it a challenge not to rain my steaming bowl of rice with some thick fragrant curries or the chinese soy braised sauce.
And eating only the dishes during a typical “tai chou” dinner is just so wrong. Steamed fish, curries, stir fried vegetables.. all of these calls for rice!

New Formosa SS2 - taiwanese - Chinese new year 2014 menu-003

So what does a bowl of rice reminds you of? My fondest memory would be my grandmother’s chicken curry. Oh, I can still visualize it now.
It would be cooked in a old claypot, black with frequent use. The curry, absolutely aromatic and thick, redolent with spices and richly creamy would be a vibrant golden reddish in hue.

It was a recipe never replicated. I had always intended to, but it’s difficult since she had passed away. While she was cooking it back then, I was a mere toddler. I helped to hand-pound the spices and chillies and garlic and shallots into a fine paste.
I stood over the stove to pass each ingredient to her and I watched her toil over the stove as she painstakingly stir, smell and meticulously tested the curry until it tasted exactly the way she likes it.
It had became the yardstick of how we like our chicken curries too. And remained how I like my chicken curry until today.

I tried cooking a pot of chicken curry over the CNY weekend since it was the holiday season and I thought I’ll try to get some cooking done. Well it’s part of my Β 2014 “resolution” anyway – to begin preparing my meals at home.

From my recent trip to Melaka I managed to get some homemade curry powder from Karen’s aunty.
Since then Karen and I had been itching to try it out. We got together one day to cook 2 whole chickens using the powder and her aunty’s recipe.

1. Measure the curry powder according to the number of chickens to cook.

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-001

2. Get the wet spices (onion, ginger, garlic) and dry spices (cinnamon stick, star anise) ready.

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-002

3. Wash and cook the rice. I used Jasmine Sunwhite riceΒ for daily consumption.
I find this rice marvellously fragrant and really suitable to be eaten with dishes such as curries, vegetables, braised meats and even for nasi lemak. The grains are whole and firm and absorbs flavours well.
Another little cooking thrill of this rice? It fills the whole kitchen with its wonderful fragrance even during the cooking process! It just makes all of us look forward to our meal. πŸ™‚

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-003

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-009

4. Back to the curry; blend the shallots, ginger and garlic.

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-004

5. Heat some oil in the pot (I used an earthen pot since my grandmother used to use one herself!) and stir in the wet spices. Fry until fragrant and everything starts to brown.

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-005

6. Add in the curry powder and leave to simmer. Karen even marinated the chicken pieces with the curry powder. I guess she must be really fond of her aunt’s curry powder. πŸ™‚

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-008

To be frank I’m never fond of curries cooked using powder. But since it was a small family business where the spices are hand-dried, sent to be ground in the factory and returned to the house to be hand-packed we thought it would fare better than the commercial, big scale production curry powders.

True enough it was. It dissolved easily and mixed well with the wet spices. We added plenty of fresh coconut milk since we both loved our curries rich.

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-007

I enjoyed the curry better the next day as I left it to develop its flavour overnight, with the occasional heating up over low fire to ensure it didn’t go bad. Yes, that’s how my granny used to do too!

jasmine rice - sunwhite - cooking, curry, review-006

So, other than my Hainanese chicken rice burgerΒ (recipe here), a Rice Popsicle (recipe here) and now a nyonya chicken curry, I wonder what I’ll be whipping up next. This whole cooking thing is getting me all domesticated now.
Maybe I’ll try belacan fried rice next? I know Kuching belacan are extremely good. Anyone coming back from Kuching soon? πŸ˜€
Oh, another favourite of mine?
Fresh durians with steaming hot rice!

jasmine rice with durian

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Sean Eat Drink KL

    rice was a family staple for me during my school days … for lunch and dinner, my grandmother’s trusty rice cooker would produce steamed rice for six of us to accompany our meals πŸ™‚ i must pass on the durian with rice, but curry with rice would definitely work for me! πŸ˜€

    1. Rebecca Saw

      Hahah no durians?? Why nottttt πŸ˜›
      But heck, rice with curries.. who could resist! πŸ˜€

  2. Andy

    Very adventurous having durian with rice. Doesn’t it make you feel sleepy after eating that? hehe!

  3. Ann Sue

    My family used to buy any kind of fragrant rice brand as long there is promo but for me I stick to Jasmine. I just love the fragrance while it’s cooking. Always increase my appetite πŸ˜‰

  4. Mabel

    Oh how this brings me back to my younger days when I always look forward to my granny’s curry chicken specially during the CNY family gatherings. It’s a dish must have on the table!
    I tried cooking but nothing beats granny’s, looks like it’s the curry powder she uses.

  5. Veron

    So you’re going to start cooking and posting recipes now?
    Damn woman, you can do anything and everything!

  6. daniel

    I will always remember my first plate of mamak nasi goreng. The bomb!

  7. Stephanie

    I’m eating so much rice now during the CNY. All dishes needs rice for the meal to be complete.
    My family uses Jasmine too.

  8. YB Leong

    Musang King durians and fragrant Jasmine rice. You’ve got taste becky.

  9. Amber

    Musang King – plus coconut cream, hot rice & a pinch of salt. Finger licking good!
    That’s how we always eat our durians at home.

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