My daddy, who is Chinese-Eurasian, grew up eating Eurasian dishes cooked by his mum; my grandma. His two favourites are Devil’s Curry and Feng (Feng is a curry made up of pig offals).
When grandma passed away, we did not eat home cooked Eurasian food for a while. But 5 years ago, I kind of caught a cooking bug and decided to bring back the tradition that my daddy grew up with.
Unfortunately, I did not get to inherit grandma’s recipe book when she passed on 😦 so I started trawling the internet for devil’s curry recipes, and year after year I tried a couple of recipes, but somehow they all lacked the spicy factor.
Last year, I found Denise Fletcher’s most amazing devil’s curry recipe, that was superbly devilishly spicy and most importantly spicy enough for daddy! Denise runs a blog, Singapore Shiok! and she also has a book, Mum’s Not Cooking! You can also visit her pinterest page and see the amazing photos of the food she cooks!
So anyway, last Christmas (2014), I was away on a holiday and would only be back in Singapore on Christmas eve, so there was no devil’s curry for Christmas eve this year. There was alot of turkey left over though after the Christmas day feast, so daddy hinted that I should still make some devil’s curry.
So instead of devil’s curry on Christmas eve, I made devil’s curry for New Year’s Day! You can find Denise’s devil’s curry recipe here.
Prep 3 1/2 hrs Cook 50 mins Serves 10 – 12
2 chickens, each cut into 14 pieces
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sugar
400 g smoky cocktail sausages
1 can luncheon meat, cut into small, thick wedges
6 onions, peeled
3 very large knobs ginger (about 75 g total), peeled
50 dried chilies (about 50 g) soaked until softened then drained
20 fresh chillies (about 200 g) seeded and thickly sliced
30 bird’s eye chillies (chilli padi) stems discarded
2 tbsp English dry mustard (powder)
3 tbsp white vinegar (malt vinegar – don’t use synthetic vinegar, it’s too harsh and tastes vile)
300 ml (1 1/2 cups) water – adjust to achieve desired consistency
1 small white round cabbage, quartered, hard core discarded, separated into leaves
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1. Season chicken pieces with soy sauce, pepper and sugar and mix well. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.
2. Season chicken pieces with soy sauce, pepper and sugar and mix well. Leave to marinate for about 20 minutes.
3. Thinly slice 2 of the onions. Set aside.
4. Finely shred 1 of the ginger knobs. Set aside.
5. Combine the remaining onions and ginger in a blender and process to a smooth paste with a little water. Set aside.
6. Combine the dried chillies, fresh chillies and bird’s eye chillies in blender and process to a smooth paste with a little water.
7. Heat about a cup of vegetable oil in a deep pan or pot and when hot, fry the chicken in two or three batches, over high heat until about half cooked and crusty outside, about 5 minutes per batch, turning halfway through cooking. Remove chicken from pan, draining off oil and set aside.
8. In the same pan, lightly fry the sausages until just starting to brown. Remove and set aside. Fry the luncheon meat wedges until just starting to brown. Remove and set aside.
9. Remove about half the oil and add the shredded ginger. Stir for about 2 – 3 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring, until fragrant and golden.
10. Add the ground onion and ginger paste and fry until fragrant and golden before adding the chilli paste. Fry, stirring often until deep red and you start to sneeze and cough.
11.Stir in the mustard powder then add the chicken along with the juices and stir well until chicken pieces are thoroughly coated with spices. Add vinegar and water, stir and cover. Lower heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes then add sausages and luncheon meat. Stir, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
12. Add cabbage leaves, salt and sugar. Stir until cabbage leaves are coated with gravy. Cover and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes more or until leaves are just tender but not mushy. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat and dish out.
13. Serve with rice and sliced crispy roast pork belly (sio bak) or french loaf (baguette) chunks.
I had about 2 chickens worth of turkey, so I made 2 portions of the recipe above and added 2 fresh chickens. I also added 2 packets of bacon bones (about 750gms) as they give the curry an amazing smokey flavour. You can find bacon bones at Cold Storage supermarkets in Singapore. With the bacon bones, fry them during step 8 and set aside, and then put them into the pot at step 11 along with the sausages and luncheon meat.
It took me almost 5 hours of preparations and cooking, before I could present the curry to daddy for his taste test!
LOL! Daddy’s “wohhh” face speaks a thousand words! 🙂 This is a recipe for keeps!
We’re starting 2015 with a bang!!