Chicken Curry with Tamarind Recipe (Sour Chicken Curry)

The richness of this water-based chicken curry depends upon the inclusion of the bones. Practical for Westerners, the preparation time takes less than 30 minutes. Use a sharp heavy cleaver to cut though the chicken bones with a quick blow - it is easier than it sounds! But if your knife is dull, substitute boneless chicken breast.



Serperate the leg from the upper thigh cutting with a sharp cleaver (or have the butcher do it for you); cut the drumsticks in half crosswise;cut the upper thigh into approximately 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch pieces, cutting through the bone with a sharp blow of the knife. Use the base of the palm of your hand to pound the back of the cleaver if needed to cut completely through.

Mix the curry paste with the 2 tbsp of water in a small bowl. Add paste to 1 cup of water in a medium size saucepan. Add the cut-up chicken pieces. Add 1 tsp sea salt.

Add the tamarind, breaking into small pieces with your fingers. There will be some seeds in the curry this way, if it is the type of tamarind paste with the seeds. If you prefer, mix the tamarind in 2 tbsp of warm water, pulping it with your fingers to extract the juice. Discard the seeds. Add the juice to the saucepan.

Bring chicken to a boil over high heat. Boil until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 8-10 minutes.

If desired, add the jalepenos cut in half or in thin long slices, with or without the seeds. If you like it spicy leave the seeds intact.

Add 2 Tblsp. of fish sauce. Cook 1 minute longer. Turn off the heat. Serve in a medium sized bowl with a serving spoon. Each diner spoons just what he/she needs over an individual portion of steamed Thai jasmine rice.

When making curry do not add too much water, adding just enough to cover the ingredients. This will intensify the flavor.

Use fish sauce (nam plah) like salt, adding at the end of cooking, to adjust seasoning to taste.

To intensify the heat, add fresh chile peppers at the end of cooking. Slightly crush birds eye chilies, with the side of a cleaver. Jalepenos are more readily available and should be, sliced into quaters. Remove the seeds if a milder flavor is desired. Cook just slightly for a hotter flavor. Also note that, red chilies are hotter than green of the same type. But chiles can vary in degree of hotness, depending on the area where they were grown and their age.

Serves 3 to 4.

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