Curry Powder and Curried Maggi Noodles (30 Days 30 Asian Ingredients Series Day 24)

I get the feeling that many Australians who like Asian food mistakenly believe their Asian immigrant neighbours are automatically badass cooks. I can’t speak for all Asian countries but I know for a fact that growing up in Malaysia most of us didn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen (well, I did, but that’s because I was close to my stepmom and liked helping her prepare dinner).

Food, and especially street food, is so cheap in Malaysia and Singapore that nobody really thinks to learn how to flip roti canai or make their own satays or laksa or Hainanese chicken rice at home. Then they grow up and move overseas and start missing the food back home, and that’s when they have to start learning how to cook.

I remember an immigrant Singaporean housewife once told me about her failed attempt at making chicken curry. I asked her how she made it and she said that she boiled the chicken pieces in a pot of water, cut open a packet of curry powder, and tipped the contents into the boiling water and stirred.

This forms the basis of my webcast on Curry Powder – you don’t make curry the way you make instant coffee.

The main thing when making curry is to get the balance right between using too much curry powder (which gives your curry a gritty texture) and not using enough.

There are two main ways to use it –

    • my stepmom tends to drench her chicken or beef with curry powder – a bit more heavily for the latter since that’s for a more intense rendang – then she sautés them in oil before adding the rest of what forms the “rempah”pureed onion & garlic, lemongrass, etc.  This drenching method will pretty much guarantee you use the right amount of curry powder.
  • I tend to combine the curry powder with the other “rempah” ingredients, add a bit of water to turn it into a paste, then fry it up to yield curry paste that I can then store and use later. This was what I did in the video above; a general guideline is about 3 Tbsp (or 30g) of curry powder for every kg of meat you’ll be using. Again, it’ll depend what curry you plan to create – red meat curries can take more curry powder whereas chicken and fish would drown in the spices if too much is used.

In the video above, I replaced the instant noodles (I say Maggi because that’s the most well-known brand in Malaysia, but it can be any type) with my homemade curry sauce. For the record, although I didn’t use the seasoning that came in the Maggi packet, you can in fact use that in place of the chicken stock granules I used in my curry paste – they work the same way.

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Curried Maggi Noodles

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