Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Cà Ri Gà)

This is a very light and easy curry, or what I call Curry for beginners. A classic dish in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi where it is often served with Baguette, so you can dunk your crispy bread in the sauce. I find the curry powder used in Vietnam tend to be lighter and smooth in taste, just like a light Madras mixture, especially when coconut milk is added to the recipe. Except for the Lemongrass sticks and the fish sauce, it is made with ingredients you probably have at home. I keep Lemongrass stalks in the freezer so you can prepare an Asian meal in no time. This curry is light, sweet and with just a hint of spiciness or piquant. It is normally cooked with sweet potatoes and carrots, but you can add any root vegetables you like. We serve it with Jasmine rice. A simple and really nice dish to make under 30 minutes.

Serves 4
3 Tablespoons Curry powder – If you can find Golden Bell… this is the authentic one, otherwise any light Curry mixture will do
1 Kg skinless chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 Large Onion chopped roughly
2 Garlic cloves chopped finely
1 2cm piece of ginger peeled and sliced
2 Lemongrass stalks, bruised and cut in 3 pieces
1 Tablespoon brown sugar – honey or regular sugar
1 1/2 Cup of Chicken or Vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Small can of Coconut Milk
Salt & Pepper to taste –
Pinch of Chilli flakes
3 Large carrots sliced diagonally
1 Large Sweet potato cut in cubes
1 Large potato cut in cubes

Remove the skin from the chicken thighs. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the curry powder over the chicken and rub on all the pieces.
Salt & pepper the chicken pieces as well.
In a work or large saucepan, heat the oil and when it starts to smoke, saute the chicken pieces until they start to brown on all sides.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and cook for a minute or so. Add the chicken broth, the fish sauce, chilli flakes and the last tablespoon of curry powder. Cook the chicken with the lid on for about 12 minutes at medium heat.
Add the potato, sweet potatoes and carrots, coconut milk and cook for another 10 minutes. The carrots should be firm to the tooth.
That’s it ! The sauce will thicken slightly and become creamy and rich.
Serve with Rice or like in Vietnam, a large chunk of French baguette.

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