The history of the Devil’s Curry bears stark similarity to that of the Indian Vindaloo. Portuguese explorers, much like in Goa, landed in the coastal state of Malacca in Malaysia during the late 15th century. A transgression by early explorers towards the rulers of Malacca resulted in their incarceration, which in turn led to a full-scale invasion by the Portuguese during the early 16th century. During the 30 years of occupation that followed, Portuguese sailors were encouraged by their king to take up wives and start families. The history books have established this period as the origin of the creole ethnic people of Portuguese and Malaccan descent known as the Kristang people. It is the European-Asian fusion cuisine of the Kristang people that, like in Goa, brought together local spicing and Portuguese chillies. The Devil’s Curry truly is Malaysia’s answer to the Vindaloo and is courtesy @thecurriedlondoner.
What you need… • 800g chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks • 1 Tablespoon Ghee • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil • 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds • 200ml (approx) chicken stock or water • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar • Salt to taste • 1 teaspoon brown sugar • Few coriander leaves or crushed dried chillies (to garnish)
Spice Mix • 25 long dry chillies, deseeded and soaked in warm water for 20-30 minutes • 3 onions, chopped • 1 Tablespoons garlic paste • 2 Tablespoons ginger paste • 3 stalks of lemongrass (only the soft white sections) • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil • 2 teaspoons water • 1 Tablespoon tamarind concentrate/paste • 1 Tablespoon chilli power (optional)
How you make it… 1. Blend Spice Mix together into a very smooth paste (add a dash of water to loosen it if necessary) 2. Heat the ghee and vegetable oil to a medium heat in a heavy, lidded pan 3. Add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add the spice paste and cook for until the mixture gives off an aroma (around 10 minutes). 4. Add the chicken, stir to coat in the paste and cook for 5 minutes. 5. Add enough stock or water to just cover the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. 6. Add the vinegar, salt and sugar, mix well and continue cooking until all the chicken pieces are cooked. 7. Garnish with your choice of coriander leaves or crushed dried red chillies and serve.