I confess, I once did not cook curry chicken or kari ayam well. My curry chicken was always too watery, had too much curry powder, or was too loaded with coconut milk. Despite numerous attempts and countless trials and errors, it just never tasted right—frustrating me to no end.
I eventually gave up trying…quietly accepting defeat and the brutal fact that my cooking skills were simply not good enough. I also felt deeply apologetic to my mom and my aunt because obviously I didn’t learn a thing from them regarding curry chicken—even though I spent countless childhood hours helping them prepare this meal. To pacify myself I concluded that it’s just one of those dishes better off ordered at Malaysian restaurants.
You may wonder at this point “Why write about a dish you can’t prepare?” Well sometimes sad stories do indeed have happy endings, sometimes there are actual knights on white horses, and sometimes things do change overnight—like learning to prepare great Malaysian Curry Chicken or kari ayam.
So how did my cooking miraculously improve? Did I pester a restaurant chef until he confessed the secret ratio of curry powder vs. coconut milk vs. chicken meat vs. other spices? Unfortunately I never could keep one tied down long enough. It turns out the secret to delicious Malaysian Curry Chicken originates from my hometown of Penang.
So here is the back story: A fellow Penangite (yes, that is what us folk from Penang call ourselves—at least I do) who lived in Irvine was moving out of state. Having read about my passion for promoting Malaysian food, he offered me his entire stash of spices, secret ingredients, and cooking goodies. I greedily—I mean graciously—accepted his kind gesture and suddenly turned into an authentic Malaysia Curry Chicken master chef overnight!
So now “What is the secret ingredient?” you ask. It’s an instant curry paste made in Malaysia. The curry paste makes curry chicken so good and aromatic that my mom’s and aunt’s version pales in comparison (shhh, just don’t tell them!). I agree with Mr. P when he says “this is simply The BEST Curry Chicken EVER.” The brand was A1 Best One.
(Note: I no longer recommend the A1 Best One as their quality has gone down quite a bit.)
If you want to buy instant curry paste, check out Asian Supermarket 365.