Gulai Ayam (Indonesian Chicken Curry)
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This recipe is from internationally acclaimed cook and food writer Ghillie Basan who has very kindly allowed us to share this with you on our website. As well as the author of numerous cookery books, Ghillie runs innovative and inspiring, hands-on cookery workshops from where she lives in a remote outpost of the Scottish highlands – find out more about Ghillie, her books and workshops at: http://www.ghilliebasan.com
Slow-cooked with lots of pungent spices, this curry of tender lamb, mutton or goat meat is customarily served with rice and a pickle or chutney.
First make the spice paste. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the shallots, garlic, chillies, galangal, turmeric and lemongrass to a paste. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and stir in the paste, until fragrant and beginning to colour. Add the shrimp paste and palm sugar and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until the paste has deepened in colour, but not too dark.
Heat the oil in heavy-based pot. Stir in the coriander and cumin seeds, along with the nutmeg and black pepper, then add the spice paste and lemongrass. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is dark and fragrant.
Toss in the lamb, making sure it is well-coated and pour in the coconut milk and water. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender (check the meat from time to time and top up the water if it gets a little dry).
Toss some of the coriander into the curry, season it with salt and pepper and tip it into a serving dish. Sprinkle the rest of the coriander over the top and serve with rice and sliced chillies on the side.