About Me

Here at Sensei Cooks I write about my adventures in the kitchen and sometimes in the dojo.

I have a love for cooking and want to explore all the possible facets of it. Leave no stone unturned so to speak.

I am Vegan and love all types of vegan cooking.

I love the process of cooking. Being in the moment. Sort of Zen and the Art of Cooking.

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Cari Ga (Chicken Curry OR Tofu Curry with Sweet potatoes and carrots)

Sean found this recipe in a book I had borrowed from the library and thought it sounded interesting. He was right. I made two pots of it, one with the chicken and the other a Vegan version with tofu. The winning part of this recipe is the Cari Powder. I really liked the flavour it gave and reminded me of a Malaysian dry curry I really like from a local restaurant. We will be having this dish on a regular basis, especially since it is so easy to make and you can substitute virtually any veggies or potato instead of sweet potato. I have been only posting Vegan recipes for about a year now but I though I would post this with the two possible ways of making it since I made both versions and it did not take any longer really.

Cari Ga Tofu and Carrot

Cari Ga Tofu and Carrot

Cari Ga (Chicken Curry OR Tofu Curry with Sweet potatoes and carrots)
adapted from Curry Cuisine by Corinne Trang, David Thompson, Das Sreedharan, Mahmood Akbar, Sri Owen

Serves 4 (serve over rice)

4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, cut into bite size pieces
Or
1 package extra firm tofu cut into 1″ cubes

4 tbsp Vietnamese Cari (see below), divided
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
3 shallots, peeled and thickly sliced
1 ltr coconut milk
2 tsp annatto (achiote) seed extract
2 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed and smashed to break open the stalks
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
OR
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into slices on the bias
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Mix 2 tbsp Cari powder and sugar.
  2. Toss the Chicken or Tofu in the mixture to coat and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and brown the sweet potatoes, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the sweet potato with a slotted spoon to paper towel.
  5. Add the Chicken or Tofu and cook the chicken about 10 minutes or brown the Tofu and 5 minutes.
  6. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel, reduce the heat to medium.
  7. Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until golden.
  8. Add the remaining Cari powder, coconut milk, annatto, lemongrass, lime leaves, fish sauce OR soy sauce and the carrots.
  9. Bring to a boil and then simmer  covered for 20 minutes or until yams are tender and Chicken (if using) is cooked.
  10. Remove lemongrass and lime leaves (optional).
  11. Serve over rice

Cari Powder (Vietnamese all-purpose curry powder):

8 curry leaves (dried)
2 star anise
2 dried chili, deseeded
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp whole cloves (4)
1 tsp black pepercorns

1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Dry heat the first ingredients over medium heat until fragrant and a slight colour change, shaking the pan constantly.
  2. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
  3. Add the last ingredients to the first in an air-tight jar and store 3-6 months
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