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How To Make Cambodian Khmer Curry for Chicken Seafood or Beef Recipe and Ingredients

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Pestle and Mortar: Traditional Grinding Tool

Pestle and Mortar: Traditional Grinding Tool

Curry

One of the most enjoyed dishes in Cambodia, Southeast Asia, India, and all over the world, is Curry. Curry has a very distinct aroma and taste.

You can season Pork, Chicken, Beef, Seafood or Lamb with Curry, and these recipes are easy to make and don't take up a lot of your time!

So let's explore how to make various Curries!

We will start with a basic recipe: Curry Paste.

Called Kroeunng in Cambodian, this paste is enjoyed by many cultures in Southeast Asia. It can be used to flavor meats and can even be added to a Stir-Fry. This paste also keeps fresh in a freezer for several months. Let's take a look at the Ingredients and recipe:


Khmer (Cambodian) Curry Paste Ingredients

IngredientAmountHow To Prepare

Cooking Oil (Olive Oil is my favoriite but you can use any other cooking oil.)

3 Tablespoons

 

Galangal Root

2 in (5 cm)

Peel and Slice into shreds

Tumeric Root

2 in (5 cm)

Peel and Slice into shreds

Krachai*

2 in (5 cm)

*(6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped may be used as a substitute, but will taste different)

Lemmongrass

3 Stalks

Use the tender inner-part only and Chop Finely

Small Red Shallots

4

Peeled and Chopped

Kaffir Lime Leaves

10

Slice Finely

Fish Paste (prahok, pro hok)

2 Teaspoons

Finely Chopped

  • Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over low-medium heat. (I prefer using a cast iron skillet as it introduces iron into the diet and adds flavor to the food.)

  • Add all the ingredients and fry until golden brown, stir slowly and consistently.

  • Transfer the mixture into a mortar (traditional) or Food Processor.

  • Crush and blend until the consistency turns into a smooth paste.

  • This recipe makes about 1 cup (250 g)

That's it!

You have now created a delicious Curry Paste that will amaze your family and friends!

Jong Yam~

(Let's Eat!)


Chicken Curry with Sorrel Leaves Recipe

Now that we know the basics to making Curry Paste, let's expand our knowledge and make a delicious Chicken Curry Dish!

  • Serves 4

  • Preparation time: 20-30 minutes (not including time for preparing Curry Paste-see recipe above)

  • Cooking Time: 1 Hour and 10 Minutes

Chicken Curry Ingredients and Recipe

IngredientAmount How To Prepare

Cooking Oil (I prefer to use olive oil but any cooking oil will do.)

3 Tablespoons

 

Chicken

1 whole, about 21/2 lbs (1.25 kg)

Cut into medium-sized pieces. (You can use pre-cut chicken as well)

Khmer Curry Paste* (See recipe above)

5 Tablespoons

*See recipe above for directions

Palm Sugar or Dark Brown Sugar

1 heaping tablespoon

 

Fish Sauce

3 tablespoons

 

Cococnut Milk

1 Cup (250 ml)

 

Uncooked Jasmine Rice

5 tablespoons

Toast in a frying pan and then grind into a fine powder.

Sorrel Leaves* (siok chou)

2 Bunches

*(You can replace ingredient with 1 bunch of spinach, chopped finely, and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice) Chop Sorrel Leaves finely chopped

Water

Enough to simmer for 45 minutes

White Rice

An amount suitable for 4 people

  • Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat (I use a cast iron skillet for added iron and taste).

  • Brown chicken pieces in oil.

  • Add Curry Paste

  • Add Sugar and Fish Sauce and cook for 5 minutes, stirring lightly.

  • Add a little water to moisten the ingredients.

  • Allow to simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken pieces are tender.

  • Add the Coconut Milk and Toasted Rice and cook for additional 5 minutes.

  • Add the Sorrel (or Spinach with lemon juice) Leaves and serve immediately over, or with White Rice.

That's it!

You're done!


Chanang Tay! (Delicious!)


Traditional Khmer Curry Recipe: Seafood or Meat Dish

Traditional Khmer Curry is a favorite among Cambodians! This dish is found at all ceremonial occasions and is an important tradition in this Asian Culture.

This dish is distinct for Cambodians because of the use of Sweet Potatoes. Cambodian Chili Peppers are not as spicy as are those from America and the USA. Use discretion when adding chili peppers!

This dish:

  • Serves 4

  • Has a preparation time of 1 hour and 10 minutes (does not include time to prepare Curry Paste. *See recipe at the top of this page.)

  • Has a cooking time of 45 minutes

  • *Can be made as a Seafood Dish or with Chicken or Beef. Note Ingredients below:

Traditional Khmer Curry Ingredients and Recipe

IngredientAmountHow To Prepare

Cooking Oil (I prefer Olive Oil but any cooking oil will do.)

1/4 Cup (60 ml)

 

Annotto Seeds (*optional)

2 tablespoons

*Annotto seeds are used as a natural food coloring. Soaked in warm water or fried in oil, then discarded

*Firm White Fish Fillets (Sea Bass, Haddok, Cod, Perch or Talapia are best) Instead of Meat

1 lb. (500 g)

Cut into large chunks

*Chicken or Beef instead of Fish

1 lb. (500 g)

Cut into large chunks

Fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves

5 (10 if using dried leaves)

*Dried leaves may be substituted

Carrots

2

Peeled and sliced into rounds

Sweet Potato

1

Peeled and Sliced

Onion

1

Peeled and Quartered

Fish Sauce

4 tablespoons

Palm Sugar or Dark Brown Sugar

1 tablespoon

Fresh Green Beans

3/4 Cup (100 g)

Trim ends and cut into 1 1/2 in (4 cm) pieces

Asian Eggplant

1 slender

Sliced

Coconut Milk

2 Cups (500 ml)


Now we have to make the Spice Paste. Let's look at the ingredients for the paste:


Ingredients for the Spice Paste

IngredientAmountHow To Prepare

Star Anise Pods

4

Coriander Seeds

1 teaspoon

Dried Red (finger-length) Chili Peppers

1 1/4 cups (25 g)

Soak in water for 20 minutes, drain, de-seed, and slice

Dried Shrimp Paste

1 teaspoon

*Khmer Curry Paste

*See Recipe on top of this page

  • To make the Spice Paste, combine the Star Anise and Coriander Seeds in a small wok or skillet (I prefer a cast iron skillet) and toast them over medium heat until they release their fragrance.

  • Transfer the mix to a mortar and grind with a pestle into a fine powder. (A food-processor may be used instead but it may not powder finely. You could always crush in a bowl with a wooden spoon or some other object.)

  • Add the Soaked Chilies, Dried Shrimp Paste, and the Khmer Curry Paste *(from recipe at the top of this page)

  • Pound (or process) into a Fine Paste

The Spice Paste is now complete. Let's move on to the next steps for cooking this dish:

  • Heat the Oil in a wok or skillet over a medium heat (as I have mentioned, I prefer a cast iron skillet for its flavor and health benefits).
  • Add the Annatto Seeds.
  • When oil begins to smoke and the color changes to a red color, strain it and return the red oil to the skillet; discard the seeds.
  • Heat the Red Oil over medium-high heat and cook the Fish or Meat *(whichever dish you are making) until cooked through.
  • Remove Fish or Meat and drain on a paper towels.
  • Add the Spice Paste to the skillet and fry until lightly browned and is fragrant.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the Kaffir Lime Leaves , Carrots, Sweet Potato, Onion, Fish Sauce and Sugar.
  • Mix well and add a little water t moisten.
  • Stir-fry for 10 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender.
  • Add Green Beans, Eggplant and the Fish or Meat and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the Coconut Milk and bring to a boil.
  • Check seasoning; add more Fish Sauce or Sugar to taste.
  • Remove Dried Kaffir Lime Leaves.
  • Serve Immediately!

Follow The Cooking the Khmer Way Series!

This is the third installment of a series of articles on Khmer Cambodian Cooking: Cooking The Khmer Way! These are not the only dishes in Khmer Cooking that use Curry but they are the most basic and the most popular among Cambodians.

There are many more recipes to come, so keep your eyes open for more delicious, inexpensive, and fun recipes that will delight your tongue and impress your friends and family!


More Delicious Recipes by, J.S.Matthew

walled-in-review

Comments

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on September 07, 2013:

Hi nurul! I don't know how I missed your comment so many months back but thanks for stopping by! It's always great to meet Cambodians on the web! Feel free to check out my many other Khmer recipes!

JSMatthew~

nurul on September 17, 2012:

Love your blog! Very informative. I live in Cambodia currently and absolutely love it here!

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 05, 2012:

Thanks jerrysaliu! I appreciate that very much. I try to make my recipe Hubs easy to read and follow and well organized. Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~

jerrysaliu from Warri, Nigeria on January 05, 2012:

This is so well explained. Thumbs Up

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 04, 2012:

Hello L.L. Woodard! If there is an Asian Supermarket or specialty store near you, you should be able to find everything you need. I know some things can also be purchased online but that won't work for fresh vegetables! I do hope that you can find all the ingredients and are able to try this. If you do please come back and give me your feedback! Thanks for stopping by!

JSMatthew~

L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on January 04, 2012:

I think finding some of the ingredients for the recipes may be a little tricky, but definitely want to give them a go.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 04, 2012:

@anglnwu: Hello! It is interesting how different yet similar recipes and cooking methods are in a particular region. The first time I tried curry was in Montreal, Canada at a restaurant called "Au Tarrot". It was an Indian restaurant and I had curried lamb. It was very good and a bit spicy (and expensive!) Although I really enjoyed it, my companion didn't like it at all. I think that the curry from this region (Cambodia, etc) tends to be more mild. Thanks for commenting!

JSMatthew~

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on January 04, 2012:

@davenmidtown: It really is easy. The funny thing is that I don't care for some of the ingredients by themselves but together they are delightful! I had Curry on New Years Day at my wife's aunt's house and it was good. I wish I ate it more! I only eat it about4 times a year but not really sure why? Curry is probably my favorite dish from Asia and I prefer mine spicy, although usually Khmer people keep it mild (which is weird because they like to spice Everything up!) I appreciate your comment Dave! Thanks for reading.

JSMatthew~

anglnwu on January 04, 2012:

It's interesting to see how curry is made in different parts of the SEA. In Singapore, we would blend the fresh ingredients first and then fry it in oil until fragrant. I see you guys have it the other way round. Thanks for sharing--your curry must be interesting.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on January 04, 2012:

Hello JS: This is really a great resource for many people who have not experienced the thrill of curry. I have always found cooking with curry to be fairly easy but I remember being intimidated by incorporating foods different then my normal ingredients into foods that I knew how to cook. I would advise people who read this article to actually try these recipes and you will find that the ingredients become very second nature rather quickly. One of the greatest benefits of expanding our cultural cooking list is the idea of how to improve recipes we already love. Votes up and shared.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 06, 2011:

I always love your comments tamarindcandy! Thanks again for stopping by!

JSMatthew~

tamarindcandy on November 06, 2011:

Always love these recipe hubs, thank you!

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on November 05, 2011:

icciev I appreciate all of your comments! Thanks again for stopping by and voting!

JSMatthew~

icciev from Kuwait on November 05, 2011:

thanks for the list of interesting recipes you have provided, voted up

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 24, 2011:

Hello chablis245! Galangal root is not native to Europe or the US but can usually be found in Asian Stores. Here is a link to Wikipedia to give you a better understanding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galangal

If you can't find it locally you can always order it online. I hope that this answers your question and I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment!

JSMatthew~

chablis345 from Berkshire on August 24, 2011:

Hi Matthew - your recipies sound delicious - just one thing, I am from England - what is a Galangal root - is it the same as root ginger and if not where would I get it from?

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 23, 2011:

Dinesh nair/VENZKHVAM I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment and I do hope that you try this recipe and let me know what you think!

JSMatthew~

VENZKHVAM from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers on August 23, 2011:

Dear Mathew,

I had done the earlier comment with out logging in.that is really nice list of preparations i will definitely try it out actually cooking is on passionate hobby of mine i really could not do it for a long years together. but definitely i will do it the next available opportunity and give you a feed back. very nice hub voted up

Dinesh nair on August 23, 2011:

Dear Mathew,

that is really nice list of preparations i will definitely try it out actually cooking is on passionate hobby of mine i really could not do it for a long years together. but definitely i will do it the next available opportunity and give you a feed back. very nice hub voted up

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 17, 2011:

HERBCYCLOPEDIA I appreciate you adding this useful information to this Hub! I never knew that India had a lower rate of Alzheimer's. That is so interesting. I appreciate you stopping by!

JSMatthew~

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 17, 2011:

That's great that you enjoyed it Binaya! Is the taste similar to the curry you usually eat?

JSMatthew~

HERBCYCLOPEDIA on August 17, 2011:

@ J.S. Matthew:

Nice hub. Did you know that curcumin, a compound extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma Longa is the pigment responsible for the yellow color of Indian curry and that it has, as many other polyphenol compounds, a preventive function against brain ageing and neurodegenerative disorders as Alzheimer's disease.

This is one of the reasons why it is believed that in India Alzheimer's disease rates are so low in comparison with other countries (due to the high intake of curry in that country), it is indeed the lowest Alzheimer's disease rate over the world.

Binaya.Ghimire on August 16, 2011:

Wow, it is really good.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 16, 2011:

Thanks Binaya! Please let me know how you like it!

JSMatthew~

Binaya.Ghimire on August 16, 2011:

What ever we eat for lunch or dinner curry is always cooked in my home. I'm giving this recipe to my mother so that I can try this with rice tomorrow.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 16, 2011:

@Alladream: Thanks for the comment! Let me know what you think when you try this!

JSMatthew~

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 16, 2011:

@Truckstop Sally: Here's the link to the new Chicken Hub: https://hubpages.com/food/Honey-Glazed-Chicken-Rec... I hope you enjoy it!

JSMatthew~

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on August 16, 2011:

These look very interesting.Definitely marking this one for future reference.Thank you

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 14, 2011:

That's pretty cool Truckstop Sally! I'll try to post another chicken recipe soon, hopefully tomorrow. Having a "delicious" button would be cool too! Thanks for the comment and keep your eyes peeled for the next recipe!

JSMatthew~

Truckstop Sally on August 14, 2011:

Oh my - delicious. Wish that was a button too! I am now keeping a package of chicken in the fridge just waiting for one of your recipes. Thanks for sharing!

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 13, 2011:

Very true writer20! These recipes are made to be quick but it's true that traditionally, these cooking methods are often done slowly and on a low heat. It helps to mingle the flavors. Thanks for your insightful comment!

JSMatthew~

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on August 13, 2011:

Thanks for the recipes.

When living in England I had an indian friend

originally from Singapore. He cooked curries and would always make mine the less HEAT which I always appreciate and they were always delicious.

JS Matthew (author) from Massachusetts, USA on August 13, 2011:

Hi Chan! Thanks for stopping by! I never thought to use Turkey as one of the meats, but it sounds delicious! I'll have to ask my wife to translate that one. Thanks for commenting again!

JSMatthew~

chanroth from California, USA on August 13, 2011:

Thank you very big much uncle Matt! That's the way I cook it too! Oh, try it with turkey, its good too! Dip in with bread. Delicious! Today I cook Som lor pro her, using coconut milk. I don't know what it call in English. Thanks! :)

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