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Saturday, 6 April 2013

Kuzi Ayam (Kelantan Style Chicken Curry)



This I would have to say is the mildest and tastiest curry I have ever tasted. It is not hot at all as there are no chillies but only some pepper to give it a slight hint of heat. The reddish colour that you see comes from tomato puree. It is thick, aromatic and very flavourful. Leave it overnight and it tastes even better. It is fabulous with Nasi MinyakNasi Hujan PanasNasi Tomato or even just plain rice.

Served with Nasi Tomato and Acar.
There are two version of this curry, chicken (Kuzi Ayam) and beef (Kuzi Daging). I have been searching for this recipe for a long time and was frustrated by one ingredient - Rempah Kuzi (Kuzi Spice Mix). Now where can I get Rempah Kuzi? I hear that it is easily available in Kelantan or even Terengganu and I could not find it anywhere in PJ. Or perhaps I don't know where to look.

The precious Kuzi Spice Mix.

Salvation came in the form of a Kuzi Ayam recipe which appeared in Flavours in conjunction with the California Raisins promotion. Now, this recipe gives you the component ingredients of the Kuzi Spice Mix. How I treasure this recipe! It has been photocopied and sits safely in my recipe folder. The spice mix consists of an aromatic mix of coriander, fennel, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and ginger.



I have to caution you that this is a very rich curry. It's base is made from fried onions. Lots of fried onions. So you can imagine how oily it can be. But fear not as you can easily skim off the oil once the curry is cooked. Or better still, let it sit overnight in the fridge to develop it's flavours further and you can easily remove the solidified oil. Remember, you must not be stingy with your onions or else your curry will not be flavorful.

Next time round I served with Sambal Nenas.

In most of the recipes, you are required to pound the crispy fried onions until fine but I did not bother. After all, the onions will soften and disintegrate after being simmered. I have tried both chicken and beef and love both versions. I served the beef version on one or two family gatherings and everyone loved it. On one occasion, my auntie complained that there wasn't enough curry prompting my uncle to suggest that next time I should cook the whole cow. Hah! Hah!

Kuzi Ayam (Kelantan Style Chicken Curry)
Recipe Source : Flavours September-October 2004 Issue (page 16)
(My modifications in red)

Ingredients :

Dry Spice Mix :
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I pounded fresh ginger)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 800g chicken, cut into pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, finely pounded or grated
- 1 teaspoon salt

- 3 tablespoons ghee (1 put only 1 tablespoon because the smell is too strong for me)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil (I basically put enough oil to fry my onions in one batch and removed any excess oil later)
- 250g onions, thinly sliced (I used big onions)
- 30g almonds, blanched and halved (I omitted)
- 80g California golden raisins (I used black raisins)
- 80ml tomato puree
- 80ml tomato ketchup
- 100 ml evaporated milk
- 400ml water (I may have put less because the chicken bleeds water, adjust as I go along)

Method :
1. Combine dry spices in a small bowl and set aside,
2. Marinate chicken pieces with ground garlic and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Heat ghee and oil in a wok or large saucepan.
4. Working in two batches, fry sliced onions until crisp and golden brown.
5. Drain fried onions on paper towels and grind finely (I did not grind). Set aside.
6. In the same oil, fry the almonds over low heat until lightly coloured before adding the raisins. Cook for under 1 minute to plump up the raisins.
7. Drain almonds and raisins on a paper towel.
8. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until lightly browned around the edges.
9. Add ground spices, tomato puree, tomato ketchup, milk, ground fried onions and water.
10. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until the chicken is tender.
11. The gravy should be fairly thick but if the mixture is too dry, thin down with a little hot water.
12. Add raisins and almonds and cook for another 5 minutes.
13. Taste and adjust seasoning.
14. Take the pan off heat and serve.

Note : I find that this curry tastes much better the next day.



I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest Kelantan Month hosted by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets.

62 comments:

  1. you are making me hungry ...AGAIN! Ii have Beef Pho brewing on the stove, do you wanna swap?

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    1. Cousin, you are fast! Oh yes, one big bowl of Beef Pho please and I'l give you Kuzi with extra nasi minyak and kuah :)

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    2. Wah oghang NZ ni cakap masak tu masak ni. When I was with her practically everyday I had to eat fish n chips :) These 2 Sohs banyak pandai masak.

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  2. I immediate took out Flavours September-October 2004 Issue (page 16), but why I can't find this recipe huh? The other day makcik Cik Manggis sent me two pkts of curry spices mix from Kelantan (Syarikat Niksah), I think this spice mix is similar like your curry. I must quickly cook this curry, look so yummy and tempting!

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    Replies
    1. Sonia, I am not sure maybe it was a separate booklet on the California raisin promotion. Wah you still have 2004 issue. Ini mesti peminat setia. You must try this curry because it is very delicious.

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    2. Sigh, I have throw away all those small booklet when moving house the other day, now regret, hahaha..

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    3. Sonia, myself when I am free I go through my old Flavours and tear out recipes that I like and keep in folder. The rest no choice but have to throw because if not my house become like storeroom hah! hah!

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  3. Pejam mata saja maaa...berminyak atau tidak belakang cerita hikhik yang penting ianya super Yummy :)

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    1. Heh! Heh! Makan punya pasal semua tak kira ya, CM? PH pun macam tu jugak :)

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  4. My first time to visit your blog and I'm coming back for more:) What attracted me foremost was your profile...I definitely want an auntie who is slightly disturbed, stressed out and menopausal...hopefully she could come and live with us in the funny farm:) I like your down-to-earth cooking style too:)

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    1. Hi there! I think every family has an auntie like me :) Thank you for coming by. I will definitely check out your blog soon!

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  5. Hey hey... Lunch time now.. This looks do good to go with my rice! Oh wow! Absolutely delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Li Shuan, your husband might like this because tak pedas.

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  6. This looks absolutely yummy and delicious. This is comfort food to us right? After having a full plate of rice with this and sure yes, you feel life is so satisfactory!!

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    1. Mel, your are right! Eat this with nasi tomato and you will be so happy!

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  7. I was just looking for something sweet-ish and kinda curry-ish for some chicken thighs this weekend.... this looks like just the ticket! thank you, my little SE Asian inspiration!

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    1. Toby, as you can see there is some Middle Eastern influence in this dish. I am sure you will love the curry!

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  8. When you state that this curry is mild and tasty, I'm sold! I love curries but my kids can't take the heat. So this dish would be perfect. (^_^) will definitely give this recipe a try and support MFF this month...thanks PH! \(^o^)/

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    1. Honey Bee Sweets, your family will love this curry. Serve with nasi tomato lagi best!

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  9. I don't hv the kuzi spice mix, but have all the dry ingredients.Gonna try this curry....:)

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    Replies
    1. You can make the kuzi spice with all your dry ingredients and enjoy this yummy curry :)

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  10. Oh gosh, this is so mouth watering!! Makes me feel like grabbing some bread and dip into the sauce.

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    Replies
    1. Mich, it goes really well with crusty bread! Do try the curry.

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  11. Is kind of kids friendly curry. My kids love tomato base dishes. Going to try. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Hope you like the curry, Vivian!

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  12. Hi Phong Hong, nice dish which my niece would like but not my hubby [he loves spicy hot curry]. Can I increase the pepper to satisfy his tastebuds? Must, must cook this soon........

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    Replies
    1. Kimmy, you can add chilli boh to this dish. My friend K. Nor added chilli to her Kuzi Hati.

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  13. Hi PH! This looks delicious but you know I love spicy food so I'm not sure about curry that is not spicy... Can I add chili to this recipe? :D

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    1. Alvin, you can definitely add chilli to this curry. My partner's son did comment that this curry would be better if it is hot :)

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  14. The kuzi looks so creamy! Okay, I'm sold! Thanks for sharing:)

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    1. Shereen, you will love this curry! Add chilli if you want heat :)

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  15. Phong Hong, you know, you can consider of having a biz of selling different kind of curry now. You are such a brilliant curry cook! Yum, they look delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Jessie, aiyo so shy lah! Very stressful lah selling curry. I prefer to play with my calculator. Heh! Heh! This curry is very yummy. You must try it!

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  16. Wow, this thick and aromatic curry chicken is my favorite kind of curry!!!!(drooling)....
    Thousand thanks to you for sharing this great recipe :)

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    Replies
    1. Esther, it is always a pleasure to share good food!

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  17. What a nice looking kuzi ayam. Even better to have it with nasi minyak. When looking for recipes for this event I came across quite a few of Kelantan dishes using fried shallots. I guess it gives the dishes very aromatic smell. Thanks for your support on this even PH :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Gertrude for the opportunity! Although I come from neighboring Terengganu, I don't know much about Kelantan food except for kuzi, percik and akok. It is great to learn more :)

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  18. In fact this curry is very nice yum-yum yeh! next time you should the whole cow so everyone will have more then enough and can also tapau some back

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    Replies
    1. Ee-Ee, I next time I will make sure that I cook extra!

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    2. Ah, this NZ aunty memang pandai masak :)

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  19. Phong Hong,
    Aiyoyo...the must be super delish!
    Not too spicy, suits my kids
    I must cook this soon : )
    mui

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    1. mui mui, if you can cook nasi tomato together with this curry, it will be perfect! Very sedap lor!

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  20. I love the thick sauce of this chicken curry. Can eat extra rice with it!

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    1. Ann, the curry gravy is really delish! It does make you want more rice :)

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  21. Oooo...needless to say, I would love this plus-plus. Can't wait to get the chance to hop over to Kelantan (and Trengganu) to try the unique cuisine there... Drool! Drool!

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    1. Arthur, yes you must visit the East coast states! Must try the golek, percik, nasi dagang, laksa and lots, lots more!

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  22. I was drooling all the way from FB when I first saw your dish....still drooling, looks so good!

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    1. Jeannie, if you have time do cook this curry. Then you can stop drooling and start eating :)

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  23. adoi...kempunan kepunan...why so many people post chicken curry....hungry now

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    Replies
    1. Jangan kempunan, this weekend rajin-rajin masak kuzi :)

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  24. Wah,this dish must try!!!
    Teacher PH,what is ghee? i went to google image and check,but still dont know what is that?
    where can i buy it?
    tomato ketchup, isn't a type of tomato sauce?
    isnt beef will better than chicken? which one is the best? i got beef in my fride。hehehe...
    must try!

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    Replies
    1. Friend, ghee is "minyak sapi" or clarified butter. You can find at the supermarket. I use the Windmill brand and the tin is green colour. Tomato ketchup is same as tomato sauce. And yes, I prefer the beef. You must cook this curry because it is very Best!

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    2. Teacher PH,I omit this ghee can or not?
      or just use normal butter to instead of ghee?

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    3. Friend, no need to use ghee also can! But you will be missing the special smell but don't worry, you curry will still be very good :)

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  25. i'm surprised to see raisins and almond in curry..sure this is kelantan style and not angmoh style?? hehe...just kidding :D

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    1. Lena, ya lah ang moh style because got no chilli hah! hah! Actually this kuzi has Arabic influence.

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  26. Hi Phong Hong, lovely curry. I sure need 2 plates of rice and extra gravy please. :)
    Yours look really good, you're an excellent cook. Regards.

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    1. Thank you for your compliments, Amelia! I feel so shy heh..heh..

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  27. This is delicious. My hubby gave thumbs up for this.

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    1. Thank you, Delia! I am glad you and hubby enjoyed this dish :)

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  28. Dear,
    Kuzi is my feveret dish. Love to eat with roti jala

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    Replies
    1. Azie, I find that kuzi is very special. I really love the taste and so do my family.

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