Nepal 16th March 2014 -23rd March 2014

My kitchen will be temporarily closed when I travel to Nepal during the school holidays. In its place, will be kitchens in Nepal which will whip up plate after plate of dhal baat for one whole week. Let’s see how my pampered little kids are going to survive this. OK, some of you may not know what dhal baat is.

Steamed rice, curry vegetables (carrots, cauliflower) and a cooked lentil soup called dhal are the main components of Nepal’s staple food. The dish is called dhal baat. Porters can eat a mountain of this.

Above is a video taken by me at a lunch stop on the way to the Langtang Valley just north of Kathmandu. This is as authentic and unadulterated as it gets. The mutton is even rubbery. It’s going to be one heck of an adventure for uninitiated Singaporeans.

© Chan Joon Yee

Curry Curry Night

I have no special preference. Almost any brand of curry paste will do. Try not to get curry powder.

Again, coconut milk is an absolute must. You can try healthier substitutes, but it won’t taste as good.

Chicken drumstick. Other parts are OK, I just prefer drumstick for the texture and succulence.

Lemongrass is optional, but I would rather have it. It adds a nice fragrance to the curry.

No special preference as far as potatoes go. I just pick something that looks good.

As usual, olive oil is used. I fry some shallots in it. Then, I put in the lemongrass.

The chicken goes in next, followed by the curry paste. The mixture is fried until everything is nice and fragrant.

In goes the water. I prefer to add the potatoes a little later. Mashed potatoes don’t go well with this dish.

In goes the coconut milk. The colour turns creamy brown. The aroma becomes even richer. I’ve skimmed out the orange oil over here.

Here’s the baguette that goes very well with curry chicken. Buy it as fresh as possible. Warm it a little before serving.

© Chan Joon Yee