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Originally from Burma, Chicken Khow Suey or Khao Suey is a popular dish among the Memon & Gujrati community of Pakistan. It comprises of noodles in a coconut or yoghurt based curry, with spicy chicken or beef and an array of condiments.

Very basic khow suey is made of the following components.

Noodles – this is the base of the dish; the noodles can be egg noodles, wheat noodles or just spaghetti.

Meat – usually chicken.

Curry – this is where the greatest debate in authenticity lies. There’s the Burmese version made with coconut milk or coconut powder and the Memoni version which is made with chickpea flour and yoghurt, and the Gujrati version which is a combination of all ingredients.

Condiments – the list of condiments for khow suey is endless, but the basic ones are some sort of crisps (can be slims or fried roll wrappers), lemon, chili (can be paste, powder or oil), fried garlic and coriander. Other options include boiled eggs, potatoes, spring onions, red chili flakes, fried onion etc.

All the components are laid out separately and then everyone makes their own bowl. They start off with the noodles, add the curry followed by the meat gravy, and then top it off with the condiments. Mix it all up and eat.

Ingredients

Coconut Curry:

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 oinions pureed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • ¾ cup gram flour
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Chicken Gravy:

  • 2 tomatoes chopped blended with 2 tspn yogurt
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric/haldi
  • ½ kg boneless chicken sliced

Condiments/Garnishes:

  • 1/2 medium onion thinly sliced and fried
  • 1 1/2 cups Fried Slims Crisps or Papri for topping
  • 600 grams egg noodles boiled

Instructions

For the coconut curry:

  • Fry 2 puréed onions in 2 tspn oil for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 tspn ginger paste, 1 tspn garlic paste and fry another 2 minutes.
  • Add besan and fry another minute mixing well.
  • Add salt, chilli, turmeric and the chicken stock. Cook spices till the oil comes on top then add remaining stock.
  • Once all added, stir gently and bring to a boil.
  • Slowly add the coconut milk from the cans and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

For the chicken gravy:

  1. Heat oil on pan, add ginger and garlic paste for 2 -3 minutes.
  1. Add the spices and add water till the oil comes on top.  
  1. Turn heat to low, and cook for a minute then add sliced chicken. Cook on high heat till chicken changes color from pink to white. Turn heat to low, and add a cup of water. Cook the chicken till meat is tender and oil surfaces. Set it aside.
  1. Add tomato and yogurt paste for another 5 minutes.
  1. Add a sprinkle of coriander and mix before serving.

Assembly:

  • Boil the noodles as per packet instructions and place them in a large bowl. Prepare all the condiments as per personal preference, and place them all in small bowls. The variety of condiments is on personal preference, but lemon, crisps & some form of spicy element (whether chili paste, chutney or raw chili) is necessary to balance flavors.
  • Warm up the coconut curry and the chicken and serve them in medium sized bowls. To make a bowl of Khao-suey, first add the noodles in the bowl, then add coconut curry and chicken. Top with your preferred condiments and then mix it up.
  • Add lemon & crisps right at the end.
Amna Batool

About Amna Batool

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