Burmese chicken booyah

Booyah Burmese Chicken Curry

This is my very favorite curry–EVER!  The Mr. and I have been enjoying this one for at least the past eight years–wow, hard to believe it has been that long…

Anyway, I have already told you about our courtship days and the time and money we spent eating out in KC.  Once we got serious about cooking and eating at home, I knew that being able to make a good curry was an important ingredient to our success!  As you also know, curries are not my specialty, though I am getting much better!  Somehow, with a little google guidance and sheer luck I managed to create this delight!  There is one ingredient in the curry that is tough to get, but is critical to the crazy good flavor–the sour paste.

Important! Sour paste

I purchased it by accident at our local (Mission, KS at the time) Asian grocery, decided to use it simply to get rid of it, and it stuck!  Boy did it stick.  I have tried this curry recipe without it–just using extra red curry paste and many other substitutes, but nothing compares.  Nowadays, I purchase it in bulk online through importfood.com .  Their prices and service are very good, so give them a try if you can’t find it where you live.

Anyway, this curry reminds me of a cross between tikka masala and massaman chicken–rich with tomatoey, creamy, and spicy eastern flavors.  You will have to try it to understand the depth of unique flavors layered so neatly in this curry.  Serve this with my Indian corn flatbread and atop my pea and sweet onion rice.  This is another good one to serve when you have guests coming for dinner because you can make it way ahead of time and just let it slow simmer until you are ready to stop talking and start eating!  I like a nice light white wine with this dish, but last night I had an oaky Cabernet already corked so I decided to give it a try.  It worked beautifully!


Burmese chicken booyah

Servings:  6

  • 2 # boneless chicken thighs, cut in bite size pieces
  • 1/4 c grape seed (or veg) oil
  • 8 shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 can sour paste
  • 1/2 T curry powder
  • 1 c water
  • 1 1/2 c Silk’s original coconut milk
  • 1/4 c tomato puree
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1 T palm sugar or regular sugar
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 t red curry paste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

In a large saute pan, heat grapeseed oil over low.  Stir fry the shallots until they are browned and tender.  Drain, reserving the oil in the pan, and set aside the shallots.

Reheat the oil over medium/low and add the chicken.  Stir in the curry powder well and cook for a few minutes.  Add the water, fish sauce, sour paste, red curry paste, and tomato wedges, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and sugar and continue to cook uncovered over low heat for 20-30 minutes–until the curry begins to thicken.  Serve with a healthy sprinkle of cilantro and caramelized shallots as the garnish.


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