Portuguese Curry Devil Recipe!

Hola! and hope you’ve had a good Halloween weekend! Today is the actual day isn’t it? why don’t the offices play dress up too? Anyway, do we know the real meaning behind Halloween? How did it become something of so much fun?

Anyway, on to the real deal.. my Portuguese Curry Devil recipe!!

I made some tweaks to the original I found online from this website and its pretty close to the one that my Aunt/Uncle makes every Christmas/New Year. Its kinda like a festive dish for us as it was a treat from my uncle every festive season and since he passed, my aunty took over that responsibility to bring us this awesome deal. Coming from a Portuguese descent, this was one of his signature dishes that got us clamoring for more! Every year when I get to eat them during Christmas, I’d start having cravings for it month after month and after swearing to learn this recipe before its too late, after 3 years, I finally did. Its not that much hassle afterall and its a really simple yet hearty dish altogether.

Traditionally, Curry Devil is made with leftover meats such as turkey, chicken, roast pork etc (all your festive sin food!) but we’ve got accustomed to simply chicken, hot dogs n luncheon meat yet somehow its still such a yummy dish! The rumpah (traditional chilli & spices paste for most curries) wasn’t as difficult as i envisioned it to be so this is a recipe I would recommend many to try it!
*caution – SPICY SPICY SPICY!!
Serves 4-6, Prep Time: 30 Minutes, Cooking Time: 1Hr 15 Mins
(I will put the original recipe to honour the main contributor and my tweaks will be in brackets)

6-8 tablespoons cooking oil

Spice paste
20 stalks dried chillies, soaked and cut into 3cm lengths (I used pure chilli paste which you can get easily, make sure its not been premixed with curry powder and all. Use 1-2 Tablespoons for mild spicy eaters and 3-4 for the bold! I also added in fresh red chilli and my mum emphasized the need for it to be pointy at the end for it to be spicy!)
15 shallots peeled (I added a lil bit more as it wld really bring out more fragrance, 18-20? depending on the size of the shallots)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 candlenuts
3 stalks lemon grass (slice them up thinly and 2 would suffice)
20g galangal
2cm turmeric, skinned ( I used 1 tablespoon of tumeric powder as these babies just provide colour not taste)

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ground coarsely
350g chicken, chopped into bite size (400-450g, seasoned. I prefer to use the chicken thigh, easier to work with and tender!)
350g roast pork, cut into 2cm (replaced with 1 can of luncheon meat, 1 packet of hot dogs, if that is too much meat for you, reduce the amount to comfort and cut into 2-3cm pieces)
500ml water ( 1 Litre, we love the curry to dip bread in it!)
1½ tablespoons vinegar (adjust accoridng to taste preference! I ended up using 4 Tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sugar or to taste
Salt to taste ( I added some Light Soy Sauce for that unique taste soy sauce gives)
(I also added 1/3 a cabbage and 2 medium carrots chopped into chunky pieces to meet the daily vegetable requirements!)


2. Season the chicken thigh and cut out excess fats. Season with a simple mix of salt, light soy sauce and pepper with some corn flour. Poke lots of holes in the chicken using a fork to let the flavour sit. Leave it to marinate.

(Clockwise Left to Right: Chilli Paste, Shallots, Lemon Grass, Galangal, Tumeric Powder, Candlenut, Garlic)
3. Using an electric blender, finely grind spice paste ingredients, leaving out the chilli paste till this is done. Once you have ground everything to a slight wet texture, remove from the blender and mix in the chilli paste well till you get something like this:

4. Fry Chicken and luncheon meat till the outer most layer is crispy, do not worry if the insides are cooked or not. Allow it to cool and the oil to drain before chopping the chicken into 3-5 cm cubes

5. In a wok, sauté spice paste until fragrant, stirring continuously to prevent burning.

6. Add mustard seeds and sauté for another 15 seconds before adding the chicken pieces and luncheon meat cabbage and carrots. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add water and vinegar.

7. Simmer over low to medium heat or until chicken is tender and sauce thickens, add hot dog to cook and adjusting seasonings to taste.

Original Recipe Suggestion: Keep it in the refrigerator and overnight. Reheat before serving. Add a little water if gravy becomes too thick. (We couldnt wait no longer…. but it somehow does taste better overnight!)

My favourite pairing to this awesome dish is a nice bowl of Nonya Meatball and Cabbage soup as it is clear n light but wholesome n quells the heat! Of course, the curry goes best with french bread/baguette but rice is good for a meal too!

This is a good first try, not exactly like my aunt’s recipe but close enough (Something is missing but we cant put a finger to it!!!!) and it was fun and easy to make! I’d cook this anytime, no more waiting for festivities! no milk in it so its relatively healthy, just got to watch the meats I use.

Try it and tell me what you think!! Im drooling again just looking at the pictures!!!