This is a recipe from my Fijian mother; nobody makes it like her! Since she never uses exact measurements, I've tried to classify them as best as I can. (The roti is a flat unleavened bread that is used to eat the curry). This is definitely spicy and can be quite time consuming to make. However, after growing up with this dish through the years, it's worth it. Plus, you can freeze the roti in foil and the curry in individual plastic bags for quick and easy meals during the week!
- 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into bit size pieces)
- 1 bulb of garlic (or more if you desire)
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds (grounded)
- 2 -3 ounces curry powder (suit to your taste or color)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube (if you'd like to salt your curry)
- 2 potatoes
- 1 eggplant
- 4 cups flour
- hot water
- 1⁄4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cut the chicken into bit size pieces. Add garlic and mix into chicken.
- In a separate bowl mix all of the spices and curry powder together (but not the bay leaves). Slowly add spice mixture into chicken/garlic while mixing by hand to ensure even coverage. Set the mixed chicken aside to sit for a while while you make the Roti.
- Boil water and let the water cool until you can handle it with your hands (you'll be kneading the Roti dough).
- Mix 4 cups of flour with the salt and then add the hot water until it is moist but not sticky. You want the consistency of a flat dough that will be rolled out using a wooden rolling pin.
- Take a little more than half a stick of room temperature butter and add it to the flour and water mixture. This will keep the dough from sticking to your hand and itself.
- Use judgment for rolling consistency. Flour flat surface and rolling pin and form dough into balls. Roll balls out to flat and thin consistency, about 6-7 inches. Heat up your frying pan to medium-high heat.
- (Note: Sometimes, I do this using two pans to make it go faster). Take a paper towel and use oil to rub onto pan before each roti that you cook. The roti will form small brown spots on each side when done. Do not overcook, it should never be stiff. When done in the pan, put on a plate lined with paper towels and cover with a dish towel to keep it warm.
- After my Roti is done, I begin with the curry -- although you can always do both at the same time too.
- Pour just enough oil to cover the bottom of a large pot. Place 4 bigger bay leaves into the pot and warm oil on medium for a few minutes (before the bay leaves turn brown).
- Turn heat to high and add chicken. Cook at high heat stirring every minute for 10 minutes, then turn to medium/medium low heat. Use your judgment when cooking at high heat because you don't want the chicken to stick or burn. If the pot is lacking any liquid from the high temperature, add small amounts of water or chicken stock. As the chicken cooks longer, the juices are released. Use your judgment.
- 5 minutes after turning the heat from high to medium/medium low, add the cubed potatoes and eggplant. When potatoes are done, the curry is done. Make sure the eggplant is dissolved into the curry.
- You're all finished! Use the curry to scoop up your meal; no silverware required!