Ca ri ga
What is ca ri ga?
Ca ri ga (ca ri gà, pronounce “ka ree gkaa”) is a curry (ca ri, said aloud, it really sounds like curry!) with chicken (ga), potato, carrot and coconut milk. The dish is served with bread, rice or noodles. Sometimes it is also made with sweet potato and / or yam.
Chicken curry is a popular dish in most countries in Southeast Asia, from Malaysia to Pakistan, from Vietnam to Thailand. Every country has its own special ingredients and preparation methods. Vietnamese chicken curry has few ingredients compared to most other curries and most resembles a stew. No special curry paste is made such as in Thai or Indian cuisine; ready-made curry powder is purchased instead. The other flavourings – ginger, garlic, lemongrass – are chopped.
At Vietnamese parties, you regularly come across a large pan of ca ri ga, with a mountain of sliced baguette next to it. The Asian version of a chicken salad sandwich!
How to make ca ri ga
Chicken – this can be fillet, thigh or even a whole chicken cut into pieces – is cut up and sometimes marinated first, sometimes browned immediately in a mixture of curry powder, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger and lemongrass. The kitchen already smells delicious! Potato, carrot, coconut milk and water are added and then simmered for about 45 minutes. The result is a mild, fairly liquid curry full of flavour, with juicy pieces of chicken.
How to eat
Like so many curries, this dish tastes best when it has been in the fridge overnight. So start waiting … If this does not work, serve the chicken curry immediately, with a crispy sandwich (a favourite among the Vietnamese), cooked noodles or a steaming bowl of jasmine rice.
Ca ri ga is not the only dish that can be eaten with a baguette (a legacy from French colonial times). The bo kho dish is also very fitting for this. Fancy a fresh, light chicken dish? Then try goi go. Other Asian curries include Indian chicken korma and Thai curry.