Saturday, October 22, 2011

Malayasian Curry with '10 Boy' Condiments

A mild curry, not too hot and lots of fun with condiments that are sweet, crunchy and salty.

We grew up eating this curry, over white rice, and was custom decorated at the table with the condiments of each diner's choice.  It was a blast, a frenzy of bowl passing and 'pleases' and 'thank yous' hoping to get the topping you wanted (needed!) to make your curry the best ever. In our family, this was comfort food.

My Dad was born in the Philippines to a Navy family, and spent many years in Malaysia as a young boy.  I always felt that this "exotic" curry recipe was somehow from his upbringing, I now know that this is a somewhat typical curry in the 1960's in the U.S.... not really that special at all.  But is WAS (is...) special to us, and frankly, people will have a bunch of fun with this meal and there will be lots of fun conversation to boot.  It's an easy meal to make for a crowd and to do ahead to save yourself some time and stress too.

About the "10 Boy" thing, my Dad always told us that that's how many 'boy servants' you would have in your household to pass each condiment from diner to diner... wow, as kids, we thought that was so cool. Totally not PC (politically correct) and it's kind of embarrassing to think about that many people who did nothing but pass a bowl from person to person.  Different times... different times in the Far East in the 1930's.

Here's what my "10 Boy" Curry Condiments looked like at dinner last night. A full list is below.

One more note about the curry, this is a great recipe to remember when you are faced with too many after Thanksgiving turkey leftovers!  Much better than the standard Turkey enchiladas or Turkey Pot Pie. At this time of year, I just use a Costco roasted chicken for this recipe.

Serves about 6
Curry Ingredients:
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, mashed
2 tart apples, peeled, cored, chopped
2-4 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
4 cups cooked chicken or turkey
Salt to taste
½ cup flour
½ cup butter
8-10 cups chicken broth 

Sauté onions, celery, and garlic in butter or oil until soft.

Add flour and curry powder and cook for about 5 minutes. 

Add chicken broth and stir until thickened, add apple and other seasonings. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.  The sauce should be thickened, and the apples have stopped floating on top, and are now part of the sauce. Add meat, reheat and serve over hot white rice.
Serve with condiments in small bowls on the table. Here's what it looks like before you add the 'decorations'.

  • crushed pineapple
  • peanuts, roasted & salted
  • green onions
  • golden raisins
  • chutney
  • coconut
  • capers
  • french fried onions
  • bananas
  • diced cucumbers
  • sunflower seeds, or pepitas
  • lime pickles (Spicy Indian relish made from preserved limes and chilies


  1. LOVE this curry! This is the curry of my childfoot too....brings back good memories just looking at it! Thanks for sharing! YUMMMM!

  2. Here it is 2014! I'm 3 generation back Navy - this dish was so frequently served at many dinner parties. I so happy to find the recipe again - after so many years. Planning to serve it to my Retired
    Air Force friends who have probably never heard of 10-boy curry. Thanks for sharing.