2 tablespoons rice bran or similar neutral oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cayenne (optional)
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1cm dice
1 medium waxy potato, peeled and chopped into 1 cm dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons soy sauce (use reduced salt if preferred)
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 3cm pieces
¼ cup flour
⅔ cup chicken stock
2 eggs, lightly whisked
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
5 cups rice bran oil (or similar with high smoke point) for deep frying
To serve (optional):
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 cup of mayonnaise
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Heat the first measure of oil in a large deep frying pan and cook onion, sugar and spices over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add carrot and potato, cover and cook a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, soy sauce and chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stock, stirring to combine well, and cook for a further 10 minutes until sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Chill for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Place the whisked eggs and panko crumbs in two separate shallow dishes.
Take large tablespoons of the chicken mixture, roll in the crumbs, dip in the egg then roll in crumbs again. I do the first crumb of all the curry balls in one go, then finish them, so that they rest in between.
Chill for an hour. Heat the rice bran oil in a large deep saucepan until it has a sheen on the surface and a bread cube dropped in will pop up to the surface and fry to golden in about 20 seconds. Fry the curry balls in batches of 4 at a time for 5 minutes until golden and heated through.
To serve: If making the sesame mayonnaise, place 1 cup of mayonnaise in a small bowl, drizzle with toasted sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve this alongside the curry balls.
Serve with drinks, for lunch with an Asian-style coleslaw or as part of a Japanese meal. Makes 16 ice cream scoop-sized balls.