Malay Chicken Curry

There are many delicious authentic Malaysian dishes out there. What might look like a lot of time and effort, I have to say that when you learn to make it on your own, it’s not as difficult and time-consuming as you would have thought! The techniques are somewhat almost the same. Since my husband and his family has never stopped talking about loving this particular dish, I had to teach myself to make this dish from scratch as well as the “instant” way 😉

So here it is, the recipe:

Spice paste

  • 8 shallots, peeled
  • 10 dried chillies, seeds separated (optional)
  • 4 fresh red chillies, seeds separated (optional)
  • 5 candlenuts
  • ½ a head of garlic, peeled
  • 2 inch of ginger
  • 2 lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 20g belachan (shrimp paste)


  • 1.5kg chicken, any part preferred but tastier with bony bits
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2½ cups of chicken stock
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anises
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 green cardamoms
  • 6 curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Oil (any preferred cooking oil)

Cooking method:

  1. Combine all spice paste ingredients in a food processor until it becomes a paste (for more flavour, make the paste a day before for the ingredients to marinate)
  2. Marinate the chicken with the spice paste for no longer than 30 minutes
  3. Heat oil in a big wok or pot then add in the cinnamon stick, star anises, cloves, green cardamoms and curry leaves. Stir until fragrant.
  4. Add in the chicken and every drop of marinate and fry on a low heat
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil then let it simmer for about 10 minutes
  6. Add in the potatoes and again, let it simmer for 30 minutes until potatoes soften
  7. Pour in the coconut milk, a salt to taste and brown sugar, leave it to simmer for 20 minutes more, and you are done!

Best served with roti/paratha or rice but you can also have it with any fresh bread as well!


The easier way that I personally do (for a quick “craving” fix) is.. I get myself the instant Chicken Curry paste (my mum will usually DHL some to me – “Mak Nyonya” ones), add in a cinnamon stick, coconut milk, chicken, potatoes, add some salt and brown sugar and voilà!

Selamat menjamu selera!

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