Very Easy Malaysian Chicken Curry

August 2, 2010

There are many kinds of curried chicken in Malaysia and while I am not sure which kind this is, it is the kind that is served in my mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen. If it spanned two generations, I can assure you that this recipe works.

I used to over-think this recipe when I was in my university days because I want, so badly, to replicate the taste from home. And the result is a curry that tastes like it was over-thought, if that made any sense. I put too much curry powder, too much cumin, too much coriander, too much of everything. While it was good, overbearingly spicily good, it was perhaps quite heavy handed. I’ve learned that it is crucial to understand balance when handling spice.

This curry feels, tastes and smells very much like home and it is a keeper. It is like the curry served during Chinese New Year’s reunion dinner along with all the other yummilicious dishes. The spice is just right and it is downright addictive.

Home-style Malaysian Chicken Curry
serves 6

6 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated.
1 star anise
1 stick of cinnamon stick
1/4 cup of curry powder
1 teaspoon garaam masala (optional)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 large potato, cut into large chunks
2 large tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup of coconut milk
250ml of water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Curry Spice – to be pounded/blended
2 medium sized red onions, chopped into chunks
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon dried whole coriander
1 teaspoon dried whole cumin
4 pods of cardamom seeds, discard pod after extraction

I like to pound my spices with a mortar and pestle but go ahead and use a blender.

    1. Toast the coriander seeds, cumin and cardamom seeds on a pan until it is fragrant. Add the spices into the mortar and pestle and grind until powdery.
    2. Add the red onions and garlic in, bit by bit, pounding as you go until you get a spice paste.
    3. Set aside until ready for use.

Heat a large pot with 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in medium high heat.




This chicken curry tastes better the next day and is great eaten with rice and breads, especially the South Asian kind like Naan bread. The end result of this dish can be rather oily, don’t be alarmed, the red chili oil that surfaces actually helps cook this curry better. You could always scoop the excess away after you’re done cooking or get rid of the chicken skin.

It’s been such a lovely weather lately, hot without much humidity, an excellent reason to crank up the kitchen. *rubs hands together*

Also, on the 31st of August will be Malaysia’s independence day. My fellow foodie blogger from Malaysia, Babe_KL is hosting an open house on her blog collecting family favorite recipes for our 53rd Independence Day. The theme is Food From Our Hearts, an excellent theme for a recipe that’s spanned two generations. 🙂

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover)
August 3, 2010 @ 4:38 am

I just cooked curry yesterday night,my kids just love curry.

August 4, 2010 @ 3:26 am

Been missing you Elaine. Do you have a facebook page?

August 4, 2010 @ 9:38 am

Great curry…so yummy

August 5, 2010 @ 2:52 am

Sonia: Can't go wrong with curry 😉

Elsie: Hey you, yea it's been a while and I haven't had the time to blog as much as before. I do have a facebook page but not for the blog.

Olivia: It was! 🙂

August 5, 2010 @ 4:23 am

Prefer the thicker curry gravy type. The lighter gravy ones does not give this 'oh so tasty' effect.

August 10, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

This was pretty good. I will def make again but maybe with some alterations. Not for sure what yet but I'll figure it out.

August 11, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

This was my first time making any type of Curry and it turned out wonderful! I'm vegetarian so I used potatoes and peas instead of chicken. I will definitely be making this again.

August 22, 2010 @ 11:59 am

This was awesome! I took another viewers advice and made middle eastern rice with black beans and chickpeas and it was amazing!

Nate @ House of Annie
August 23, 2010 @ 12:22 am

You should enter this post in Babe in the City KL's Merdeka Day roundup!

August 23, 2010 @ 1:58 am

Hi Nate, what a great idea. Thanks for suggesting, I'll let Babe know. 🙂

August 23, 2010 @ 6:20 am

I will def make again but maybe with some alterations. Not for sure what yet but I'll figure it out.

August 24, 2010 @ 4:03 pm

Thanks for this wonderful hand-me-down recipe 😉 Great entry here!

September 1, 2010 @ 8:51 am

first time cooking a curry at home. easy fast delicious

November 30, 2011 @ 2:04 am

Hi Elaine. When do you add the water and are you supposed to use red chilli oil?
thanks jen

    December 8, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    Hi Jen, you add the water after you add the chicken pieces in. I’ guess I had missed that part. I don’t use red chili oil at all for this recipe because the majority of the red oil came the amalgamation of the curry powder, coconut milk and the oil we used for cooking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *