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Malaysian Chicken Curry

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe. DELICIOUS and can be made with easy-to-get ingredients at regular stores. Once you try this curry, you will want more |

Malaysian Chicken Curry

Easy Chicken Curry Recipe. DELICIOUS and can be made with easy-to-get ingredients at regular stores. Once you try this curry, you will want more |

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


2 tablespoons oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 oz (25 g) curry powder for meat
1 1/2 lbs chicken, chopped into pieces
3 cups water
1 big tomato, cut into wedges, optional
2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
4 hard-boiled eggs, optional
1/2 cup coconut milk (or 3/4 cup milk)
Salt to taste

Add the oil to a big pot and heat it up until hot. Add the onions and stir-fry until aromatic before adding the curry powder. Do a few quick stirs until you smell the aroma, then add the chicken, stir to combine well, for about 1 minute. Add the water into the pot and bring it to boil. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, potatoes and eggs. Cover the pot and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until chicken becomes tender. Add the coconut milk and salt to taste and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
Malaysian Chicken Curry
Malaysian Chicken Curry pictures (2 of 6)

It’s officially winter now in the United States, I am sure many people are bundling up at home and cooking, instead of out and about in the frigid cold weather. I am lucky that I am in Southern California where winter is mild, in fact, this year there is no real winter here. However, being an island girl from the forever tropical Penang island, Malaysia, I feel cold whenever the temperature dips below 60.

Whenever I feel that I need to warm up, I make dishes that warms up my body, for examples: soups, stews, one-pot meals such as Japanese hot pot,  and curries. I especially love curries because they are so easy to make and I can just make a big pot and eat the whole day and I might still have some leftover the next day, which taste even better as the flavors develop overnight. Curries are so delicious, great with steamed rice, and heats up my body right away. Plus the smell of curries wafting through the kitchen is enough to set my stomach rumbling, and my mouth watering.

Malaysian Chicken Curry

There are countless ways of making Malaysian-style chicken curries and there are various recipes: devil’s curry, chicken curry kapitan, Nyonya-style chicken curry, etc. However, this Malaysian chicken curry recipe is very easy chicken curry that you can make with easy-to-find ingredients. For curry powder, I always buy the curry powder packets from Malaysia, brands such as Baba’s meat curry powder or Alagappa curry powder (made in Penang). They are fantastic, cheap and you can use them for a long time.

Without further ado, this is my homey Malaysian chicken curry which is really easy to make. Make a big pot today and share it with your family and friends. Enjoy!

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55 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

    • Up to you, I like the spices to get into my egg white so they are really tasty. And no, I don’t think they turn into rubber balls. If you don’t like it, you can add towards the end.

    • Ryeblossom

      I just wanted to add that cooking eggs for a long time makes the yolk much smoother and almost creamy, and the white part actually becomes softer. It also doesn’t smell so bad.
      Try it!
      Either boil for 15 minutes, and then cook on low for few hours (overnight is also OK) in a covered pot; or boil for 2 hours on medium heat. Make sure you have enough water!
      It does change the color, but I don’t mind it.

  1. JudiB

    What happens to the hard boiled eggs during the last 30-45 minutes? Do they stay whole or fall apart? Thank you for all your great interesting recipes!!!

  2. Karen

    Can you tell me when the coconut milk goes in? Would it be the same time as the water? This sounds amazing, and simple which is always good!

  3. Eriq

    Sounds so easy, since I’ve never had any good luck with making curry. But when do you add in the coconut milk / milk?

  4. visvanathan s.

    i read your column on Malaysian Chicken Curry with some interests, being as my beloved wife, Easwari, comes from Malaysia, herself, and likes to make Chicken Curry too….she, being a Tamil Indian Malaysian, prefers to make it in what she says is the South Indian tradition…and she’s been known to make some killer curries….(very good, i mean)….

    i was particularly moved to write to you, when i read that you, too, prefer the Indian style Curry powders for your dishes…Alagappa’s meat curry, or Baba’s style….Easwari particularly loves the Fish curry blend as well….especially as she is a big fan of fish….

    what do you think of Yeo’s version of packaged Malaysian Curry powder? how does it compare in your mind with the two Indian style varieties (which are indeed VERY flavourful)….

    my wife insists it’s just not as good as the two brands that you promoted above….but i wonder what your view is…

    thanks for all the work you put into this wonderful food blog…you are one of the sources i immediatly go to for all sorts of Asian foods, because you have so many varieties featured in your columns…i also appreciate your pointing out various kinds of sauces and so on that you like to use….i particularly love that Mizkan “soya” sauce…with the bonito…it’s great as a dip…as soup base, and for fried noodles…YUM…

    • Hi Visvanathan, thanks so much for your sweet and long comment. I love Indian-style chicken curry, I think no one makes better curries than southern Indian, in my opinion. This is a very easy curry recipe that everyone can enjoy but it’s very far from being the best of Indian curries. I love Alagappa because it’s from my hometown Penang. I am biased in the sense that all food-related from Penang is far superior than others, that’s because I love Penang and from Penang but I think many people would agree with me. I think Yeo’s is just bland. Mizkan Bonita sauce is soooo good, I am so happy that you love it, too. It’s a magical all-purpose sauce.

      • penang mari

        All things food-related from Penang is far superior than others is an accurate statement — no contest whatsoever! Ho chiak!

  5. visvanathan s.

    my wife, Easwair also prefers to put cinnamon stick, and a little star anise, as well as some mustard seeds and chili flakes into the hot oil before frying the onions…

    and being a very traditional girl, she ABHORS the idea of putting tomatoes into chicken curry….i on the other hand LOVE putting tomatoes into the chicken curry….the tomatoes add SUCH a delicious flavour to the gravy, and they just disappear into the sauce….(i make chicken curry myself at times…..we particularly love Vindaloo style, cause it’s nice and hot and flavourful…)

    • Yes we can put all sorts of spices into the chicken curry to make it even better but this is a very basic and simple ones. I love the tomatoes in the chicken curry too, it gives it a tang and less “creamy” taste.

        • Tomato is optional, as stated in my recipe. In reality, tomatoes are heavily used in many authentic Indian chicken curries…they even use tomato paste in many of their curries. However, you can choose not to put tomatoes in your chicken curry, it’s a personal preference as there are basically endless ways / recipes of making curries. There is no right or wrong, but whatever that suits your palate.

        • Brian

          Correction: you just heard about tomatoes in chicken curry. Why would anyone care if you think it’s a ‘no-no’

  6. Judy

    Hi. I have a question about the hard boiled eggs. Do you hard boil them in the stew or hard boil them, shell them and then put them into the stew.
    Thank you. :-)

  7. Is 1 oz. of curry powder correct? It seems like a massive amount. Otherwise, the dish reminds me of the stew-like chicken dish I used to order at malaysian restaurant near where I worked years ago.

  8. Jan Kleff

    Hi Bee, thanks for all the nice recipes from Malaysia.
    I am Singaporean and staying in Germany. Thank God there are lots of
    Asian shops where i am staying. I cook ofen asian food, most of all
    i love Indian and Malay food. If you have some Malay kueh recipes do
    share with us. Bye

    jan kleff

  9. newkiwi

    Is there a way to minimize or even eliminate the photo of the finished dish? Often, when I print a recipe, the title and photo take up more than half of a printed page(!). Even a short recipe ends up being two printed pages. It’s totally unnecessary and a waste of paper. P.S. My husband and I very much enjoy your recipes!

    • Hi Newkiwi, there are many readers who want me to put the picture of the finished dish on the recipe page because they are not familiar with the dish. However, thanks for your suggestion, in my new design, I will have one option to print without pictures.

  10. Iris

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to make dinner tonight :) One question though, do you suggest canned coconut milk (with thicker consistency) or the boxed type sold next to soy milk (thinner consistency)?

  11. Rachel

    I cooked the curry exactly based on the recipe. But the curry turns out pretty bland, could only taste the coconut. No curry flavour. Could it be that I added too much water? Or the curry powder differs from brand to brand?

    Also, the curry din seem to simmer into the chicken. Should I have stir fry the chicken longer?

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