Nyonya loves their chicken curry, or kari ayam in Malay.
When it comes to making chicken curry, I always choose the easy way out—I buy instant chicken curry paste, which is both convenient and quite tasty.
However, back home in Penang, my family would always make chicken curry from scratch.
Well, first of all, you just can’t beat the authentic great taste of a red-hot chicken curry (click the picture above to check out the chicken curry gallery); secondly, no instant curry mix would rival the fresh and exotic aroma of homemade spice paste of turmeric, fennel, cumin, coriander seeds, and other aromatics.
So, the answer is pretty clear. If you want the best chicken curry, be prepared to spend some time in your kitchen…
Chicken curry is made with bone-in chicken traditionally, and curry leaves are used to infuse the chicken curry with the intense fragrance of the curry leaves.
My family love eating chicken curry with nasi kunyit (turmeric sticky rice) but I will have to share that recipe in the future. For now, do check out this mouthwatering chicken curry recipe prepared by my sister-in-law in Penang.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 169 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Nyonya Chicken Curry
- 1 whole chicken (remove head, neck, feet and chopped into pieces)
- 200 g potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 200 ml thick coconut milk (to taste, optional)
- 1 sprig curry leaves (use only the leaves)
- 1 star arise
- 1 cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 5 tbsp oil
- 1 ½ cup water
Spice Paste (ground):
- 3 cloves garlic
- 18 shallots
- 12 dried chili (soaked and remove seeds)
- 15 g turmeric
- 15 g coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 20 g shrimp paste, toasted
- 1 stick lemongrass (white part only)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Heat up your wok, pour in 5 tbsp oil, sauté cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves, fry over low heat, add in spice paste and stir-fry until fragrant.
- Add chicken, potatoes, curry leaves and fry well. Add in water, cover the pot, braise over low heat until chicken and potatoes are cooked well.
- Add the thick coconut milk, salt and sugar. Continue to simmer in low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken becomes tender. Remove and serve with white rice, bread, nasi kunyit, or roti jala.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Is it possible to replace the coconut milk with just milk?
Yes you can but won’t taste the same!
It’s so good and delicious. Everyone enjoyed it.
It’s pity not able to share the picture the nyonya chicken curry.
Thank you for sharing it.
Hi Bee, will the coconut milk ‘split’ if I simmer it for 30 minutes?
Should be fine, or you can add it towards the end.
No, the coconut milk did not split. I followed exactly what was written.
How different is this from Chicken Rendang?
Thanks Bee . . I live in England, came here with British Parents but was born in Kamunting BMH in ’61. . We Love a Curry . . But a Curry from home! I’ll try your recipe, all the best, Paul.
Does the lemongrass need to be pounded as well?
I tried this today. Whole family loved it! We replaced turmeric with old ginger after reading the other users comments. Perfect. Thanks so much for this recipe!
Hi, when making it without belacan (shrimp paste – impossible to find here!), can you use some thai or vietnamese fish sauce to compensate at least a bit? If so, a few tablespoons added at the end maybe?
Also if using powdered turmeric instead of fresh, how much should you add? Thanks, the dish looks amazing.
Yes, you can. I think you can try 1 teaspoon or to taste. I am not 100% sure without trying the recipe.