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Nyonya Chicken Curry

Try this amazing curry!


  • 3 Tbs coconut cream

  • 10 sprigs of curry leaves

  • 1 star anise

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 1/2 kg chicken thigh fillets, cut in halves

  • 500g baby chat potatoes, peeled, halved and parboiled

  • 2 bird’s eye chillies deseeded and halved lengthways

  • 500ml coconut milk

  • 1 Tbs salt

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • Rempah (wet spice paste)

  • 3 Tbs ground coriander

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground fennel

  • 15 dried long red chillies*, deseeded*, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained and chopped 20g belacan

  • 25g fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced

  • 270g red eschallots OR Spanish onion, peeled, sliced

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • * Dried chillies – There are several types of dried chillies. For this recipe please choose the type that are about finger

  • sized. The smaller ones are very hot and the broader, larger ones mild. Also please never replace dried chillies with

  • fresh ones as they don’t impart the smokiness of flavour and depth of colour required for this dish.

  • * Deseeding chillies – Before soaking, snip chillies into quarter segments with scissors into a colander with largish

  • holes and then shake the seeds out.


  • 1.

    To make the rempah, blend the rempah ingredients until you achieve a fine paste.

  • 2.

    Heat heavy based saucepan or wok, to a medium heat. Add rempah, coconut cream, curry leaves, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick and saute for about 10 minutes.

  • 3.

    You will know the paste is ready when it thickens, darkens in colour and the oil begins to separate from the mixture. Add chicken pieces and stir-fry for 1 minute.

  • 4.

    Add potatoes, chillies, coconut milk, salt and sugar. Cover and simmer until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.

  • 5.

    Serve with steamed jasmine rice or roti canai.

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