Malaysian Curry Chicken

4.76 stars

Curry chicken varies around the world. This easy curry chicken recipe consists of a splash of coconut milk making it creamy and delicious. Usually served with rice but is also delicious eaten with bread.

Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 60 mins


Kari Ayam

Malaysian, Singaporean


450 g chicken meat
3 1⁄2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp light soy sauce
5 chilli peppers (dried)
3 candlenut(s)
3 garlic clove(s)
3 shallot(s)
2 cm ginger
3 tbsp oil
300 ml water
2 potatoes
1 lemongrass stalk(s)
1 yellow onion(s)
5 curry leaves stalk(s)
300 ml coconut milk

Nutrition per Serving

594 kcal
49 g
32 g
32 g

Community Food Snaps

Date: 15 Oct 2019 (Tue)
30th Main: Malaysian Curry Chicken/Kari Ayam [Score: 8.5]
Author: Nyonya Cooking [Grace Teo]
Cuisine: Malaysian, Singaporean
Dish Type: Side

1. As instructed I cooked the blended curry paste (over medium heat) until paste changed colour into deeper red and fragrant, but why didn’t it pecah minyak? On several occasion the curry paste got burnt during stirring. 
2. Regarding coconut milk, I was told (by a source) to dilute the can of coconut milk in the ratio of 1 coconut milk : 3 water. However, I diluted in the following ratio, 1 coconut milk : 2 water and ended adding 400ml (instead of 300ml for 4 serving) diluted coconut milk during the last stage of cooking the curry.

Grace or Mira please help me. What are your advices on the above matters? Thank you.
Grace’s recipe is easy to adapt and modified with more veggie and Tao ! 😊😋
The curry became a little too thick when I added more potatoes but it tastes great!
This is an absolutely stunning recipe.  I managed to follow it and came out marvelously delicious.  Now I am proud to say I can make Malaysian Curry Chicken.  Thank you!!
Made this for CNY dinner last year and I combined your recipe with my aunty's recipe. Happy to report my guests loved it! :D
I added tau pok and beamcurd skin upon my hubby's request.. He loves it!!
Like this recipe very much. Simple and yummy.
Finally!!! Curry chicken for tonight’s dinner. Bread and rice are ready.  Yum yum.
Smell so nice.
Thank you Grace. Even my ‘Ang Mo Pai’ kids love it.
Yummy curry enjoyed by my family. Thumbs up.
This version of curry is delicious. Had previously cooked curry using curry powder and ginger for the rumpah only. Thanks again Grace.


This easy curry chicken dish is the standard curry chicken. No fuss, just yummy and creamy curry. Rich in coconut milk and spices, this dish is a must-try. As the chicken pieces are marinated in curry paste before cooking, the taste of the meat is enhanced.

Can onions be used instead of shallots?

Yes, they can. Shallots are generally more intense in taste and are also spicier compared to onions. The best substitute would be red onions. If you can't find any, you may also opt for yellow onions.

What type of curry powder to use?

In Malaysia and Singapore, you may find curry powders specifically for meat, fish or seafood. For this recipe, meat curry powder is used. You may substitute it with any curry powder mixture which contains more chilli powder. Sometimes, dried curry leaves are also added to the curry powder mixture.

Can candlenuts be omitted?

Candlenuts are added to thicken the curry. You may omit them from this recipe, if you prefer. Otherwise, substitute candlenuts with macadamia nuts.

Milk or yogurt to substitute coconut milk

In the Southeast Asian region, milk and yogurt aren't a common choice to be added into curries. Instead, coconut milk is often used since it is easily available. If you do not prefer coconut milk, you may opt to substitute it with 300 ml milk or 250 ml yogurt. Do note that it will not spoil the taste although it would be slightly different.

Cooking curry chicken in slow cooker

Cooking curry chicken in a slow cooker is possible. Simply prepare the ingredients and put them into a slow cooker. Cook the dish for 4 hours on high heat or 6 hours on low heat for tender curry chicken.

Steps to Prepare

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 1

Step 1 of 7

Marinate chicken meat with curry powder and soy sauce for 15 minutes.

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 2

Step 2 of 7

Soak dried chillies until soft and remove the membranes to reduce the spiciness. Blend candlenuts, garlic, shallots, ginger and dried chillies with curry powder.

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 3

Step 3 of 7

    • 3 tbsp oil

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add blended chilli paste and cook until fragrant.

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 4

Step 4 of 7

    • 300 ml water

Add chicken meat and mix well. Cook until the dish is slightly dry. Add water and cook over high heat.

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 5

Step 5 of 7

Add potatoes, onions, lemongrass and curry leaves. Once it boils, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 6

Step 6 of 7

    • 300 ml coconut milk
    • salt
    • sugar

Add coconut milk and cook at high heat again. Once it boils, lower the heat. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Malaysian Curry Chicken Step 7

Step 7 of 7

Serve with bread or rice.

Published: April 25, 2014

1 Discussions

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7 days ago

Peter Hale

I live in the UK. Can anyone recommend a good Brand of Curry Powder to use on making Malaysian Chicken Curry? Thanks

7 days ago

Grace Teo

I'm not sure with the selection of curry powder available in the UK. Opt for meat curry powder made in Malaysia, if any.