Malaysian Chicken Curry

Malaysian restaurants are common in Australia and New Zealand and I got a bit of a taste for Malaysian Chicken curry with Roti. These restaurants are rare in the UK so here is my attempt to recreate the taste. The recipe is for 800 grams of chicken, which is a fairly standard pack in the UK. Adjust the rest of the ingredients according to the quantity of chicken you’ve got. Remember, this is a wet curry and should have lots of gravy.

Malaysian Chicken Curry
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Ingredients for Spice paste
  1. 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  2. 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  3. 2.5 cm chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  4. 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  5. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  6. 2 teaspoons of chilli powder or 2 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  9. 1/6 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/6 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  11. 1/6 teaspoon ground pepper
  12. [Optional] 30 grams of raw nuts1 or just peanut butter
  13. [Optional] 3 stalks of lemon grass, trimmed, with outer leaves removed, and
  14. sliced, or zest of one lemon
  15. [Optional] 2 teaspoons dried shrimp paste
  16. Oil or water
Other ingredients
  1. 2 or 3 tablespoons Peanut (Groundnut) Oil
  2. 800 grams fresh chicken pieces (legs, drumsticks, thighs, whatever)
  3. 300 mls coconut milk (which, annoyingly, is less than an average can)
  4. 300 mls water or chicken stock
  5. [Optional] Mix of whole herbs and spices: star anise, cloves, cinnamon
  6. stick, lemon grass, green or red chilli
  7. [Optional]
  8. 1/4-1/3 cup Tamarind Juice2 or Lemon Juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  9. Salt
  10. 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 3-4 cm pieces
  11. Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Blend spice paste ingredients using a little oil or water to moisten, then set aside
  2. Heat oil in a wok on high then lower to medium heat
  3. Add spice paste to the wok along with optional whole herbs and spices
  4. Stir fry until spice paste is toasted - should be aromatic - do not burn
  5. Add chicken to wok
  6. Stir to coat chicken with curry paste
  7. Add coconut milk, stock, whole herbs and spices, and Tamarind juice to to wok, stir, and season
  8. Bring to boil
  9. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer chicken in coconut milk for 20 min, stirring occasionally
  10. Add potato, simmer uncovered, 15 min until potatoes are cooked and chicken tender
  11. Add water if too thick - it is a wet curry so should have a good quantity of gravy.
  12. Transfer to serving dice
  13. Garnish with fresh coriander.
  14. Serve with Roti or steamed rice
  1. (1) The most authentic are Candle nuts but I've never seen them for sale in the UK. Substitutes are Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, Cashews, or blanched Almonds. Candle nuts are toxic unless cooked well.
  2. (2) for 1/3 cup of tamarind juice, soak 1 teaspoon pulp with 1/3 cup of hot water for 5 min, mash, and strain
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