Classic Malaysian Chicken Curry using convenient premixed curry powder and whole spices. Delicious served with flat breads and rice.
Chicken Curry is a very popular dish in Malaysia. It is well loved by all and is served daily as well as during celebrations. Easily available curry powder makes it possible for the different races to cook and enjoy this dish in the comforts of home. Some have even added their own unique twist to the basic Indian recipe.
The combination of spices is what distinguishes one chicken curry from another. In Malaysia, redder and spicier curries are preferred. Hence, a lot more chilies are used in the spice mix. Others, like this Chicken Korma uses only a little ground chili producing a paler and milder sauce.
Although it is unclear where curry powder originated, this spice mix is popularly used in the UK, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. The closest thing to curry powder in the Indian sub continent is probably masala. Indian chicken curry typically starts with whole or ground spices. Hence, it varies greatly from family to family and region to region.
Here in the US, curry powders are not as commonly found. Some Indian grocers do carry a small selection of Madras curry powder from India and the UK. They tend to be milder than the curry powder from Malaysia.
I used mild Madras curry powder from the UK in this recipe as it is most easily available here. Since it is milder than what I am used to, I added a teaspoon each of ground cumin, fennel, and chili powder. Please feel free to leave these out or use any curry powder you have on hand.
I also threw in some curry leaves, frequently used in Southern Indian cuisine. These leaves are edible with a pungent and slightly lemony flavor. They can be found in the refrigerated section of most Indian grocery stores.
- Blend shallots (or onion), garlic, and ginger with ¼ cup (60ml) water. Transfer to a bowl. Add curry powder, ground cumin, fennel, and chili. Mix to form a paste.
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium sized pot. Stir fry cinnamon stick, star anise, curry leaves, and spice paste over medium heat until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add chicken and stir until chicken turns opaque, about 3 minutes. Pour in ½ cup (120ml) water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add cubed potatoes, coconut milk, and salt. Bring it back up to a boil, reduce heat, and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Turn off stove and allow curry to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎