Wednesday, 7 July 2021

EMCO Day #5 : My Delicious and Easy Chicken Curry

Yeah, right. Blowing my own trumpet again hah..hah... But just stating facts lah, not bragging. Can?

This is actually my mum's recipe. I love my mum's curries. Her beef curry to me is THE BEST. Wait lah, I will share the recipe soon. Today, we cook chicken curry first.

How many of you think that cooking curry is difficult? It actually depends what sort of curry. If you are talking authentic Indian curry, then maybe because the list of ingredients is long and you may have to toast the spices and then grind this and grind that before you start cooking.

But my mum's curry, senang only.

See, got pictorial come more. Dry ingredients - curry leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom, cloves and pandan leaf. I needed only one star anise but because what I have in stock was small  in size (and many were in bits and pieces), I used two.

As for the other ingredients (besides chicken and the popular potatoes) you need big onions, garlic and ginger.

My mum's tip for good tasty curry is loads of onions. 

This may look like a lot of onions but they shrink when cooked down and they make the curry thick and delicious.

Another ingredient is of course curry powder which I mix with some water to make a runny paste. Why runny? So that it does not stick to the pot and get burnt.

I used to make a thicker paste and noted that the paste kept getting stuck to the bottom of the pot. So add more water to the curry powder, after all we will be adding water to the curry anyway.

At the end of cooking, you can either add yogurt or evaporated milk for that hint of richness. Yogurt will also impart a slight tang, if that is what you like.

So here is the recipe, written as simply and as basic as possible so that the curry virgin will attempt their first ever curry. Hah!

Chicken Curry
Recipe Source : My mother with modifications. Sorry she got no website.

Ingredients :
- 4 chicken legs, thigh and drumstick separated (approximately 1kg)
- 5 potatoes

Whole spices and dry ingredients
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 4 cardamom
- 4 cloves
- 1 pandan leaf knotted
- 2 sprigs curry leaves, use leaves only

Curry paste :
- 1 packet curry powder (25g, I used Baba's), mixed with some water to make a runny paste

For sauteing
- 6 big onions (approximately 500g), peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, finely pounded
- 1 thumb sized ginger, finely pounded

- 200ml water or more if prefer more gravy
- 100ml evaporated milk
- salt to taste
- oil for frying

Method :
1. Heat oil in pot and saute the sliced onions until wilted and translucent.

2. Add pounded garlic and ginger and continue to saute until aromatic.

3. Add the whole spices and dry ingredients and saute until aromatic.

4. Add curry paste and stir to mix the paste with the sauteed ingredients.

5. Add chicken pieces one by one and stir to coat with the sauteed ingredients.

6. Add water and bring to a boil. Then simmer covered (or leave a gap to prevent over boiling), stirring from time to time to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes until chicken is cooked and tender.

7. While chicken is simmering, peel and steam the potatoes for 25 minutes (or you could cook it together with the chicken).

8. When potatoes are done, cut each into 4 pieces.

9. Remove cooked chicken and add potatoes to the gravy to cook for about 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste at this point.

10. When the potatoes are tender, lower the heat and add milk bit by bit (to prevent the milk from curdling).

11. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and bring to a boil briefly.

12. Turn off the flame and serve!

Note : I prefer to steam the potatoes separately so that I can ensure that the potatoes are cooked through. Removing the chicken to make way for the potatoes creates more room and makes it easier for me to stir the curry monitor the doneness of the potatoes. At this point I season the curry and it is a lot easier to stir in the salt and to taste the curry properly.


  1. You are definitely blowing your trumpet very loud until I could hear from my bedroom! I can help you to brag that the fresh ingredients usee sent out very aromatic smell too. How I wish I could eat this for dinner tonight. Mother and daughter are very talented chefs from Terengganu! Hooray! 👏👏🎈👏

    1. Ya lah, I always hear your trumpet blowing all the way from TTDI, so I blow back one time at you. Can? wahahahaha!!! Thank you for your compliments. My mother would be very pleased!

  2. wah...sedap giler!! i want!!! thanks for sharing the recipe....i will try it when i m not in lazy mode...hahah! now i know the secret of a good curry....load of ONIONS!!!

    1. Eh, I didn't know that you cook hah..hah.. yes, yes, if you cooked curry, please blog about it yah..

  3. Haven't had curry for a long time now. When the pandemic broke out, my missus cooked it so often, every week and a lot each time to last a few days. Eventually we got so sick of it.

    You so rajin, cook from scratch. We just use instant curry paste, A1 MOUNTAIN GLOBE! Nicer than a lot of places in the town.

    1. Too much of a good thing and we get bored. It's definitely a lot more convenient to use ready made curry paste but to me (no offense) that is like cheating hah..hah..hah...

    2. It is! But in a good way because the brand we use is very very nice - of course, not as nice as when my mum cooked hers from scratch (hers is a lot more complicated than yours, no offence) but nicer than many of the curries we can get at the Malay shops and stalls. No point killing ourselves when it is that good. I tried other brands too but they are all "not quite there".

    3. I also add evaporated milk to my curry, just like you. It gives it a special sweetness and we like that very much. Have to be careful when using santan - the handling, serving and keeping. May be ok for lunch, by dinnertime, gone bad already especially if the day is extra hot.
      They use yogurt a lot in the Indian restaurants and I like that too - it has its special taste.

    4. Oh ya, with santan, it will spoil faster so best to store leftovers in the fridge and reheat later.

  4. Eh, this curry virgin always thought that a curry from scratch means pounding (or blending) a spice paste made with chillies, onions, shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger, belacan, spices and whatnots. That's why this curry virgin never made one coz don't know the how to make the spice paste with the right amount of each ingredient. So, this isn't quite the 'made from scratch' but a short cut version lah with a packet of curry powder. This easy version I can attempt to make but not sure if I'd like it (you know me, I don't like curries with a predominant taste of curry powder). I also noticed that this curry has no santan but evaporated milk instead (which makes the curry sweeter? family prefers a more savoury than sweet curry wor). Oops, my family also don't like curries with milk or yoghurt...can substitute with santan in the same proportion? ;)

    1. As I mentioned, there are many types of curries with various preparation methods. So it appears to me that you are truly a virgin, I mean curry virgin wahahahaha!! Using curry powder does not disqualify this curry as being made from scratch lah. You see, to make curry powder, one has to batch the various whole spices, toast them and then grind till fine. I understand that Indian families batch up their own spice blend (every family has their own signature ratio) and then have them milled by professional millers. That is of course the best curry powder compared to the commercial ones. So to make our own curry powder may not be worth the time as we don't cook curry often and use only a little bit. So the answer is ready made curry powder! Besides, I had to peel the onions, pound the garlic/ginger and saute and stuff. Had I used those packet curry paste where you just tambah the meat, then that would not qualify as being made from scratch.

      Don't worry about the curry tasting predominantly of curry powder because only one small packet (25g) is used. No, the evaporated milk does not make the curry sweet as we only use a little bit. Of course you can use santan. In fact you can even choose not to add any santan, milk or yogurt. So when are you going to cook curry? LOL!

    2. Aiyah, this curry virgin did not make herself very clear...when I say 'made from scratch' I wasn't referring to the use of ready-made curry powder (oh god no, who mills their own spices unless we have our own but not having to tumbuk a chilli paste with 101 ingredients (chillies, bird's eye chillies, cili api, shallots, onions, garlic, belacan, ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, candle nuts, etc.) and then have to tumis sampai pecah minyak (as I've seen on many cooking shows). So I thought this is a short cut version. Ok, challenge accepted. This curry virgin will go buy some meat curry powder first (alamak but I also don't have all those dry spices) when the EMCO is over and the wet market reopens (coz there's a small Indian stall there) and attempt this 'looks easy enough' curry chicken recipe. Wish me luck! By the way, can give me tips on how to pour in the santan so that it does not curdle (coz I hear a lot of 'curdled curry' stories)?

    3. OK OK got you LOL! Do like this - lower the heat first and then pour the santan in bit by bit and stir. Once all your santan is in and mixed in, you can then increase the heat to come to a simmer. There is another trick which my mum taught me, add a bit of cornstarch to the santan. It will prevent curdling.

  5. When you talked about bragging, I would think of TM, he always feels he himself is bragging. But ok mah I feel, good things must share share.

    1. hah..hah..hah...yes, I agree with you!

  6. Dunno what happened to me yesterday. How could I miss your post. Delicious curry. Ah, same old story with me, too lazy to lift a finger to do anything except eat and eat also must be those easy to eat food. Lolx! Your curry very sedap. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will share it to my mother. She cooks very day. She also uses baba curry powder. Which type do u use? Cos got baba fish curry powder, meat curry powder and etc etc. No la, not bragging la. Bragging is when it is not true like didn't cook curry but show off curry bought as curry home made. That to me is bragging.

    1. Since this is chicken, I used the meat curry powder.