Recipe: Nyonya Style Chicken Curry

Who doesn’t like Curry Chicken? It is a popular dish in Asia and each family has their own “secret” ingredients for this dish to make it their own family hand me down recipe. This dish is commonly sighted at home parties or traditionally served together with turmeric/kunyit rice to celebrate a new born baby’s full moon. You can also serve it with baguettes to make it a meal of its own.

As usual, I prefer to mix my own curry powder and use fresh ingredients to make this Nyonya Style Chicken Curry. I always feel that putting in extra efforts to cook everything from scratch will give the dish a more tasteful outcome!!

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Serves 4 –6 persons


1.2 kg chicken

4 large potatoes

500ml coconut milk

Salt to taste

Sugar to taste, optional


For the curry paste:

30g chilli powder

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

2 teaspoons cumin powder

3 tablespoons coriander powder

200g shallots

6 cloves garlic

2 candlenuts [buah keras]

30g belacan

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

3 stalks of lemongrass

4 sprigs of curry leaves

5 tablespoons or more of oil for frying the paste


  1. Wash the chicken and cut it into bite size. Set aside.
  2. Peel and wash the potatoes.
  3. Quarter the potatoes and set aside.

Preparation for the rempah (ingredients to be set aside for frying)

  1. Rinse and pound the candlenuts with a pestle and mortar.
  2. Pound the belacan.
  3. Toast the belacan in a frying pan till fragrant.
  4. Chop the shallots and garlic.
  5. Clean the lemongrass and cut into 2 pieces.
  6. Remove the curry leaves from the stalk and rinse.
  7. Rinse the star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves.

Frying the rempah:

  1. Heat oil over medium-low heat then fry the shallots for a minute.
  2. Add in the garlic and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add lemongrass and fry for a minute.
  4. Add in the turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Mix well.
  5. Add in the toasted belacan. Mix well.
  6. Add in the curry leaves, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves. Fry till fragrant.

Cooking the Curry Chicken:

  1. Add in chicken and fry for a minute.
  2. Then add in potatoes. Stir for 1-2 minutes so that the potatoes are coated well with the curry paste.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk. Mix well.
  4. Add water till it is leveled with the chicken and potatoes.
  5. Add in the crushed candlenuts.
  6. Add in salt and sugar to taste.
  7. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Turn down the heat and simmer till the chicken and potatoes are tender. About 40 minutes.
  9. Serve with steamed white rice/turmeric rice/baguette.


  1. Add more chilli powder to intensify the spiciness of the curry chicken.
  2. You can cook a couple of hours before serving so that the chicken and the potatoes can absorb in the curry flavour. Warm up the curry chicken again when you are ready to serve. Best served hot!!

Mummy's Kitchen

Hi! My name is Josephine Go. I blog at in a segment called Mummy’s Kitchen. I love to use fresh and natural ingredients in my cooking to promote healthy eating. Some of my recipes may not be in line with the traditional methods of cooking to the extent that some of the ingredients are different, but hopefully new recipes are being created in my style. I certainly hope that what I do will help guide kitchen first-timers on how to cook their first meal as well as further equip kitchen veterans with new recipes. My loving husband and two wonderful children are my best guinea pigs and critics. They have enjoyed (or endured) the food that has been served to them for all these years. Mind you, I did not know how to cook or ever knew that I could cook till I got married. So there is hope for everyone. If I can cook, you can cook. You will not know how good or talented you are until you put your hand in the plough.

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Nyonya Style Chicken Curry

  1. This is an all-time favourite and the nyonya style curry has a distinct flavour of its own, which only people with discerning taste-buds could pick up; thanks for sharing and I’m certainly going to try out this recipe soon.

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