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4.75 from 12 votes

Nonya Chicken Curry

A delicious chicken preparation from Nonya cuisine.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Marination time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Malaysian, Nonya, Singapore
Keyword: Nonya Chicken Curry
Servings: 4
Author: Gayatri Singh


Ingredients for chicken marination:

  • 500 g skinless chicken leg and thighs
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp lime juice

Ingredients for curry:

  • 200 g potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 120 ml water
  • 1 tsp or to taste salt
  • 1 stalk lemongrass slightly bruised
  • 1 pandan leaf optional
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients for curry paste:

  • 200 g small shallots or red onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 small stalk lemongrass
  • 2 or to taste red chilli padi
  • 6 dried red chillies soaked in water deseeded if too spicy
  • 1/2 inch turmeric root substitute 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 candlenuts substitute macadamia nut
  • 1 tsp each fennel and cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander stalks and roots
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp palm or coconut or brown sugar


  • Marinate the chicken in soya sauce, curry powder and lime juice for a minimum 30 minutes to overnight.
  • Make a fine paste using all the ingredients mentioned for curry paste using a very little water. Keep it aside.
  • In a heavy wok or pot, heat 1 tsp oil and brown the chicken pieces from sides. (This is optional, I like to do it to get a better texture on the chicken.) Keep it aside.
  • In the same pot add in the rest of the oil. Add the lemongrass stalk, pandan leaf, wait for 20 seconds. Tip in the curry paste and saute for 10 minutes or till its fragrant.
  • Tip in the browned chicken, potatoes and curry leaves. Mix well with the curry paste. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, so the chicken is coated well.
  • Tip in the coconut milk and water and simmer for 10-15 minutes or till the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
  • Garnish it with coriander and serve hot with rice or roti paratha.