Been wanting to cook a Malaysian Chicken Curry which is without using coconut milk for weeks.. One that I remembered from when I was young and had so enjoyed.. Most chicken curries have coconut milk and some which are without coconut milk are too complicated. Well, I’m happy that I’ve finally found one easy recipe at last in my cookbook collection – should have looked there much earlier..  🙂

Recipe adapted from “Fish & Chicken Recipes” by TastyCooking


  • 1 kg chicken, cleaned and cut into serving pieces (or use chicken drummets or thighs)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, only white part and lightly smashed
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 pandanus leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (abt 5cm)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tbsp tumeric powder
  • 4 tbsp chicken curry powder
  • 400ml water
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled, quartered
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 4 red chillies, halved lengthwise deseeded

Ingredients to be blended into Paste:

  • 1 big onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5cm ginger, peeled, chopped
  • (I added the above 4 red chillies)



    Serves 4
    Prep time 40 mins
    Cook time 55 mins
    Total time 95 mins
total time


  1. Heat oil in a wok or deep pan on medium fire.  Put in cinnamon stick and cloves and stirfry for abt 3 mins till fragrant.
  2. Add lemongrass, pandanus leaves (I added curry leaves as well). Stirfry slowly till fragrant, abt 3 mins.
  3. Add in onion mixture and stir well till fragrant, abt 5-8 mins.  (Be careful, it might splatter!)
  4. Add in chicken and tumeric powder. Stir slowly till well-mixed. Cook for 5 mins.
  5. Add in potatoes and curry powder. Stir slowly and constantly for abt 3-4 mins.
  6. Pour in water and bring it to the boil. (If curry looks light, add more curry powder.)
  7. Add in tomatoes and salt. Bring to the boil again. Lower heat and simmer till chicken’s cooked and potatoes are tender but not mushy and cooked, abt 30 mins. At the end of it, a layer of oil would have formed on curry.
  8. (According to original recipe, at this point, add in curry leaves and chillies.)
  9. Serve with ghee rice, or just plain steamed white rice and vegetables.

There really is a difference between a Chicken Curry with coconut milk and one that’s without coconut milk.. It does look oily but it’s really necessary and most of it comes from the chicken of which the oil could be skimmed away.

We enjoyed it with roti paratha, hardboiled eggs and vegetables.. 🙂  Sure, I would cook this again and again..



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