malay chicken

Malay chicken curry

My philosophy is never miss out on a meal just because you don’t have all the ingredients. Substitute where you can, or just leave stuff out. Sometimes this works really well for me, other times I have to do a last minute dash to Red Rooster to feed the family. Drive thru’s are my saviour.

I’m devouring Gordon Ramsay’s Sunday Lunch at the moment and took inspiration for last night’s dinner from his Malaysian Chicken recipe. I am ashamed that my pantry was missing whole star anise and lemongrass, but the result was still delicious. One day I will try it with the ingredients I left out.

Making your own curry paste is great fun and now that I’ve done it a few times I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the jars from the supermarket. It’s worth the trouble for the frangrance you house is filled with when you pound, or process, your own pastes. It keeps okay in the fridge for a few days too.


curry paste

Curry Paste
3 garlic cloves
1 long red chilli
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 small onion
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vege oil

Roughly chop everything and either pound with mortar and pestle, or zap in the food processor until ingredients form a paste. I like it a little chunky, but you can puree if you need to hide the chilli chunks. If you want it hotter add more chilli, or use the little birdseye ones – they’ll burn the hairs on the inside of your nose!

2 tbsp vege oil
2 skinless chicken breasts (or 4 chicken thighs) chopped in 2cm pieces
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 cinamon stick
300ml coconut cream
100ml chicken stock
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 handfulls of grean beans

Heat the vege oil in a large heavy bottomed fry pan. Add the curry paste and stir over a medium heat until gragrant. It smells utterly fabulous. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften, then throw in your chicken pieces and stir to coat them in the curry paste. Cook for 5 minutes until chicken starts to brown slightly.

Add the lime leaves, cinamon stick, coconute cream, chicken stock, brown sugar, soy and fish sauces and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until chicken is tender and the sauce is creamy. Add the grean beans in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Serve with steamed rice.


About Louise

Melbourne based journalist/interactive producer who loves to cook .. and eat.
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