Malay Chicken Curry (heat 9/10)

Malay Chicken Curry (heat 9/10)
Serves: 4-6

This was one of our first spice blends. The recipe contains pineapple, which may seem unusual but is a fundamental part of Malaysian cooking. It adds a sweet tang to this very spicy dish, and tinned really is better than fresh! (40g net)


  • 1 packet Malay spice powder (recipe card included)
  • 2tbsp oil (vegetable, or better still, groundnut)
  • 700g/1.5lb chicken, breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 400g can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 300mls or ½ pint ‘secret sauce
  • 2-3 fresh birds eye chillies (optional)
  • 1 small tin pineapple in juice


  1. Fry the spices in 1 tbsp vegetable oil, then add ‘your secret sauce’.
  2. Add one can of coconut milk to the sauce and stir in.
  3. Add the desiccated coconut, bring to the boil then simmer for at least an hour. This can all be done well in advance.
  4. Brown meat separately in the remaining oil.
  5. Reheat the curry sauce if necessary. Add more chopped fresh chillies and/or coconut at this stage, depending on preference and heat. If it is looking a little dry add the juice from the pineapple at this stage.
  6. Fry the meat separately in the remaining oil for a couple of minutes. Add to the sauce, add the can of pineapple (yes, it does taste good), ensure all is warmed through (10mins) and serve with boiled/steamed rice.
  7. Garnish with red chillies and thai basil leaves (optional).

Cook's Notes

  1. You can boil /steam the rice in thin coconut milk (once cooked discard the liquid) to give the rice a Malay flavour.
  2. It is traditional to serve this dish with small waxy potatoes – ¾ par boiled separately and added 5-10 minutes to the curry before serving (do not try to cook in the curry from raw – it just won’t work!).
  3. This is traditionally cooked with a whole chicken cut into portions on the bone.
  4. Tip – never freeze potatoes in curry. They don’t like it and neither will you!

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