Embark on a Culinary Odyssey with Malaysian Curries!

Embark on a Culinary Odyssey with Malaysian Curries!

Imagine a symphony of flavours dancing on your palate, an irresistible blend of spices wafting through the air, and a kaleidoscope of vibrant ingredients enchanting your senses. Welcome to the world of Malaysian curries! A melting pot of cultures, Malaysia offers a culinary tapestry woven with Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, and Thai influences, each bringing its unique touch.

Whether you’re a seasoned spice fan or a curious food explorer, Malaysian curries promise a journey of discovery, where each bite tells a story of centuries-old traditions, diverse communities, and a love for rich, aromatic, and soul-satisfying flavours. So, tighten your apron strings and dive into the spicy, savoury, and sweet world of Malaysian curry delights, where every dish celebrates taste and tradition. To start you could try this Malaysian Chicken Curry.


  • Indian Influence: Brought a variety of spices and introduced techniques like sautéing spices (tumis).
  • Chinese Influence: Introduced different cooking methods and ingredients like soy sauce and noodles.
  • Indonesian Influence: Contributed to the spicy and aromatic components of Malaysian cuisine.
  • Thai Influence: Brought ingredients like lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, contributing to the aromatic and spicy flavours.

Well-known Dishes:

  1. Chicken Curry Kapitan: A thick, rich, aromatic Nyonya curry with a tangy twist from tamarind juice and lime leaves.
  2. Beef Rendang: Slow-cooked in coconut milk and spices until the liquids evaporate and the meat turns dark brown and tender.
  3. Laksa: A spicy noodle soup with a coconut milk base, often served with prawns or chicken.

Lesser-known Dishes in the Western World:

  1. Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Padi: Chicken cooked in a rich, spicy coconut milk-based sauce with turmeric and bird’s eye chilli.
  2. Ikan Bakar: Grilled fish marinated in chilli, turmeric, and other spices, usually wrapped in banana leaves.
  3. Sayur Lodeh: A vegetable curry with a coconut milk base featuring ingredients like cabbage, long beans, and tofu puffs.


  • Malaysian curries are typically served with rice or bread, such as roti canai or naan.
  • Condiments like sambal, pickled vegetables (achar), crispy fried anchovies and peanuts (ikan bilis and kacang) often accompany the meal.

Eating Utensils:

  • While cutlery is commonly used, eating with fingers is also a traditional and accepted practice, especially when enjoying meals like Nasi Kandar.

Easy Recipe to Try

Prepare to be swept away by the irresistible allure of Chicken Curry Kapitan, a culinary gem in the treasure trove of Malaysian cuisine! This Nyonya delight is a symphony of flavours, where the richness of coconut milk dances with the tanginess of tamarind and the aromatic whisper of lemongrass. Each bite is a journey through layers of spice, a celebration of cultural fusion, and a taste of Malaysian heritage.

Curious to unravel the secrets of this flavourful masterpiece and bring the authentic taste of Malaysia to your table? Stay tuned as we delve into the vibrant world of Chicken Curry Kapitan, sharing the recipe that will make your taste buds sing and leave you yearning for more!”

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Karl Morley
Prepare to be swept away by the tantalizing allure of Chicken Curry Kapitan, a culinary gem in the treasure trove of Malaysian cuisine!
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Malaysian
Servings 4 people
Calories 500 kcal


  • 800 g Chicken (mix of thighs and drumsticks) cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 400 ml Coconut milk tin
  • 2 Stalks Lemongrass bruised
  • 4 Leaves Kaffir lime leaves torn
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind juice
  • 2 tbsp Oil for sautéing
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • 8 Shallots peeled For The Spice Paste
  • 4 Cloves Garlic peeled
  • 2 cm Fresh turmeric peeled
  • 2 cm Galangal peeled
  • 10 Dried red chillies soaked in hot water
  • 1 tsp Belacan (shrimp paste)


  • Prepare Spice Paste: Blend all the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  • Sauté Spice Paste: Heat oil in a pot and sauté the spice paste until aromatic and oil begins to separate.
  • Add Chicken: Add chicken pieces to the pot and stir well to coat them with the spice paste.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind juice, and coconut milk. Mix well.
  • Simmer: Pour in water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  • Season: Season with salt and sugar to taste.
  • Serve: Once the chicken is tender and the flavours are well-blended, serve the curry hot with steamed rice or bread.


  • Adjust the amount of dried chilies according to your spice preference.
  • Ensure the spice paste is well sautéed to bring out the flavours and to avoid a raw taste

Cooking Time:

  • Sautéing Spice Paste: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Chicken with Other Ingredients: 40-50 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken pieces and whether you prefer a thicker sauce)

Alternative Ingredients

For Galangal:

  • Ginger: It’s the most accessible substitute, but it has a spicier and less citrusy flavour compared to galangal. Use it in equal amounts as galangal.
  • Fresh Turmeric: It can also be used as it has a similar earthy and citrusy flavour, but it has a more bitter taste and will change the colour of your dish.

For Belacan (Shrimp Paste):

  • Fish Sauce: It can be a suitable substitute as it has a similar umami and seafood flavour. Use it sparingly as it is very salty and has a liquid consistency.
  • Dried Shrimp: You can grind it into a powder and use it as a substitute for a similar flavour profile.
  • Anchovy Paste: It can also replicate the umami and salty flavor of belacan.

Fresh Turmeric 

  • For every 1 inch (or approximately 2.5 cm) piece of fresh turmeric, you can use 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric powder.


When using substitutes, start with smaller amounts and adjust according to your taste preference, as the flavour intensity may vary. Keep in mind that while these alternatives can mimic the flavor of galangal and belacan to some extent, they may not fully replicate the unique taste of the original ingredients.


Serving: 1gCalories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 35gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 22gSodium: 500mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7g
Keyword Chicken Curry Kapitan
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