This recipe is the easy chicken curry that you can make it at home.

Many people who want to make chicken curry but are put off by the long list of ingredients. Cooking curry requires grounding various herbs and spices with a mortar and pestle. While this is by far this most authentic method to cook curry, there is a get around the way you can use to prepare a beautiful pot of curry in a short time.

I am using a good quality store-bought curry powder to prepare the curry chicken.  It nearly cut the preparation time by half. The rest of the ingredients are freshly purchased from the local market.

Let’s deal with the nitty-gritty of the preparation.  I will also highlight a few points that you need to pay attention whenever it is applicable.

This recipe is the easy chicken curry that you can make it at home. Many people want to make curry but are put off by the long list of ingredients required, particularly the component needed for the curry powder. Cooking curry requires grounding various herbs and spices with a mortar and pestle. While this is by far this most authentic method to cook curry, there is a get around the way you can use to prepare a beautiful pot of curry in a short time.

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A step-by-step guide to preparing the easy curry chicken

1. Prepare the chicken

Bone-in, skin-on

Chicken curry cooked with bone-in, skin-on chicken chunks are always tasted better than using meat alone.  

The flavor from the bone and the marrow add body to the curry, and therefore, the locals do not need a stock to cook.

The skin and fats under the skin also contribute to enriching the flavor of the curry. Therefore, lean breast meat is not the choice for making curry, as it lacks fat and connective tissue. Chicken thigh is the best part of making chicken curry.


Marination is not the most authentic way of preparing the chicken curry, but rather my improvisation by injecting the Chinese cooking element into it. I marinate the chicken for three hours to let the flavor penetrate deep into the chicken pieces. Marination will result in every bite of the chicken being flavorful, not just tasty on the surface.

I use all the salt required to marinate the chicken. There is no worry that it will be too salty as part of the salt will dissolve into the gravy and absorbed by the potatoes.

Note: You can skip this process if you are using chicken breast meat that cut into small pieces.

2. Prepare the curry paste

Blend the fresh ingredients

While the spices provide the flavor, the triumvirate that comprises of onion, chili and ginger give the body and texture of the curry. My recipe does include chili and lemongrass. Get an electric food processor to blend all of them to save time.

  • Cut the onions into large chunks.  Onion is quite soft, so there is no need to cut it into small pieces.
  • Slice the ginger into thin slices.
  • As for the chili, remove the seeds and pith if you do not want the curry to be too hot. Cut it into short pieces. You may also want to adjust the quantity of the chili to suit your taste buds. The amount of chili in this consider moderately hot according to the locals (here in Malaysia). The perception of hotness varies vastly among different people, so you need to adjust accordingly.
  • Lemongrass is tough.  Therefore, cutting the lemongrass into small pieces before blending. Make sure you blend it finely as we do not want any hard pieces of lemongrass in the curry.

The aromatic vegetables provide the texture of the dish. Add some cooking oil to facilitate blending. There is no need to add water into the blender as the onion and chili will release enough water to facilitate blending.

Saute the curry paste

Saute the curry paste in a pan until it turns aromatic. There is no need to add any cooking oil at the point.  There should have enough oil in the curry paste.

The curry paste will become aromatic once the water in the ingredients has evaporated. Now we can move on to the next step.

3. Cook the chicken

  • Add the marinated chicken and the remaining ingredients to the pan.
  • Stir from time to time. The ground spices tend to stick to the bottom of the wok when you cook the chicken curry. This problem can happen even if you cook it over low heat. You need to stir the curry from time to time to avoid sticking
  • Simmer until the chicken is tender and the potatoes are soft, and it is ready to serve.

How long should you cook the curry? The duration of cooking depends on some factors. You can cook a little longer for a thicker gravy. Make sure the potatoes are soft enough, and the chicken is fully cooked. Since the chicken chunks are large and with bone attached, it takes at least half an hour for the internal temperature to reach 70°C / 160°F. Use the kitchen thermometer to test the doneness of the chicken every time before turn the heat off.  

authentic curry chicken

The essential ingredients for chicken curry

The potatoes

Cut the potatoes into cubes, slightly smaller than the chicken chunks.  Soak the potatoes in water to prevent it from changing color due to oxidization if you are not using it immediately.

Potato is the most common root vegetable to make curry. Potato serves two purposes. First, it helps to thicken the gravy. Secondly, it has an earthy flavor which enhances the flavor. If you do not include potatoes, you can add crushed cashew nut or candlenut to thicken the gravy.


Tomatoes enrich the flavor of the curry.  It should not overpower the spices so a small amount should be sufficient.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a common Ingredients for the curry. It flavor greatly enrich the flavor of the gravy.

If you can get the supply of freshly pressed coconut milk, you are well on the way to make the best chicken curry. However, fresh coconut milk is not available worldwide. If you need to use the processed coconut milk available in supermarkets, making sure it has at least 20% of fat content. Otherwise, you need to use more than the amount provided by the recipe to get the sufficient flavor of the fresh coconut milk.

You can use milk and yogurt instead of coconut milk to enhance the flavor. You will expect the taste is different, but these substitutions are all workable.

Curry leaves

One of the key ingredients you should include in this recipe is the curry leaves. You probably already guessed that this is indispensable as the name says it all. Curry leaves are abundantly available in Asian countries. Get the leaves from an Asian grocery shop if you can’t find them fresh at the market.

You can keep the curry leaves in the chiller in an airtight container for one to two weeks. Keep them in the freezer if you want to preserve them for longer.

Use the best curry powder available

Be generous with the amount of the curry powder. The quantity of the spices in most of the western developed curry recipes are far less than the original Asian recipes. You need to include sufficient spices, as stated in the recipe order get the authentic flavor.

The best way to prepare authentic curry is to ground all the fresh spices with mortar and pestle. Some traditional market in Asian sell ground the spices on the spot, in which you can ask the vendor to supply the spice mix based on your recipe.

While this is not practical in the modern home kitchen, use the excellent quality store-bought curry powder is the next best option. The flavor and aroma of spices will inevitably deteriorate over time. Therefore, make sure you buy the curry powder with a long expiry date (or best before date).

Buy a small amount of curry powder just enough for your cooking. Let the grocery shop keep the freshest stock instead of sitting in your kitchen cabinet.

Now it’s your turn

When you mentioned curry, you will inadvertently relate it to the complex flavor derived from a myriad of Asian spices and herbs. You will think about the unique head and neck movements of Indians dance. You will be mesmerized by the love story of Shah Jahan, who erected Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world for the beloved console Mumtaz Mahal. You will think about eating Indian rice served on a large piece of banana leaf, with the irresistible chicken curry seeping through the heap of fragrance biryani rice.

You would love to cook up a pot of curry with the curry smell strong that reaching to your neighbor’s dining room. The flavor will be more authentic, and the aromatic fragrance will enter your neighbor’s dining hall from your kitchen that makes them envy.

So now it is your turn to get your hand dirty in the kitchen.  Let me know the outcome in the comment section below, and I will be happy to help 🙂

Yield: 4 servings

Easy chicken curry recipe

easy chicken curry recipe

This recipe is an authentic Malaysian chicken curry.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


Ingredients A (to blend)

  • 150 g onion
  • 25g ginger
  • 70g red chili
  • 100g lemongrass
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

Ingredients B (others)


  1. Marinate the chicken with salt for three hours.
  2. Cut the potatoes into wedges, about the size of the chicken.
  3. Blend ingredients A until it becomes a smooth paste, then saute until aromatic.
  4. Add the chicken to A, followed by the remaining ingredients in B.
  5. Simmer for half an hour until the potatoes are soft.
  6. Garnish with fresh curry leaves and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

4 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 968Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 239mgSodium: 2028mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 15gSugar: 5gProtein: 69g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 5/31/2019

    15 replies to "Easy chicken curry – How to prepare (quick and easy method)"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply any questions and comments as soon as possible.

    • alberto realista

      i like malaysian chinese recipe ,

    • […] most critical herb is curry leaves. As the name implies, these leaves are used to cook curry. You can certainly use curry leaves to prepare many other Asian cuisines besides preparing […]

    • Chilli?

      When do you add the chilli?

      • KP Kwan

        This simple recipe is prepared with chili powder. The chopped chili on top of the chicken is only for decoration.

    • Ash

      Blend ingredients B or A? It says blend ingredients B in the instructions

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Ash,
        It should read “Blend ingredients A until it becomes a smooth paste, then saute until aromatic.”
        I have amended the recipe accordingly.
        Thank you so much for pointing out the error.
        KP Kwan

    • Jay Chong

      I normally would mix Shallots with onions at 1:1 Ratio. But that’s just me. Very authentic Malaysian Chinese curry chicken recipe!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Jay,
        Thanks for reading my post. Shallots are more aromatic IMO, but need to spend more time to peel them 🙂
        KP Kwan

    • Marnix

      Love to try this! Just a quick question:

      Marinate only with salt? Or a combination?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Marnix,

        Just salt will be sufficient. The chicken will absorb other flavors from the gravy during cooking. I find that it tastes even better after keeping for half a day after the flavor penetrate the meat thoroughly.
        KP Kwan

        • Marnix

          Thanks KP!

          I trying this tonight 😛

          • KP Kwan

            I hope you will enjoy it 🙂

    • Supriya Kutty

      Oh my god, what an incredible recipe you have shared for chicken curry my husband is a big-time fan of chicken curry but I usually end up doing some mistake in it and spoil the entire taste of it but now since I got such a simple recipe I will make sure he won’t regret this time.

      • KP Kwan

        Thank you so much for trying out this recipe. I hope both of you will love the curry.

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