Mum’s Spicy Chicken Curry

Although Mum is a Kiwi (while my Dad is Malaysian), she can cook really good Malaysian food like this spicy chicken curry after being thrust into living in a country where, years ago, you bought whole chickens, with feathers and all, that you had to pluck and chop up yourself (a skill she had to learn to impress my Chinese grandmother).
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main
Servings 6
Calories 360 kcal
Dairy Free, Diabetic, Gluten Free


curry paste

  • 4 shallots
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 cm ginger piece sliced
  • 50 g hot curry powder
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil canola, peanut or soybean


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 3 lemongrass stalks bruised
  • 2-3 fresh red chillies optional
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 3 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1 whole chicken cut into portions (or 800g of chicken thighs)
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce gluten-free if required
  • 3 long eggplant/aubergine sliced 1 inch thick (or courgettes)


  • Blend shallots, garlic, ginger, curry powder and oil to make the curry paste.
  • Heat oil in a wok or large, deep fry pan and add sliced onion, fry a few minutes until golden, stirring frequently. Add a little water if onion is catching or burning.
  • Add curry paste and fry a further 5 minutes, adding a little of the coconut milk to prevent the paste drying out, if needed.
  • Add lemongrass, chilies and curry leaves and fry a few minutes while stirring.
  • Add potatoes, stirring a few more minutes, adding coconut milk as necessary.
  • Add chicken pieces, fry for 5 minutes, then add the remaining coconut milk, water, soy sauce and salt to taste.
  • Simmer for 10-15 minutes until chicken and potato is almost cooked, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking to the bottom.
  • Add vegetables and simmer a further 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if required.


Note: Curry is better if left for a few hours or overnight before being eaten.
This spicy chicken curry is not for the faint-hearted – if you want it on the milder side, use mild or medium curry powder and omit the chilies. As with all curries, this dish benefits from being refrigerated over night or even just a few hours for the flavours to really meld together.