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Chicken Curry Kapitan

My fondest memory of my time in Malaysia often includes food. It was a period in my life where I left home for the very first time and not cooking, so I ended up eating out every single day, at least twice a day, for close to one and a half year.

What can I say, I was young and up to that point in my life, was super pampered by my Mom’s cooking, also my cooking skill at that time was non existent!

Plus to be honest, eating out in Malaysia was so cheap, in fact, my Mom who visited me back then made a quick calculation and told me to better just eat out since it didn’t make any economical sense to cook for myself anyway.

So I went on to have many happy eating adventures while staying there. To be honest, I never again have the opportunity to indulge myself in so many outside food since my brief Malaysian stint.

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Chicken Curry Kapitan

One of my favorite food in Malaysia kinda involve curries, and they come in so many different flavor and variety, chicken, fish, lamb, and depend on whether it’s a Chinese owned store, or Malay owned store, or Indian owned store, the flavor can be very different and each super unique and equally delicious.

This chicken curry Kapitan is one of my favorite Malaysian curry.

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Like Indonesian dishes, it is also very typical for Malaysian dishes to have a long list of spices in the recipe. It may seems like a lot of stuff, but honestly the prep work is really quick. Mostly, you just need to dump a lot of spices into a blender/food processor and blend away into smooth paste.

The cooking process is also equally easy, cook the wet spice until slightly dry, then add oil and fry until the oil is separated, then add chicken and the rest of the ingredients into the pan. From then on, it’s basically simmering and simmering until sauce is reduced and thick.

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Chicken Curry Kapitan

Since this is a Malaysian dish, you can eat this chicken curry Kapitan with steamed white rice, or your favorite roti or naan bread. The sauce is to die for, so mop up every single last drop and lick the plate clean.

Chicken Curry Kapitan

5.0 from 12 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 200 ml (half a can) coconut milk
  • 1 potato (about 300 gram), peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime, or to taste
  • Spice paste (grind into a smooth paste with blender/food processor)
  • 25 dried red chilies, remove seeds and soaked in boiling water until softened
  • 100 gram shallot
  • 20 gram garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 3 lemongrass, white parts only
  • 4 candlenuts
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a wok over medium heat, mix together spice paste and ground turmeric and cook until slightly dry.
  2. Add cooking oil into the wok, mix well. Cook until oil starts to separate from from the spice.
  3. Add chicken drumsticks, mix well.
  4. Add kaffir lime leaves and water into the wok, mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and potato into the wok, mix well. Season with salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add lime juice, cook for 1 minute. Adjust seasoning as needed. Turn off heat.
  7. Serve with steamed white rice, Indian roti or naan bread.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Lynn Lynn says:

    Hi Anita, my son loves curry chicken but with no spice. He can't take heat 😥. Can you develop a curry chicken recipe without spices for him?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Lynn, do you mean without any chili? or without any spice at all? Because even the simplest one with just curry powder will already have spices in it, and to be honest I don't know if anyone can make curry without spices. If it is without any chili, you can use this exact same recipe, just don't add any of the dried chili. If he can tolerate a tiny amount of heat, I would suggest using 1 teaspoon of paprika powder (not red chili powder) to at least give the curry that slight reddish hue.

  • lynn lynn says:

    hi Anita, he does not take chili, not a tiny bit of heat in his food. He can take Japanese curry ..... no chili at all. Thanks

  • Lynn Lynn says:

    Hi Anita, thanks for the advice. Great! He loves Japanese Curry. I will try out your recipe this weekend! Thanks again😀

    • Anita Anita says:

      Happy to help Lynn :) Have fun trying out the recipe.

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    This dish really looks amazing. I'd love to try it. Did you notice that the cook time shows 21 hours? I think it's just a typo based on the instructions.

    • Anita Anita says:

      OMG, thanks for catching that typo. I've updated the recipe card. The cooking time should only be 1 hour. :)

  • Kelley Kelley says:

    My husband LOVES curry so I am adding this to my must try list asap!

  • Beth Beth says:

    The sauce was amazing! So much flavor and so thick and creamy!

  • Alison Alison says:

    The sauce in this recipe is so luxurious! I could slather it over everything!

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    What an amazing dinner recipe! Definitely a restaurant worthy recipe, indeed! Looking forward to enjoying this for dinner tomorrow night!

  • Nart | Cooking with Nart Nart | Cooking with Nart says:

    Looks really delicious and similar to the Thai massaman curry! I could do with a bowl of this and rice right now. :)

  • min min says:

    This was a hit with the whole family!! Thank you!

  • Candice Candice says:

    This chicken dish is so packed with flavor! It's ridiculously delicious and I cannot wait to make it again. Thank you for the great recipe!

  • Biana | TastyGalaxy.com Biana | TastyGalaxy.com says:

    I love curries, and this one looks so delicious! Looking forward to making it soon.


    This Curry Chicken looks so amazing! I love using Turmeric and this would be perfect to make in our house!

  • Jack Reed Jack Reed says:

    Maam you have nailed it, been looking for this taste for years , and here it is , many thanks, Jack

  • Lany Susanto Lany Susanto says:

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