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Chicken Curry Kapitan
Malaysian chicken curry Kapitan is a rich, spicy, and savory coconut milk chicken curry with potatoes. Serve with rice, roti, or naan bread to soak up all the sauce.
My fondest memory of my time in Malaysia often includes food. It was the first time I left home, and the only thing I could properly cook was some instant noodles!
I was thinking of learning to cook, but my Mom, who has always been great at budgeting, did a quick calculation and pointedly said that eating out every day was cheaper. So I went on a happy eating adventure for one and a half years. ;)
I end up with a big love for Malaysian food, and if curries are a food group, that would be my all-time favorite. There are a dizzying array of curries to choose from, from Chinese style to Malay and Indian curries. One of my favorites is this Chicken Curry Kapitan.
Ingredients for chicken curry Kapitan
Like Indonesian dishes, it is also very typical for Malaysian dishes to have a long list of spices in the recipe.
For this dish, we will need bone-in chicken, potatoes, garlic, shallot, ginger, galangal, candlenuts, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, dried red chilies, coconut milk, fish sauce, turmeric, salt, sugar, and lime juice.
You can use a whole chicken, cut up into 8-12 pieces. I usually either go with 10-12 chicken drumsticks or 4-5 chicken quarters separated into thighs and drumsticks.
Please choose potatoes that are suitable for braising since they don’t fall apart and turn into mush. Waxy potatoes/boiling potatoes, such as red potatoes, new potatoes, fingerlings, and Yukon Gold, are all great choices. Avoid Russet potatoes for stewing/braising purposes.
How to cook chicken curry Kapitan
1. Grind spice paste
Use a food processor/blender to grind chilies, shallot, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, candlenuts, and water into a smooth spice paste.
2. Fry spice paste
Heat spice paste and turmeric over medium heat in a wok until slightly dry. Add cooking oil and mix well. Cook until the oil starts to separate from the spice.
3. Add chicken
Add chicken into the wok and stir. Add kaffir lime leaves and water, mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the remaining ingredients
Stir in coconut milk into the wok. Add potatoes, and season with salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and become thick.
5. Add lime juice and serve
Add lime juice, stir and cook for another minute. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat, transfer the dish to a serving bowl, and serve immediately.
Serving and storing
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.
Like most curries, the flavor improves with age, so if you have the patience to wait for a day or two before serving the curry, you will end up with a more flavorful dish.
I usually store the dish in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat it as necessary in a microwave for about 1 minute.
Chicken Curry Kapitan
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 10-12 chicken drumsticks (Note 1)
- 8 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 cups water
- 200 ml (half a can) coconut milk
- 300 gram (10 oz), peeled and cut into wedges (Note 2)
- 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
- Grind spice paste: Use a food processor/blender to grind chilies, shallot, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, candlenuts, and water into a smooth spice paste.
- Fry spice paste: Heat spice paste and turmeric over medium heat in a wok until slightly dry. Add cooking oil and mix well. Cook until the oil starts to separate from the spice.
- Add chicken: Add chicken into the wok and stir. Add kaffir lime leaves and water, mix well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients: Stir in coconut milk into the wok. Add potatoes, and season with salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and become thick.
- Add lime juice and serve: Add lime juice, stir and cook for another minute. Adjust the seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat, transfer the dish to a serving bowl, and serve with steamed white rice, Indian roti, or naan bread.
- (1) Or a whole chicken cut into 8-12 pieces, or 4-5 chicken quarters separated into thighs and drumsticks.
- (2) Choose waxy potatoes/boiling potatoes, such as red potatoes, new potatoes, fingerlings, or Yukon Gold. Avoid using Russet potatoes.
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?
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.
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
Hi Lynn, if you follow my Japanese chicken curry with homemade curry roux recipe and omit all the chili powder from the recipe, you should get a super mild curry. Should be perfect for your son :)
Hi Anita, thanks for the advice. Great! He loves Japanese Curry. I will try out your recipe this weekend! Thanks again😀
Happy to help Lynn :) Have fun trying out the recipe.
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.
OMG, thanks for catching that typo. I've updated the recipe card. The cooking time should only be 1 hour. :)
My husband LOVES curry so I am adding this to my must try list asap!
The sauce was amazing! So much flavor and so thick and creamy!
The sauce in this recipe is so luxurious! I could slather it over everything!
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 says:
Looks really delicious and similar to the Thai massaman curry! I could do with a bowl of this and rice right now. :)
This was a hit with the whole family!! Thank you!
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 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 says:
Maam you have nailed it, been looking for this taste for years , and here it is , many thanks, Jack
Lany Susanto says:
Geetha Balagopal says:
Just made this curry and its delicious!!! My daughter loves it!!! Will be making batch of the curry paste to be kept in the freezer.
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