Kari Ayam (Chicken curry Malaysian style)

Malaysian chicken curry or Kari Ayam, is a dish made out of chicken usually the bony parts like ribs, wings, thighs and legs marinated in a spice blend of chillies, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, belachan and candlenuts cooked with coconut milk together with potatoes served with steamed rice or roti canai.



  • 1 chicken (1.5 to 1.8 kg), cut into 12 to 16 pieces
  • 4 potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised
  • 1 large tomato, cut wedges (optional)
  • 1 litre thick coconut milk
  • Salt, sugar and chicken booster for taste
  • 5 nos curry leaves
  • 2 nos star anise
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, sugar to taste

For making Curry paste:

  • 10 shallots, chopped
  • 12 dried chilies, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and chopped
  • 5 red chilies, chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a knob of ginger, chopped
  • a knob of galangal, chopped
  • a knob of turmeric, chopped
  • 10 candle nuts or brazil nut, chopped
  • 1 lemongrass, chopped (white part only)
  • small piece of shrimp paste (belacan), toasted
  • 4 tbsp of Malaysian chicken curry powder (Ayam or Babas brand or any)
  • Cooking oil for sauteing


  1. In a pot, with medium heat, sautee curry paste spices till soften and oil separated. Add chicken and sautee chicken in the curry paste for about 5 minutes, add curry leaves, cinnamon stick and star anise.
  2. Add coconut milk and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken are soft. Potatoes can be added after that and continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  3. Add tomato wedges, and cook about 5 minutes more. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Serve hot with rice, bread or roti canai.
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Post Author: dvd

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