chicken curry

Chicken Curry – with home-made curry paste

I love chicken curry – it goes so well with steamed rice, crusty bread, roti or noodles. The taste of a good chicken curry is very much dependent on the curry powder used. Using the wrong brand of curry powder can lead to a dissatisfying result. Or your favourite brand of curry powder may not be available. especially if you live overseas.

So, I decided to experiment with making my own curry paste. This will ensure that I can have a consistently good curry to satisfy my craving. The curry paste recipe below produces a curry that tastes like that used in the famous beef brisket hor fun curry served in Hong Kong. I am really pleased with the result and am happy to share it. Hope you like it too.


  • 6 chicken legs & 6 chicken wings 
  • 4 potatoes (cut into cubes)
  • 2 tbsp rice bran oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • Seasoning:
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp soya sauce
    • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Curry paste ingredients – grind together:
    • 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
    • 1 anise
    • 2 dried chillies
    • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
    • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
    • 1 clove
    • 1 cardamom pod
    • Pinch of ground cinnamon
    • Pinch of ground nutmeg
    • 2 candlenuts
    • one-inch piece ginger (chopped)
    • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
    • 1 onion (chopped)


1. Place all the curry paste ingredients into a grinder. Grind till fine.

2. Place 1/2 a portion of curry paste into the chicken pieces. Massage the spices into the chicken pieces to ensure even coating. Set aside to marinate for at least 1/2 hour.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot. Place the remaining 1/2 portion of curry paste into the hot oil. Fry over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Fry till fragrant. Add more oil if the mixture appear dry.

4. Add the marinated chicken and fry under medium heat for about 10 mins or until the oil starts to separate out.

5. Add coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 mins.

6. Add potatoes and salt, and continue to simmer until chicken is tender and potatoes cooked (another 20-30 mins).

7. Add curry leaves and seasoning (salt, sugar, soya sauce & ketchup).

8. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

9. Serve with hot steamed rice, crusty bread rolls, roti or noodles.

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