I have not been a fan of Malay curry mainly because of the pungent curry powder taste that you get out of it. I don’t know, maybe I have been brought up seeing such curry on the table and thats the only curry that I know. It puts me off and curry has not been my favourite dish.

However, there are days when I look for curry. Today was the day and I went looking for chicken curry recipes that doesn’t use curry powder and baammm. I found plenty on Google and this one recipe caught my eyes (mainly because of the ingredients) ; Kerala Nadan Chicken Curry. Please take note that I have tweaked the recipe mainly because of the unavailability of the spices in my pantry haha. So, you can choose to follow that recipe or try out the one below.

Straight to the recipe, here we go.


1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp red chilli flakes (I dont have chilli powder)

2 cloves

4 cardamom pods (remove the pods and take the seeds)

2-3 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp Anise Seed

  1. Dry toast the ingredients on a heated pan until you get this lovely aroma and set aside to let it cool.
  2. Once cool down, put every ingredients in a spice grinder and blitz it to fine powder or in my case (I like it not too fine)

800gm chicken

8 cloves of garlic

2 inch of ginger

3 sticks of curry leaves (the more the merrier)

3 medium-sized yellow onion , thinly sliced

3tsp of turmeric powder

1 tsp of coarse black pepper

1 1/2 cup fresh coconut milk

birds eye chillies (Optional)

Salt to taste

Coconut oil (or any oil)

a jug of water

  1. Blend the garlic and ginger with a tablespoon of oil and turn it into a paste.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan (I love using this to cook anything that requires a little stewing), heat the oil and start frying the curry leaves and onion until its golden brown in colour.
  3. Then, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry it quickly (don’It let the garlic burn).
  4. Add the chicken with the turmeric and black pepper and stir it well. Fry it for a couple of minutes.
  5. Next, add the ground spice powder and continue cooking it. Add salt to this (please taste as you go). Stir, stir, and stir until you see the colour gets darker. Do add a little bit of water to prevent the onions sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Once you have seen it getting thicker, add the fresh coconut milk and stir it.
  7. Taste, taste, and taste it. If its lacking of salt – add more.
  8. Optional : You can add the chilies with the if its not too spicy (which it is not).
  9. Then, voila. You can eat this with your roti canai or hot rice.


  1. Probably this is not even Kerala Chicken Curry because I didn’t add the fenugreek seeds and black mustard seeds – but most importantly I was inspired by the recipe to get this one.
  2. For the ginger-garlic paste, I always blended anything that I wanted to sauté later with oil instead of water. This is actually to prevent splattering and slowing down the process of burning the paste. If you use water ; hot oil and blended-paste with water will cause that splattering when you add it to the pot.
  3. If you have a lot of curry leaves, you can fry it on the side as well and sprinkle it on top before serving.
  4. This is from the site that also recommended cooking this low-medium heat.

So, the final view of my dish-

and I had it with roti canai which I tried making it myself (using the Thermomix) and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it because the dough was one stubborn dough. Thats another story to tell and Im working on a better dough.

Overall, this is another dish that I will keep and worth sharing with everyone.



3 Comments Add yours

  1. Nabiya Anthony says:

    My aunts always complained that Nini used to force them to roll the curry leaves and spices by hand on a daily basis cos she hated using the curry powder


    1. I really dont like the curry powder here. Theres something about it just doesn’t roll with my tastebud. You can immediately taste it and be like, naahhh. Not the curry Im looking for. Btw, your late aunty Lalita’s chicken curry recipe also is a precious one there, Nabs. 😉


      1. Nabiya Anthony says:

        Wanna try your homemade spice mix!


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