This classic Malaysian curry is often served as part of a festive New Year banquet. The secret is the fragrant Malaysian curry powder – a heady mix of cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves. 






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (346 votes)


  • 4 chicken marylands, each cut into 4 pieces
  • ½ cup (125 ml) vegetable oil 
  • 3 star anise 
  • 1 cinnamon quill 
  • 4 whole cloves 
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 large red onion, chopped 
  • 80 g ( cup) Malaysian meat curry powder
  • 400 ml coconut milk 
  • lime halves (optional) and steamed rice, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink 2010 Saint Clair Pinot Gris ($21).

Rub chicken with 1 tsp salt, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add star anise, cinnamon, cloves and the curry leaves, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in curry powder, then add chicken and stir until well coated. Add 60 ml coconut milk and stir to combine, then cover and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining 340 ml coconut milk and 125 ml water, then stir to combine. Cover again, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through; add extra water if the curry is too thick. Squeeze over the limes, then add them to the curry, if desired. Serve the chicken curry with steamed rice.



• Ask your butcher to cut the chicken marylands for you.
• Curry leaves are available from selected greengrocers and Asian food shops.
• Malaysian meat curry powder is available from Asian food shops.


As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. 

Photography by Anson Smart.