Chicken curry – Julie Lin


Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

Saturday Kitchen Recipes TodayBy Julie Lin
From Saturday Kitchen



  • Dried red chillies: 2
  • Vegetable oil: 80ml/2½fl oz
  • Onions, finely chopped: 1½
  • Garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped: 6
  • Fresh root ginger, peeled and grated: 5cm/2in
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Star anise: 1
  • Green cardamom pod: 1
  • Malaysian Kari curry powder or garam masala: 8–10 tbsp
  • Chicken thighs, skin off and bone out, diced: 400g/14oz
  • Ground turmeric: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tbsp
  • Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks: 4
  • Coconut milk: 100ml/3½fl oz
  • Tomatoes, chopped: 2
  • Curry leaves: 1 stalk
  • Vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • MSG: 1 pinch
Alternative Ingredients

What is MSG?
MSG stands for Monosodium Glutamate which is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. It provides the savoury “umami” flavour.

It is used as a flavour enhancer in many processed and restaurant foods like soups, sauces, snacks, meat products, etc.

MSG occurs naturally in foods like tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms, but is also produced commercially through fermentation.

Umami flavour can be added to recipes by using fermented sauces such as Soy Sauce and Tamari or Miso Paste which is fermented soybean paste.


  1. Soak the dried red chilies in warm water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain and finely chop them.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or casserole dish over medium heat. The oil should be enough to cover the base of the pan.
  3. Add the finely chopped onions and sauté for 5–8 minutes until they are soft and golden brown.
  4. Add the crushed or finely chopped garlic, grated ginger, and chopped soaked chilies to the pan. Sauté for another 2–3 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the cinnamon stick, star anise, and green cardamom pod to the pan. Stir for 1 minute to release the aromas.
  6. Add the Malaysian Kari curry powder or garam masala and stir well. Cook for 1–2 minutes to blend the flavors.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix the diced chicken thighs (skin off and bone out) with the ground turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  8. Add the marinated chicken thighs to the pan and cook until they are browned on all sides.
  9. Pour in 375ml/13fl oz of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
  10. Add the peeled and chopped potato chunks, coconut milk, 1 of the chopped tomatoes, and 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the pan. If the curry looks too thick, pour in an additional 250ml of water.
  11. Simmer the curry for 30–40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is fully cooked. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
  12. Finally, season the curry with the curry leaves, vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of MSG.
  13. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining chopped tomato if desired.
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