how to make Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe

I must admit that I am not a curry expert.
I am not an expert making very authentic curries but I do enjoy eating various types from all over the region, though.
For living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, you can get really delicious curries from everywhere in the city. Malaysian, Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, Africanů you name it. Maybe because there are so much to choose from and so easily accessible, I just take my family to the nearest restaurant whenever we get the curry craving kicking in. No wonder I never bother to cook curries at my own kitchen.

I found this recipe not long ago and thought I can start training myself making curries with this recipe. It is called Cape Malay Chicken Curry. This is not an authentic Malaysian curry. But the name Cape comes from the town called Western Cape in South Africa where a good number of Malaysians dwell, and whom originated this recipe.
The flavor of this curry is really nice and easy to get used to for those who are the curry beginners. The addition of either diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes brings a slight tang to the over all flavor but not over-powering the entire dish.
Hope you like it. My


  • 1 onion, medium, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes (you can use fresh hot peppers to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel, ground (or 4 teaspoons whole fennel seeds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 15 cardamom pods (whole pods)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 (14 ounce, 400g) can crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken pieces
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 -3 teaspoons salt

family thoroughly enjoyed it


  • Gather your spices together, and peel and chop the ginger. Put the 10 spices -- from the coriander seeds down to the garam masala -- in a mortar and pestle or even in a coffee bean grinder. Mash them together so the cardamom pods burst and the whole thing becomes a mess of spices.
  • Then heat the oil in a pot, add the onion and ginger over fairly high heat, and stir now and then, for a few minutes. Add the spices you mashed or grinded, and stir. You might need to add more oil: spices slurp up oil as they fry. Don't worry, you will be able to skim it off again later.
  • Stir and fry spices and onion for about 2 minutes. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and stir. The heat should be high enough so everything bubbles together.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and stir to coat well, keeping heat high until everything is bubbling away.
  • Turn heat way down until it just simmers, put on a lid, and cook for about 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the garlic, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
  • Simmer with lid at a small angle, for about 15 minutes more.
  • Stir through, taste the sauce, and adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Please note that it is easy, near the end of cooking, to skim off extra oil/fat with a spoon, as it collects in corners of the pot. On my photos you can see there isn't much oil or fat on the dish.