Azalina's Mint Chicken Curry


Azalina Eusope grew up in Malaysia, where spices were an integral part of her Mamak culture. Now she brings a taste of Penang to San Francisco. The bold flavors of her spicy mint curry remind her of home.

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
2 hrs
Additional Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
8 servings


  • ½ cup dried red chile peppers, stems and seeds removed

  • ½ cup boiling water

  • 2 cups grated fresh coconut

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds

  • ¼ cup peanut oil, divided

  • cup sliced almonds

  • 5 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed

  • 5 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

  • ½ cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger root

  • 3 (1 1/2 inch) pieces fresh turmeric root, peeled and roughly chopped

  • water, or as needed

  • 3 tablespoons whole star anise pods

  • 2 (2 inch) sticks cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves

  • 2 tablespoons whole cardamom pods

  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint, stems reserved

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 pinch kosher salt to taste


  1. Soak dried chilies in a bowl with 1/2 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

  2. Toast coconut in a heavy pan on low heat until dark golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  3. Toast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in the pan until aromatic, about 1 minute. Set aside.

  4. Puree 2 tablespoons peanut oil, toasted coconut, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a blender or food processor. Mix in chilies, almonds, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, ginger, and turmeric; blend to form a smooth curry paste. Add 2 tablespoons water if needed to create a smoother paste.

  5. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil in the skillet and stir in star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, and mint stems; stir and toast on medium-low heat until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Discard spices and retain oil in the pan.

  6. Heat curry paste in the same skillet with the flavored oil over medium heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water, chicken, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt; cook and stir until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.

  7. Stir in coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and the sauce is thick, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  8. Stir in reserved chopped mint leaves and lime juice. Season with kosher salt to taste. Cook until the mint begins to wilt, 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let the curry rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Editor's Note:

If you have a scale, you can measure the spices: .5 ounce star anise, .5 ounce cinnamon sticks, .5 ounce cardamom pods, and .25 ounce cloves. You may also use 2 teaspoons of ground dried turmeric in place of the root; if you do use fresh, be aware that it stains. Wear gloves!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

552 Calories
38g Fat
29g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 552
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 38g 49%
Saturated Fat 25g 124%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 612mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 154mg 12%
Iron 9mg 48%
Potassium 866mg 18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.