Southeast Asian Chicken Curry

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My version of chicken curry, inspired by Malaysian and Indian curries. I decided to keep this here to save the ingredients for personal purposes, but there's no harm in sharing it to others, so feel free to use.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 10 mins
6 servings



  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 3 tablespoons ground turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon garam masala

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger, or to taste

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 2 whole star anise pods

  • 2 cardamom pods

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 makrut lime leaf

  • red chile pepper, sliced


  • 2 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt (such as Nestle®), divided

  • 4 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (patis), divided

  • 10 chicken leg quarters

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

  • 1 tablespoon minced onion, or to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or to taste

  • 1 cube chicken bouillon

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste

  • 1 (6.5 ounce) can Filipino-style tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Mix ground cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala, paprika, ginger, bay leaves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon stick, lime leaf, and chile pepper together in a bowl.

  2. Mix 1/2 of 1 yogurt container with 2 tablespoons of spice mixture and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a bowl. Make deep cuts into the chicken thighs to allow sauce to penetrate. Coat chicken with yogurt mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

  3. Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir-fry onion and garlic in the hot pot for 30 seconds; add remaining spice mixture and continue to stir-fry, 30 seconds more. Add chicken to the pan and fry until spices around chicken have darkened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add marinade and bring to a boil over high heat; continue to boil, covered, for 2 minutes.

  4. Dissolve bouillon in water and add to the pot. Add remaining yogurt, remaining fish sauce, and sugar. Boil chicken in sauce until nearly cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  5. Add tomato sauce; boil until chicken is no longer pink in the centers and sauce has completely thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Melt butter into mixture and cover. Turn off heat and let dish rest to let chicken absorb sauce, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

You can use ground cumin as a substitute for garam masala, if necessary.

If you do not have some of the ingredients, just omit them and continue cooking. Adjusting the powder ratios is up to you, but note the flavor will change. But yes, you could adjust them to your preferences, especially cumin since it adds a bitterness to curry.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

726 Calories
40g Fat
17g Carbs
72g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 726
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g 52%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 243mg 81%
Sodium 1469mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 72g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 240mg 18%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 1043mg 22%

* 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.

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