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How To Make Kapitan Chicken Curry, A Traditional Nyonya Recipe

Kari Kapitan is a Penang Peranakan chicken curry dish but is richer, thicker and drier with elements from Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisines. Kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk are among the ingredients used in this mild curry.

Have you ever wondered how this dish got its name? Watch this video until the end to know about the origin of Kari Kapitan.

In this episode, Datin Adek’s guest is Dr Lee Soo Kim who is the author of 13 books including a trilogy of short stories on Babas and Nyonyas. Her best sellers are the award winning Kebaya Tales, Manglish and Malaysian Flavours.

The recipe is in “Malaysia’s Culinary Heritage” by Kalsom Taib and Hamidah Abdul Hamid (Datin Adek)

Get the copy of ‘Malaysia’s Culinary Heritage’ book at

Serves for 8–10

1 kg chicken, cut into preferred sizes and washed in water and the juice of a lemon

¼ cup cooking oil
Grind to a fine paste 18 shallots, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cm galangal, peeled and chopped
8 red chillies, chopped
20 dried chillies, cut and soaked in hot water 4 cm turmeric, peeled and chopped
4 stalks lemongrass, sliced
2 cm shrimp paste
4 candlenuts, chopped

8 kaffir lime leaves

3–4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
250 ml coconut cream
5 cups water
2 calamansi limes, juice only
1 tsp pepper
sugar and salt to taste

fried shallots for garnishing

1. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the paste with the kaffir lime leaves until fragrant and crisp.
2. Stir in the chicken and cook until the meat is well coated with the paste.
3. Add the potatoes, coconut cream, water, lime juice and pepper and season with sugar and salt to taste.
4. Boil until the chicken is tender, the oil surfaces and the gravy thickens.
5. Garnish the dish with fried shallots and serve with any bread or plain rice.

This recipe video is brought to you by Sime Darby Oils and Kalsom Taib Publishing.

For more information about Sime Darby Oils, visit: or at:
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Written by iCookAsia

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