If there’s one dish that epitomizes the melting pot of cultures that makes up Malaysian cuisine, it’s kapitan chicken curry. There are many stories surrounding the origins of this traditional Peranakan Nyonya dish, but most believe this authentic Nyonya recipe hails from Malacca, taking its name for the Portuguese word for ‘Captain’, who colonised Melaka in the 16th century.
During this time, Malacca was at the centre of the world’s spice trade, as ships bearing pepper, cardamom and other exotic ingredients passed through from India and Indonesia to China, Europe and the Middle East. It’s little wonder the Nyonya dishes of Malacca showcase so many spices.
Richer, drier and thicker than a regular Malaysian chicken curry, kapitan chicken curry combines the classic characters of an Indian curry with the signature ingredients of Malaysia and China. The spice paste is a heady blend of lemongrass, chillies, galangal, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and belacan.
These authentic ingredients are captured in a jar of Lingham’s Malaysian Kapitan Curry Paste, making it a breeze for you to experience this traditional dish at home. Try this recipe for Malaysian Kapitan chicken curry for yourself.
The choice of chicken will depend on how long you want to cook your kapitan chicken curry. For a shortcut version, choose boneless chicken, such as breast or thigh fillets. If you have more time, opt for chicken with the bone in, such as thigh cutlets or drumsticks – meat with the bone in generally has more flavour, but it will require a longer cooking process.
Another key ingredient in kapitan chicken curry is coconut milk, which adds a creaminess and richness to the dish. And to complement the store-bought spice paste, add extra aromatics, such as lemongrass stems, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and ginger.
Pick up a jar of Lingham’s Malaysian Kapitan Curry Paste from your local supermarket to savour this authentic Malaysian recipe. And for more Malaysian cooking inspiration, try our Malaysian curry recipes for every occasion.
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