Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry

This Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry is sure to be a hit with whoever you feed it to. It’s the simplest way I know to cook a curry like this from scratch, using a homemade curry paste.

Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry with broccoli and sweet potato in a black bowl

You’re in for a treat! This curry has to tasted to be believed. You can feel the nourishment in every bite.

I wanted to make a slightly different style curry to the tomato based ones I usually make, but still keep it really simple.

The base for this Malaysian curry is a beautiful curry paste centered around ginger, lemongrass, chili and five spice.

Served up with sweet potato mash and tenderstem broccoli it’s so comforting, which makes it great for autumn or winter evenings.

At the bottom of the post I’ve included instructions for how to make this in a slow cooker, rather than a pan. Using a slow cooker takes it to the next level because of how fall-off-the-bone tender the chicken becomes.

It’s a wonderful way to make this dish because coming home to a hot homemade curry can’t be beaten.

How to Make Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry

I’m going to walk you through some tips for making this curry. This full recipe PDF is below.

  • First you’re going to need to make the curry paste. The paste will make two batches of the curry, so half can be stored in a jar in the fridge.

    You’ll be making this in a food processor, but you can use a blender too. If your blender or food processor is too large for a small amount, add a few teaspoons of water to help it blend.

    The paste can also be used for soups, stews, noodles, salad dressing, or spread on chicken breast or fish before baking.
Malaysian curry paste in a food processor.
Homemade Malaysian curry paste in the food processor.
  • Once you have your curry paste done, you’ll cook that off for a few minutes in a pan with some coconut oil.
Malaysian curry paste cooking in a black cast iron pan.
Curry paste cooking in a pan for a few minutes in coconut oil.
  • Then add your sliced onions and a little salt until they’re softened.
Onions & Malaysian curry paste cooking in a black cast iron pan.
Onions and curry paste cooking until they soften.
  • Next you’re going to be added your chicken thigh. I use skin on and bone in because you get such a succulent result.
  • Place them in the pan with skin down, making space form them to touch the pan by pushing them down and giving them a little wiggle.

    The reason we want them touching the pan and not sitting on top of the onion is so they get a little browning on them.

    A different technique to get them browned even more is to do this stage separately first. I’m trying to make this recipe as simple as possible, so I’ve made it all part of the same process.
Onions and chicken thigh with Malaysian curry paste cooking in a black cast iron pan.
Push the chicken thighs into the onions so the skin touches the pan to get some browning.
  • After a few minutes you’ll have some browning on the skin, so use tongs to turn them over.
Onions and chicken thigh with Malaysian curry paste cooking in a black cast iron pan.
When you have some browning on the skin, you’re ready to turn them over.
  • Add in the rest of your ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes. I like to do the first 10 minutes with no lid, to thicken the sauce a little.
Malaysian chicken thigh curry cooking in a black cast iron pan.
Cook the chicken for a further 30 minutes.
  • 10 minutes before the end I like to add in some tenderstem broccoli. You can of course cook this separately, but I love cooking it in the flavours of the sauce.

    If you’re just having a low carb version of this dish, only doing the chicken and broccoli, doing it like this means it can be made in one pan.
Malaysian chicken thigh curry cooking in a black cast iron pan with broccoli.
Make a little space for your broccoli in one side of the pan.
  • After a few minutes the broccoli will wilt down a bit and sit in the sauce. Having the lid on at this stage helps.
Malaysian chicken thigh curry cooking in a black cast iron pan with broccoli.
10 minutes is all that’s need for perfectly cooked broccoli.
  • I’ve served with sweet potato mash, but you could of course serve with rice.
Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry with broccoli and sweet potato in a black bowl
Enjoy this nourishing home cooked curry.
Rate This Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry

This Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry is sure to be a hit with whoever you feed it to. It's the simplest way I know to cook a curry like this from scratch, using a homemade curry paste.
Servings2

Nutrition (For one serving)

Calories: 458kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 14gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 1872mgPotassium: 1278mgFiber: 7gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 1585IUVitamin C: 187mgCalcium: 159mgIron: 9mg

Ingredients

The Paste

  • 3 cm ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 5 red chillies (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed & removed from skin)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (chopped)
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

The Curry

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 onions
  • 4 chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 10 mint leaves (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 g broccoli (tenderstem / broccolini)

Instructions

The Paste

  • Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process. If your blender or processor is too large foe the volume you can add a few tablespoons of water to help it along.

The Curry

  • Bring the coconut oil to a medium high heat in a pan.
  • Add half of the paste to the pan and stir whilst cooking for 3 minutes. Reserve the rest of the paste for future use.
  • Slice the onions, add to the pan and continue to cook until they become soft.
  • Add in the chicken thighs and cook skin side down until you get some browning on the skin.
  • Add the coconut milk, stock, five spice, plus the tamari. Cook for 30 minutes
  • Finally, add in the broccoli with 10 minutes to go. Taste for seasoning.
  • Optionally serve with sweet potato mash and a dollop of coconut yoghurt.

Notes

The nutritional information is for the curry and broccoli.  Sweet potato mash or rice would need to be added.
Rate This Recipe
5 from 3 votes
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Slow Cooker Version

As I mentioned above, this slow cooker version is well worth doing because you get such tender chicken.

There are a few steps you’ll want to do in a pan before getting it going in the slow cooker, but from that point on you can leave it to do its thing, so when you come home in the evening, the house smells of this gorgeous curry.

  • First you’ll want to cook off the paste in the coconut oil. Then you’ll add the chopped onions, just as before. Once those are done, into the slow cooker they go. It should be set on low. It will be on for 6 hours. If you’re not going to be in 6 hours from starting it, the timer on most slow cookers should keep it warm for you.
  • Place your chicken thighs skin down in the pan to get some browning.
  • Whilst that’s happening, add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Leave out the broccoli as that will overcook in 6 hours. Either steam that just before eating or add to the slow cooker 45 mins before serving.
  • Finally add the chicken thighs to the slow cooker with the browned skin facing up. Put the lid on and leave for 6 hours. Unbelievable to come home to on a cold autumn or winter evening.
Malaysian Chicken Thigh Curry with broccoli and sweet potato in a black bowl
Russell James

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September 8th, 2020