Singaporean Chicken Curry

Singaporean Chicken Curry

Piping hot curry is a typical dish on the Lunar New Year table in Singapore, and this version is from Shila Das, a second-generation Singaporean of Indian and Vietnamese descent. Every family in Singapore has its own spice mix depending on heritage, though these days, premade curry sachets are easily procured at specialty stores across the island. Here, a lot of spices are blended from scratch, which is why Ms. Das only makes this dish for special occasions. The chicken is marinated in lime juice and then gently simmered in a spicy and earthy sauce anchored by coconut milk. The best part? Any leftovers taste even better the next day.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and combine with the lime juice, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1½ teaspoons white pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    In a large wok or Dutch oven, heat the ghee over medium-high. When the ghee is hot and shimmering, wipe the marinade off the chicken and add the chicken in a single layer. Sear until light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Step 3

    Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion, remaining 1 tablespoon garlic and 1 tablespoon ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and cloves, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pandan leaves, chile powder, ground coriander, ground turmeric, ground fennel and remaining 1 teaspoon white pepper, and stir until it smells lovely, about 10 seconds.
  4. Step 4

    Add the chicken and stir until it is completely coated with the aromatics. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring the mixture to a near boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer briskly to concentrate the flavors, 5 to 8 minutes. Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and serve with nasi biryani or basmati rice.