Chef's Recipes

Chicken curry (Kari ayam)

Australian Gourmet Traveller Malaysian recipe for chicken curry (Kari ayam) by Mamak restaurant

  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Chicken curry (Kari ayam)
"We called into Mamak in Sydney's Chinatown for some Malaysian street food. The chicken curry (kari ayam) was fantastic - could you ask Mamak's three chefs to share their secret?"
Lee Gossard, Tempe, NSW
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To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 130 gm Indian curry powder (see note)
  • 1 tbsp ground chilli, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 (about 1kg) chicken Marylands, cut into 4 pieces
  • 250 gm sebago potatoes, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, white part bruised
  • To serve: steamed rice and sliced red chilli


  • 1
    Heat oil in a wok over medium heat, then add onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom seeds and curry leaves and stirfry until fragrant and onion is soft (about 3 minutes). Add 1.5 litres of water and bring to the boil, add curry powder, ground chilli and sugar and stir to combine. Add chicken, potato and lemongrass, return to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken and potato are cooked through (about 15 minutes). Scatter with chilli and serve with rice.


Note Look for finely ground mild (meat) Indian curry powder.