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Malaysian Kapitan Chicken

Bring the flavours of Malaysia into your home with this rich, flavourful and standout curry. So incredibly unctious, it’s impossible to resist.


Malaysian Kapitan Chicken

10 minutes
1 hour 15 minutes

80ml (1/3 cup) peanut oil 

800g (1 lb 12 oz) chicken thigh fillets, excess fat trimmed, quartered 

270ml can (9 fl oz) coconut milk 

6 fresh makrut lime leaves 

1 lemongrass stalk, bruised 

1 tbsp fresh lime juice  

1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar 

Steamed rice or roti, to serve 


Spice paste 

10 dried red chillies 

5 small red shallotspeeled, chopped  

4cm-piece (1.5”) galangalpeeled chopped 

3cmpiece (1 3/16”) ginger, peeled, chopped 

3 garlic cloves, chopped 

1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped 

4 candlenuts or macadamia nuts 

1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 

1 tsp shrimp paste

  • Step 1

    To make the paste, soak the dried chillies in hot water for 10-15 minutes or until softened. Remove the chillies (it doesn’t matter if you don’t drain them completely as some water is fine). Reserve the chilli soaking water. Roughly chop the chillies and then place them into the bowl of a small food processor along with the remaining ingredients and a large pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, adding some of the chilli soaking water a tablespoon at a time if the ingredients aren’t blending smoothly. 

  • Step 2

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the paste and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the oil has risen to the surface of the paste. Add the chicken and increase heat to high. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the chicken is sealed. Add the coconut milk½ cup water, lime leaves, lemongrass and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 35 minutes or until the curry is thick and the chicken very tender.

  • Step 3

    Season the curry with lime juice, sugar and extra salt if needed. Serve with rice or roti. 

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 5 reviews)
Very good0%
July 24, 2023

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Another absolutely cracking, full of flavour, knockout dish ! I’ve honestly never made one of your recipes that did not hit the mark and then some .. I’ll definitely be adding this to the rotation.

Your video’s as always are awesome; easy to follow, step by step – it just adds that little extra bit of confidence needed [for us mere mortals] to recreate this at home. Aye Aye Kapitan !

July 10, 2023

Malaysian Kapitan Chicken

this is the best ever recipe. I had to stop my husband from going back for more. We will have the balance tonight. Love your recipes Marion. Thank you.

June 29, 2023


I made this and halved the amount of chilli. It was still very spicy. I used a little extra coconut milk, and simmered it for a bit longer to thicken. I love Marion’s recipes.

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