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Weekend Recipe: Nyonga Chicken Curry:

Enjoy a 'definitive' Malaysian dish courtesy of Malaysia Airlines ambassador, Poh Ling Yeow.
By Poh Ling Yeow
Date: November 21 2014
Editor Rating:

It may not seem like a Christmas dish to many but it is for the family of Poh Ling Yeow's new sizzling Signature Dish on Malaysia Airlines for three months only on flights from 1st December 2014. 

Poh’s Nyonya Chicken Curry with a roti-style croissant will soon feature on menu of outbound flights from Australia and New Zealand to Kuala Lumpur, giving passengers a taste of her family’s “special occasion” go-to meal. 

“Nyonya Chicken is such a definitive Malaysian dish and definite crowd pleaser,” Poh said. “It is so loved in my family that it has a permanent, albeit out-of-place, position next to the other festive goodies on our Christmas table every year!

“Australia’s produce is world-class and the proximity to Asia has broadened our culinary sense of adventure over the past few decades,” Poh said.

“Australians appreciate Malaysian gastronomy because it’s a very unpretentious, inclusive food culture and the fusion of Malay, Indian and Chinese influences has created an incredibly diverse, vibrant and unique cuisine.“ 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes 

Cooking Time: 30 minutes 

Serves: 5-6 


3 tablespoons coconut cream 

10 sprigs of curry leaves 

1 star anise 

2 whole cloves 

1 cinnamon stick 

1 1/2 kg chicken thigh fillets 

500g baby chat potatoes, peeled, halved and parboiled 

2 bird’s eye chillies deseeded and halved lengthways 

500ml coconut milk 

1 Tbs salt 

1 tsp sugar 

Rempah (wet spice paste) 

3 tablespoons ground coriander 

1 tsp ground cumin 

1 tsp ground fennel 

15 dried long red chillies*, deseeded*, soaked in boiling water until soft, drained and chopped 

20g belacan 

25g fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced 

3 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced 

270g red eschallots OR Spanish onion, peeled, sliced 

1/3 cup vegetable oil 

Coconut Rice 

2 cups jasmine rice 

2 cups coconut milk 

1 3/4 cup water 

1 pandan leaf shredded by hand and tied into a knot 

1/2 tsp salt 

* Dried chillies – There are several types of dried chillies. For this recipe please choose the type that are about finger sized. The smaller ones are very hot and the broader, larger ones mild. Also please never replace dried chillies with fresh ones as they don’t impart the smokiness of flavour and depth of colour required for this dish. 

* Deseeding chillies – Before soaking, snip chillies into quarter segments with scissors into a colander with largish holes and then shake the seeds out. 


1.  To make the rempah, blend the rempah ingredients until you achieve a fine paste. 

2.  Heat heavy based saucepan or wok, to a medium heat. Add rempah, coconut cream, curry leaves, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick and saute for about 10 minutes. You will know the paste is ready when it thickens, darkens in colour and the oil begins to separate from the mixture. Add chicken pieces and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add potatoes, chillies, coconut milk, salt and sugar. Cover and simmer until chicken and potatoes are cooked through. 

3.  For coconut rice, add water and coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add rice, and pandan leaf and return to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and stir well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and fluff with a fork. 

4.  Serve with roti canai and a side of cucumber. 

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