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Singapore Chicken Curry

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Does anyone still remember the infamous NYT's version of Singapore Chicken Curry? I'm 100% sure that they'd taken down the video from TikTok. Either way, you can still find the written recipe here. You can also watch some rants from a Singaporean as well:

Anyhow, I indeed took some of those elements and created this version. I am not saying that my version is better or the traditional authentic way. This is how I love my Singapore Chicken Curry to be (I still dislike using the word "curry").

The key is to use bone-in chicken. You can use the entire chicken, but I still preferred to use bone-in chicken thighs. This is because different parts of the chicken cook differently. I also would rather cook the potatoes separately. Again, potatoes and chicken cook at different timing.

The other 2 keys are to use a spice blend (or masala) and a spice rempah. To translate, rempah in Melayu means "a paste of spices which imparts an intense flavor to a dish". I think perhaps those 3 elements make up for a Singapore Chicken Curry.

Anyway, I still seared my chicken beforehand. I do this to elevate the flavors as well as to render extra fat to the base of the curry. This will prevent the curry from being too greasy. A lot of people would disagree otherwise, but I still trust my own palate. Anyhow, I hope you'll give my version a try.

An extra keynote is to serve this curry with some baguette. Singaporeans love dipping some baguette into their curries and it makes perfect sense.



(Serve 3)

  • Masala:

  • Cloves, 5

  • Green Cardmoms, 4

  • Black Peppercorns, 6

  • White Peppercorns, 4

  • Cinnamon Stick, 1

  • Star Anise, 1

  • Bay Leaf, 1

  • Dried Chilies, 3

  • Coriander Seeds, 1 TBSP

  • Cumin Seeds, 2 TBSP

  • Fennel Seeds, 1 TSP

  • Nutmeg Freshly Grated, Pinch

  • Chicken:

  • Chicken Thigh Bone-In with Skin, 3 About 600g

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Spice Rempah:

  • Dried Chilies, 20g

  • Red Onions Coarsely Wedged, 2

  • Garlic Crushed, 3 Cloves

  • Ginger Crushed, 1"

  • Galangal Crushed, 1"

  • Turmeric Crushed, 1

  • Belachan | Fermented Shrimp Paste, 1 TBSP

  • Fresh Red Chilies Deseeded, Coarsely Sliced, 2

  • Candle Nut / Macademia, 1

  • Curry:

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes, About 500g

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Coconut / Grapeseed / Sunflower / Peanut / Canola Oil, 2 TBSP + 1 TBSP

  • Soy Sauce, 1 TBSP

  • Coconut Milk, 300g

  • Chicken Stock Homemade, 500g

  • Pandan Leaves Washed and Tied to a Knot, 3

  • Granulated Sugar, Pinch

  • Dried Kadi Patta Homemade, 1 TSP

  • Fresh Coriander Coarsely Sliced, A Handful

  • Baguette Coarsely Diced, For Serving



  • Food Processor / Blender / Stick Blender

  • Heavy Pot

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Spice Grinder



  1. Please visit my "How To Make Chicken Stock" page for the recipe.

  2. Please visit my "Dried Kadi Patta" page for the recipe.

  3. Prepare the masala.

  4. Toast everything, except for the nutmeg, in a skillet over medium heat until aromatic.

  5. Transfer to a spice grinder.

  6. Grate in the nutmeg and blitz until powder forms.

  7. Set it aside until ready to use.

  8. Prepare the chicken.

  9. Prepare the chicken.

  10. Slit a few slashes on the chicken thigh to create some indentations.

  11. Season with salt and mushroom powder.

  12. Massage about half of that masala onto the chicken until well combined.

  13. Marinade in the fridge overnight.

  14. Prepare the spice rempah.

  15. Hydrate the dried chilies in some hot water for about 30 mins.

  16. *You can choose to leave the seeds on or like me, deseed the chilies.*

  17. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients including the remaining masala.

  18. I am using a stick blender to blitz everything to a fine paste.

  19. You can use a food processor or blender as well.

  20. *Add some water to get it going.*

  21. Prepare the curry.

  22. Wash the potatoes thoroughly.

  23. Coarsely wedge the potatoes.

  24. Transfer to a pot of water.

  25. Season with salt and bring it up to a simmer.

  26. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender.

  27. Drain and set it aside until ready to use.

  28. While the potatoes are cooking, add 2 TBSP of coconut oil to a pot over medium-high heat.

  29. Once the oil is heated up, sear the marinated chicken skin side down.

  30. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 mins or until the skin is nice and crispy.

  31. Flip, cover and sear for another 1 to 2 mins.

  32. *Do not crowd the pot. Do it in batches if necessary.*

  33. Set the chicken aside on a plate to rest.

  34. Deglaze the pot with the rempah and some water.

  35. *You can "wash" your blender or food processor with some water and use it instead. Don't waste any bits.*

  36. Stir and cook until the water has evaporated.

  37. Add soy sauce and 1 TBSP of coconut oil.

  38. Continue cooking until the rempah has darkened and thickened.

  39. Add in the coconut milk, stock and pandan leaves.

  40. Stir to combine well.

  41. Add in the potatoes, chicken and all its juice.

  42. Stir to combine well.

  43. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and sugar.

  44. *If it is too spicy, add more sugar to balance it out.*

  45. Bring it up to a simmer and turn the heat down to low.

  46. Cover and cook for about 18 to 20 mins or until the curry has slightly reduced and thickened.

  47. *Stir occasionally to prevent burning.*

  48. Final taste and adjust for seasonings.

  49. Add in coriander and the dried kadi patta.

  50. Give it a final stir.

  51. Transfer to serving bowls.

  52. Garnish with more coriander.

  53. Serve immediately with some baguette.

Making your own spice blend makes all the difference...



The bread just makes sense...


Recipe Video:

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