Salwaa’s Chicken Curry

If you are looking for Malay chicken curry, you should try this Cape Malay chicken curry recipe. Using tomatoes, instead of coconut milk, . This Malaysian chicken curry is mild enough for everyone to enjoy.

Cape Malay chicken curry is garnished with parsley in a blue pot with a lid
I made this cape Malay chicken curry recipe not long ago and thought I can start training myself making curries more often with this recipe.

As far as I know, this is not an authentic Malaysian chicken curry. The name Cape comes from the Western Cape province in South Africa where a good number of Malaysians dwell, and whom originated this recipe.

I must admit that I am not a curry expert. I am not an expert making very authentic curries but I do enjoy eating various types from all over the region, though.

For living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, you can get really delicious curries from everywhere in the city. Malaysian, Indian, Pakistani, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, African… you name it.

Maybe because there are so much to choose from and so easily accessible, I just take my family to the nearest restaurant whenever we get the curry craving kicking in. No wonder I never bother to cook curries at my own kitchen.

The flavor of this chicken curry is really nice and easy to get used to for those who are the curry beginners, especially if you are not a fan of curry made with coconut milk. The addition of either diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes brings a slight tang to the over all flavor but not over-powering the entire dish.

Hope you like this Malaysian curry. My family thoroughly enjoyed it.


  • 1.5kg chicken pieces
  • 4 large potatoes cut in quarters
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper / capsicum finely chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric/borrie
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander/koljana
  • 1 tsp ground cumin/jeera
  • 2 – 3 tsp roasted / leaf masala
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 handful chopped coriander for garnishing



Heat the oil in a large non-stick pot.
 the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaf and cumin seeds, fry for about 20 seconds until aromatic.
 the onion and cook for about 10 minutes until light brown, stirring often.
 little water if necessary.
Add chopped green pepper.
Stir in the ginger and garlic, cook stirring for 2 – 3 minutes before adding the salt and the ground spices, stir to combine.

Pour in the tomatoes and tomato paste,cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces and potatoes with enough water to cover the chicken.
Bring to the boil and cook over a low heat until the chicken is cooked through. #capemalaycooking
The slower it cooks the better the taste.
This takes about 15 minutes for small joints and up to 25-30 minutes for larger ones.
Check with a fork; once it is tender it is done.
Add the garam masala and chopped coriander and cook a further 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or roti.


You may add chopped green chillies to taste with the onions to taste for a hotter curry.

Leave a Comment