Kari Kapitan(Nyonya Chicken Dish)

It is heart-warming to still be able to find this cuisine cooked the traditional way, through family recipes handed down by the older generation.If we make a visit to Nyonya Restaurants ,Kari Kapitan is no exception. It is one of a special dish that is being served.

The Kari Kapitan (Kapitan Curry) is another classic wholesome curry that is cooked nyonya-style which heavily emphasis on the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and the thickness of the red and yellow gravy. This dish is unique in Penang , I was informed .
And is more on the sweet –sour category.
At some places this recipe uses shrimp paste and at times dried prawns .This version that I have adapted today comes from Annie Lee ,who is a Penang Peranakan woman who specializes in Penang cuisine. It is said that this dish has a sweetest and sourest taste to it.I have slightly change the recipe by adding coconut milk (well since staying in Melaka ,give it more a Nyonya Melaka twist)and omitted lime juice .

500gm chicken (cut into 6 or 12 pieces)
1 cup chopped shallots
2 lemon grass (crushed)
2 tbsp coconut cream or 1 cup coconut milk
2 calamansi leaves
2 cups water
1 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste

Grind into a paste
1 in fresh turmeric
2in galangal
4 candlenuts
2 tbsp chilli paste ( you can use chilli boh or dried chillies.Soak in water the dry chillies before grinding)

Heat oil , sauté chopped shallots until aromatic and brownish .Add in grind paste and sauté further until oil floats on top. Add in chicken and lemon grass ,combine well with the paste for 2 mins. Then add in water , sugar and salt .Cook the chicken until it becomes slightly dry.Finally add in coconut cream and calamansi leaves and stir for a few mins.Dish out and serve with rice or bread.

Note: If you don’t want to use coconut cream , then leave the chicken to become thick and dry.Close fire. Add in 2 tbsp lime juice instead and stir. You can omit calamansi leaves if desired since the lime juice will provide the sourish taste to the dish.

Thanks for visiting!

Sending the above recipe for the event 'Side dish for chapathi' hosted by Viki from Viki's Kitchen along with
Chicken Curry,;Chicken Madrasa,Cream Lentils,Fish Curry,Nyonya Fish Curry,Vegetable Dalca and Amritsari Style Dal.


  1. Hi there:

    I stumbled on your page while looking for Kari Kapitan recipes - I am going to try it tonight along some modifications (adding peas for nutritional value!), this seems fairly easy. Thank you much for your Malaysian recipes.

    P/S: I am adding your blog to mine!

  2. Hi,
    Hope it comes out well.Thanks for the add.


Post a Comment