Penaeng Kai (Penang Curry With Chicken)


  • 25-30 dried red chillis: shake them to discard the excess seeds.
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots (purple onions)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of very finely sliced lemon grass
  • 1 tablespoon grated galangal (use ginger if you can’t find galangal)
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander root
  • 1 tablespoon kapi (shrimp paste)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped freshly roasted peanuts.
  1. Mix together to a fine paste in a food processor. This paste will be kept under refridgeration. You can also freeze it.
  2. The prepared paste should be allowed to mature for two or three days before use to bring out the full flavour.


  • 1 cup of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup of cocnut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons of the curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • sugar to taste
  • 2 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 10-15 holy basil leaves, finely shredded
  1. Place a wok over medium high heat, and warm the coconut milk, but don’t let it boil. Add the curry paste, and stir it until the oil begins to seperate out and form a thin film, to bring out the maximum flavour. Add the remaining ingredients except the lime and basil leaves, and simmer until the sauce is absorbed and thickened, then add the leaves and stir fry briefly before serving.
  2. Garnish with julienned red chillies, with steamed white rice, and the usual table condiments.


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