I am compelled to announce that this Burmese Chicken Curry is my absolute favourite South East Asian curry to make at home. Why? Where do I begin!?
Discover the fragrance of Burmese curry!
Any Burmese curry has an aroma that is just so inviting. Due to its geographical position, the cuisine of Burma/Myannmar is influenced from its neighbours, China, India and Thailand. This curry definitely has an Indian and Thai influence. But with a very unique personality - a ginger, lemongrass and umami fish sauce fusion scents the air whenever it's on the stove. So inexplicably fragrant. In my house, everyone knows when my Burmese chicken curry is on the go - even Shirley the dog!
Simple and healthy.
My Burmese curry recipe is simple to follow and easy to prepare - the only tech you need is a stick blender - and you'll be good to go. You'll be pleased to know that it's also a healthy curry. Not a lot of fat, no calorie rich coconut cream - just honest, wholesome ingredients. It feels lighter and brighter than some of the heavier curries of Malaysia, Indonesia and India that I cook.
In my quest for Burmese curry hits, i've enjoyed other recipes, I loved a version of Burmese Chicken Curry from Food52 which does use coconut milk. Shout out - it was delicious too! 💁🏽♂️
A mild taste like no other curry
The spice level in my recipe is subtle. All the flavour is drawn from aromatics like the ginger and lemongrass so it will appeal to those who aren't spice die-hards and even kids have loved it in the past. There is still a spice hit, which can be dialled up or down as you like by adding more or less or even no cayenne pepper. Some days I'm in it for spice, so I'll just ramp it up and it's a real winner, other days I leave the cayenne out all together and it's just mild heatless perfection!
On the rare occasion that there are any leftovers, this curry freezes well and in my opinion only improves with age. The Burmese Chicken Curry is definitely in my top two curries of my life (so far)! The other being my Malaysian Chicken Curry... It's so difficult to pick a winner.
For a great introduction into more flavours of Burmese Cuisine, you should check out the fantastic cookbook from San Francisco based restaurant Burma Superstar.
Their book is packed full of information about the food and culture of Myanmar along with many excellent recipes (including a splendid Chicken curry!). I've cooked a few other great dishes from their book including the national dish Mohinga (a tasty fish noodle soup), their fantastic Fiery Tofu and super fresh Rainbow Salad. It's a great read! BUY IT HERE!
How to make my Burmese Chicken Curry
- 8 free-range, organic (skinless & boneless) chicken thighs (cut into chunks)
- 2 tsp madras curry powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 tbsp peanut oil
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 onions (roughly chopped)
- 4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
- 2 tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 stick lemongrass (cut to about 15cm and lightly pounded to release aroma)
- Sprinkle curry powder, salt and turmeric over the chicken and set aside. In a blender or food processor mix onions, garlic, paprika, chilli powder and ginger into a thick paste.
- Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the paste over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and turn up the heat stirring for another few minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir for a further 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of warm water (enough to cover the chicken), the lemongrass and fish sauce. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Turn down the heat to low, partially cover the pan and very gently simmer for at least 30 minutes until the chicken is tender.
- Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes to reduce the sauce. Fish out the lemongrass - check for seasoning and serve!
- I like to serve mine with broken rice as I love how it soaks up the sauce. For those who don't already know broken rice just Jasmine rice - broken in half! You can also use regular jasmine rice obviously.
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