Curry Kapitan Chicken is a unique “Nonya” cuisine has devoloped using typical Malay spices. It has a milder taste compare to the usual Malay or Indian curry. This curry has a distinctly Nonya flavored of lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. Besides the usual steamed white rice, the dish is excellent served with Nasi Lemak too.
Curry Kapitan is an authentic Peranakan curry dish (fusion between Chinese and Malay cuisine). It is a dryer version of the curry chicken, but with a blend of creaminess from the coconut milk and sour taste from tamarind, and fusioned with local ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, candlenut coconut, tamarind, shrimp paste and spices.
Let’s dwell a little into the origin of Curry Kapitan?
The word Kapitan is the Malaysian word for Captain. It is said that it was introduced by the Portuguese and the Dutch when they colonised Melaka in the early 16th century and 17th century respectively. It is used to address the head of each ethnic group; for example the Chinese leader in Melaka is given the title “Kapitan Cina”.
I did a google search on the origin of Curry Kapitan. According to the Penang heritage book, the dish was created by a cook aboard a ship, who when asked what was for dinner that evening by his captain replied “Curry, Kapitan!” – thus the name “Curry Kapitan”!
We don’t exactly know the true history of this dish; however, whatever the case, we are forever thankful for the introduction of this one amazing dish.
Bridging cultural gaps through cultural dishes
My daughter’s dish – using chicken fillet
I got my daughter to cook this dish. It is not only tasty, but it is also sharing with her our heritage. Even though I am not making the paste from scratch, we can still savour the flavour of this dish through the readymade paste.
I am a believer that no matter what you cook or how you cook, as long as the flavour is good, it is healthy and you enjoy the dish. These things are what matters, and also you can share your traditional dishes with your family. So I encouraged my daughter to cook this dish, following the instructions given on the pack.
The results – She LOVES it!!!!! She even brought the dish to work to share with her colleagues. And they loved it!
In Malaysia, when we cook chicken dishes, we always use chicken pieces. But in Australia, we normally use the fillet. So I am going to chicken fillet for this dish.
- 1kg chicken thigh fillet – sliced thinly
- 1 packet of readymade Little Nonya Curry Kapitan Paste 250g (from our online shop)
- 4 kaffir lime leaves / Kaffirlime powder
- 200g coconut milk
- 100ml water
- Salt (optional)
- Lime juice (optional)
- Add the paste (without oil) in a pan together with the chicken pieces, add kaffir lime leaves.
- Stir fry for 10 minutes until chicken pieces are cooked.
- Add coconut milk, and gently stir for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add salt or lime to taste.
- Serve with rice.
It is that simple! And tastes wonderful!
If you feel like trying Kapitan chicken, get the paste from the online shop, leave a message below or in the Facebook Page and let me know how you go with it.
Net weight each pack: 250g
You will need kaffirlime leaves for this dish. Alternatively, you can use the power from our online store.
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