Nyonya lime chicken

Norman Musa cooks kari Nyonya, an aromatic Malaysian curry that is punctuated with lemongrass, tamarind and kaffir lime leaves
Nyonya lime chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 3 lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed
  • ¼ onions, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp dried chilli paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 4 tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 kaffir limes, leaves
  • 500 g chicken breasts, chopped
  • 100 ml water
  • 50 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tomato, cut into quarters

To serve

  • chopped red chilli or dried red chilli flakes
  • coriander leaves
  • steamed jasmine rice


1. Roughly chop two of the lemongrass stalks and set aside the third one for later. Place into a food processor along with the onion, garlic and root ginger. Blend to a rough puree.

2. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan and add the lemongrass mixture and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until aromatic. Add the chilli paste, turmeric powder, tamarind juice, salt, sugar, kaffir lime leaves and the remaining lemongrass stalk. Cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate from the rest of the mixture.

3. Add the chicken and pour in some of the water. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes, adding the remaining water a little at a time, until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Add the coconut milk and tomato, stirring well. Bring to the boil and continue to cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the curry has thickened.

5. To serve, spoon the curry into bowls garnish with red chilli and coriander leaves. Serve with jasmine rice.

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