Devil’s curry, a classic Malaysian chicken curry, takes its complex taste from ginger, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, and chiles and is loaded with satisfying chicken and potatoes. The name suggests some serious heat although it can be adjusted to your preference.
Although aptly named for its traditionally peppery presence, this Malaysian curry sauce can easily be adapted to whatever your preferred heat preference*. Made with a fragrant base of lemongrass, ginger, galangal, and turmeric, and loaded with chicken and potatoes, it’s deeply nurturing and insanely satisfying.–Angie Zoobkoff
*How to Choose the Best Chile For This Curry
Love sweat-inducing, throat-tickling, gasping-for-water heat? Seek out some dried Thai chiles. Prefer something milder? Make this with dried pasilla, Guajillo, or Kashmiri chiles. You can tailor it specifically to the picky palates at your table.
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Serves 4
- For the curry paste
- 3 lemongrass stalks
- 1 1/2 ounces ginger root
- 1 ounce fresh galangal
- 1 ounce fresh turmeric
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 10 to 15 whole dried chile peppers* (a wide array of peppers will work here)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 banana or regular shallots, peeled
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
- For the curry sauce
- Mild vegetable oil, for cooking
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 18 ounces new potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- Small handful of cilantro, to serve
- Make the curry paste
- 1. Remove and discard the woody ends of the lemongrass stalks and coarsely chop the inner stalks. Peel the ginger and then peel or scrape the skin from the galangal and turmeric. Add the lemongrass, ginger, and the remaining paste ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a smooth, pungent paste forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Make the curry sauce
- 2. In a 5 or 6-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, warm 2 to 3 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the mustard seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to pop violently, about 30 seconds. Let the seeds continue cooking noisily for a minute and then stir in the paste. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until the paste seems to dry out, a good few minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken, and stir to coat. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar and then add the potatoes and chicken stock. If the stock doesn’t quite cover everything, add enough water to ensure the potatoes are just covered.
- 3. Bring the curry to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes, giving the curry a stir every once in a while.
- 4. Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes before sprinkling with the cilantro.