Al’s Burmese Chicken Curry

A chicken curry with the balanced elements of spicy and sour with the traditional flavors of Southeast Asia. Serve with basmati rice. This will taste even better if you leave it for a day or two before eating.

Prep: 20 mins  Cook: 2 hrs 40 mins  Total: 3 hrs  Servings: 6


  • 1 teaspoon butter, or as needed
  • 8 eaches shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons hot curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground red chile pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds chicken thighs
  • 1 lemongrass, smashed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 eaches bird’s eye chile peppers, chopped, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 leaf (blank)s kaffir lime leaves, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 cups water to cover
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 4 eaches tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, or to taste


  1. Melt butter in a wok over medium heat. Add shallots and fry until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove shallots and set aside. Add curry paste to the wok and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and ground chile. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemongrass, chiles peppers, coriander, and lime leaves.
  2. Pour in fish sauce and enough water to cover chicken. Add coconut milk; cook for 10 minutes. Toss in tomatoes and cook until starting to soften, about 10 minutes more. Reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors blend, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Remove lemongrass and lime leaves. Garnish curry with the fried shallots and cilantro.

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