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Burmese Chicken Curry Recipe

This classic Burmese chicken curry recipe makes a fragrant gently-spiced curry that is perfumed with turmeric, ginger, garlic, chilli, and lemongrass. A rich curry with a moreish tomato-based gravy and a layer of aromatic oil that’s quickly soaked up by coconut rice, it should be served with zingy salads and a relish or two.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Curry, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Burmese, Myanmar
Servings: 4
Calories: 662kcal
Author: Lara Dunston


  • 1 kg chicken pieces mix of thighs and drumsticks with skin on
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • cups onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup oil vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 medium tomatoes chopped or half tin of peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp lemongrass powder


  • Rub the chicken pieces with salt, ground turmeric and ground ginger and set aside.
  • In a large frying pan or skillet, heat the cooking oil and fry the onion and garlic well over low heat until fragrant.
  • Add the chilli powder, stir for a minute, then add the chicken, increase the heat, and stir occasionally.
  • When the chicken starts to brown and begins to splutter, lower the heat, then continue to stir to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
  • When the chicken starts to stick to the pan, add half a cup of water, stir, cover with a lid, and let the chicken simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, fish sauce, ground lemongrass, stir, then cover the lid and cook for another 10-15 minutes or so.
  • The chicken curry is ready when the clear oil has separated out and sits on top of the thick fragrant gravy beneath it.
  • Serve with Burmese coconut rice, a relish and salads.


Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 1887mg | Potassium: 673mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1304IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg