Devil’s Curry (Malacca, Malaysia)

Devil’s curry, or Debal Kari, is an exotic dish that comes from the Eurasian community in Singapore and Malaysia. The dish is originally from Malacca – a Malaysian state that was a Portuguese colony for about a 100 years. The long occupation influenced the culture and cuisine of the region and is preserved by the Eurasians. Devil’s Curry is one such treasure. As the name suggests, the curry is spicy – very spicy. Of course, you can adjust it to suit your taste. Prepared with onions, chicken, and potatoes, Devil’s Curry is a hearty meal when paired with plain rice.


500 grams chicken, curry cut pieces

4 tbsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 inch ginger, sliced

3 cloves garlic, sliced

2 potatoes, quartered

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 – 2 tsp sugar

1 – 2 cups water

Salt to taste


1 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp light soy sauce

1/2 tsp pepper

Spice Paste:

10 dried red chilies, soaked in warm water until soft

3 shallots

3 garlic cloves

1/2 ginger

1/2 tsp turmeric


  1. Prepare the spice paste and keep it aside. Marinate the chicken and keep aside for half an hour.

  2. Heat oil. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and saute until golden. Don’t let them burn to a brown.

  3. Add the spice paste and stir-fry for about 1 – 2 minutes. Add the chicken along with the marinade. Mix well to coat the chicken with the spice paste. Stir-fry for a few minutes. Add a cup of water when it cooks dry. Cover and simmer on low heat till the chicken is almost done.

  4. Add the potatoes, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Give it a mix and, if needed, add another cup of water. Cook on low heat till the potatoes and chicken are all done.