Devilishly Good Devil Curry Recipe

I know what you are thinking and no, it is not what you think it is. It might be just days after Halloween but there is nothing spooky about Devil’s Curry. It’s a delicious Malaysian dish that originates from the Eurasian community in Malacca.

Origins of the Devil Curry

Devil Curry is a dish that originates from Malacca. It was made popular by the Malaysian Portuguese or the Eurasian community in Malacca.  

It is also considered a festive dish. Devil’s Curry is often served a day or two after Christmas or on special occasions.

Not a Devil’s Food

Devil’s Curry got its name not because of it being prepared for any devil-related rituals. The name was given due to it being such an intense fiery curry which is a lot spicier than your typical curry. 

Unlike the usual Malaysian curry that you are used to, Devil’s Curry contains more chillies and a handful of mustard seeds. You would think after putting that much spice the creator of this curry would feel the need to add another ingredient to soften the blow, so to speak, but don’t count on it!

While the classic recipe does not include the addition of coconut milk, I’ve added a small amount in my version. It makes the curry slightly creamier and hopefully, less spicy.

Oh, did I mention that this curry uses vinegar too? Well, a curry this explosive needs a drop or two in order to give it a sharp undertone. Nothing adds more heat than some vinegar in a curry.

Halloween Is Not Over…

Although it’s already November, Spooktober still lingers around, at least for another few days and with the constant heavy rainfall at night, gloom fills the air still. So, it’s still not too late for a last-minute Halloween party to be held and why not serve some devilishly good Devil Curry to make your guests sweat and squirm in their chairs? It’ll be hell, but a sweet one indeed.


a) Spice Mixture:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1cm ginger
  • 1.5cm galangal
  • 1.5cm turmeric
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 candlenuts
  • 10 dried red chillies soaked
  • 10 fresh red chillies, washed and sliced

b) Other ingredients:

  • 1 small chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • Vegetable oil
  • 50 ml of santan or coconut milk (optional)

c) Seasoning/Garnishing:

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard Seeds, roasted and grounded
  • 1 tablespoon of of vinegar


  1. Boil Potatoes till soft.
  2. Grind all the ingredients for the spice mixture together until becomes a smooth paste.
  3. Heat up 4-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pot on medium high heat. Saute the spice paste until fragrant.
  4. Add in the chicken pieces and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Add water  occasionally if the gravy becomes too thick.
  5. Add in the boil potatoes. Season with sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and continue cooking until chicken is cooked.
  6. Add in the ground mustard seeds and let the curry cook for 1 minute.

Devil Curry Ready to Be Served!

For a curry named after the devil, it certainly does take a hellish amount of time to prepare, pun definitely intended! So, make sure you end Spooktober with a bang and I do mean a literal bang of explosive flavours on your tongue and head with this fiery curry.

If you need something to put out the fire, cool off with a sweet, creamy dessert like my Blueberry Cheesecake. Your guests would very much appreciate every forkful right after!

Justine Lim

With love for the freshest and natural ingredients, Justine Lim aspires to recreate heritage Malaysian recipes into modern, elegant-looking delicacies. Catch more of her delicious creations on her Instagram profile, @justinescakesnkueh

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