Chicken peratal

Enjoyable Chicken peratal Recipe

This medium-hot Malaysian-Indian curry comes from the mother of our senior sub-editor Selma Nadarajah, and is a firm favourite among the MasterChef Magazine team. Peratal is a typical dry Tamil curry. Omit the water in step 4 for an extra dry curry and halve the chilli for a milder version.
Chicken peratal
Prep Time : 0:30 | Cook Time : 0:40 | Total Time : 1:10 | Serving : 6 person.


  • 1.5kg chicken thigh fillets, each cut into 4 pieces

  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric (see note)

  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 160ml (2/3 cup) vegetable oil

  • 8 small onions, (6 thinly sliced, 2 finely chopped)

  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled, finely grated

  • 4 sprigs curry leaves, (see note) leaves picked, plus extra, to serve

  • 3 cinnamon quills

  • 10 cardamom pods (see note)

  • 5 star anise (see note)

  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel

  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder (see note)

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (see note)

  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • Basmati rice, to serve

Cucumber raita

  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, coarsely grated

  • 280g (1 cup) Tamar Valley Greek Style Yoghurt

  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra, to serve


  • Step 1

    Combine chicken, turmeric, two-thirds of the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.

  • Step 2

    Heat 60ml (1/4 cup) oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add sliced onions and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a bowl.

  • Step 3

    Reduce heat to medium and add 60ml (1/4 cup) oil to the pan. Place half the chicken in a single layer in the pan and cook for 1 minute each side or until browned (make sure you only brown the chicken and not cook it all the way through). Transfer to a tray. Repeat with the remaining chicken, adding a little extra oil, if necessary.

  • Step 4

    Wipe the pan clean, place over medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add remaining garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add curry leaves, cinnamon quills, cardamom pods, star anise, cumin, fennel, chilli powder and curry powder, and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add 125ml (1/2 cup) water and return the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly.

  • Step 5

    Meanwhile, to make cucumber raita, place cucumbers, yoghurt, mint and cumin in a bowl and stir to combine.

  • Step 6

    Stir sugar, soy sauce and sliced onions into the curry until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and top with extra curry leaves. Serve with rice and raita, sprinkled with extra cumin.

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