Burmese chicken curry recipe

Rice is a staple in the Burmese cuisine and usually eaten with a curry, soup or salad.

A typical Burmese meal we encountered usually involved several small pots of various curries with a succession of small dishes including a soup, a plate of slightly boiled vegetables for dipping, a fish based sauce to dip the vegetables into and rice.

Seb with a typical Burmese meal
Sebastien about to go face down in this freshly made Burmese feast at Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse in Mandalay

In Mandalay we stayed at the excellent Nan Bwe – The Vibe Guesthouse. The very charismatic owner, Nan Mwe taught us a lot about Burmese life and in particular about Burmese cuisine.

We highly recommend a visit to this excellent guesthouse for all travellers to Mandalay.

One of the more popular Burmese dishes is chicken curry, which we learnt to make with Nan Mwe.

Cooking class at Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse in Mandalay
Learning to cook Burmese food at Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse (we completely fell in love with the charismatic owner, Nan Bwe)

This particular dish uses 5 boiled eggs and a lot of garlic (an ingredient we both love).

Ingredients for Burmese chicken curry

  • 1kg of chicken breasts keep skin and bone for flavour skinned and boneless
  • 5 tomatoes chopped
  • 7 onions peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli pepper, chopped (use half to make it less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 15 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 stick of peeled fresh ginger
  • 65ml of cooking oil (peanut oil ideally, otherwise use vegetable oil)
  • 100ml of cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of soya sauce
  • lemon zest from a whole lemon
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
Ingredients for Burmese chicken curry
Some of the ingredients for this Burmese chicken curry recipe

How to make Burmese chicken curry

1. Put a third of the onions, chopped red chilli pepper, 15 garlic cloves and ginger stick into a food processor (or pestle and mortar) and grind into a puree.

2. Add a teaspoon of salt and turmeric powder.

3. Rub the chicken with this puree mixture.

4. Heat 65ml of cooking oil in a frying pan on medium high heat then add the chicken.

5. Cook the chicken uncovered on a medium heat, until both sides brown, for around 10 minutes.

6. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Sebastien cooking Burmese chicken curry
Sebastien cooking Burmese chicken curry at Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse in Mandalay

7. Add the remaining onions into the pan and cook on a low heat, uncovered, until they brown. Stir occasionally to avoid them sticking to the pan.

8. Mix in 100ml of cold water, 1 tablespoon of soya sauce and the lemon zest and leave to cook for 3 minutes on a medium heat, uncovered.

9. Add in the chicken and cook, uncovered on a low heat for around 20 minutes.

10. Slice the 5 boiled eggs in half and add them. Cover and cook on a low heat for another 15 mins (or at least until the chicken is no longer pink). Gently stir so as not to turn the eggs.

Remove from the heat and serve with rice and lots of other Burmese goodies mentioned above.

Burmese chicken curry recipe
Sebastien about to go face down in this delicious Burmese meal (yes it's all for him) in Mandalay


Burmese chicken curry travel recipe from Myanmar

About the author

Hi there! We are Stefan and Sebastien, Greek/French couple behind the travel blog Nomadic Boys. Since we met in 2009, we have been travelling all around the world together, visiting over 100 countries.

Our mission is to inspire you, the gay traveller, and show you that you can visit more places in the world than you thought possible, by providing a first-hand account of our travel adventures, to help you plan a fun and safe trip.

To find out more about us

4 thoughts on “Burmese chicken curry recipe”

  1. Hey guys, I’ve started writing a blog (not yet published) on vegetarian food with spice! The aim is to take some of the well known world recipes and make them veggie/vegan friendly. I’d love to use this recipe as a basis – would that be OK? If so, is one chilli enough? That won’t make it spicy…can I add 5 or 6? Or is this not authentic? Second question, how crucial are the eggs? Is that traditional? I’ve noticed that recipes tend to change from region to region in many countries. Finally (sorry), does the salt AND the soya sauce make this dish really salty?

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