How to Kari Ayam: - Kopi Thyme

How to Kopi Thyme

Ultimate Malaysian Comfort Food

Everyone knows a good chicken curry. A comforting bowl can be found from the Caribbean, Britain, Thailand and right here in Canada. While it all originated from India with many variations within the Indian subcontinent. The word curry derives from the Tamil word "kari", which means sauce that is gravy-like or black pepper marinated meat that is fried according to some historians.

Over decades it has said to be curry had more commonly found with curry powder as the British ruled in Asia. During this time a British official who was leaving India during the British rule, had requested his servants to make a mix of spices to take with him back to Britain. So in turn he could continue to enjoy the Indian cuisine, the curry powder was created. 

The Malaysian style curry reflects on the country's cuisine, that has been shaped by colonial rule and historical migration. The three ethnicities that largely make up Malaysia's population are Malay, Chinese and Indian. Playing great historical influences over the evolution of curry in Malaysia.  

During the spice trade in the 15th Century, Malay cooking benefitted from this as it was one of the greatest trading centres of spices. Some of which were fennel, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, star anise, mustard seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Malaysian curry consists of a curry powder and paste, a variant of spices to Indian garam masala and mixture of British preference of curry powder. Flavours to the curry has notes of sweet and savoury from the spice with compliments of some heat from chilli peppers and ingredients native to the region such as lemongrass and lime leaves.

Every household in Malaysia makes their own version of a kari ayam paste. This one has a touch of Indian, Chinese, Nyonya and Malay flavours. This dish embodies what Malaysia is truly like, a melting pot of cultures. It is one of the first things learnt in the kitchen when it comes to cooking.

Here we share Sara’s families take on a Kari Ayam, a recipe she's learnt from her mother. A well-known secret that is kept within the Southeast Asian community – storing it overnight in the fridge enhances the flavour and makes it taste even better. The flavour molecules diffuse and develop making the dish more wholesome. Yay for leftovers!

A great way of enjoying kari ayam in Tao Yee's take is by adding some sweet potato. This adds some great sweetness, giving it a different touch.

Be sure to reach for full-fat coconut milk for an ultra-velvety curry sauce.

Note to Malaysians, this will definitely make you miss home.
To those who have been to Malaysia, this will make you feel nostalgic for Malaysia.


Get Inspired!

Explore ways to enjoy comfort food that Malaysians can't go without.


Now, with Kopi Thyme this is made possible in 2 simple steps!

tep 1. Choose desired protein:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Mutton
  • Egg
  • Tofu
  • Potato
  • Vegetables

*This sauce is not only great with chicken or any other protein. Being vegetarian friendly this can be used to make a vegetable curry as well.

Step 2. Make curry:

All you need is Kopi Thyme's Kari Ayam, coconut milk, water and desired protein and vegetable. 

*Option to make this curry a dry curry with less water and coconut milk.

Tip: Curry cooked and kept overnight develops a better flavour for consumption. 


Best way to pair it:

  • Rice
  • Nasi Lemak (cocnut rice)
  • Wantan Mee (egg noodles)
  • Noodles
  • Crusty Bread
  • Roti Canai (roti)


Enjoy! Jom makan! 


Different Ways to Enjoy Kari Ayam

Kari Ayam with Rice:



Nasi Lemak with Kari Ayam:

nasi lemak-kari-ayam-kopi-thyme


Kari Ayam with Bread:



Wantan Mee (Egg Noodles) with Kari Ayam:




Back to blog
1 of 2