I’d like to introduce you to world peace curry.  

Why?  Because curries are better than humans.  Curries know how to coexist in unity.  Even though at a glance it feels like an impossibility, a chaos without logics, a discord of competing self-interests and cultural clashes, but curries always find a way to be the most delicious repeal of our disbelief.    Don’t believe me?  I put it to the test.  An unlikely coalition of southeast Asian aromatics, Korean chili paste, Indian spices, Greek yogurt, Italian sun-dried tomatoes, Chinese anise seeds, and in the end, an intrusion of American cheese?!   It should end in war but instead, it rejoices slowly and bubblingly in a lusciously rich, creamy, intensely aromatic, complex yet beautifully balanced alliance of flavors, savoriness and tang.  It tastes like the pinnacle of humanity, our best hope for world peace even against our cynical judgements.  And also, perhaps most importantly, the best you’ll ever put in your mouth.



UPDATED 2017/12/25: Please take note to use sun-dried tomatoes IN OLIVE OIL, instead of salt-cured sun-dried tomatoes which will be way too salty.




  • One 3 lbs (1500 grams) chicken, preferably free-range
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 small shallots, peeled
  • 3 tbsp ginger
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, peeled
  • 2 tbsp (28 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp (15 grams) fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup (70 grams) Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp (20 grams) Korean gochujang paste
  • 2 cans (800 ml) coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup (65 grams) plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 pandang leaf (if available)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Indian curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup halved sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
  • 4 slices American cheese


  1. With a kitchen scissor, remove the back bone of the chicken, then cut the rest into a total of 8 pieces, set aside. In a blender, blend garlics, shallots, ginger, onion, coconut oil and fish sauce until finely pureed, set aside.
  2. Heat up a large dutch oven over high heat and brush the bottom VERY LIGHTLY with canola oil. Without crowding the pot, place the chickens SKIN-SIDE DOWN, and cook until it's deeply caramelized. Turn the chickens and brown the other side as well, and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the chicken pieces. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and keep all the chicken fat that's been rendered out in the pot, and add the puree. Stirring frequently and cook until the mixture turns medium brown, about 6~8 min, then add Thai red curry paste and Korean gochujang. Continue to cook and stir for another 5 min until the mixture is very aromatic, then add coconut milk, chicken stock, plain yogurt, molasses, kaffir lime leaves, pandang leaf, star anise and black pepper.
  3. While you wait for the mixture to come back to a simmer, toast curry powder and ground cinnamon in a flat skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it's fragrant, and add to the pot. Also add back the browned chicken with any juices that came out, and sun-dried tomatoes. Keep the pot partially covered while maintaining an enthusiastic simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for 45 minutes. At last, add the American cheese and stir until evenly dissolved. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a tangy hot sauce such as tabasco. Peace out.


Use sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (drained before use) instead of salt-cured sun-dried tomatoes.


  • I’ve got to know…where did the American cheese inspiration come from?! I’ve been know to sneak things into dishes I’d never readily admit to. 😉

  • I see America. I see Italy. I see China. I see Korea. I see India. I even see Thailand. I feel left out here in Japan!! Where is Japan in this ménage à trois or or or or whatever it is. Mandy, Mandy, are you doing pantry clearing??

    Molasses??!! That is sort of like Japanese kuro-zato or “black sugar”, totally unrefined sugar….. cool! Interesting!
    Cheese! Indians do put it in naan here is Japan,…. in India, I don’t know. But, hey, it melts, it tastes good.
    Sun-dried tomatoes, hey, why not, curry always needs a souring agent.

    You are hitting all the taste high spots!! And I have many of the ingredients. ;-)
    I love this!!

    • everyone knows some meals get better after sitting. Just had to say I made this two nights ago, the first night was great, but was definitely more curry forward and had strong “Asian” flavors. Tonight was a totally dif story. It was equally as good, but almost an entirely different meal. The tomatoes, black pepper and star anise were much more forward, with a stronger umami flavor (almost italian ragu?) Totally transformative. I suggest that other followers try this and note the changes. One night of work and you get two very different meals. I like that!

      • I just made this as well and thought it was great. The next day, it was even better!

        Quick question though, do you remove any fat from this at all? As it was cooking, a substantial amount of oil rose to the surface that I felt the need to remove (about 1/3 a cup!). I followed the recipe exactly and mine looked exactly like yours after I removed all the fat. It wasn’t a free-range chicken so I wonder if the mass-produced chicken was exceptionally fatty…

    • Samantha, you can also use pork or beef of course. But you’ll have to extend the cooking time for beef depending on the cuts, and may have to add more chicken stock if the sauce is reduced too much because of the longer cooking time.

  • I made this tonight…it was amazing. Literally the best curry that has ever come out of my kitchen. Thank you for this gift of a recipe!

  • Hi Mandy,
    What brand of Indian curry powder do you you use. There are so many and I imagine the taste would change significantly depending on what’s in the curry powder.

  • Made this last night and it was phenomenal. The sundried tomatoes added so much more than I expected. So weird and so good. Thanks!

  • I’ve made this about 4 or 5 times now. It’s become my go to curry recipe. Of course I’ve had to make adjustments depending on what I have around, but each times it’s Just amazing. The sauce is soooo good for dipping with ma’am bread. I think there is something about the flavor of the curry spices with tomatoes and the star anise that I just love. One of my faves!

  • Hi there,

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Can you tell me if “American Cheese” means processed cheese slices like Kraft?

      • Hi Mandy, is there an alternative cheese I could use? Would Gouda or Cheddar work?

        Like others, I am really intrigued with the inclusion of cheese. Is the role of the cheese to add salt and a thicker texture to the curry?

        Thank yoU!

        • Virginia, you can use gouda, but cheddar doesn’t always melt nicely in my experience. Although gouda will be much milder than American cheese. You won’t really be able to pick out the cheese, but it just adds a background complexity to the curry :)

  • Mandy,

    Made this tonight – incredibly delicious. I have made about 20 of your recipes and they have all been amazingly delicious. You are truly talented. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog!

  • Hi Mandy!
    I’ve used a lot of your recipes in the past, and the wonderful lady I’m dating now is a pescatarian. How can I change this recipe to a seafood dish without ruining the flavors? Chicken stock is fine by her, also.

    • James, I personally love mackerel, so I would substitute the chicken with that. Light coat the mackerels in cornstarch or potato starch first and brown them like the chicken, then follow the same steps :)

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