Chicken Kapitan, Ayam Kapitan, Curry Kapitan
By Azlin Bloor
Another rich and aromatic Nyonya dish, the Chicken Kapitan can just as easily be made with vegetables and/seafood if you’re a non meat eater. This is one of my favourite curries, reminiscent of the Massaman and the Kurma and comes with a tale or two explaining its beginnings. My favourite is the one about the Chinese cook and his English boss whom he called Kapitan, as in Captain. Bored with the regular Chinese dishes he’d been making, he came across a Malay neighbour making her favourite curry and asked for the recipe. That very night, he prepared the dish from memory, adding every local spice and herb he could get his hands on. The Kapitan was bowled over with the curry and asked what it was, to which the cook replied, “Ayam, Kapitan” – ayam being chicken in Malay. The rest, as they say…!