Popa burmese chicken curry

That moment chef and partner Hemant Bhagwani said ‘let’s do Burmese food,’ I was instantaneously fascinated. I remember doing a cooking demo for this dish and how the fragrance and colour filled the room. This dish and our concept Popa instantly takes you to the far away streets of southeast Asia.




  1. Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat and cut into ½- to 1-inch pieces.
    Transfer to a bowl and use your hands to mix with the paprika, turmeric, and salt.
    Let the chicken marinate at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients, or refrigerate it overnight.
  2. In a 6-quart pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, decrease the heat to medium-low and cook gently, stirring often to prevent scorching, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to cook until most of the water from the onions has been cooked out and a glossy layer of oil has risen to the surface, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Add the chicken and stir to release the spices into the onions. Pour in the coconut milk, increase the heat, and bring to a near boil. Let the coconut milk simmer briskly for about 4 minutes to thicken a bit. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the fish sauce. Stir in the water and bring the pot back to a near boil. The broth will thin out as the chicken starts to release its juices.
  5. Lower to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, 50 to 55 minutes. Droplets of paprika-red oil will rise to the surface. Stir in the curry powder and cayenne, simmer briefly, and remove from the heat.
  6. If time permits, let the curry sit for at least 20 minutes before serving. This allows the chicken to soak in more flavour as the curry cools. Bring to a simmer before serving and taste, adding more salt or fish sauce Serve with on rice noodles, fragrant rice or buttery naan.