Guyanese Style Chicken Curry is a comforting dish with tender chicken and potatoes in a rich sauce of herbs and spices, inspired by Indian cuisine. It has bold toasted spices and Hot pepper sauce for a kick of heat. This dish is a blend of various cultural influences, making it a true taste of Guyana.

Guyanese curry is a popular dish in the country, filled with hearty chicken, potatoes, and spices. Despite its intimidating appearance, it is beginner-friendly. Adjust the spice level to your liking with the substitutions listed. Guyanese cuisine blends African, Indian, European, and indigenous flavors, and this curry is a delicious representation. It is similar to Jamaican curry chicken and Indian curry but has a unique Guyanese twist.

Guyanese curry chicken is a flavorful and aromatic dish, combining tender chicken, spiced curry, and a touch of creaminess from coconut milk. To make it, marinate the chicken in a mix of curry powder, salt, and pepper, allowing the flavors to infuse. Cook the marinated chicken with fragrant ingredients like onion, garlic, and ginger, creating a tantalizing aroma that enhances every bite.

Serve the ready curry over white rice or with Indian flatbread for a delightful meal suitable for family gatherings or special occasions. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

The story behind the recipe

The Guyanese curry chicken recipe comes from Guyana, a country in South America. Guyanese cuisine is a mix of influences from indigenous people, African slaves, East Indian laborers, Chinese immigrants, and European colonizers.

The curry chicken recipe particularly shows the strong Indian impact on Guyanese food. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many Indians came to Guyana as indentured laborers for sugarcane plantations, bringing their culinary traditions, especially the use of spices and curries.

The Guyanese curry chicken blends Indian curry techniques with local ingredients like chicken, coconut milk, potatoes, and vegetables. It has evolved over time, incorporating traditional elements and adjustments to suit Guyana’s local tastes and available ingredients.

This dish is not only popular among Guyanese people but also embraced by those from various backgrounds who enjoy its flavorful and aromatic qualities. It’s a wonderful example of how cultural blending creates a unique and cherished dish, showcasing Guyana’s diverse heritage.

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How to make Guyanese curry chicken


  • 2 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper sauce (optional, for heat)

Step-by-step instructions for making Guyanese curry chicken

  1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and half of the curry powder. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a big pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the remaining curry powder and cook for about 1 minute to bring out its flavor.
  3. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, and minced ginger to the pot. Cook until the onion is see-through.
  4. Put the marinated chicken in the pot and brown it on all sides.
  5. Once the chicken is browned, add thyme, diced potatoes, and diced carrot. Mix everything together.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk and water. If you like it spicy, you can add some hot pepper sauce now.
  7. Cover the pot and let the curry chicken simmer over medium-low heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Serve the Guyanese curry chicken with rice.

Tips for making Guyanese curry chicken

  • Adjust the seasoning to your preference, adding more salt, pepper, or sugar as needed.
  • To store leftovers, use an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • If the curry is too watery, let it simmer a bit longer to thicken.
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces for even cooking and better absorption of curry flavors.
  • Choose a curry powder that matches your taste—some like it mild, others prefer it hot and spicy.
  • For a creamier sauce, add a bit of coconut milk or heavy cream towards the end of cooking.

Flavourful substitute

  • Chicken: use boneless chicken breast instead of thigh.
  • Hot Pepper Sauce: Add heat using alternatives like red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or chopped fresh chilies.
  • Potatoes: you can use sweet potatoes or butternut squash instead of potatoes.
  • Curry Powder: If you don’t have curry powder, mix ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, and a pinch of cinnamon to create your own blend. Adjust amounts to get the taste you want.
  • Garlic: If you’re out of fresh garlic, use garlic powder or granulated garlic for a milder flavor.
  • Carrot: Swap carrots with other root vegetables like parsnips or turnips if needed.

Serving suggestions

  • Rice: Serve the flavorful Guyanese curry chicken over a bed of white rice or with soft roti for a classic and satisfying meal.
  • Mixed Vegetables: Add a side of mixed vegetables like sautéed green beans, carrots, and peas to complement the curry.
  • Pickled Mango: Include some pickled mango on the side for a tangy and refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of the curry.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness and added flavor.


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