Cari Ga: Vietnamese Chicken Curry – A Symphony of Aromatic Flavors

By Alex Au Yeung

5/5 - (1 vote)

When it comes to tantalizing taste buds and soothing the soul, few dishes can match the comforting embrace of a well-prepared chicken curry. One such delicacy that reigns supreme in the world of culinary wonders is “Cari Ga“, a Vietnamese-style chicken curry that harmoniously combines aromatic spices with succulent chicken and creamy coconut milk. Join us on this gastronomic journey as we unravel the secrets behind this exquisite dish, exploring its history, ingredients, preparation, and the cultural significance that makes Cari Ga a beloved favorite for countless food enthusiasts around the world.

Cari Ga has a rich history that traces its origins back to the influence of Indian and Southeast Asian cultures in Vietnam. The dish’s roots can be found in the centuries-old spice trade routes that connected India with various parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. As these flavors intertwined, a unique blend of spices and ingredients gave birth to the delectable Cari Ga we know and cherish today.

Cari Ga Recipe

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Creating the perfect Cari Ga is an art that requires a skilled hand and a discerning palate. Let’s delve into the ingredients and cooking process that makes this dish so unforgettable.

Cooking note

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Course: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese
  • Equipment: Large pot, Knife, Cutting board


  • 1 kg of chicken
  • 1/2 tsp monosodium glutamate
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp seasoning
  • 3 tsp curry oil
  • 1 tbsp satay
  • 1 tbsp garlic and onion juice
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened milk
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 small citronella stalks
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic onion
  • 6 sprigs of fresh curry leaves or 10 dried curry leaves
  • 1 packet of curry powder
  • 4 cups water or 1 liter of water
  • 600g sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk powder
  • 1/6 tsp salt


  1. Marinate the chicken: In a bowl, mix chicken with monosodium glutamate, salt, sugar, seasoning, curry oil, satay, garlic and onion juice, and unsweetened milk. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: In a large pot, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Add citronella and garlic onion, sauté until fragrant. Stir in fresh or dried curry leaves.
  3. Add the curry powder: Add the curry powder to the pot and stir until aromatic.
  4. Introduce the coconut milk and more: Pour in coconut milk, coconut milk powder, sweet potato chunks, and condensed milk. Season with a pinch of salt.
  5. Simmer and cook: Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add water and let it cook until the chicken is tender and sweet potatoes are soft.
  6. Serve: Cari Ga is ready to be served. Accompany it with vermicelli or bread and garnish with cinnamon leaf, salt, or pepper salt.

Nutrition facts of Cari Ga

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 450 kcal
  • Total Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 700mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • Protein: 30g

Can I freeze leftover Cari Ga?

Yes, you can freeze leftover Cari Ga for future consumption. Ensure that you store it in airtight containers or freezer bags to maintain its flavor and quality. Thaw and reheat it thoroughly before serving.

How to Serve Cari Ga?

cari ga

Beyond its culinary excellence, Cari Ga holds a special place in Vietnamese culture. This dish is often prepared during festive occasions, family gatherings, and significant celebrations, symbolizing unity and togetherness. The act of sharing a hearty bowl of Cari Ga brings people closer, fostering a sense of community and kinship.


Can I adjust the spice level in Cari Ga?

Absolutely! The spice level can be adjusted according to personal preference. For a milder taste, you can reduce the amount of curry powder or omit the satay and other hot spices. Conversely, for a spicier kick, you may increase the curry powder or add your preferred spicy elements.

What makes Cari Ga unique compared to other chicken curries?

Cari Ga’s uniqueness lies in its fusion of Indian and Southeast Asian flavors. The combination of Vietnamese cooking techniques with Indian spices creates a distinct taste that sets it apart from traditional chicken curries.

Can I substitute the chicken with another meat or make it vegetarian?

Yes, you can experiment with different meats such as beef, pork, or seafood to create variations of Cari Ga. Additionally, for a vegetarian option, you can substitute the chicken with tofu or an assortment of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers.

Can I make Cari Ga in advance?

Yes, you can prepare Cari Ga in advance and store it in the refrigerator. The flavors tend to deepen and meld together over time, enhancing the taste upon reheating. Just make sure to store it properly in an airtight container.


Cari Ga is more than just a dish; it’s a celebration of flavors, history, and culture. Its fusion of Indian and Southeast Asian influences has bestowed upon it a unique identity that continues to captivate food enthusiasts worldwide. As you savor each spoonful of this enchanting chicken curry, remember the centuries of culinary traditions that have culminated in this delightful masterpiece. So, why not embark on your own Cari Ga adventure and create a culinary memory that will linger on your taste buds for years to come?