Burmese chicken gourd curry

Burmese chicken gourd curry by Yummy Calories

This Burmese chicken gourd curry is my favourite way to get buthee (bottle gourd / calabash). It’s fairly rare to find it in Melbourne so how did we get our hands on this vegetable?

Surprise! We’ve moved to Perth (from Melbourne). The weather here is fantastic and we are surrounded by my husband’s family. We went to visit his grandmother, who has a giant backyard full of vegetables and fruits. She often grows Asian vegetables that are hard to find in the supermarkets. She also grew lemongrass and we took a stalk. Grandma asked what the lemongrass was for and I told her it was for the gourd curry. To my surprise, she had never put lemongrass in her chicken gourd curry, but it’s delicious!

Also – it has been two months since the terrible coup in Myanmar and things are just getting worse and worse. Please keep Myanmar in your thoughts and prayers.


Serves 6 (approx. 459 calories per serve)

Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 1 hour

Chicken marinade
1 whole chicken, cut 4cm pieces
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tbsp salt
100ml neutral oil
1-2 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2cm piece ginger, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
2 tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 bottle gourd, deseeded (peeling optional), cut 2cm pieces

Tip: Depending on your climate, you might be able to grow your own bottle gourd from seed if you can’t find it in your local Asian grocer. I’ve resorted to using winter melon, but it’s not quite the same.

In a large bowl, marinate the chicken pieces with tumeric powder, paprika powder and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep pan and sautee the onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass until soft and browned.

Add the marinated chicken pieces, stir and pop a lid on. Let it cook for 20 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. The chicken should release some moisture and have some gravy forming.

Then add the gourd, tumeric, paprika powder, fish sauce and sugar and stir. Pop the lid back on and sautee for a further 20 minutes or until the gourd has softened substantially and released more liquid. You shouldn’t have to add any further water to this recipe.

Served with steamed rice and stir fried vegetables.


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