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Keen’s Chicken Curry

A retro chicken curry that tastes as good today as it did when Mum made it all those years ago.
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keens chicken curry on plate

Keens chicken curry is a retro favourite, made famous by Aussie mums. If your mum didn’t make a version of this growing up, well you really missed out!

But you no longer have to miss out, because I’ve recreated my own Mum’s version of this Aussie classic, with a few little tweaks I’ve come up with over the years (like fresh turmeric).

keens chicken curry

Keen’s Curry Powder: it’s part of our history

For as long as I can remember, there has always been a tin of Keen’s Curry powder on the shelves of my mum’s pantry, and now my pantry.

And after a little research, I discovered it goes way, way back to colonial times in Australia. It was created by a 22-year-old British carpenter named Joseph Keen.

Joseph arrived in Australia in 1841 and his curry concoction won a medal at the 1866 Inter-Colonial Exhibition in Melbourne.

He also deserved a medal for fatherhood, with 16 children!

After his death, one of those 16 children took over the business. His daughter Louisa continued a tradition which keeps on keeping on today. 

keens curry

Keens Chicken Curry: make fresh or freeze

Packed with veges, this is a great weekday meal that can be enjoyed straight away or made in bulk and frozen in portions.

In winter, it’s one of my go-to frozen meal options. Just re-heat, boil up some rice and voila, a very satisfying meal.

keens chicken curry ingredients

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keens chicken curry on plate

Keen’s Chicken Curry

A retro chicken curry that tastes as good today as it did when Mum made it all those years ago.
4.80 from 48 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: keens chicken curry
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 238kcal


  • large saucepan


  • 2 cups cooked chicken tenderloins/breast/thigh, chopped or shredded (400-500 grams uncooked)
  • 1/4 cabbage (should equate to about 4 cups once chopped)
  • 1 apple
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 brown onion (or 2 smaller spring onions)
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 large potato
  • 25 grams fresh turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tin chicken and corn soup
  • 60 grams butter
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons Keen's curry powder


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  • Cook chopped onion over medium heat for two minutes or until tender.
  • Add flour and curry powder and cook for one minute.
  • Add grated apple and grated carrot. Chop potato into sticks (like french fries) and add. Add tumeric and stir for one minute.
  • Add milk and stir to combine.
  • Add soup and stir to combine.
  • Add chopped tomato, chopped celery and chopped cabbage.
  • Bring to simmer and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time to ensure bottom of mixture doesn't burn.
  • Add cooked chicken and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 560mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 4130IU | Vitamin C: 24.3mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Recipe Rating

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Saturday 19th of March 2022

I reckon the best review I could give would be the compliment I got from 'She Who Must Be Obeyed', who often tells everyone that I'm the best cook. (That way I'm supposed to be inspired to cook more). I have to say, I was a bit heavy on some of the ingredients, (it could feed half an Army), but I would have used a bit more curry, but that's personal preference, SWAMBO says it is a very good curry, very creamy and sweet, very nice!

Libby Hakim

Sunday 20th of March 2022

Thrilled that it has SWAMBO's approval 👏🏼 Yes, might add in a comment about using more curry if preferred as I always go very mild with curries. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback :) Happy cooking, Peter!


Monday 13th of September 2021

Do you have to add the soup? Is it okay without?

Libby Hakim

Monday 13th of September 2021

Hi Emma. I've made it without the soup before. It's fine, though not as tasty. Happy cooking!


Monday 29th of June 2020

Can you use coconut milk in place of regular milk?


Monday 29th of June 2020

Hi Linda. I think that would be fine though have never tried it myself. It will clearly give it a different flavour, but coconut cream is often used in curries and is amazing. In terms of it thickening, I would imagine it still thickens nicely.You could use another thickener like arrowroot or cornflour if not. Have fun experimenting! Libby

Tanysha Jeffree

Saturday 7th of December 2019

I can swap tofu for chicken but what could I use instead of the soup to make it vegan? Thank you!


Monday 9th of December 2019

Hi Tanysha. I've made it without the soup before when I didn't have it in the cupboard and it's still great. So I'd suggest just making it up without the soup. Libby :)


Wednesday 4th of September 2019

When do you add the soup.?


Wednesday 4th of September 2019

Oops, after the milk. Sorry! I've updated the recipe. Thanks so much for commenting and pointing this out this oversight. Libby

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