Vegetarian Chicken Varuval: A Malaysian Delicacy

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Vegetarian Chicken Varuval is a unique and flavourful dish that originates from the diverse culinary landscape of Malaysia. While traditional Chicken Varuval is a spicy dry chicken curry, the vegetarian version replaces chicken with plant-based alternatives, offering a delightful taste experience for vegetarians and vegans alike.

History and Origin

The roots of Chicken Varuval trace back to the Tamil community in Malaysia. Brought by Indian immigrants, this dish quickly adapted to the local flavours and ingredients, becoming a staple in Malaysian Indian cuisine. The vegetarian version emerged as a response to the growing demand for meatless options, reflecting Malaysia’s multicultural culinary influences.

Source: karileaves

Ingredients and Flavours

The primary ingredient in Vegetarian Chicken Varuval is a plant-based chicken substitute, which can be made from soy, seitan, or jackfruit. This is marinated and cooked in a rich blend of spices, including fennel seeds, cumin, dried chilies, and curry leaves. The result is a dish that’s aromatic, spicy, and deeply satisfying.

Popularity and Adaptations

Vegetarian Chicken Varuval has gained popularity not just in Malaysia but also among global vegetarian communities. Its rich flavours make it a favourite in vegetarian restaurants worldwide. Moreover, chefs have been experimenting with the dish, introducing variations by adding coconut milk for a creamier texture or using different plant-based meat alternatives.

Source: flickr


Vegetarian Chicken Varuval stands as a testament to Malaysia’s ability to adapt and innovate its culinary traditions. It’s a dish that brings together the rich history of the Tamil community with the modern demands of a vegetarian lifestyle. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just a lover of good food, this Malaysian delight is sure to tantalize your taste buds.


Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal