This sumptuous Coconut Curry Chicken recipe is cooked entirely from scratch, yet is very easy to make. You won't find any curry powder in this recipe - that's because I'm using the original spices that go into curry powder (without the other additives you'll find in most commercial brands). The addition of vegetables means you don't need to make another dish - just serve with rice for a complete meal. And there's no need to make a separate curry paste either - the sauce is cooked up right in the pan for an easy, everyday curry perfect for both family and guests alike. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 6 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes
Yield: SERVES 3-4
- 1 to 1.5 lbs. (0.6 kg) chicken - your choice of drumsticks or boneless breast or thigh
- 1 sweet potato or small yam, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup green beans
- 3 Tbsp. dry flaked unsweetened coconut (baking type)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
- 1 can good-quality coconut milk (not 'lite')
- 2 shallots or 1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped
- 1 thumb-size piece ginger OR galangal, grated or minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (3/4 makes a spicy curry)
- 3/4 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-2 kaffir lime leaves, OR substitute 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- optional: 1 tsp. sugar, to taste
- 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the flaked coconut, 'dry frying' it by stirring until fragrant and lightly toasted to a light golden-brown. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Return pan to heat. Add 2 Tbsp. oil plus shallots/onion, ginger, and garlic. If using fresh chili, add that now too. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes.
- While stir-frying, add all the dry spices (except bay leaf): cayenne, turmeric, coriander, and 2 types cumin. Stir spices in, adding a little more oil if needed.
- Add stock, 3/4 can coconut milk, plus 1/4 to 1/2 cup water (depending on how much sauce you'd like). Add the bay leaf and kaffir lime leaves or lime juice. Also add the fish sauce, stirring everything together well.
- Add chicken and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer (medium-low). Cover and simmer 30 minutes for whole chicken pieces or 10 minutes for boneless chicken. Stir occasionally.
- Add the sweet potato or yam, green beans, and 1/2 the toasted coconut. Continue simmering 10 more minutes, or until potato/yam has softened enough to easily pierce with a fork (beans may be added a little later if you prefer them still crisp). Stir occasionally.
- Reduce heat to minimum. Add remaining coconut milk and stir well to dissolve. Taste-test for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough, or more chili a spicier curry. Add sugar if you prefer it sweeter. Portion out into bowls and top with fresh basil plus a final sprinkling of toasted coconut. Pair with rice and ENJOY!