Delicious simple creamy coconut chicken curry recipe you can make in a jiffy whenever you fancy. Make it vegan if you want but this curry is a keeper. Takes less than 30 minutes if you're slow and only uses a handful of everyday ingredients.
I am fortunate enough to have worked with chefs from top Indian restaurants and lucky enough to have gained their knowledge and secrets about making great Indian food.
So you're in good hands here
The great news is you don't have to make or buy a curry paste.
We only need garam masala, cumin, ground turmeric and a bit of cardamom for this curry recipe.
Easily found in your pantry or most stores.
Cashew nuts and coconut milk makes this curry extremely creamy and luxuriously smooth with plenty of richness and loads of flavour.
For a final little touch, we add some spinach(optional) but, you got to eat your greens friends!
Protein – In this recipe we use Chicken. It cooks quickly, is easily available and light and healthy especially if you have this in the evening.
If you prefer vegan or vegetarian I have included the steps for that down in the article. Make it even lighter by using prawns.
Vegetables – All curries start with chopped onion or shallot. We also use freshly steamed spinach in this curry recipe but you could use frozen. Just make sure to squeeze out most of the water before adding.
If you are going for a vegan version then I suggest using some tinned chickpeas. You could even add it to the chicken curry version.
This curry recipe also has tomato paste added. A very common Indian curry recipe ingredient.
Coconut milk – Use the best quality you can afford. Something creamy with good fat content.
I used Arroy-D for this recipe which is a medium level brand but it is stable and does the job nicely while not breaking the bank.
Sugar – Just a naughty little pinch of white sugar. I won't tell if you don't tell;)
If you are following a low sugar diet then use your usual sugar substitute. Just note that you will have to do this by taste and not according to the recipe.
Spices – Get these from the store but, you probably have these in your pantry already. Garam masala, turmeric, cumin and green cardamom. All Fresh as a daisy and sealed airtight.
If you buy spices that have been standing open you might find yourself adding spoon fulls without any good effect.
Also, technically a spice. Good old black pepper.
Nuts – Cashews are the go-to here but you could also use peanuts. Exclude if you have a nut allergy. Please.
Acid – Fresh lime although if you really can’t get hold of limes. Go for lemon. I add this right at the end before serving.
Many chefs in the Michelin restaurant sphere will tell you. A touch of lemon right at the end lifts up the flavour of many dishes big time.
Aromatics – The usual suspects. Ginger and garlic paste is the base of all curries no matter the origin.
Useful equipment for this recipe
Cast Iron Skillet
Electronic Kitchen Scales
Cooking this curry mainly relies on your ability to taste and make sure everything is cooked well and nicely balanced. A very simple task indeed.
Simply follow the following 6 steps to make this coconut chicken curry:
A good curry is all about balancing the spices and getting the savouriness and sweetness right.
Curry is mostly served with steamed rice, couscous or quinoa.
To go with this curry I have opted for a slightly healthier version than rice.
Widely available and embarrassingly underused.
Coconut curry is extremely versatile and you can substitute any part of the protein/carbs and replace it with some other food items you love. For example:
- Prawn Curry - Replace the chicken with prawns but, make sure to add the prawns at the end to avoid overcooking them.
- Lamb Curry – Use tender lamb fillets and cook exactly the same.
- Vegetable version – We touched upon it before but, you could add any vegetable here. Think aubergine, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, and peppers.
- Quicker version - Add a good quality pre-cooked frozen mix. There is nothing wrong with that when you are in a hurry or just got home after 18 hours of hard work.
- Tofu Coconut Curry – Prepare your tofu by frying in a pan or roasting in the oven. Add last-minute when your sauce is ready.
The process of making this a vegan curry is very straight forward.
If you are wondering how to do it then follow these easy steps.
- Replace the chicken with vegetables or chickpeas. Add in some broccoli, bok choy, or sweet potato.
- Replace the butter with oil.
The rest stay exactly the same. It’s that easy!
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Make it hot
If you have a fetish for spicy food and like making your own hot sauce. Then look no further than our very own Sriracha! Made from scratch and tasting a million times better than the store-bought version.
Frequently asked questions
The flavours have time to settle in and evenly disperse when given enough time.
The same goes for making stews, soups and other saucy dishes cooked with a variety of ingredients with different flavours and textures.
Curry keeps well when store airtight in the fridge like most other foods. It will last for up to 6 days and for longer storage it can also be frozen.
It's an ideal dish to make ahead especially if you like planning your meals in advance.
Other dishes you might like
If you like spicy food or Asian cuisine then you will find the following recipes useful
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