Indian Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk, a quick and easy recipe that is ready in about 30 minutes. Boneless chicken breast simmered in a rich and flavourful tomato and coconut sauce, with mild spices that give it an earthy touch, this chicken curry is a perfect midweek dinner recipe for the whole family.
Coconut milk features heavily in Asian cuisines. From desserts, to appetizers, mains or sides, there are so many delicious ways of using a good can of coconut milk. Although coconut curries are mostly associated with the Thai cuisine, and less with the Indian food, that does not mean that we can't prepare an awesome Indian curry with coconut milk.
I think the combination of the Indian spices and coconut milk is particularly nice. The sweetness of the coconut contrasts beautifully with the heat coming from the spices. And then you get a whole range of flavours and textures that make this chicken curry with coconut milk a fabulous meal.
I used coconut milk in my Chicken Korma, and it was a huge hit with everybody in my family, so I knew that another recipe had to make its way to our table soon.
- chicken breasts - I prefer using chicken breast when I make curries, but chicken thighs or legs can work too. Just cut the meat off the bone and use it the same way
- onion - it can be wither yellow, red of shallots
- garlic - it adds a nice touch to the dish, I highly recommend it
- garam masala - this dish does not need a daunting list of spices, garam masala is perfect for giving it an Indian touch, without it being overpowering
- ground cumin - you can also use cumin seeds if you like a more fragrant touch
- curry powder - you can go for mild or spicy, I prefer mild
- coconut milk - use full-fat coconut milk, the light one isn't creamy enough
- chopped tomatoes - you can also use fresh tomatoes if they are ripe and sweet
Step-by-step photos and intructions
This is by no means an authentic recipe, but mostly made up with the ingredients I had around. That's what I love about cooking, that I can be as creative as I want, and cook delicious meals without effort.
- Searing the chicken beforehand is optional, but I think it adds to the flavour, so I highly recommend it.
- Once the chicken is lightly brown, remove from the pan, and fry the onion. This will soak up all the chicken juices left, and the onion will caramelize nicely.
- When you add the spices, stir gently for about one minute. The spices will release their full flavour without burning.
- Add the chicken back to the pan together with the chopped onions and coconut milk, stir, and leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and it coats the chicken well.
The coconut milk makes the sauce pretty sticky, so I recommend you stir gently now and then, to make sure the sauce does not stick to the pan.
Make sure you keep an eye on the curry, although it doesn't need stirring a lot, when the sauce is reduced, it tends to stick to the pan.
It is best to cook the curry on a medium heat, a high heat will reduce the sauce too quickly, and the chicken won't have time to cook through.
You can play with the amount of spiciness you want for the sauce, I prefer it mild, but by all means, this dish can take a lot more heat.
Yes, if you have leftovers, just leave the curry to cool completely first, then transfer it to a tupperware, and freeze. To defrost, you can pop it in the microwave and reheat until bubbly hot. Do not refreeze any food that has already been frozen previously though.
Absolutely! Since the chicken is already cooked, you can just add it at the same time you add the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes, and cook in the same way. Or, if you cook the sauce beforehand, just add the chicken at the end, and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes with the sauce, so it can soak up all the flavours.
What to serve with chicken curry
The best side dishes for me are either plain basmati rice or pilau rice. One is basic, but cooked to perfection, the other is beautifully fragrant and as easy to make. Then you can flat bread, naan bread, chapati, poppadum and the list can go on.
Oher chicken curry recipes
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Indian Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (1 ½ cups)
- chopped coriander (chilantro) to garnish
- Cup the chicken breasts into pieces, add a teaspoon of oil to a pan, and fry the chicken for about 5 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Peel and chop the onion, add the remaining oil to the same pan, and gently fry the onion until soft.
- Add the chopped garlic, spices, and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chicken back to the pan together with the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes, and leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and it coats the chicken well.
- Season with salt to taste, and garnish with fresh coriander.
- Make sure you keep an eye on the curry, although it doesn't need stirring a lot, when the sauce is reduced, it tends to stick to the pan.
- It is best to cook the curry on a medium heat, a high heat will reduce the sauce too quickly, and the chicken won't have time to cook through.
- You can play with the amount of spiciness you want for the sauce, I prefer it mild, but by all means, this dish can take a lot more heat.