Coconut Curry Chicken

For the days when your stomach says “eat out” but your wallet says “no way” —

I first made this for Dani during one of those coveted weekend visits to Nashville, and it’s still one of her favorites. There are so many styles of curries, but Thai and Malay cuisines were my greatest influences here. I took on the brutal task of eating as many dishes–both in restaurants, and homes when people shared their food with me– mixed in a few youtube videos, and the rest is history. By now, I’ve made it so often that it’s almost like muscle memory–but it still gets better every time.

The secret to a good “curry” is the paste– once you combine all of the components, it’s stable for a few weeks in the fridge. I used garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass, bell peppers, curry leaves, and a few spices, and pureed it into a thick paste. Once you jar, and cool it down, you can top it with oil, and store it in between uses



Add a tablespoon or two of the “raw” paste to a hot wok, and stir fry until it changes color–then add in your meat, and any produce you like– this time, all I had was spinach…so I threw that in at the very end.


Once everything is coated, and the paste begins to dry out, add coconut milk, lime juice, and taste for seasoning. Let that simmer on low until the meat is tender, then serve it with your choice of rice, noodles, or bread.



Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

2 Chicken Breasts, cubed

2 Shallots, minced

1/2 Cup Curry Leaves

1 Bell Pepper, seeded and minced

4 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1 Tbs Lemongrass, minced

1 Tsp Ginger, minced

2 Tbs Sambal

2 Limes

1/2 Cup Parsley/Cilantro

2 Tbs Sesame Seeds

1 Tbs Cumin

1 Tbs Coriander

1 Tbs Paprika

1 Tbs Onion Powder

1 Tbs Black Pepper

1 Tbs Salt

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tsp Chili Powder

1 Tsp Dried Basil

1 Tsp Vegetable oil

1. Combine shallots, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, sambal, lime juice, vegetable oil, and spices into a blender, and puree into a paste. Add water as needed. Transfer to a jar, and top with oil.

2. Place a pan on medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt,  garlic,  coriander,  and cumin,  then set aside.

3. Stir fry 2 Tbs of curry paste until out darkens, and becomes fragrant. Add chicken, and stir-fry until cooked.

4. Add lime juice, parsley, and coconut milk, then simmer until tender. Taste for seasoning.

5. Serve with rice,  or rice noodles.





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