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Simple, easy yet amazingly flavorful and pleasantly spicy Coconut Curry Chicken, ready in 30 minutes start to finish.

Coconut Curry Chicken

This Coconut Curry Chicken recipe is simple, flavorful and pleasantly spicy. Coconut milk mellows the spices, makes curry creamy and also gives it natural sweetness. This makes this recipe suitable to serve all. It is Gluten free, Dairy Free, Nuts free and only uses Tree Nut (Coconut Milk). 

Best for a family weeknight/weekend dinner. I recommend serving Coconut Curry Chicken with Basmati Rice and Garlic Naan for a complete Indian-style dinner at home. 

Coconut Curry Chicken is very easy to cook. Still, I'm including two ways to prepare : 1) On stove, in a regular Deep Pan Or Dutch Oven; 2) In Instant Pot (our favorite). Whether you use Instant Pot or Dutch Oven, recipe is very simple and most steps are same except the Cooking Time. (more on this ahead)

In-short, if you like Coconut Curry and often order it in Indian Restaurants? Than this will become your favorite Curry Chicken to prepare at home. Budget friendly, as much as you like. :)

So, let's get started and make some Curry Chicken!

coconut Curry Chicken Instant Pot

This color on this curry always remind me of Thai Red Curry. But for this, I have not used any curry paste or lengthy list of ingredients. 

WHAT IS IN COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN?
The main ingredients of Coconut Curry Chicken are:
1. chicken
2. coconut milk
3. curry powder
4. garam masala
5. garlic
6. onion
7. tomatoes
8. paprika

This combo of ingredients yield a delightful and best tasting coconut curry chicken.  The curry is creamy, loaded with flavor, and pleasantly spicy. But you can, of course, make-it-your-own; more spicy with additional chili powder or less by leaving out the chili powder/cayenne.

STAR INGREDIENT - COCONUT MILK

Honestly, we love to cook with coconut milk. Chicken and seafood, Indian curries, soup, and stews.. Coconut milk can make everything delicious, creamy. Coconut milk is of course one of the main ingredient for this Coconut Curry Chicken recipe. I love it because: 

1. It is dairy free.
2. It makes curry creamy, and naturally sweet.
3. It is healthier. (use low-fat milk to save more on calories)

For best results, always buy gluten free, Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk.

Creamy Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk Recipe

This reminds me, recently, I shared this Thai-Curry Coconut Milk Butternut Soup. OMG, it is SO good! It has been a repeat on our menu from many weeks. In-fact, before my vacation, I froze a few batches of this soup and some of this Coconut Chicken Curry. Vishal had good time, no cooking still enjoying these while I was away.

Note: This recipe is retake on my old recipe, first posted in 2014. Today, I updated the directions, re-clicked pictures.

Coconut Chicken Curry Recipe

Above is picture of Coconut Chicken Curry from archive.

HOW DO YOU MAKE COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN:
Homemade Curries might sound intimidating but actually very easy to put together. Specially, this Coconut Curry Chicken recipe is super easy recipe to make. If you like Indian spices and keep coconut milk in pantry... This Curry will fly from Kitchen to Dinner Table in just 30 minutes, start finish.

I'm also sharing instructions to cook this curry chicken in Instant Pot.

Instant Pot or Dutch Oven, all steps to make curry are same except Instant Pot will cook curry faster, and under pressure.

USE WHOLE CHICKEN PIECES OR DICED CHICKEN FOR CURRY:

You can use any cut of chicken for this recipe. Whole Chicken Breast, Chicken Thighs, Diced Chicken Thighs, or Bone-in Chicken. For all whole chicken pieces, I recommend:

1. Season the chicken and then sear in pan with a tbsp of oil to lock in juices. Then, take out. Follow rest of steps from recipe as-is.
2. Whole pieces of chicken will take longer to cook. Please adjust the cooking time (simmering chicken in curry sauce time) accordingly.

the Best Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe

HOW LONG DOES CURRY CHICKEN LASTS IN REFRIGERATOR:

Just like all spiced curries, this Coconut Curry Chicken also get better when prepared ahead. It stays good in refrigerator up-to 4 days without freezing. But honestly, if I have it in refrigerator, we end-up repeating it for dinner until it lasts. Note following if planning to refrigerate.

1. Use fresh chicken for making curry.
2. Check freshness label on coconut milk.
3. Store in seal-able, air-tight container.

HOW TO FREEZE COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN:

This curry is perfect to make-ahead and freeze. Note following if planning to freeze.

1. Use fresh, good quality chicken. Do not refreeze curry prepared with frozen chicken.
2. Use good quality coconut milk. Check label for freshness date.
3. Freeze at peak of freshness. I mean, prepare curry, cool to room temperature and freeze. 
4. For best result, freeze in small portions. This make thaw and reheat easier.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CURRY CHICKEN:

This curry is perfect to serve as Main Course for weeknight dinner or Indian-Dinner theme party. I recommend serving bread and salad on the side.

1. Garlic Naan
2. No Yeast Garlic Naan (if like yeast free version)
3. Basmati Rice
4. Cilantro Rice
5. Greens Kale Broccoli Salad
6. Cucumber Salad

Easy and Delicious Coconut Curry Chicken

MORE CHICKEN CURRY RECIPES IDEAS:

If you like Indian food? Specially, chicken with spices? Here are some of my most loved Indian Chicken recipes:

1. Chicken Korma Curry
2. Chicken Madras Curry
3. Yogurt Curry Chicken
4. Malai Chicken Tikka (my favorite)
5. Curry Chicken Rice (Instant Pot)
6 Butter Chicken (Slow Cooker)
7. Sheet Pan Chicken Tikka
8. Tandoori Chicken Salad
9. Curry Chicken Salad (my favorite)


Pairing Ideas:

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Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Difficulty Easy Yields 3 Servings Serves 3 Notes If using Instant Pot, Total Time does NOT include Pressure Build and Pressure Release time.

Ingredients

    Curry Chicken
  • 1.5 Cup Coconut milk  
  • 1.5 lbs Chicken  (skinless thighs, cut into small pieces)
  • 1/4 Bunch Fresh Herbs  (cilantro, mint or parsley, chopped)
  • 1 tsp Sugar  (optional)
  • 1 White Onion  (3-4 inch, medium onion, thin sliced half-moons)
  • 1 Cup Tomato Puree  (or 8 ounce can of crushed/pureed tomatoes with juice)
  • 1 tsp Salt  (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock  (or plain water)
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil  
  • 1.5 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste  (1 inch fresh ginger and 5-6 cloves of garlic, grated)
  • Spices
  • 1 tbsp Curry Powder  
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder  
  • 1.5 tsp Paprika  (sweet paprika or degi mirch)
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala  
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder  (medium hot, or cayenne, adjust to taste)

Directions

  • 1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom deep pan or Instant Pot. When oil is hot, add sliced white onion, minced ginger and garlic. Saute, stirring often until onions are soft. (3-4 minutes) Don't let garlic burn.
  • 2. Add all dry spices and sauté for 1 minutes (spices will start sticking to the bottom of the pan). Add tomato puree, with 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix well, cook for 1 minutes. While doing so, stir often to loosen all spices stuck to bottom of the pan.
  • 3. Add diced chicken, cook with spices and tomatoes for 1 more minute, stirring often. Now, add coconut milk, *chicken stock, sugar, and remaining salt.
  • 4. Bring to boil and then simmer at medium heat until chicken is fully cooked and liquid has reduced to 3/4. (about 8-10 minutes)
    Additional Notes
    Instant Pot: Place lid of pot, lock. Set to cook on Manual - High Pressure for 5 minutes. Let pressure auto-release in 12 minutes.
  • 5. Check seasoning. Taste and adjust salt. Add more coconut milk if you like more creamier curry. Garnish with cilantro or chopped green onions (optional) and serve hot with your choice of flat bread or rice. I recommend Garlic Naan and Rice. Recipes noted above Recipe Card.
Savita's Notes:

DIY GARAM MASALA - Check recipe to make garam masala at home.

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3 comment(s)

  1. Could I successfully substitute paneer for the chicken? Im not vegetarian, but chicken is not my thing. I would still add the chicken broth.
  2. Your recipes are very tasty, healthy and easy to make. Thank you

    Thanks Rajini. I appreciate your feedback. I’m glad you enjoying my recipes.