Chicken curry over rice
Dinner Chicken International Lunch Middle Eastern

Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk Recipe

Chicken curry comes in different versions, I believe you already know. One of them is this chicken curry with coconut milk recipe. Why is this special, and how different is it from the other chicken curries out there?

  • the full combination of chicken parts, your choice of vegetables, and the teasing addition of coconut milk make this a totally different experience.
  • the versatility of this recipe is that the ingredients can be reduced to make a simple chicken curry or simple vegetable curry – you take your pick. The coconut milk, however, makes this a creamy curry version.
  • the cooking process is straightforward without sacrificing the taste you are looking for in a curry.

Ingredients for chicken curry with coconut milk

When it comes to making a delicious and flavorful chicken curry, the key lies in selecting the right ingredients. From aromatic spices to creamy coconut milk, each component plays a crucial role in adding depth and complexity to this dish. Whether you prefer a traditional Indian curry or a Thai-inspired rendition, the careful selection of ingredients is essential to achieving the perfect balance of flavors. Let’s dive into the essential components that make a memorable chicken curry.

Chicken parts. You may want to opt for your favorite parts of the chicken, such as full chicken legs, chicken thighs, breasts, etc. I usually chose a full chicken and cut them into eight or 10 pieces, bone-in. I just love the juice that comes from the bones – the fresh chicken taste is always magnified by the presence of bones. Having said that, choosing skinless chicken breasts will give the individual taste of the vegetable come out more.

Your choice of fresh vegetables. All of the vegetables below can be added to the curry after they are cut up. However, frying the eggplants before adding them adds a twist to the taste of curry.

  • green beans
  • pumpkin
  • carrots
  • zucchini
  • eggplants

Sauteeing ingredients and spices:

  • garlic
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced
  • ginger
  • curry powder
  • salt
  • ground black pepper (optional)
  • turmeric powder
  • cumin
  • tomato paste

the wonderful unsweetened coconut milk

Fresh minced green leaves such as coriander, parsley, or basil as garnishings

Substitutions and Additions

For this recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and additions you can make to customize it to your liking. Ground ginger, for example, is a great alternative if you don’t have fresh ginger on hand. You will add the ground ginger on the second step of cooking after sauteeing the garlic and onions along with the rest of the dry spices.

In terms of additional vegetables, you can add cauliflower, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, or snow peas to the stir-fry. Keep in mind that different vegetables have different cooking times, so you may need to adjust accordingly. For protein, consider using shrimp or tofu instead of chicken breast. Each protein option will have a different cooking time, so be sure to cook them thoroughly. For vegetarian/vegan options, you can use chickpeas or tofu. Tofu is a great substitute for any meat, as it absorbs the flavors of the curry well.

To adjust the level of spice in these curry recipes, you can increase or decrease the amount of curry paste or powder. For milder curry, you can mix yogurt in coconut milk to tone down the heat. For spicy curry, feel free to add green peppers at any stage of cooking. I would normally add 2-3 whole serrano chili to the dish for the aroma. And while the rest of the family does not prefer the heat, this style is safe, as I can mash the chilis with cooked rice at serving time and enjoy it (happily on my own).

Feel free to get creative with the ingredients and tailor the recipe to your preferences.

How to Make Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Coconut Milk

To make the coconut curry flavor base, start by finely chopping the garlic, ginger, and onion. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat and sautΓ© the chopped ingredients until fragrant starting from the ginger giving it a good one minute before adding the garlic and onion. Add in the curry powder and the rest of the dry/ground spices, stirring to coat the aromatics. Add the chicken pieces and cook them covered until half done, stirring occasionally. You may want to add chicken broth or vegetable broth at this stage. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer over medium-low heat for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding some Kaffir lime leaves to the curry base. These leaves can be torn into pieces and added to the skillet along with the other ingredients. Kaffir lime leaves lend a citrusy and floral aroma to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor of the curry. By following these steps and adding Kaffir lime leaves if desired, you can create a delicious coconut curry flavor that identifies with Thai dishes.

Step by step instructions in cooking chicken curry

Serving Suggestions

There are several delicious ways to serve chicken curry. You can enjoy it with naan, which is a traditional Indian bread that complements the flavorful curry sauce. Another option is to serve the chicken curry over grains such as steamed white rice (jasmine rice, basmati rice), or even brown rice which have fragrant aromas of their own that pair beautifully with the spices in the curry. Serving your chicken curry over cauliflower rice for a satisfying and hearty meal is a low-carb option that still provides a nice texture and absorbs the curry sauce well. When broccoli is in season, I devour this dish with about 2 cups broccoli florets.

Fresh herbs like cilantro and mint can be used as a garnish to add a pop of color and a burst of freshness to the dish. Serve with lime wedges, fish sauce with sliced chilis, or fresh lemon juice on the side.

Chicken curry over rice

How to Store Leftover Chicken and Vegetable with Coconut Milk Curry

As with most curry recipes, this dish can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. If you prefer to store them longer, you can put them in freezer-safe containers and forget them for a longer while – about a couple of weeks.

To serve again, I heat it in a Pyrex dish in the microwave or reheat it in a casserole over medium-low heat.

Cooking tips:

  • Fry the eggplants in vegetable oil and serve them on top of your chicken and vegetable curry.
  • Coconut oil will enhance the taste of the coconut milk – use it to replace your cooking oil at the first step of cooking.
  • Add a touch of cayenne pepper powder for a spicier version.
  • Add vegetable or chicken cubes/bullion for a flavorful seasoning, but reduce the amount of salt.
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Chicken curry over rice

Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Coconut Milk

  • Author: Magida
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: cooking


This creamy coconut milk chicken curry is the perfect comfort food. It’s hearty, flavorful, and warming, and it’s sure to become a new family favorite.



1.5kg chicken parts (or cut-up whole chicken)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium-sized onions, sliced

2 tbsps ginger, julienned or diced finely

150 grams or 4 medium-sized zucchini

150g or 2 medium-sized carrots

200g green beans

200g pumpkins

100g or 1 big eggplant

2 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

salt to taste

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup coconut milk (or 3 cups coconut milk powder mixed with 1 cup warm water)

Minced fresh parsley to garnish


  • Heat cooking oil in a wok and saute ginger until golden brown. Add garlic, stir twice, then add onions and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add curry powder, turmeric, and cumin and cook, while stirring, for another minute. The aroma of the spices will fill the kitchen at this point. Lovely!
  • Add chicken pieces, stir twice, and let cook until half done. It is safe to add a bit of water here if you feel that the mix is burning. Or opt to lower the heat to medium.
  • Add vegetables almost simultaneously. If one of two of your vegetables cooks faster than the others, you can add that first, followed by the rest after a while.Β  I add them all at the same time. My mom would disagree πŸ™‚
  • Add salt to taste and the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Lastly, add the coconut milk and cook covered for a few more minutes.
  • Serve and garnish with minced fresh parsley.

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