Are you ready to try an amazing dish? If you love the flavors of Indian cuisine, then this easy creamy coconut chicken curry recipe is for you!
This mouthwatering recipe takes only 30 minutes to prepare and can be served over rice or with naan bread for a complete meal.
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This easy-to-make recipe is packed with flavor and takes just minutes to prepare. It is a perfect keto dinner idea for busy weeknights and makes enough to serve four.
The traditional Indian entrée combines succulent pieces of chicken with a tantalizing blend of spices and creamy coconut milk. It's an exotic and delicious meal that's also relatively simple to make.
Our version uses coconut cream instead of coconut milk to make a richer spiced sauce that still has the signature coconut flavor. Whether you’re looking for something quick and easy or just want to try your hand at Indian cooking, this easy creamy chicken curry recipe will not disappoint!
All you'll need are a few basic ingredients to make this quick and easy dinner recipe. You may even have everything you need without having to run to the store!
Here's what you'll need on hand to make this simple dish:
- Boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast
- Curry powder or curry paste
- Ground cumin
- Coconut cream or sour cream
- Water or chicken broth
- Olive oil
Scroll down to the recipe card to see the amounts of each ingredient used.
Prepping the ingredients before you start cooking ensures that your finished product turns out as tasty and delicious as possible. This easy creamy coconut chicken curry is no exception!
Start by gathering all your ingredients and putting them in reachable places so that you don't have to keep running back and forth while cooking. Then measure out each spice, as well as pre-cutting the onion and chicken.
Add chicken pieces to hot olive oil in a skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is browned.
Pour in a third cup water or chicken broth.
Add the chopped onion and curry powder.
Sprinkle in salt and cumin. Stir, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes.
Pour in the coconut cream.
Stir to blend in the coconut cream.
In just thirty minutes or less, your restaurant-quality dish is ready to enjoy!
Need a few ideas for changing up this creamy coconut curry chicken recipe? Here are a few simple ways to vary the dish:
- Hot and spicy - add some chili flakes or chopped jalapeños when cooking up the garlic and onion for an extra burst of flavor.
- Add an essential Asian spice - chopping up some fresh ginger into thin slices will add a warm spiced note that pairs perfectly with coconut milk or cream.
- Change up the spices - Try adding some additional spices such as turmeric or coriander.
- Add vegetables - Bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini are great additions.
- Make it a meal - Turn the dish into a one-pot meal by adding some cooked noodles or quinoa.
Feel free to experiment with different meats such as pork or lamb. Or, you can make a vegetarian dish by using tofu instead of chicken.
If you've never made chicken curry before, here's a few tips to take the dish from good to amazing.
- Marinate the chicken: Taking the time to marinate the chicken before cooking can help to add flavor and tenderize the meat. You can use a store-bought marinade or make your own using ingredients like yogurt, lemon juice, and spices.
- Use coconut cream sparingly: While coconut milk or cream can add richness and flavor to a curry, using too much can make the dish overly rich and heavy. Start with a small amount and add more as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
- Don't overcrowd the pan: When cooking the chicken, make sure to give it enough space in the pan so that it can brown properly. If the pan is overcrowded, the chicken will steam instead of brown, and it won't have as much flavor.
- Adjust the heat: Make sure to adjust the heat as needed while cooking the curry. If the curry is boiling too vigorously, turn down the heat to prevent the coconut milk or cream from separating. On the other hand, if the curry is not simmering enough, turn up the heat to help the flavors meld together.
- Add the coconut cream last: To prevent the coconut cream (or milk) from curdling, add it to the curry towards the end of cooking. This will also help to ensure that the curry doesn't become too rich or heavy.
- Don't forget the finishing touches: Don't forget to add some final touches to the curry before serving, such as a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a dollop of yogurt. These small touches can really elevate the finished dish.
There are many ways you could serve creamy coconut chicken curry, here are a few ideas:
- Over rice: Coconut chicken curry is delicious served over a bed of white or basmati rice. The rice absorbs some of the curry sauce and adds a nice contrasting texture to the dish.
- With noodles: You could serve the curry over a bed of noodles, such as rice noodles, vermicelli noodles, or even spaghetti.
- Add bread: The curry is also delicious served with bread, such as naan bread, pita bread, or roti. You can use the bread to scoop up the curry and soak up the sauce.
- With vegetables: You could serve the curry with a vegetable side dishes such as broccoli, green beans, or asparagus.
- As a topping: You could also use the curry as a topping for baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even over a baked sweet potato.
- In a bowl: You could serve the curry in a bowl, with a side of rice and some chopped fresh herbs for garnish.
- With a salad: You could serve the curry with a simple side salad of mixed greens, topped with some sliced vegetables and a light vinaigrette dressing.
Store leftover creamy coconut chicken curry in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to 4 days.
To keep it even fresher, you can also freeze the curry for up to 3 months. When reheating, be sure to bring it back up to a safe temperature before consuming.
Coconut cream is a common ingredient in many curries, adding richness and flavor to the dish. It also helps to thicken the sauce, creating a smooth and creamy texture. Coconut cream is usually added at the end of cooking, when other ingredients have already been simmered together. This ensures that the coconut cream doesn't curdle or separate from the rest of the curry.
Yes, you can use coconut cream instead of coconut milk in curry. Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk, so it will give the curry a more intense flavor. Additionally, it will thicken the sauce more quickly than coconut milk would. Keep in mind that the overall quantity of liquid should remain the same when substituting one for the other.
The secret to a good curry is finding the right balance of spices. Start with a base of onion, garlic, ginger, and tomato, then add your desired combination of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, and garam masala. Taste as you go and adjust the flavors until it's just right.
Need a few more ideas for easy weeknight dinners? Here's a few of our favorites.
- Oven-baked pork steaks take just a couple of minutes to prep before baking.
- Korean beef and broccoli is a flavorful dish that whips up in no time in a skillet.
- Santa Fe Salad is a quick and easy way to repurpose leftover chicken.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4), cut into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup water or chicken broth
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup coconut cream or sour cream
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 7 to 9 minutes.
- Stir in ⅓ cup water and the onion, curry powder, salt, and cumin. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut cream (or sour cream).