I’m sure there are a million Chicken curry versions, not only in South Asia, but where ever curry lovers live in the whole wide world. The reason is that basic chicken curry is one of the most delicious foods that can be prepared and it provides a perfect canvas for all sorts of creative tweaks.
You can dress it up with elaborate spices, aromatics and nuts to elevate it to Mughlai korma or you can chuck in potatoes and other vegetables with a simple onion and tomato base for a weekday, rustic comfort.
The northern chicken curries are made with tomato and onion paste combined with yogurt or cream, the southern chicken curries mostly blend coconut milk and tamarind for a perfect amalgamation of sweet and sour. Whichever route you go, a good chicken curry will never disappoint you as long as the ingredients are well balanced.
Chicken Coconut Curry is a huge hit at our place and really bringing a finger- licking-good, exciting curry to the table couldn’t be easier! There isn’t a long list of ambiguous/impossible-to-find spices. Just a few basics that are pantry staple in almost every kitchen.
What coconut milk brings to this otherwise simple curry is cool and sweet balance of flavours in contrast with the tang from tomatoes and lemon and heat from the spices and green chilli peppers.
The chicken is cooked in a quick-to-blend onion tomato gravy and then the creamy coconut milk is added to the simmering gravy. The Chicken Coconut smells so tempting that you won’t be able to wait till you sit down for dinner. Good thing it’s so quick n easy!
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1/2 kg boneless chicken
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled
2 tomatoes, diced. Almost 1+1/2 cups
2 green chilli peppers, slit in halves
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon green cardamom powder or crushed seeds
salt to taste
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste
2 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
This Is a What You Do:
Heat oil in a deep pan or wok. Add chicken pieces, cinnamon stick and green chilli peppers. Fry on medium heat till chicken is golden on the outside (3-5 minutes).
Remove the contents from oil. Set aside.
Add onions to the same oil. Fry till light golden.
Add onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes to the blender, make a smooth puree.
Dilute red chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and salt in a little water to make masala paste. Add the paste to the pan. Sauté on medium heat for a minute. Add the onion tomato puree.
Add chicken pieces, cinnamon and green chillies back and cover the pan. Reduce heat to medium low. Let it simmer till chicken is tender and liquid evaporates from the curry.
Add coconut milk, lemon juice and half of the chopped coriander. Simmer covered for another 5 minutes till all the flavours blend.
The finished curry would be like creamy thick sauce, mostly coating the chicken pieces but enough in the plate to pour over rice or scoop up with flatbread.
Garnish with remaining coriander leaves.