Coconut Chicken Curry

The official title of this dish is Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes, adapted from, but in our house it’s simply known as “curry”, or more affectionately, “an insanely delicious bowl of incredible umami that makes you feel you’ve been wrapped in the softest, warmest blanket you know and been given a hug from the inside out.” Seriously. It’s that good. It’s one of the first meals we shared with Nyana when we finally got to the “she eats what we eat” phase, which was probably much earlier than it should’ve been if her doctors had any say in it.

This curry makes a huge pot, enough for two full meals for our family, plus a bit of lunch for Nyana. Leftovers can be pureed and eaten as a soup at a later time, or you can freeze the leftovers too, to enjoy another time.

Coconut Chicken Curry

3 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast and/or thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground chili paste or dried chili flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 3-inch pieces and bruised with the flat side of a knife
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, grated
1 cup fresh chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
3 carrots, peeled, cut on the diagonal into 2/3-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk or cow’s milk
1 yellow onion, cut into wedges
1 medium sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

Combine 2 tablespoons of the curry powder and the salt in a bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat the meat evenly. Set aside for 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a medium pot over moderate heat. Add the shallot, garlic, chili paste and the remaining 1 tablespoon curry powder, and stir until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the chicken and cook until the edges are brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, ginger and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Add the carrots and cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, onion and sweet potato and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, removing the lemongrass pieces. Garnish with Asian basil, cilantro and scallions, and serve.

Sometimes we serve this over rice, sometimes with naan bread, sometimes straight up in a bowl. And we almost always puree the leftovers for a delicious soup the next day. It’s hard to believe, but this stuff actually tastes better on day two.

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