Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk (and Potatoes)
This Chicken Curry with Coconut milk and Potatoes is creamy and comforting yet light and so flavorful. All you need is one pot and 40 minutes to make this easy, healthy, family-friendly recipe. Use potatoes, bell peppers, or whatever veggies you’ve got on hand. No curry paste required!
“We are IN LOVE with this recipe! It is such a delectable and warm blend of flavours; pure comfort food for me! Thank you Izzah for this simple and delicious addition to our menu!”Naba
Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
This Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk is less Thai and more South Asian in that the spices and method are similar to a Pakistani and North Indian Chicken Curry. There’s no curry paste, just an onion-tomato base and a handful of spices.
But, the bit of browning the onions and scouring the spice cabinet will be worth it because this curry is deeply flavorful and spicy (not Thai-hot spicy but the more muted, South Asian-style spicy) while still being light and bright.
The coconut milk and yogurt add a layer of creaminess, giving it an almost korma-like vibe.
- Refined coconut oil – For its flavor, aroma, and ability to withstand a higher cooking temperature. Substitute with any neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed oil or avocado oil.
- Spices – A few whole spices & the rest are commonly used ground spices such as coriander and cumin. Omit any you don’t have on hand.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger – The mirepoix of South Asian curries. Fresh is best but you can substitute garlic or ginger paste.
- Green chili pepper – I use Serrano or Thai/bird’s eye green chili peppers. Adds subtle heat and aroma.
- Red or green bell pepper – Optional. Try peas, snow peas, carrots, or whatever vegetables you have on hand.
- Boneless chicken – Because the chicken needs to simmer with the potatoes, it helps to use chicken thighs, which can simmer for longer without drying out. Chicken breast will also be fine. Just be sure to cut the potatoes in small cubes!
- Unsweetened full-fat coconut milk – For essential creamy, coconutty flavor.
- Yogurt – Adds dimension and a gentle tang but not 100% necessary. I’ve heard from many who’ve skipped to make it dairy-free and still loved it.
- Cilantro (coriander leaves) – Gotta love an herbaceous finish.
- Lime or lemon – Optional. Lately I’ve loved a squeeze of lemon or lime to brighten it the curry.
How to Make Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
- Infuse the oil with whole spices and sauté the onion until it’s lightly browned.
- Cook off some rawness from the garlic and ginger, then throw in the green chili pepper and tomatoes. Sauté until the tomatoes soften.
- Add the potatoes and bell pepper (or veggies of choice), all the ground spices, and salt.
- Stir well before adding the chicken.
- Increase the heat and sauté the chicken until no longer pink.
- Pour in the coconut milk and yogurt, then cover and simmer the curry for about 20 minutes. Everything will cook through in the warming, coconutty flavors.
- Finish off with a sprinkle of cilantro and a squeeze of lime or lemon, if desired.
- Serve hot with white basmati rice, which serves as the perfect blank canvas to soak up the sauce and absorb its flavors.
This recipe can take well to many adaptations (just read the comments!).
- To thicken – Either use less coconut milk (~1 cup), cook partially covered, or sauté down the coconut milk at the end.
- Extra spicy – My favorite memory of this dish is from before my kids would dictate the spice-level of my recipes. I loved it with a full teaspoon of chili flakes.
- For stronger tomato flavor – Use a bit of tomato paste or tomato sauce along with the tomato.
- Add body – Use a variety of veggies or even chickpeas!
Leftover idea: Use leftover curry as the liquid to cook rice for a gently spiced coconut flavored pulao (rice).
More Chicken Curry Recipes You’ll Love
- Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry
- Authentic Chicken Curry (Chicken Salan)
- Authentic Chicken Korma
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Easy & Authentic)
- 20-Minute Coconut Lime Chicken Curry
Tried this recipe? If you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment & star rating telling me how it was! If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I truly love hearing from you! Thank you!
Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and Potatoes
- 2 tbsp refined coconut oil, or any neutral oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 small (~2 inch) cinnamon stick
- 2 green cardamom pods, optional
- 1 medium (~220 g) yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 inch (~1/2 tbsp) piece ginger, crushed
- 1 green chili pepper, slit in half lengthwise
- 1 medium Vine or Roma tomato, chopped
- 1 medium to large (~280 g) russet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4" cubes (See Note 1)
- 1 green or red bell pepper, cubed into 1" squares (optional)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 – 1 tsp red chilli flakes, See Note 2
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1″cubes
- 1 14-oz can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup plain, whole milk yogurt, omit for dairy-free
- 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
- lime or lemon slices, optional, for serving
- Large sauté pan or nonstick pan with lid
- Heat oil in a large non-stick or heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods, if using. Let these spices sizzle and immediately add the onions. Sauté for 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned. If needed, deglaze the pan with 1-2 tbsp of water and allow the water to evaporate.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or until the raw smell disappears. Add the green chili pepper and tomato and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the tomatoes become soft. Add the potato, bell pepper (if using), spice powders (coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, and red chili flakes), and salt and stir to mix.
- Increase the heat to high. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken changes color. Add the coconut milk and yogurt and bring the mixture to a light boil.
- Lower the heat to low-medium, cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender. Uncover and raise the heat to allow the sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes, if desired.
- Taste and adjust salt and seasoning. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with white basmati rice and lime or lemon, if desired.
44 Comments on “Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk (and Potatoes)”
This coconut chicken curry is a keeper and is a go to for my ideal chicken curry. The blend of spices complimented by the coconut milk and yogurt produces a “korma-like finish”
I also added curry leaves, garam masala and some lime juice to round it off.
All in all a restaurant-style dish with ingredients that are readily available.
Thank you and keep up the excellent work.
Can I skip the coconut milk?
Hmm. I suppose you could but it’d be more like a dry curry. Still yummy I’m sure!
Thanks so much for your reply. Maybe I’ll increase the yogurt. Will try it out!
First recipe from your site and wow! The smell was intoxicating the whole time I was making it, the neighbors even asked what I was making. I made just as written, this has to be one of the most flavorful things I’ve ever made. The directions are easy to follow. I will definitely be making this again, doesn’t even really need the chicken (but my husband loves it). I’m going to dive headfirst into Pakistani cooking!
I’m so happy to see your comment! Thanks so much for sharing, Rachael! Hope you get a chance to try many more. 🙂
Thank you much for posting this recipe. Very easy to read, follow steps and substitute. I swapped the white potatoes for sweet potatoes, chili powder for 1/4 fresh poblano pepper and coconut milk for evaporated coconut milk. Flavors all worked well together. Looking forward to trying others. (Sorry it’s a bad habit not following the recipe to a “T”. ) but it all worked out I the end.
Thank you, Hannah! Those sound like delicious changes. And I can completely relate not following to a T. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂
Hello, I’m planning on making this today and was wondering if I can skip the yogurt due to dairy intolerance?
Hi Maham. Sure, you can skip. I’ve heard from others who’ve skipped and it was still great. Hope you enjoy!
This was really good. Thanks so much
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your review, Patrick!
Made the COCONUT CHICKEN CURRY WITH POTATOES today and loved it! Really delicious and easy to make. Went great with rice. The wife really enjoyed it too!
Wonderful to hear that, Talha! Thank you for taking the time to review!
Turned out so good!
Thank you, Polina!
Amazzzzing. Thank you!
Yay! Thank you, Cyndi!
Turned out awesome
Kids loved it too. Thx
My pleasure! Thanks for your review, KJ!