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!

Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and rice in a round plate.

Want to save this post?

Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox. Plus, get recipes & tips every week!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

“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!”


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.

Close up of Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon garnished with cilantro.

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.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients in Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
  • 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

  1. Infuse the oil with whole spices and sauté the onion until it’s lightly browned.
  2. Cook off some rawness from the garlic and ginger, then throw in the green chili pepper and tomatoes. Sauté until the tomatoes soften.
  1. Add the potatoes and bell pepper (or veggies of choice), all the ground spices, and salt.
  2. Stir well before adding the chicken.
  1. Increase the heat and sauté the chicken until no longer pink.
  2. 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.
  1. Finish off with a sprinkle of cilantro and a squeeze of lime or lemon, if desired.
  1. Serve hot with white basmati rice, which serves as the perfect blank canvas to soak up the sauce and absorb its flavors.
Holding a ladle full of Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk with a plate of rice in the background.


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).

Partially eaten Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and rice in a round plate with a metal spoon.

More Chicken Curry Recipes You’ll Love

Holding a spoonful of Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and rice.

Tried this recipe? If you have a minute, please consider leaving a comment telling me how it was! If you have a photo of your dish, please feel free to upload it and share with others. 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 rice in a beige bowl with a metal spoon.
5 (38 ratings)

Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and Potatoes

This Chicken Curry is made with Coconut milk and Potatoes, giving it a creamy and comforting yet light and bright flavor profile. All you need is one pot and 40 minutes to make this healthy and easy recipe. Use potatoes, bell peppers, or whatever veggies you've got on hand. No curry paste required!

Watch the Video


  • 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.


Note 1: The size of the potato cubes will determine cook time. I like to keep them between 3/4-1″ which allows them to cook quickly along with the chicken.
Note 2: 1/4 tsp will be mild, 1 quite spicy. My kids will tolerate 1/2 tsp but not much more. 
Calories: 329kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 721mg, Potassium: 737mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 409IU, Vitamin C: 31mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 4mg