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This coconut Thai chicken curry is an easy one-pan dinner that’s bursting with flavor from cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, ground ginger, yellow curry powder, turmeric powder and lots of vegetables. Red bell pepper, pineapple and lime juice add freshness and chopped peanuts make for a crunchy finish.
This post was originally published on May 19, 2015.
How to make Thai chicken curry:
Step 1. Start by boiling 1 large, roughly chopped yellow onion in a mix of 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Once the onion is cooked, process it into a puree in the food processor.
RECIPE NOTE: The onion puree not only adds flavor to this dish, it also acts as the thickener for this curry and creates a really smooth texture.
Step 2. Set the onion puree aside and get out a Dutch oven or a cast iron pan. (Either one will work but the Dutch oven will do a better job at keeping in any splatter).
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and then fry the spice seeds in it (1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, 1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1/8 teaspoon coriander seeds).
Step 3. Once the seeds start to sizzle, carefully add the onion puree and fry for about 15 minutes.
Add 1 minced or pressed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder to the pan.
RECIPE NOTE: As always, I highly recommend that you use high-quality curry powder from a dedicated spice shop. High quality spices make a huge difference in any dish but I find that that is especially true for curries and for curry powder.
Step 4. Mix the spices into the puree.
Step 5. Add in 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Step 6. Add the remaining ingredients: 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces), 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into chunks, and 1 can pineapple chunks (8 ounces). Bring the mix to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 7. To finish the dish, sprinkle on a bit of lime juice and top with chopped peanuts, green onion and cilantro.
Is this Thai chicken curry spicy?
The level of spiciness in this Thai chicken curry is determined by the yellow curry powder. I recommend you get mild curry powder for a mild curry and medium for a curry that has a bit of a kick to it.
How to serve this curry:
Garnish the curry with fresh cilantro, chopped green onion and chopped peanuts and serve over rice with a fresh slice of lime on the side.
How to store the curry:
This curry reheats very well, just store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
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Thai Chicken Curry
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon whole yellow mustard seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon mild or medium yellow curry powder* (depending on how spicy you would like the dish)
- 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled with salt
- 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can pineapple chunks (8 ounces), drained
- lime juice
- chopped peanuts
- chopped green onion
- chopped cilantro
- Peel the onion and chop into 2-inch chunks.
- Put the chopped onion into a pot along with chicken broth and 1/2 cup of water. Boil without a lid until almost all liquid has evaporated.
- Puree the onion in a food processor. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron pan or a Dutch oven until shimmering.
- Add mustard, cumin and coriander seeds to the oil and fry on medium-low heat for 2 – 3 minutes. (The seeds need to sizzle but be careful not to burn them.)
- Carefully add the onion puree.
- Fry the onion puree for 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and curry and stir until you have a homogeneous mix.
- Add the chicken pieces and fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, coconut milk and soy sauce and mix well.
- Add bell pepper and pineapple, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with lime juice to taste and add peanuts, green onion and cilantro as garnish and serve with rice.
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