Thai Chicken Curry

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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.

A bowl filled with yellow Thai chicken curry, fresh sprigs of cilantro and two small dishes with chopped peanuts and chopped green onion on the side.

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.

Boiled onion chunks in a food processor.

Step 2. Set the onion puree aside and get out a Dutch oven or a cast iron pan with a lid. (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).

A large cast iron pan with shimmering oil and fried spice 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.

A large cast iron pan with onion puree and ground curry spices.

Step 4. Mix the spices into the puree.

A large cast iron pan with onion puree and ground curry spices mixed in.

Step 5. Add in 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces.

A large cast iron pan with a curry onion puree and raw chicken chunks.

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, cover loosely with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

A large cast iron pan filled with Thai chicken curry with pineapple chunks and red bell pepper.

Step 7. To finish the dish, season to taste with a little salt, then sprinkle on a bit of lime juice and top with chopped peanuts, green onion and cilantro.

Is this dish 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 leftovers:

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.

More delicious curry recipes:

Made this recipe? It would be awesome if you could leave a rating. Either tap or click the stars in the recipe card or leave a comment below. Thanks!

A bowl filled with yellow Thai chicken curry, fresh sprigs of cilantro and two small dishes with chopped peanuts and chopped green onion on the side.
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Thai Chicken Curry

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: coconut curry, thai chicken curry
Servings: 2
Calories: 982kcal

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

  • 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 Dutch oven or a cast iron pan to which you have a lid.
  • 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, cover loosely with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with a little bit of salt, then sprinkle with lime juice to taste and add peanuts, green onion and cilantro as garnish and serve with rice.

Notes:

*I highly recommend to get curry powder and other spices from a dedicated spice shop rather than the grocery store for this recipe. The quality and freshness of spices makes a huge difference in any dish and that is especially true for curries.

Nutrition

Calories: 982kcal

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A bowl filled with yellow Thai chicken curry, fresh sprigs of cilantro and two small dishes with chopped peanuts and chopped green onion on the side.

22 comments

  1. Nancy Perine says:

    Hi Nicole ~~~ I had lots of fun wandering through your web site. Your Thai Chicken Curry caught my eye. For the longest time I wouldn’t even think of making anything with curry in it … that is, until I discoverd mild curry powder. I always have checken breasts & thighs in the freezer and would you believe I even had ALL the ingredients on hand .. even the peanuts! I used Maui onion and green onions and cilantro from our herb garden. Cooked all in my dutch oven. IT WAS YUMMY! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Shelley says:

    Just made it tonight. Easy to make and delicious. I used fresh ginger instead of powdered and served with stir fried bok choy. Thank you for a great recipe.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thanks, Kevin! Glad you enjoyed the video too, I really did like the atmosphere they created in that. The curry is probably even better with fresh pineapple but it’s more or less impossible to get fresh and ripe tropical fruit up here in the mountains…

      • Kevin | keviniscooking says:

        We’ve often thought of moving to Portland and greener pastures, but find California has spoiled me in weather and food availability. There’s a give and take for everything right? Plus, we get to visit family in Portland yearly to get our love of the green and mountains in!

        • Nicole B. says:

          Isn’t that the truth indeed!:) But generally the CO mountains are as close to a perfect location for me as is gets and I can (mostly) overlook the lack of fresh juicy fruit in the winter (and the occasional 5 feet of snow in May…).

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