Warming Coconut Chicken Curry

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How’s the weather in your part of the world?  When it gets cold, we needed something to warm us up from the inside, out. In these cases, one of my favorite dishes to make is a warming Coconut Chicken Curry, and I’d like to share my recipe with you. It’s on of my family’s favorites!

Keep in mind that you can substitute most of the vegetables for whatever you have on hand to make this curry.Ingredients for Coconut Chicken Curry


Warming Coconut Chicken Curry

This coconut chicken curry is the perfect cool weather meal. It’s easy to make, and is warming, rich, and and so delicious.

  • Author: ariana
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 whole chicken, cut into parts (I kept the wings out, to use them for chicken stock)
  • 3 onions, yellow or white
  • 34 carrots
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, smashed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tbs. curry powder (find it here)
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds (find them here)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • salt
  • 1 400 mL can coconut milk (not low fat, please!)
  • lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar
  • A small bunch of cilantro


1.  In a large pot, heat up your coconut oil over medium heat.  Put the chicken pieces in, skin-side-down, to brown.  You will probably need to do this in a couple batches.  Give them plenty of time– if you try to turn them too soon, the skin will stick to the bottom.  If they release easily, then they are probably ready to turn.  Brown the other side, too.  You’ll have time while they’re browning to chop the vegetables! Remove the pieces from the pot when they’re browned.
2.  Add your onions to the oil in the pan, and use a wooden spatula to scrape up the bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Let them cook for about 4 minutes or so, then add the carrots and keep scraping for another minute or two.  Salt a little as you go, to build flavor.
3.  Add the spices, ginger and garlic in, and stir them with the vegetables and let them toast in the oil for about a minute– you don’t want them to burn, just to get really fragrant.
4.  Add the turnips, put the chicken pieces back into the pot, and pour in the coconut milk.  Add a little hot water to the can to rinse and add that to the pot, as well– the liquid should be about to the chicken on top.
5. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, moving things around in there a couple of times while it cooks.  Check for seasoning*, and add lemon juice to taste– a nice little acid kick here is important for flavor balance.  Add more salt or pepper, if needed.  Top with chopped cilantro right before serving.
*Here’s an extra tip for cooking with Indian spices: If you don’t think your dish is flavorful enough at the end of cooking, you can add a wonderful, pungent kick of flavor by heating up some oil and toasting more spices and garlic in the hot oil to add to the pot right before you serve.  This is especially great for dishes like lentils, that can get bland as they cook for a long time.


Here’s an extra tip for cooking with Indian spices: If you don’t think your dish is flavorful enough at the end of cooking, you can add a wonderful, pungent kick of flavor by heating up some oil and toasting more spices and garlic in the hot oil to add to the pot right before you serve. This is especially great for dishes like lentils, that can get bland as they cook for a long time.

I sometimes serve ours on top of blanched cabbage ribbons, but it’s also be great over rice (we like Cauliflower Rice) or rice noodles. This is always a big hit over here, makes great leftovers, and can be made in larger batches.
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Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk



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29 Responses to Warming Coconut Chicken Curry

  1. Nathan December 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Really nice dish! When I’m feeling ricey, I grate cauliflower and microwave it in a covered dish. It’ makes the curry really filling too.

    • Ariana Mullins December 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

      Yes, we love cauliflower rice, to! It’s WAY easier to make, now that I have a food processor, and I like to chop an onion in with the cauliflower, to bring that flavor in, without having to do the whole onion-chopping thing. SO good! Ours usually ends up finer than rice, but it really brings up the comfort food factor.

  2. Amanda December 7, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    I love curry… Last night I made an English-style beef roast a la Jamie Oliver ( https://m.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/perfect-roast-beef). We just put up our Christmas tree and eating delicious, tender roast on top of cozy Christmassy feelings was the best! This was my first time making that recipe, I was surprised how easy it is to get great results!

    • Ariana Mullins December 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

      Nice! Jeff just cooked his first brisket the other night, and it turned out really well, too– it is definitely one of those more special meals, like roast beef. That recipe looks really good– I rarely roast big pieces of meat dry like that, but had good success with venison shoulder that way in Germany. I will have to try this one. Thanks, Amanda!

  3. Marisa December 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Oh yum! This sounds awesome! I’m going to give this one a try for sure. And I love your tip at the end – that is fantastic information. Funnily enough we have some leftover lentil soup in the fridge and this would be perfect to try when reheating 🙂 Thanks. I really look forward to seeing more recipes from you.

    • Ariana Mullins December 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Marisa, let me know how it comes out! And I’m glad that tip was helpful– when I learned to do that, it changed everything about the Indian and Middle Eastern food I cooked. You can also had dry or wet mustard to the frying spice mixture, really good in lentils.

  4. Courtney @ The Polivka Family December 9, 2012 at 7:28 am #

    Your pictures look lovely!

    • Ariana Mullins December 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Thank you, Courtney! It’s actually been super challenging to get decent pictures, because it’s dark around 3:30 here. I guess I could start cooking in the morning… But then there’s all this food ready by noon!

    • Courtney @ The Polivka Family December 17, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      I have the same problem. I’m never going to cook in the morning, so I need to figure out lighting!

  5. Hazel December 11, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    I made this last night- a serendipitous combination of my husband saying he felt like having a curry for tea, having read this recipe a couple of days ago and a reduced organic chicken in the supermarket- and it was absolutely delicious. The rest of the family want to pass on their thanks! If I tell you that husband and son both licked their plates before they went in the dishwasher, will you think badly of us?!
    I will confess to deviating slightly from the instructions; I used parsnips instead of turnips. I happened to have a couple that needed using but I also really like parsnip with sweet curry flavours. So I rebelled! It worked well, and the cabbage that I also served it with- I did take that advice!- was a good counter to all the sweetness.

  6. Ariana Mullins December 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Hearing about your family licking their plates seriously made my day! So glad it turned out well. And good for you, using parsnips against my advice! I’ll bet it’s actually kind of a familiar combination here in the UK, since you eat so much curry here, and it’s what’s growing. I just have a mental block when it comes to those flavors and any kind of Asian food. I have found that, at least in this area, the curries are much sweeter than what I am used to. Glad the cabbage “noodles” worked out well!

    • Hazel December 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

      Yes, not exactly authentic! But then India has only eaten mushrooms comparatively recently. I think you’re right about available vegetables. I’ll bet the most common soup on offer in cafes around the UK is curried parsnip! It took over from leek and potato a few years ago.

      If you wanted to take the cultural leap, it’s essentially parsnip and onions fried with curry spices cooked with stock and/or coconut milk until soft and pureed. Delia Smith suggests grating in an apple just before serving (or pureeing, depending on your taste) to give it a bit of an edge. I sometimes add split peas or (red) lentils to make it a dahl.

  7. Katie December 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Thank you for sharing with Simple Meals Friday! This is our featured post from this week! 🙂 It looks amazing! I hope you join us again!


  8. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures December 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! 🙂

  9. Courtney @ The Polivka Family December 17, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Ariana, I’m so glad that you posted this on Family Table Tuesday! This week, your post has been featured. Also, I thought I’d let you know that one of my readers specifically asked me where to find this recipe again! I’m going to make this sometime this week or next. 🙂

    • Ariana Mullins December 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      Oh, that makes me really happy to hear! I don’t consider myself a “food blogger” so it’s really been fun sharing these recipes and getting a good response!

  10. Kate Davis-Holmes January 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Like how you say no low fat! Also the tips. Commenting for BritMums

  11. jennibartling bartling February 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    This sounds so yummy! Did I miss the carb count on it, though?

  12. Tabitha June 13, 2013 at 12:52 am #

    O.M.G. I made this tonight and it is SO good! I made a few changes- red potatoes instead of turnips, boneless thighs, and added kale at the end. My hubby loved it so much that he asked to take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow (he rarely does that). Even in the 95 degree Texas heat, this is a winner!


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