This coconut chicken curry is a 30-minute dream dinner. A rich tomato and onion base with creamy coconut milk and tender chunks of chicken. This recipe is easy, packed with flavour and is so comforting you'll probably make it every week. All ingredients from Aldi! Like I said... easy!
Firstly, let me just address something straight away. Whenever "ethnic" dishes are made at Savvy Bites HQ, please understand that we will never make anything that is "authentic", nor will we ever label something "authentic". Using ingredients from Aldi only, it just simply wouldn't be possible. The whole point of SB is that we can still enjoy Indian curries, and Asian/ Italian/ Greek/ Thai food, while making it as easy and affordable as possible. That means being creative with ingredients and making each item in our fridge and pantry do as much as possible in all our recipes.
All that being said, I very much respect the authenticity and origins of recipes, but Savvy Bites is all about being creative, improvising and keeping it fun and light in the kitchen.
30 Minute Coconut Chicken Curry
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- chicken- we're not browning the chicken first. Just dice and toss into the sauce to cook. It's that easy.
- onion- letting the garlic, ginger and onion really soften a lot before we add anything else is the flavour base for the richness of this curry sauce.
- garlic- see above
- ginger- fresh and grated or minced. You may not notice it when it's there, but you'd miss it if it wasn't.
- tomato puree- adds richness and body to the sauce
- curry powder- no explanation necessary!
- turmeric- works as a supporting flavour for the curry powder.
- demerara sugar- helps to balance out all that ginger and garlic. And tomatoes always benefit from a pinch of sugar. You can use white, but the brown brings a deeper flavour.
- soy sauce- helps to bring a rich umami flavour that only soy sauce can do. Yes. It's completely unconventional but we're using all our flavour building ingredients!
- tomatoes- the base of our sauce
- coconut milk- unsweetened and full fat! brings all the creamy sweetness.
- chopped fresh coriander- the perfect way to finish off a curry
Step by step instructions
- Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add in the chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Give everything a good pinch of salt. Let everything saute and continue to cook until very soft and translucent and fragrant. This recipe only takes about 30 minutes and half of it is letting the onions, garlic and ginger cook. Don't rush this step. It really makes a difference to the depth of flavour. If the bottom of the pan starts to get some colour (see above photo) this is perfect and add flavour. We'll be scraping up those bits when we add the tomatoes.
- Once the onions, garlic and ginger are very soft you can add in the tomato paste, and spices.
- Give everything a good stir to get the onions coated in the tomato puree and spices. This is where you add in the sugar and the soy sauce. Go easy on both. We can add more when the sauce has come together and we taste it. Better to under-do it here rather than overdo it.
- Now add in the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk. Scrape up any brown bits from cooking the onions and garlic. Give everything a good whisk and taste. Add in anything you think it needs. I added in extra soy sauce and sugar, but you may want more curry powder or chili flakes. Either way, this curry sauce is so flexible that you really can add in extra of whatever you want.
- Once you've got the sauce tasting just right, bring it up to a gentle simmer and add in the diced chicken. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the chopped coriander and squeeze in some lime juice.
What to serve with coconut chicken curry
Obviously big piles of steaming rice (I use basmati) but long-grain white or even brown work well. I'm personally a fan of poppadoms, but a 2 ingredient naan bread situation is also very much appreciated.
Storing, Freezing and reheating
This simple curry keeps perfectly in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before storing it, just make sure that it's completely cooled and that you put it in an airtight container. Also, a dream to freeze which makes it perfect for batch cooking. You can freeze this curry for up to 3 months, either in a freezer-safe container or in a large ziplock bag with the excess air squeezed out. If you're freezing it in a bag, lay it flat so it takes up less room.
To reheat from frozen, thaw in the fridge and reheat in a pan on the hob, or in the microwave until hot all the way through. To reheat from the fridge simply pop the curry in a pan on the hob, or in the microwave until hot all the way through.
- Side note- This coconut curry sauce is amazing to have stashed away in your freezer for nights when you don't know what to cook, or are too busy to even attempt to cook something.
So, to recap, this curry is:
- quick (30-ish minutes)
- healthy (homemade, no secret sauces from a jar)
- easy (hello, unorthodox pantry flavour builders. Yes, soy sauce- looking at you!)
- perfect for batch cooking and freezer meals.
And that's it. You've just won the dinner game!
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