Indian Curry Chicken With Coconut Milk


This Indian Curry Chicken with Coconut Milk is the perfect recipe for entertaining or a quick weeknight dinner. It’s got the spice, the creaminess, and all that good stuff! I never intended to be a chef but the chemistry of food makes food one of the greatest things in life. Indian curry chicken with coconut milk is one of my favorites, which I will get to later in this article.


Indian Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk, a quick and easy recipe that is ready in about 30 minutes. Boneless chicken breast simmered in a rich and flavourful tomato and coconut sauce, with mild spices that give it an earthy touch, this chicken curry is a perfect midweek dinner recipe for the whole family.

A white plate with chicken curry, rice and parsely leaves

Coconut milk features heavily in Asian cuisines. From desserts, to appetizers, mains or sides, there are so many delicious ways of using a good can of coconut milk. Although coconut curries are mostly associated with the Thai cuisine, and less with the Indian food, that does not mean that we can’t prepare an awesome Indian curry with coconut milk.

I think the combination of the Indian spices and coconut milk is particularly nice. The sweetness of the coconut contrasts beautifully with the heat coming from the spices. And then you get a whole range of flavours and textures that make this chicken curry with coconut milk a fabulous meal.

I used coconut milk in my Chicken Korma, and it was a huge hit with everybody in my family, so I knew that another recipe had to make its way to our table soon

Overhead shoot of a white plate with chicken curry, rice and parsley leaves


This is by no means an authentic recipe, but mostly made up with the ingredients I had around. That’s what I love about cooking, that I can be as creative as I want, and cook delicious meals without effort.

  • Searing the chicken beforehand is optional, but I think it adds to the flavour, so I highly recommend it.
  • Once the chicken is lightly brown, remove from the pan, and fry the onion. This will soak up all the chicken juices left, and the onion will caramelize nicely.
  • When you add the spices, stir gently for about one minute. The spices will release their full flavour without burning.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan together with the chopped onions and coconut milk, stir, and leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and it coats the chicken well.

The coconut milk makes the sauce pretty sticky, so I recommend you stir gently now and then, to make sure the sauce does not stick to the pan.


Yes, if you have leftovers, just leave the curry to cool completely first, then transfer it to a tupperware, and freeze. To defrost, you can pop it in the microwave and reheat until bubbly hot. Do not refreeze any food that has already been frozen previously though.


Absolutely! Since the chicken is already cooked, you can just add it at the same time you add the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes, and cook in the same way. Or, if you cook the sauce beforehand, just add the chicken at the end, and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes with the sauce, so it can soak up all the flavours.

Chicken coconut curry recipe – Chicken with coconut milk and spices

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably already know my love for coconut (oil, fresh coconut, water coconut, coconut milk…and all coconut!), this amazing fruit with such a large variety of use.

On my last visit to my family in Romania, I brought from India some bottles of pure cold pressed coconut oil and almost drove my sister crazy trying to convince her about its benefits for cosmetic, as well for cooking use. Watch out my dear sister, I’ll give you now one more idea on what to do with that coconut oil. Really, you must try this recipe, it’s delicious!

It looks a little fancy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s the most unfussy dish to make, and is filled with nutrients that will keep you feeling great.

This simple chicken coconut curry it’s creamy, colorful (isn’t just amazing that bright yellow color of turmeric?), full of flavor and incredibly healthy. If you don’t like yellow in your plate or you don’t easily find turmeric, then you can skip the turmeric.

The recipe I’m sharing today is mild spicy, you can increase or decrease the level of heat as per your own taste. I used coconut oil but any vegetable oil will do too.


Indian Chicken coconut curry recipe step by step

On medium flame, heat oil into a pan. Add onions and fry until golden brown.

chicken coconut curry step by step recipe with pictures

Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies and stir fry for one minute. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander and red chilli powder, stir and fry for about 30 seconds.


Now add tomato and fry for 2 minutes. Bring the chicken pieces into the pan, add salt and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

steps coconut chicken curry recipe
coconut chicken curry coconut milk steps recipe

Add 1/2 – 1 cup of water, cover the pan and let it cook for 20-25 minutes.

Lower the flame and add thick coconut milk or coconut cream. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Note: if the sauce is watery, remove the lid then increase the temperature and cook for few minutes more to reduce the unwanted liquid.

chicken curry coconut milk
coconut curry recipe

Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and serve warm this fantastic Indian chicken coconut curry, with boiled rice or your favorite bread.

chicken coconut curry - chicken with coconut milk and spices

Chicken coconut curry recipe – Chicken with coconut milk and spices

Prep time

5 mins

Cook time

40 mins

Total time

45 mins

Serves: 4

What you need

  • 400 gm chicken pieces;
  • 2 onions, julienne cut;
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger or paste;
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic;
  • 2 green chillies,cut into big pieces;
  • 1 tomato, peeled and cubed;
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder;
  • 1 tsp cumin powder;
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder;
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (for a mild spicy curry) or as per taste;
  • salt as per taste;
  • 200 ml thick coconut milk or coconut cream;
  • ½ – 1 cup of water;
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil;
  • few curry leaves;
  • few fresh coriander/cilantro leaves to garnish.


  1. On medium flame, heat oil into a pan. Add onions and fry until golden brown.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies and stir fry for one minute. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander and red chilli powder, stir and fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Now add tomato and fry for 2 minutes. Bring the chicken pieces into the pan, add salt and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add ½ – 1 cup of water, cover the pan and let it cook for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Lower the flame and add thick coconut milk/coconut cream. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and serve warm with boiled rice or your favorite bread.


This one-pot Indian chicken curry with coconut milk is packed full of fragrant spices, but is mild and creamy enough for the whole family to enjoy. This lighter take on a korma style curry is healthier and gluten free, with all the flavor but less saturated fat. It’ll be your new family favorite!

Chicken korma is a creamy, mild flavored Indian curry dish, which is thickened with ground nuts, in this case ground almonds.

Traditionally the creamy element is added with cream or yogurt, but I’ve added light coconut milk instead. The coconut milk is not only lighter, but adds a lovely flavor to the finished curry.

I cook a lot of easy curry from scratch in my house and it’s way simpler than you might think.

Cooking Indian food yourself means you have total control over the ingredients too. Which means no artificial nasties and you can limit excess salt and sugar.

You can also dial up the heat for anyone who likes spice.

This dish is super easy to cook but does require a bit of shopping in advance to make sure you have the spices, light coconut milk and ground almonds. However, these are all well worth keeping in the kitchen since you can use them again and again.


  • This pared back, easy curry is a perfect midweek meal and can be on the table in 45 minutes.
  • It’s a one pot, so has all the flavor but less dishes.
  • Homemade curries are cheaper, better tasting and healthier than a takeout.
  • This curry is a lighter way to enjoy a traditional favorite curry dish. If you love cooking with coconut milk you could also try my Chickpea and Spinach Curry.


Find a full printable recipe with measurements below.

Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan or frying pan, add the onions and fry over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onions have softened.

Add the chicken and sauté for a few minutes before adding the garlic, ginger and dry spices. Stir to combine and cook for another minute until the spices are fragrant.

Add the tomato puree, ground almonds, stock and a pinch of sugar.

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Add the light coconut milk, stir and check for seasoning. Finally add the spinach and stir through to wilt.

Garnish with sliced almonds and chopped cilantro (coriander).


I’ve made this creamy chicken curry with boneless chicken thighs as they are flavorsome, don’t dry out and work really well with the spices in this dish.

You can add chicken breast if you prefer but just make sure that you adjust the cooking times accordingly. Breast meat cooks more quickly than the darker thigh meat.

The chicken needs to cook until it is tender enough to break down using just a fork.


Coconut milk has the consistency of cows milk. It is a blend of coconut flesh and water which is then pressed. The resulting liquid is the coconut milk and the pulp is discarded or used for other purposes.

Coconut cream is thicker and richer in texture than regular coconut milk but made in the same way but with less water and more coconut pulp. As a result, the fat content is higher.

Light coconut milk simply contains more water and therefore less fat than regular coconut milk. This is what I use in this Indian coconut milk curry, making it a healthier option with less fat and lower calories.

Coconut milk can be separated into cream and light coconut milk. If you have ever opened a can of coconut milk and found that it has seperated, the solid layer at the top is cream and the thin liquid at the bottom is the light milk. Give it a good shake or stir to make it into milk again.

If you cannot find light coconut milk, you can use ⅔ regular coconut milk and ⅓ water instead.


Adding flavor to a chicken curry could not be simpler. I have used a garam masala blend of mild spices in this recipe, but you could also add in some ground cumin or coriander if you wish. Use the blend of spices that you and your family enjoy eating.

Fresh cilantro (or coriander leaf) is added right at the end of the dish as a garnish. This is entirely optional but does add freshness to the curry just before serving.


This light chicken korma is a lot healthier than many curry recipes and will contain far less salt, sugar and oil than your average takeaway curry.

Salt and sugar are kept to a minimum in this recipe and I use only a small amount of coconut oil to gently sauté the onions.

Heavy cream or yogurt is replaced with light coconut milk, adding not only a creamy texture to the dish, but also enhancing the flavor.


  • To make this curry suitable for vegetarian diners replace the chicken with some roast veggies of your choice instead. Cauliflower, sweet potato, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, the list is endless.
  • A korma is a mild flavored Indian curry, which makes it suitable for serving the whole family. However, those who enjoy more chili heat could add some freshly sliced red chili to their curry for an added kick.
  • I always try to ‘veggify’ whatever I’m cooking, so I’ve added some fresh spinach leaves towards the end here. Frozen spinach would work too in a pinch, as would stemmed and chopped kale. This lightens things up and adds nutrients and fiber – but leave it out if you prefer.


  • To avoid the danger of tough chicken, make sure you just bring this curry to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, low enough so you can barely see the bubbles.
  • This dish freezes well so is great for batch cooking. I like to make double the quantity, eat half and freeze the other half for a quick meal at a later date.
  • A teaspoon of mild chili powder will give you a mild flavored curry sauce. You can easily adapt the heat up or down by adding more or less chili powder according to taste.


I like to serve this mild curry with some steamed basmati rice or some soft naan bread. You could also use a chapati or roti bread to mop up the creamy Indian coconut milk curry sauce.

If cooking for a larger group, serve this Light Chicken Korma with some other simple curries alongside, like my Easy Red Lentil Dahl.


This Indian chicken korma is a great make ahead dish. You can prepare one day and once cooked, cover and store overnight in the fridge. The flavors of a curry only intensify if left to sit overnight.

One tip worth noting. If you are planning to cook this Indian chicken curry in advance, cook it up to the point where you’ve added the coconut milk and seasoned (point 5 in the recipe card).

Then once you have reheated the curry and are just about to serve, stir through the spinach leaves. Adding them just before serving lifts the whole curry and keeps the spinach tasting and looking fresh.


As with most curries, this is a great dish to freeze. Simply allow the curry to cool completely before placing into an airtight container and popping into the freezer.

It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost thoroughly before heating to piping hot and serving.

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