Spicy Coconut Chicken Curry

I think every person who has to put dinner on the table every night, sooner or later runs out of ideas of what to make that will be easy to cook with ingredients ready at hand and keep the family happy. I try to keep things fresh and interesting but to cook something every day I have to return to the basics. Sometimes I ask Mazhar if there is something he would like for dinner and his only response is “کُچ بھی” which translates to “anything” but add in his shrug of the shoulders and nonchalant attitude and it implies “whatever”!! You would think, how rude! but Mazhar laughs it off saying that after spending a whole day in the office resolving issues and making decisions he has no capacity to think of what I should cook for dinner. And then he adds very sweetly that he will eat whatever I will put in front of him – as long as it has meat! Gotta love a man like that and take care of him.

After almost ten days of cooking the same old, same old. I set out to find a recipe that was quick and easy. Tasty or not we would only find out later that night! Thankfully this recipe was quite a hit. Mr. Mazhar’s ultimate seal of approval of a recipe is when he says that I should make it for our next dinner party. And he approved of this one and so I’m sharing it with you. 

This recipe calls for coconut milk which isn’t something we always have in our pantry of Pakistani staples but I just happened to have a can in my pantry because I love to make satay skewers. I was a little skeptical of using coconut milk in a curry lest it gave the gravy a very coconut-ty smell. No offence to the coconut or those who love it’s smell in their food but since it isn’t ordinarily used in our curries it’s aroma can seem over bearing at times. However in this recipe the coconut lent its smooth and silky texture to the gravy without too much of its lovely aroma. I didn’t even tell Mazhar that the recipe had coconut milk and he didn’t suspect a thing which made me very happy 🙂

In case you don’t happen to have all the ingredients on hand I will recommend that you pin this recipe to try later. I know I’ll be coming back to this recipe again. And don’t forget to share with me your experience when you try it. Happy cooking every one!


For curry

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg whole chicken, skin-off, cut into 10-12 pieces 
  • 250 grams tomato purée 
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp red chilli pepper, crushed
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup coconut milk

For tempering

  • 2- 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 3-4 green chillis, whole or halved length wise
  • 3-4 round red chillis, whole
  • 1 tbsp ginger, julienne
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, whole
  • 10-12 curry leaves, whole


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot on a medium flame and add the chicken, tomato purée, onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices. Mix everything well. Cover the pot and cook the chicken on a low flame for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk and mix well with the chicken. Cook for another 5-7 minutes till the gravy comes together smoothly. Remove from heat and transfer to the dish you will be serving in.
  3. In a small frying pan heat the ghee and all the tempering ingredients. Fry till lightly golden brown and pour over the chicken curry. Serve with hot bread and enjoy!


6 Comments Add yours

  1. hynasami3 says:

    Unlike some people I am deeply in love with the aroma of coconut milk. There is something relaxing and very soothing about it. Can’t wait to try this!!

  2. Sana Siddiqui says:

    Nida Baji!!!!!!! Love your style of writing and love the recipes you put up for everyone to read, enjoy and try. Mazhar bhai is one lucky man to have such a creative lady as his wife. Will definitely try this recipe soon and let you know how it turned out. Thank you for inspiring people like me who don’t really enjoy cooking but are always ready to try new but simple dishes . Please keep writing 😉😊😘

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you so much Sana. I’m grateful for your kind words of encouragement. Please keep reading and trying my recipes and share your experiences with me. I need all support I can get to stay on track before another year goes by without any posts 😉

  3. skd says:

    The coconut milk adds subtlety and a delicate flavor to a spicy dish. I love the combination of ingredients in your recipe Nida. I am sure your husband is a lucky man. MashaAllah! Enjoy and stay blessed. I like the heart warming feeling on this blog.

    1. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

    2. Nida Sami says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! I’m glad you like my blog. I do cook and write from the heart so it means a lot to me that it shines through to the readers as well. Do try this and other recipes and share your experiences with me. I’d love to hear about it.

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