Coconut curry chicken can be prepared in very little time, with little effort and few ingredients. Sounds good already, right? I absolutely love the contrast between the sweetness of the coconut milk and the intensity of the curry. If you are feeling adventurous, feel free to add a dash of cayenne for a touch of heat. Coconut curry chicken is perfect for a dinner party or a quick weekday meal. You can use any part of the bird to make coconut curry chicken; I am partial to chicken cutlets. Why? Well, they are easy to work with, and as an added plus they are lean!
The other day I was talking to a co-worker who happens to be an authority on curry and its history. According to her, curry dishes are popular throughout all of Asia, not just India. The use of coconut milk, however, tends to be more popular in Southern India and Southeast Asia. The reason? Well… plenty of palm trees! In the north of India, yogurt is preferred. From a geographic standpoint, it makes perfect sense. The northern parts of the Indian subcontinent developed as pastoral societies that raised and herded milk producing animals. As a historical side note, coconut also held a sacred place in ancient Indian culture. Old Sanskrit texts speak about the revered status of coconuts in ancient times.
Now, I know some of you out there are anti coconut. I know a couple of coconut haters myself. Some of you also don’t like to mix sweet and savory. That’s quite alright! You can definitely use another liquid, chicken broth instead of coconut milk. To achieve a creamy consistency you can add 1/4 cup of heavy cream. I like to serve my coconut curry chicken with jasmine rice. I find that the floral quality of this rice is a nice complement to the sweet/savory nature of this dish. A side of steamed carrots rounds off your coconut curry chicken beautifully as well as nutritionally. From an aesthetic standpoint, the carrots add color to the plate; eating should also be a visual experience, right?
Coconut Curry Chicken
Here is an easy Indian stye coconut curry chicken with tomatoes. The sweet and savory flavors of coconut milk, spicy curry and garam masala are a great combination. If you like food from India you have to try this dish. I like to service with some jasmine rice for a nice floral note.
- Heat oil in skillet on medium and add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic.
- Add coconut milk and curry and simmer covered for about 10-25 minutes.
- Add the garam masala, cilantro and the tomato and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve with jasmine rice.