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Sharon's Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk


Coconut chicken curry
Haynes/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
As the name suggests, this recipe for Sharon's Chicken Curry in Coconut Milk, is courtesy of my lovely and very talented friend Sharon. Sharon is Malaysian-born but of Indian origin so this recipe combines the styles of cooking and ingredients from both countries. It is therefore, technically speaking, a fusion recipe. Oh happy day when Sharon came over to my place one Friday with a huge pot full of it! It is high on my list of favorite foods. Enough said!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 1 kg/ 2 lbs (approx) of chicken cut into 3" pieces (on or off the bone, as you prefer)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (reduce for less spicy - this quantity makes a medium spicy curry)
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
  • 1 onion ground to a paste in food processor
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • A 3 cm stick of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, washed well and cut into quarters (leave skin on)
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped fine
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  • Put chicken into a large bowl and add the chilli powder, coriander, cumin, fennel and cardamom powders and mix well till all the pieces are coated. Sprinkle with a little water if the mixture is too dry. Marinate for half an hour.
  • Set up a deep pan on medium heat. Add the cooking oil and allow to heat. When hot, add all the whole spices. Saute till the spluttering stops, the spices turn slightly darker and begin to release their aromas.
  • Now add the garlic, ginger and onion pastes. Saute for roughly 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the chicken, potatoes, tomatoes and enough hot water to the pan to just cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and then simmer the heat. Cook like this for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and season with salt to your preference (to this amount of chicken curry, I would add roughly a level teaspoon of salt). Cook for 5 more minutes, uncovered.
  • Add the coconut milk, stir and allow to come to a boil. Turn off heat as soon as this happens.
  • Spoon into serving bowl and serve with hot plain boiled rice.
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