Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

coconut curry adj

My version of Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry is a delicious dish that combines tender chicken strips with aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk, resulting in a rich and flavorful curry that’s perfect for any occasion. It’s simple enough for a weeknight dinner yet impressive enough to serve to guests. Of course, I realize that this is so not an authentic curry recipe. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed to be calling it curry so freely. It has nothing to do whatsoever with what real curry is like. I do not use tomato sauce, garam masala, or curry paste from an Indian store. However, it does have curry powder in it (and not the real thing- just regular ol’ supermarket generic curry powder) which is why I will give myself the liberty of adding “curry” to the title.

Ok, now that I’ve made it quite clear that I am not in any way claiming that this is an authentic, Indian, Thai, Asian or otherwise ethnic dish, I can tell you that this chicken is a pretty quick, easy and tasty take on the coconut chicken curry they sometimes serve at  restaurants.

I’ve made chicken curry enough times in the past two years to make us sick of it, but after not making it for a couple of months I discovered that I just didn’t have enough quick-chicken-stir-fry-for-busy-days recipes to keep me going if I totally abandoned it. I needed to bring the chicken curry back with an un-boring new twist. I can say that my family really enjoyed this dish especially the new (to us) combination of curry and basil flavours.

Health Benefits of Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

This dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutritious ingredients:

  • Chicken Breasts: Lean protein source that helps build and repair body tissues.
  • Onion and Garlic: These aromatic vegetables are known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
  • Fresh Ginger: A powerful antioxidant that aids digestion and reduces nausea.
  • Curry Powder: Contains turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory benefits, along with other spices that boost metabolism.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: Rich in vitamins A, K, and C, basil also provides a burst of fresh flavor.
  • Coconut Milk: A source of healthy fats that can improve heart health and provide long-lasting energy.

By combining these ingredients, Easy Coconut Chicken Curry offers a balanced meal that supports overall health while delivering a taste sensation.

How to Make Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

Follow these simple steps to create this delicious dish:

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Chiffonade the basil by rolling the leaves tightly and slicing them into thin ribbons. Chop the onion, mince the garlic and ginger.
  2. Sauté Vegetables: Heat sunflower oil in a pan. Sauté onions until translucent, then add garlic and ginger, cooking for a few seconds.
  3. Cook Chicken: Add chicken strips to the pan and stir-fry until they are no longer pink.
  4. Add Spices: Stir in the curry powder and give it a quick stir to coat the chicken.
  5. Simmer: Pour in the coconut milk and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar if needed.
  6. Add Basil: Add the chiffonade basil leaves last to avoid bitterness. If the curry is too thick, add a bit of water and adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with additional fresh basil and serve hot with basmati rice.

Tips for Making the Best Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

To ensure your Easy Coconut Chicken Curry turns out perfect every time, consider these tips:

  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh garlic, ginger, and basil for the best flavor.
  • Balanced Spices: Adjust the amount of curry powder to suit your taste. Add a dash of sugar if the curry is too spicy.
  • Proper Simmering: Let the curry simmer long enough for the flavors to meld but not so long that the coconut milk separates.
  • Final Touches: Add the basil leaves at the end to maintain their fresh flavor and prevent bitterness.

How to Serve Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

Easy Coconut Chicken Curry is versatile and can be enjoyed on various occasions:

  • Weeknight Dinner: Quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy evenings.
  • Family Gathering: A crowd-pleaser that can be easily doubled or tripled for larger groups.
  • Special Occasions: Serve with basmati rice and naan bread for a complete, elegant meal.
  • Lunch Leftovers: This curry tastes even better the next day, making it a great option for meal prepping.

Embracing Tradition with a Healthy Twist

Easy Coconut Chicken Curry draws inspiration from traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, known for its vibrant and aromatic flavors. By incorporating fresh, wholesome ingredients like coconut milk, fresh basil, and aromatic spices, this recipe honors the essence of classic curry dishes while promoting health and wellness.

The use of lean chicken breasts, nutrient-rich vegetables, and anti-inflammatory spices not only enhances the flavor but also boosts the nutritional profile of the dish. This modern take on a traditional recipe shows that you can enjoy delicious, comforting food while maintaining a healthy diet. It’s a perfect example of how traditional culinary practices can be adapted to meet contemporary health goals, ensuring that every meal is both satisfying and nourishing.

chicken strips adj

chiffonade basil

cc onion and garlic

cc onions adj

cc onions adj

cc curry adj

cc chicken and curry powder adj

cc chicken spices adj

second chicken curry adj

Quick and Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

Recipe by Nevine BalighCourse: Dinner, Lunch


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  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 1 medium sized onion (chopped or sliced)

  • 1 garlic clove (minced)

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (minced)

  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder

  • 3 fresh basil leaves

  • 1 Tablespoon heart-healthy neutral oil

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

  • Water

  • Squeeze of lemon juice


  • Cut chicken breasts into strips.
  • Chiffonade the basil (I’ve wanted to use this expression ever since I decided to blog about food:)) It just means cut it into very thin “ribbon-like” strips by rolling basil leaves tightly into a roll and then cutting it).
  • Slice onions and crush garlic with ginger.
  • Sauté onions in oil until translucent, then add garlic and ginger. Saute for a couple of seconds so garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Add chicken strips and stir fry until no longer pink.
  • Add curry powder.
  • Give a quick stir.
  • Add coconut milk. Let simmer for 5 minutes then add spices to taste.
  • Add the basil last. I added it too early and it made the dish a little bitter so I added some water and a bit of sugar.
  • Garnish with some more basil (I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff since I got my basil plant. I put it on everything basically). Basmati rice goes great with this.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.

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