Mango Chicken Curry

Updated and revised Jan 2012.

There’s something about the combination of mango and chicken that just works. We eat mango chutney with roast chicken so often that I even started making my own chutney just so we wouldn’t run out. Here is a mango chicken curry I whipped up the other day. I love it, but my father thinks it’s a little on the sweet side, so feel free to reduce the amount of mango the recipe calls for if you want a little less sweet. Or add a little more vinegar. The amounts are approximate, feel free to experiment.

Mango Chicken Curry Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6.

Mangoes that are slightly unripe, on the firm side, will hold up better in this recipe, but won't be as sweet as ripe mangoes. So, if you use firm, less than perfectly ripe mangoes, you may need to balance the recipe with more sugar or raisins. If you use sweet mangoes, you may need to balance the recipe with a little more vinegar.

Yum

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 mangos, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (If using lowfat coconut milk, add 2 Tbsp heavy cream)
  • 1 1/4 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro for garnish

Method

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1 Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell pepper cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the curry powder and cumin, cook for a few more minutes. The spices will absorb some of the oil, so if anything begins to stick too much to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil to the pan.

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2 Add the vinegar, coconut milk, and one of the two chopped mangoes to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Scoop the sauce into a blender. Purée the sauce, pulsing until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan.

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3 Add chicken pieces and raisins to the pan. Return to a low simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Chicken should be just cooked through. Use a knife to cut open the largest piece to check.

4 Add remaining chopped mango to the pan. Stir in the cream, if using. Let cook at a very low temperature for another minute or two, uncovered. Do not let boil! Or the cream may curdle. Adjust seasonings. If a little too sweet, add a little more vinegar. If not sweet enough, you can add a dash of sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.

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Links:
Mango chutney, great served with chicken
Green mango and tomato curry from The Well Seasoned Cook
Cucumber and unripe mango curry from Simply Spicy
Red prawn and mango curry from Not Quite Nigella
Curried mango chicken salad by Daily Unadventures in Cooking
Mango sesame curry, a traditional Indian curry from Mahanandi
Mango chicken curry with coconut milk and basil, from Beurre et Pai

Showing 4 of 57 Comments

  • JoEllyn

    Another suggestion about sweetness — if you use slightly less ripe Mangoes, they are not as sweet. Here in Uganda, we use green mangoes in place of apples (they are cheaper) and I have found a lot of recipes nicer if the mangoes are not completely ripe because then they are not too sweet.

    Great idea, thanks JoEllyn! ~Elise

  • Mike

    This looks great! The color is beautiful and I bet it tastes delicious–plus, with mangoes in season, you could pair this with a nice mango-centric dessert for a full mango experience. And I am entirely with you on chicken thighs instead of breast meat–so much more flavor for so much less money!

    I’ve had a lot of trial and error with curries and Indian-styled food (with a lot leaning towards the “error” side of things, lol), and I just wanted to share a few things I’ve learned in the process:

    * marinate the chicken in a tikka-styled marinade (yogurt, oil, chili powder, salt) overnight and then briefly (~10ish minutes or until cooked) broil before adding to the curry. This adds a great extra layer of flavor to the chicken underneath the gravy, and if using thighs, it renders out a lot of the excess fat.

    * I’ve come to avoid curry powder. A technique that seemed strange to me but is apparently common in Indian cooking is to instead briefly toast whole spices (e.g. cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, etc) in the hot oil (not a dry pan, like I was accustomed to) before sauteing the veggies, fishing them out just prior to pureeing the gravy.

    * Two spices that add those unidentifiable “missing” flavors that had eluded me for years: curry leaves (like the Indian equivalent of Bay leaves, but if unavailable, a combination of Bay leaves and cilantro will work) and methi/fenugreek. If you can find these, they are very worth trying and usually available for cheap at an Indian grocery.

    Anyways, this comment became a whole lot longer than I meant for it to! I hope this is helpful! :-)

    Great advice, thanks Mike! ~Elise

  • Jacque

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful recipes. i have been lurking for awhile, but this recipe brings out a question. Do you use a specific brand of curry powder? I have tried several – from the regular grocery store, not specialty spice stores because there is not one available where I live. For lack of a better way to put it, the dishes have always ended up tasting somewhat vinegary and lack the robust complexity and sweetness that curry should have. So if you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

    I just use a yellow curry powder for sale at Whole Foods in their jarred spice section. ~Elise

  • kinsey

    Holy cow this looks good. Again–mangoes in season (super cheap at our Kroger!)…I might try with a bit of coconut milk for added flavor.

    For those who are a little afraid of curries–they’re not all hot. THere’s a huge difference between hot and spicy. Curries are spicy (read: flavorful) but not always hot.
    If you are looking for good curries, see if your grocer carries Sauer’s brand (may be only a mid-atlantic regional thing, as they’re a Richmond, VA brand). Their curry is quite nice. The others to try, especially if you have never tried good curries are Penzey’s. THey have a whole range, including a sweet curry that’s very tasty. http://www.penzeys.com

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