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.

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

52 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Crystal

    Try using sour, unripened mangoes instead of sweet ripe ones. This adds a tart flavour to the dish…yummm yummm

  6. Erin

    This recipe looked so good, I decided to pick up some mangos on my way home so that I could prepare this for dinner. I wanted to make the recipe a little lighter, so I used less oil (3 tsp) and substituted 1% milk for the cream. I didn’t have any raisins on hand, but otherwise followed your recipe exactly… and it turned out great!! The mangos I bought were both just shy of being fully ripe, and I think this helped keep the dish from being too sweet. We both loved it, and I’ll definitely be making this again. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    Hi Erin, so many people were getting great results from using coconut milk, I decided to swap out the cream almost completely for coconut milk instead. ~Elise

  7. Brendan

    Hey Elise,

    I’m always using your recipes for inspiration for technique, or following them to the T. You have a simplistic approach to the craft of cooking that really jives with my style, and I thank you for being committed to giving this information out.

    I made this last night and my girlfriend and I loved it. I did substitute coconut milk, but started reducing it in a sauce pan when I started to cook up the curry. By the time it was ready to add, it was reduced by a little les than half, becoming thick and rich; I used 1/2 cup. I also kicked up the spice & flavor by adding some cayenne pepper and 1/2 tblsp of lemon juice. It was awesome. I just might have it for breakfast…(/runs to fridge, jumps over cats..has yellow stains on corners of mouth.)

  8. Val

    Instead of using coconut milk in place of the cream, use coconut cream, I get mine from the health food store, but I am sure it is availabe in most grocery stores!!! It is awesome!!! Also make a curried chicken salad, experimenting with other tropical fruits and nuts (I use either cashew or brazil nuts) teamed with pineapple and celery, and dressed with a mango chutney coconut cream dressing. Serve in a hollowed out pineapple shell. Yum!!!

  9. Debbie

    Wow.. absolutely delicious…YUM!!!..wow!! Lol. I made this tonight for dinner, cut recipe in half (for two). I made exactly as directed except I decreased the amount of water by half and substituted the other half with coconut milk. It was pretty thick near the end so i only needed to use half the amount of cream that was called for. I had it with basmati rice. This recipe is a bit time consuming but definitely worth it!! I will surely make again!

    Enjoy!!!

  10. Millie

    This was delicious. I used chicken broth for the liquid and upped the curry and cumin a bit. Served it with rice with currants and toasted almonds and cucumber raita. Thank you! I will be making it again and again. Tonight I’m going to use leftovers to make a salad.

  11. Tim

    Made this for my wife and mother in law on Mother’s Day. They loved it. My mother in law asked for a copy of the recipe which is a very high compliment. My daughter, who doesn’t eat much had seconds. An all around hit.

  12. kinsey

    I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with this recipe. It didn’t seem to have the depth of flavor I was really hoping for. I’m not a fan of hot, but I do like spicy. Is there anything that might be added/changed that would make it a little more deep? We did follow the recipe–as opposed to using half cream/half coconut milk…Any thoughts?

  13. Dave-O

    Great easy recipe! I made it last night and it turned out really well. The only thing I changed was in order to make it a little healthier, substitute yogurt for the cream/coconut milk. It actually thickens it a lot and adds a rich creamy taste.

  14. Vikki

    I tried this last night, and made the recipe as directed. I have to agree, it didn’t have the depth of flavor I was expecting. My mangoes were underripe, so I added a tiny bit of sugar and later added salt and cayenne pepper on my plate.

    If I make this again, I’d up the curry powder & add cayenne while cooking and season chicken before adding to pan. What was the purpose of the vinegar? It smelled so strong while simmering, it made my SO nervous, luckily it (mostly) cooked out before serving. I used cider vinegar.

    The purpose of the vinegar is for the acidity to balance the sweetness of the mangos. You can accomplish the same thing with yogurt, but if you use yogurt, add it at the end and don’t let it boil, or it may curdle. Acidity + milk protein = curdling. ~Elise

  15. Aaron

    Are you pureeing 1/2 the mango with the sauce in step 3 or just the liquid?

    Half the mango. ~Elise

  16. Amy

    Elise, we had this for dinner this evening and it was WONDERFUL. I will absolutely make it again. We ate it with jasmine rice. Mmm.

  17. Sunny

    Just a quick question: Can this sauce be made ahead. If so how long ahead? Can I make it the day before or maybe earlier in the day. When you are giving us your wonderful receipes, would it be possible to let us know if anything can be made ahead.
    Much thanks. Want to serve this tomorrow.

    The deal with the sauce is that once you add the cream, if you boil it, it may curdle. But you need the sauce to boil in order to cook the chicken. So you have to add the cream after the chicken is cooked. So, either make the whole thing ahead of time (it’s fine the next day) or make just the sauce pre-cream. ~Elise

  18. Sunny

    I made this dish and it was fantastic. I was able to prep all the ingredients that morning and in the afternoon put it all together with the exception of the last half of the mangos and the coconut milk. Then reheated slowly and added the mangos and coc. milk last just before serving. It was perfect. I did marinate the chic thighs in sour cream(didn’t have any yogurt) and cumin and oil, just as mike suggested.The chicken was extremely tender. Though I only did it for about seven hours. I put it over Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend coucous.
    Thanks so much for a great receipe. Will have left overs tomorrow night.

  19. Sally

    I made this last night and loved it. Wish I’d thought of couscous. And we did use light coconut milk. I thought that flavors were very well-balanced. Definitely making it again.

  20. Elana

    I made this last night for dinner – it was amazing! The flavors are incredible. I added a little of Israeli schug (a spicy paste) to give the recipe a kick – it worked great. We’ll be enjoying the leftovers tonight.

  21. Carmen

    I’m a definite beginner in cooking and am trying to go back to basics and stop using packets and ready meals so much. I made this recipe last night, I did it with my partner and we prepared the sauce ahead of time so it all just had to be thrown together when we were nearly ready for dinner.

    We used Quorn as opposed to chicken as we are not big meat eaters and I forgot the cumin when I bought the ingredients – we also left out the raisins as my OH is not a fan. But it was absolutely delicious! My OH even said it was better than from the takeaway, high praise indeed. Thank you so much for your easy instructions and am now looking forward to trying out some more recipes from your site :D

    I hope you don’t mind but I am participating in a recipe circle journal within the craft forum I am on and I my journal is spicy recipes. I have used this recipe as my entry (and credited this site) I lhave been raving all morning to everyone about what a fab cook I now am. *g* Going to try the coconut milk variation next time I make this one – which will be soon. Thanks again.

  22. Ledh

    Hi, I made this recipe yesterday evening and it was very, very good! excellent instructions and sooo yummy! thank you!

  23. kayleigh

    Try adding some pineapple, will taste great.

  24. Cathy

    Good recipe- thanks! I chose not to puree the sauce in the blender and continued cooking it on the stove, and it still came out great. The next time I make this I would add less cumin/ curry powder. I don’t know if it was the brand of curry powder I was using but the sauce came out a little too pungent. Still, me and my sister enjoyed it!

  25. Lara

    Thanks for such a great recipe! We had just bought a bunch of mangoes and this was the perfect use for a few. I used lf coconut milk instead of cream and omitted the raisins. The whole family loved it! Bonus…the house still smells delicious the next day :-)

  26. linda

    I just made this for dinner (with coconut milk), and it exceeded my expectations. I was licking up the sauce, as were my 4 and 1 year olds! A total winner. This is going in our dinner rotation. Thank you!

  27. Jeffrey

    After weeks of collecting interesting recipes from your blog, I finally got the ingredients together for Mango Chicken Curry. It was easy and fantastic. My wife enjoyed it so much, I think it will have to be on the weekly menu for a while.

  28. Stephany

    I made this several times. The first time I was living in Nepal where mangos are plentiful and cheap and taste amazing! It was so good. The other two times I made it in the States when mangos were out of season and I payed the heavy price to have them anyway. They were not as tasty as the mangos from Nepal and it made a huge difference in the taste of this dish. If the mangos aren’t juicy and super yummy, neither will your Mango Chicken be. It will seriously lack flavor.

  29. Emelie

    I just made this for my boyfriend and me and it came out really great!! I’ve never made a curry before – eaten plenty of them, but never made one. From what I’ve experienced at restaurants, there’s a something I can’t place missing from the taste. But I’m thinking it might just be using more than the 1/2 cup of coc. milk (i.e. making it less healthy/more delicious) and maybe I needed to use more salt.

    I’m going to make it again this week for company and will probably adjust the curry powder – HOLY WOW! this is a 4* meal, but I wonder if that’s just the curry powder I bought and has nothing to do with the recipe? and I think I’ll use more cumin, a bay leaf or two and maybe some cayenne like someone suggested. Marinating the chicken could be a good addition too.

    All in all, Elise, it’s an awesome recipe. I searched around for a while and your picture, the consistency of the curry, the color and the taste are wonderful, wonderful wonderful! It’s also simple and clear to follow. GREAT JOB!
    YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  30. dean gough

    I’ve just made the mango chicken curry the whole family loved it especially the children I’ll definitly be making it again. Good enough for any dinner party. I accompanied it with rice and peas for the Caribbean feel. Thanks.

  31. Sibylle

    That was absolutely delicious. I made it just for myself to try it out. I used coconut milk and followed the recipe religiously. I was scared of the amount of water at first, I think next time I’ll put less. I fried the chicken first before tossing it into the sauce as I was afraid of its not cooking well enough but followed the recipe apart from that. It’s really so good. I had a mango and pineapple lamb curry in a really great restaurant recently and this meal was really close to that, really perfect.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  32. Katie

    This dish as become a staple in our house, it’s delicious! I find, though, that if you are using minced ginger from a jar that you may want to cut the amount in half or it over powers the rest of the flavors. LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  33. Christine

    I made this last night for dinner and it was wonderful. I love curry and this recipe lived up to expectation.

    I did not add in the raisins because my mangos were very ripe and I knew it would have been way too sweet. I was thinking of substituting the mangos for apples and using the raisins when I try that.

    This recipe is a keeper and will be made many times at our house. Thanks for sharing it.

  34. Cynthia

    I tried this recipe using coconut cream and fresh, ripe mango. To cut the sweetness I added a little more vinegar. Wow. This is an excellent dish… the perfect blend of sweet and tangy. Chicken, mango and coconut are delicious together. Try it!

  35. Katie

    Mango Curry is my “go-to” dish whenever we go out for Indian food (which is all the time) I love the flavors with lamb when I can find it nice and fresh. I’m so excited that I can now make it at home! Thanks for a great recipe

  36. Travis

    Thanks for the recipe. I went for coconut milk instead of cream and water, and used frozen mango that was leftover from making smoothies a while ago. It turned out really good!

  37. Katie

    This dish has become a staple in our household. It’s so delicious and not at all hard to make. Thank you!!

  38. Jess

    I was skeptical at first about a sweet mango curry but did not regret at all trying. I did marinate the chicken in yogurt&chilli powder as Mike has suggested(thank you!), used coconut milk and a firm ripe mangoes. It was absolutely delicious and this recipe is definitely a keeper! Thank you Elise!

  39. Liselle from Norway

    I love this:) Made it many times now and it’s become a favorite of mine….easy, quick and SO SO GOOD:)

  40. Robin

    My husband made this, it was heaven, we’ll make it again for sure.

  41. Darleen

    Yummy! After reading the comments I also used the coconut milk instead of the cream (lite works fine). But I also added 1/3 cup shredded coconut with the mango at the end.

    After removing the sauce from the pan to blend, I added the chicken cubes to the pan (do not rinse first). The pan drippings were enough oil to brown the chicken cubes before adding back the blended sauce to finish cooking the meat.

  42. Alicia Vroegop

    I absvolutely LOVE this dish. Have made it twice in two weeks now. First time I made it I really tamed the curry down in order to feed the kids (still yummy)…2nd time I made it to recipe for ‘date night with daddy’!! Yum. Enough heat to enjoy without swesting and sneezing at the dinner table. Nice. (Or, ‘noice’ as we say in NZ).

  43. Ashley

    I just made this for myself……and oh MAN it is SO AMAZING.

    Thank you so much for helping a college student tired of spaghetti and PBJ’s find something delicious to eat :D

  44. carly

    mmm. That was delicious!. I followed recipe but used red onion and added a dash of sugar at the end.

  45. Audy

    Delicious! This is the first of many recipes I will make from this site!

  46. Colleen

    Wow!! This is amazing! I never go back and comment on recipes, but this is a stunner. I will definetly make this again. I am now hooked on your blog, thanks!!

  47. Sarah

    I cooked this the other night so my mum could take a night off of cooking dinner for the family. It tasted delicious! It is now one of my favourite meals to cook. My parents still found it to be a bit hot for their liking as they have a very weak spicy food tolerance. But it was perfect for the rest of us. Thanks for sharing!

  48. Claudia

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe – even my mother-in-law liked it, what she usually does not when I cook spicy.

  49. Chrisna Bekker

    Just made it for dinner, and it was FANTASTIC! I am now even more inspired to learn to make all kinds of curries in future.

  50. Heather

    I became a curry lover a few years ago while living in Seattle, but have never made one at home that has blown me away. Until I made this. Wow! I am always trying new recipes that I think my hubby and kids will like, at which I am only marginally succesful. I keep trucking away though, convinved that my kids will develop a taste for a variety of healthy and REAL foods, so long as they are exposed. I decided I wanted a dinner that I liked for once, whether or not anyone else did. Well, much to my delight, everyone LOVED it (1 self-proclaimed non-curry eating husband and 3 kids-2 of which are picky). I almost fell off my chair when my pickiest kid said it was “really good” AND ate all of it!! I’m not sure if it was just the recipe or the new curry powder I used, which is heavenly (Trader Joe’s) or both. :) At first I thought it was an unnecessary step to puree the sauce but then thought what a great way to sneak in those peppers…and I was glad I did. Incredible. I think this would also make a great make ahead meal to reheat on a busy weeknight, as it was even better 2 days later for lunch. This will definitely become a staple in my house!! THANK YOU!!

  51. Jenna

    The mango curry was great! Thanks for the great recipe! My husband and I made it together and it turned out really well. We didn’t have any coconut milk, so I just used evaporated milk and it turned out great anyway. Thanks again!

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