One of the things I love about curries is that they are so varied and adaptable—from soupy to thick and creamy, from mild to fiery, in colors yellow, green, red, or brown.
This is one of my favorites, a yellow curry in a coconut milk base, with chicken, onions, jalapeños, lime juices, and plenty of fresh basil.
We use chicken thigh meat because its stronger flavor holds up well to all the spices. It comes together quickly, and makes for good leftovers too!
Basil Chicken Coconut Curry
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- A small pinch of ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 large onion, sliced root to tip
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 Tbsp canola oil, rice bran oil or ghee
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp lime juice, or to taste
- 12-20 fresh basil leaves, torn roughly
- Hot cooked rice for serving
Mix the spices:
In a small bowl, mix together the salt, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground cardamom, black pepper, cayenne and turmeric. Set aside.
Sauté onions, jalapeños, ginger, garlic, spices:
In a wok or deep sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat. The moment the oil begins to smoke, add the onions and jalapeños and toss to coat in oil. Sear the vegetables for 3 minutes, stirring only enough to keep them from burning, but still allowing the onions to sear.
Add the ginger, garlic and spice mixture and toss to combine, cook for 1 minute.
Add coconut milk, chicken, simmer:
Add the coconut milk and chicken. Stir the mixture so that the chicken pieces are coated in the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Add basil, lime juice:
When the chicken is tender, turn off the heat and add the basil and lime juice. Add more lime juice and salt to taste and serve over rice.
Thai Green Basil Curry with Chicken, from The Perfect Pantry
Jungle Curry, from Rasa Malaysia
Thai Green Curry with Fish and Basil, from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook