Basil Chicken Coconut Curry

We use chicken thigh meat because of the deeper flavor, but you can use chicken breast meat if you prefer.

This is a mild curry. You can increase the heat with more cayenne. Please note that jalapeños vary greatly in heat.  Check the spiciness of your jalapeños and adjust the recipe to taste.

Note that what we usually buy labelled "curry powder" is just a spice mix, made up of various spices, like those in the following ingredients, including a good portion of turmeric, which gives the curry powder its yellow color. Feel free to experiment a little with the spices listed here to get the taste you like the best.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 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


1 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.

2 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.

basil-chicken-coconut-curry-method-1 basil-chicken-coconut-curry-method-2

Add the ginger, garlic and spice mixture and toss to combine, cook for 1 minute.

3 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.


4 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.


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  • Aubie

    Made this tonight. Only alteration was to add a little palm sugar to it in order to balance the spiciness. Also simmered for a bit uncovered in order to thicken the sauce a bit. Fantastic. Fresh Thai and Sweet Basil straight from the garden along with the jalapeños.


  • Cindy A

    This was delicious! Made it as is. Thank you!


  • Sara

    My absolute favorite.. i think i make this almost every week and even my fussy 2.5 year old eats it! All the spices combined give the dish an amazing taste!


  • Heather

    I made this tonight. THE BEST EVER! Soooooo gooood. Very spicy with 1/2 tsp cayenne and a huge jalapeño. Perfect!! Thank you. Will be making regularly, I’m sure.


  • Shell

    Made this many many times and my boyfriend and I love it! I usually add carrots during the simmering stage, and would serve it with a side of roasted cauliflower. I switch it up sometimes and serve it over rice or rice noodles. Great recipe!


  • Jeff

    Delicious! We added some red bell peppers with the onion and jalapeños and also included 1- 1/2 tbl red pepper curry paste which gave it some fiery heat.


  • Michelle

    I’m planning on making this tonight – I’m going to add extra vegetables and rice, should I put more of the curry mix than it states in the recipe?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Michelle! I’d use the spices as written first, then taste toward the end and add a few more pinches of seasoning if needed. That should work fine for this recipe!

  • Soulis

    Not Spanish, a Greek dish from very long ago….and you made it great! It can also be done in the oven after chicken has cooked alone in sauce, then combine orzo and place in oven.

  • MTB

    OMG…made this for dinner tonight. It was fabulous!! Definitely making it again!!


  • Sandra Tran

    I come back to this recipe time after time – sooo delish, chicken or fish doesn’t matter – LOVE IT !!


  • Adam N

    I’m am amateur when it comes to cooking and this was a great way to jump in and start learning some stuff. I’d like to make this for some vegan friends, any suggestions on chicken alternatives?? Cheers


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Adam! I’d suggest swapping in cauliflower florets or chickpeas — or both! If using cauliflower, you can cut down on the simmer time; just simmer (covered) until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork. Chickpeas just need to be warmed, but I’d still simmer them for 15 minutes or so in order to concentrate the sauce. Enjoy!

  • Stephen D.

    This is one of my favorite recipes ever. Thank you so much! The thighs are really superior for this as you state. I used the breast meat several times and finally did the thighs. You are right….they have the flavor to work with the spices. Great job with this one!


  • Marishel

    Made this the other day and it was amazing! Family and friends loved it.

    Just one quick question, do you think but would be possible to sub all those spices for just Curry powder? Thanks!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Marishel! Emma here, managing editor. If your curry blend has the same basic mix of spices as this recipe, then I think you can definitely substitute it. Enjoy!

  • Ashlyne

    Love this recipe! We’re from Fiji and use coconut milk in manyu of our dishes… we don’t actually cook the chicken in the coconut milk or boil coconut milk…I chilled the can of coconut milk to separate the water from the cream…only added the water part while cooking the chicken, and then added the coconut cream after everything was cooked (turn the heat off, add the cream, stir, and let it sit for a 5 minutes before serving). This technique makes the curry very creamy with a nice colour and texture. Will be making this dish on the regular!


  • Big Fan

    Great recipe.

    I’m always looking to increase my veggie intake, so on this one I added half a small zucchini, halved then quartered, then cut into little quarter moon wedges about an eighth inch thick.

    My order of veggies on the sautée was red pepper (high heat to get a hint of char), then (medium heat) onion then zucchini then jalapeño then garlic. Then when the veggies feel like they have come together I add the curry mix.

    For ginger, I use an organic minced ginger from a jar.

  • Poppy

    My kids LOVE this dish that they ask me to make it quite often. I’ve made it exactly as is and I’ve also made it by doubling the sauce (we love sauce) and adding veggies to make it healthier for them.


  • Emily

    We make this recipe exactly as written and it is delicious. Thank you!


  • Tim Newberry

    Wow! Desperately looking for some means of ameliorating the huge amount of salt! Wish I’d only put half the amount in and then added if necessary! Added a smidge of honey, some more pepper, extra coconut milk and some okra and now cooking rice without salt hoping it will be edible.
    Other than that I’m sure it’s great!

    • Matt

      Tim, I wonder if you read the recipe wrong? It only calls for 1 teaspoon of salt, which is not much since you’re looking at 4 servings.

  • Basil

    Rather than tear the basil, I like to stack and roll the basil leaves like a mini cigar (smallest on the inside, biggest on the outside, of course), then cut the stack once on the long dimension, turn, and then finely chop.

  • Michelle de Stefano

    THAT was delicious — thank you!

  • Rebecca Holt

    When do you put in the curry? The recipe instructions never mentioned how much curry and when to add it to pan of chicken. Please advise.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Rebecca, “curry” is just a combination of spices, which for yellow curry includes turmeric. Our curry is made by combining spices in the first step.

  • Liza Reyes

    Wow! This is delish. I love the vegetable curry I get from Thai place and your recipe satisfied my craving for this dish without the MSG the Thai place puts in their food which I know because I feel the side-effects of it (sleepiness, sluggishness,palpitations) which I would regret afterwards because I really like their vegetable curry. Your recipe didn’t use the canned Thai curry paste which I know the Thai place use. So I made this vegetarian using fried tofu and a lot of vegetables (eggplant, carrots, frying peppers, red globe radish), I would add zucchini if I have it on hand. This is surely a keeper. Thank you for sharing. I have tried a lot of your recipes, always turns out very good.


  • Vanessa Kohlhaas

    I want to double this recipe but it won’t all fit in my skillet. Can I make it in a heavy soup pot?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Vanessa, sure, you could make it all in a heavy soup pot!

      • Vanessa Kohlhaas

        Tripling it tonight!!! Feeding my family of 5 and another family of 4. Plus more to bring to a family with a new baby. This has become one of my regular dishes. We all love it. Thank you for all your yummy recipes!

  • Johanne

    I made this dish tonight, it was so very flavorful and delicious! Will definitely make this again, I added veggie noodles the last 5 minutes to heat up in the sauce, wonderful taste and aroma. Thank you for the recipe, I plan on trying more of your recipes!

  • NativeAtlantaGirl

    Absolutely delish – adapted to make it Paleo. Sauteed in coconut oil, added dried basil to spice mix, and a splash of Red Boat fish sauce. Added thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms (red peppers would be tasty as well). Not only topped with lime juice but added lime zest as well. My sauce was quite thick, added 2/3 tsp of arrowroot. Considered serving over cauli rice, but I tripled the veggies, so it was super filling and reheated was even better. This will definitely be a keeper in my rotation.

  • Natalie

    Wow! Really lovely recipe, thank you :) I used light coconut milk though and needed to add a little cornstarch and curry sauce slurry (I used a little under a tsp of cornstarch) to thicken it back up to what it would have been with regular milk. Definitely a keeper of a recipe for me!


  • Mellinda

    I love this recipe and have made it several times. Even my extremely picky kids love it! They amazingly actually like a little spice.
    The only thing that I would change about the recipe is to put a simple “mise en place”, before the ingredients list. Things move very quickly with this recipe once the oil has been heated up and there is not time to mince garlic or ginger, or anything else for that matter. All ingredients, other than the basil and lime juice, need to be ready to go before you begin.
    Otherwise, this recipe is delicious and has turned out great every time that I have made it.

  • Lara

    Hi Elise – could you use Garam Masala here ? If so, how much would you say? And what spices if any would you still add in addition? The particular brand of Garam Masala I have, Epicurean Organics, lists everything in this recipe except turmeric. Many thanks, Lara

  • Suzie Jenkins

    It sounds like a recipe we would like, but I wish you would include the calorie count. We’re gluten free and trying to cut calories also.

  • mrs christine Evans

    Hi I am a late starter at making chicken curry, could you tell me why it always tastes very bitter some info would be very much appreciated.

    Regards Christine.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christine, a couple of things come to mind. First, if you overcook the curry at any step, it can turn bitter. The spice should be cooked enough so it opens up its flavors, not heated to the point where it browns or burns. Second, some people are much more sensitive to bitter flavors than others.

  • Lesley

    I made tonight and my husband said he wants to marry me all over again, LOL! So delicious!

  • happygf

    This looks amazing! I cannot wait to try cooking this. Only thing is I may omit the jalapenos to make it a little less spicy. Also would use olive oil instead of canola.

    • Melanie

      just take the seeds out of the jalepano–as it is needed for the balance of all the sweet & salty ingredients. Also, if you are a happy “gf” your “bf” most likely likes spicy stuff…

    • Melanie

      also, why would you replace the canola with olive oil? olive oil is much too strong in flavour, Canola oil is perfectly healthy and light in taste–so it will not over-power the dishes exotic flavours.

  • Nick

    Great recipe, I cooked it for myself however all my housemates could not ignore the wonderfull aroma, thank you for posting it and for the step by step photos :-)

  • Lisa

    I noticed a few folks commenting on the coconut milk being light. Try a frozen coconut milk instead of canned…if you haven’t yet. I usually find it in an Asian store, particularly Filipino store.

  • denise

    OK, sorry for being lazy and I promise to make the curry powder from scratch next time as it sounds delicious, but I have made this recipe every time with my Vietnamese curry powder (Cari An Do brand) and gotten rave reviews.

  • Marty M.

    I made this for dinner tonight. Soooooooo good. I bet it will taste even better tomorrow after allowing all the spices to blend. I had wondered what the coconut milk would do to the dish, and am happy to report that it does not taste like coconut. This is really a superb blend of spices. Great dish!

  • Matt

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was very good. I used pork instead of chicken, added extra garlic, ginger, lime and lime zest, and fresh Thai basil from my garden.

  • keri

    just made this tonight for the first time this year! OMG! I forgot how delicious this is…. we like to bulk it up with veggies…. bell peppers, mushrooms, peas, zuchinni… whatever is in the fridge, sooooo good!
    thanks for the great recipe!

  • Lee

    Great instructions… I specifically appreciate the do-for-this-amount-of-time suggestions.

    A very yummy dish. I added a shoot of diced lemon grass – worked out well.

  • David

    I made this for dinner and it was very delicious. I made the following modifications:

    I used 3/4 tsp. of Indian hot red chili powder instead of cayenne. I used 2 serrano chilis instead of jalapenos. Rather than seed and mince them, I sliced them into very thin rings, seeds and all, Thai style. I also wanted to add some veggies and crunch to the dish so I sliced one medium carrot thinly on the bias and added it at the same time as the chicken and coconut milk. Finally, I cut a small fresh broccoli crown into individual florets and cut a red bell pepper into 1.5″ squares. I blanched the broccoli by pouring boiling water over it in a mixing bowl, stirring it for 30 seconds then straining and plunging them into ice water. After cooking the chicken for 20 mins, I added the blanched broccoli and bell pepper squares and simmered for an additional 5 minutes. Both my gf and I thought it was fabulous.

  • Miruh

    This is my favorite dish and I make it once a week. Thanks for all your delicious and easy recipes.

  • Kirsten | My Kitchen in the Rockies

    Elise, this is a fantastic recipe. I made it for dinner and my whole family loved it. I added some kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass. It’s a keeper dish! Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kirsten, I’m so glad you liked it! Love the idea of adding kaffir lime leaves.

  • ramona

    Oh my goodness, I found the recipe from my mobile, didn’t realize that the recipe came from a blog! I had made, my Jamaican friend, who loves all types of curry, said I could make this every day for him. I only added fresh cilantro, because I like cilantro, but it wasn’t truly necessary. I’m a fan of yours! Thx u foran easy & tasty dish.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ramona, yes a blog indeed this is. So glad you like the recipe!

      • ramona

        I am making your prime rib roast tonight. My oven goes up to 550, but I will set it at 500, and follow the recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

  • jodie

    This was so tastey! Really recommend it.

  • Patty

    This updated recipe is fantastic, thank you Elise! For those with access to fish sauce at their local market, do add a splash or two according to taste. It gives the curry an authentic depth of flavor that can’t be achieved by salt alone.

  • Pauline

    I’ve made this several times and have loved it each time. I’ve used light and regular coconut milk and haven’t noticed the difference. Tonight I’m going to make it with ground turkey instead of chicken. I think it should be just as yummy! Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Kaitlin

    I made this tonight with the curry powder and light coconut milk, and my husband really enjoyed it. Nice blend of spicy, sweet and deep flavors. I used quinoa instead of rice and it paired well. I think this could be a good slow cooker recipe to get the chicken super tender, so may experiment with that next time!

  • Kaitlin

    Help!! I am making this tonight for dinner and got curry powder instead of the individual spices…so can you advise how much to use in the recipe as substitute for the spice mixture? Also, I have light coconut milk on hand. Would you recommend I get the regular stuff instead? I don’t want to compromise taste. Really looking forward to surprising my husband with it.

    • Elise Bauer

      Just add up the spices you don’t have and replace with curry powder. So, for example, if you don’t have coriander, cumin, cardamom, or turmeric, add those amounts up (1 3/4 teaspoon) and replace with curry powder. As for light coconut milk? It will probably work fine.

  • Jamie

    Do you still have the original recipe posted somewhere? In that version, the chicken was tossed with the spices and refrigerated for a while prior to cooking. I very much love that recipe and was sad to be unable to find it, though this version looks good, too.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jamie,
      If you ever want to find an earlier version of a recipe, you can plug the recipe URL into the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. It’s an amazing service that spiders the entire Internet and keeps a copy of what it finds. Based on your request I did that with the URL for this recipe and came up with a snapshot of the earlier version here:
      For the record, I think the new version is a huge improvement on the old, which is why I updated it. So I do encourage you to try the new version.

      • Jamie

        Thank you so much for your response! That worked well. I like the original recipe because I have made it by putting the chicken and about twice the spices called for into a plastic bag and using a meat tenderizer to pound the spices into the chicken, then letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight. I love how it turns out using that method. I’ll try the new version some time, but I want to be able to make it using the original. I’m a big fan of prepping meat with spices well in advance, for which the new version does not allow. Thanks!!

  • Nirupa

    I’ve made this twice, and it is fantastic. I make a vegetarian version by substituting the chicken with puffed tofu, broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, and sweet potato. I use Thai basil, and all the spices as listed.

  • Jamie

    I’ve made this 3 times and it is excellent. I used off the shelf curry and egg noodles instead of rice. Is on my list of easy, go to crowd pleasers.

  • william

    I am A Foodie, I love to cook, friends tell me i’m good, well let me tell you I served this to friends, they thought it was amazing, as did I, the seared depth of flavor is incredible, and it is rather simple. I can not wait to try some others recipes. Thank You

  • Deena Kakaya

    Basil and coconut are so lovely together, wonderful recipe. X

  • Amanda

    Made this last night with jalapeños, bell pepper, and Thai basil from the garden. The boyfriend who doesn’t always like coconut curries said this one was tasty so it was a winner. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Miata

    Elise!!!!! You have done it again. I love curry (brought back a bag from most recent trip to Jamaica) so it was only a matter of time before I got to this recipe. It was amazing. I left out the lime because I didn’t want that flavor. The broth didn’t miss it a bit. Instead of rice I used cauliflower “rice”. When I’m not sugar/starch restricted I would love to thicken it up with mashed beans or sweet potato so it’s more stew-like.


  • Donna

    To cut the time involved I put all the spice ingredients together in the morning before work..then just sauteed the onion etc in coconut oil. I like using coconut oil in recipes like this. I also cooked the brown rice in coconut milk and water. My husband loved this. He took a couple of slices of bread and wiped up the juice off his plate. He also took the leftovers for lunch today.Next time I will by Naan bread just for wiping up the juices. It is so good!

  • Karen Kroll

    Made this last night. Who knew it would be such comfort food! Almost inevitably and unsolicited my husband’s reaction to your recipes is, “That was GOOD!” Thank you, Elise. Great site!

  • Judy

    Made this for dinner tonight and we LOVED it! My husband ate almost all of the curry sauce, using it liberally on his vegetables and rice. I used the spices as listed, even though I was a little worried about the cinnamon and it was perfect to my taste. Also used the lite coconut milk and simmered it a bit with the cover off to reduce the sauce a bit. Thanks for posting this again Elise, as I might not have seen it if it was in the archives.

  • Liya Swift

    Used some of the thai basil I have growing in the yard for this one and made the curry just as you have spelled out in the recipe. Great, tasty and very authentic-tasting thai dish! I’m considering browning the chicken a bit before I add it to the pot next time I make this. The chicken was very tender and just the way I’ve had it at restaurants but think browning just a tad might give it some nice texture. Served with a simple bean sprouts and sesame salad and very dark forbidden rice. A nice dinner.

  • Tonya

    I made this last night and it was so delicious. I think it’s my favorite recipe from here so far. My boyfriend loved it and wanted more, but we had eaten it all. I did substitute all the “make your own” curry ingredients for store bought curry powder (2 tsp), then added the salt, pepper, and cayenne as instructed in the recipe. The chicken stayed really juicy and the flavors were the perfect amount of spice and curry flavor. I highly recommend this recipe.

  • KK

    Made this yesterday, and my husband and I loved it. He told me not to lose this recipe. Next time I will add less chicken and more veggies. Taking the leftovers to work today.


  • Jim Gauntt

    This is a wonderful recipe. I made it as is once before, terrific. Today I had too much time on my hands and added some sliced fresh mushrooms, and red pepper. Also, did not have jalapenos so instead added Thai red curry paste and increased the amounts of the ground spices, ginger, garlic, etc.. Added a little extra coconut milk cream and a bit of store bought curried chicken broth, plus a little more basil and a handful of fresh cilantro. You can’t really mess this recipe up if you layer the flavors and stay true to it – one of the best recipes you can ask for and EASY

  • Tom

    I’m a huge fan of curries. Growing up I always loved chicken curry with onions. I just recently made grilled coconut curry chicken which is awesome. I really like the look of this recipe too. I bet it would be great with shrimp too.

    • Michelle

      Tom, Would you please share your recipe for the Grilled Coconut Curry Chicken? Thank you!! Michelle

  • Daniel C. Hanley

    This recipe is fantastic and it turned out great! Thanks for it.

  • Candace X. Moore

    Hi, Elise.

    This recipe looks wonderful…will be trying it this week. I would like to suggest you tag it as Low Carb. I use your site to find new low carb recipes, and would have been disappointed to miss this one.

    Thanks, Candace.

  • Jen

    I just made this for dinner with tofu, bell peppers, potato, and green beans. Thanks for inspiring such a delicious meal!

  • Nadine Monaco

    Yummy dish. Thankfully, my Thai basil is still doing great so I could be very authentic. I also added in some slice zucchini since my husband likes green vegetables with dinner. (I made a double mix of the spice blend to make it easy to make the next time!)

  • Michelle

    Thanks Elise and I also like the tofu idea!

    Thank you, I’ll give these a try.

  • sal

    Would substituting beans for the chicken work ok? Or is there something else that might lend itself to a vegetarian option?

  • Dorothy

    Can I substitute something else for the coconut milk for dietary restrictions?

  • Michelle

    Hi, I love curry dishes as do my adult kids and now my son in law too! My daughter does not eat chicken so I am wondering if I can substitute some kind of fish or pork directly without changing spices, etc. If so, any suggestions on which fish or what cut of pork I could use?

    thank you!

    • Elise Bauer

      I would try it with shrimp!

      • Michelle

        would I just add the shrimp at the end, since they take little time to cook? or would I saute them a bit with the onions, etc., like the recipe calls for, with regards to the chicken. I know the shrimp doesn’t need the cooking time and I don’t want it to be tough. I do not have a lot of experience cooking shrimp. I’d like to change that and this sounds like a great place to start.

        • Elise Bauer

          Yes, just add them at the end. When they turn pink, they’re ready, just a few minutes!

  • Tanya

    This was delicious and not at all difficult for me as an aspiring cook. My 7 year old daughter said it was the best food in the world, ever. Thanks for making this non-cook mom a hero!

  • Selera Malaysia

    I agree with using chicken thigh instead of breast for extra chicken flavor. People can simply ask their butcher to take off bone from chicken thigh.

    Or buy already de-boned chicken thighs. ~Elise

  • Mauricio

    Thanks for the response! And thanks for the website, you have done a really great job!! I’ll try half a jalapeño next time :-)

  • Mauricio

    I’ve tried a couple of your recipes and they have been excellent. Been waiting to try my hand at this one for a few weeks now and after ripping up the town to find all the spices needed, I finally made it tonight.

    Unlike pretty much everyone who commented, I thought it was extremely spicy!!! What can I do to make it a bit (or a lot) more mild? Is it the spices or the jalapeño peppers? It was certainly delicious, just really, really hot!

    Not all jalapeños are alike, some are much hotter than others. Helps to taste a small bit of one first. Also make sure that you have removed all of the seeds from the jalapeños. You can also take out the ribs, which tend to be hotter. (Make sure you wash you hands thoroughly with hot soapy water after handling chile peppers.) Next time just use half a jalapeño and increase if you think it needs more heat. ~Elise

  • RD

    I also like coconut milk based curries. I made this about a week ago for my family. Thought it was a little mild, heat wise, compared to other curry recipes we’ve tried. So the next time I make it I’ll add another 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to the spice mixture.

  • Jewels

    I’ve made this dish 3 times so far and every time it’s been awesome. My husbands work mates commented at lunch on how delicious it smelled (i thought wait till you to taste it :) Very good recipe but i do agree it needed a bit more kick. I added more chilli at the end and also some more salt. I also used dry basil rather than fresh as that’s all i had but you could still definately taste the basil – YUM. Thanks heaps Elise for a delicious recipe :)

  • Breenano

    I made it with turkey drumsticks. Much easier to cut up in cubes. I felt it needed another vegetable so I added red pepper at the onion etc sauteeing stage. I agee with earlier posters that say it needs extra heat. Really nice though. Thanks from Ireland.

  • Ellis T

    Great recipe. Did it tonight in a cast iron pan and simply fantastic. I didn’t tweak or change a single thing and WOW!

  • Rachel

    I just finished making this and having it for lunch – yum! I thought the regular coconut milk would be too thick for my tastes, but it worked out really well, so I’ll be using it again next time.

    I used a regular skillet to cook my aromatics and chicken, and I had a nice crust going by the time I threw the coconut milk in. A previous commenter used the milk to deglaze the pan, and I did that too.

    Next time I’ll leave the membranes in the jalapenos, and use more chili powder in the spice rub to make the chicken stand out some more against the sauce.

    Thanks for this great recipe!

  • Chirag

    Wow, I made this with some friends this past weekend, and it came out so delicious! Thanks very much for posting this beautiful and easy-to-follow recipe.


  • Christina

    I made this and it was very good. I wanted to use left over chicken, so I mixed the spices into the onions and garlic and added some vegetables-cut green beans and baby spinach- because I was too lazy to make a salad this evening. It lends itself well to improvising. With the exception of fresh basil, these ingredients are always on hand. This meal will be in regular dinner rotation as a great use for left over chicken. Thank you for this one.

  • Adrian

    AMAZING! Very delicious! Easy to make! I think I’d prefer to spice it up a bit more, but have a 1 year old and didn’t want it TOO spicy for her. Thanks for this one! Keeping this recipe for sure!

  • Charis

    Love it! This is one of our family’s favorites! Making it again tonight with basil from the garden. Mmmm

  • Melanie

    This was an amazing recipe. I made it for cookbook club last night and there truly were not any leftovers! Now, I’m missing it… I might have to make it again today.
    This is also an amazingly easy recipe to put together, it can be made on the fly.
    I only used half a red onion, but did include both jalapenos. I was a bit worried about the kick but I have to tell you – it just made your mouth warm – it wasn’t spicy – just warm… mmmm – so good!!! Will make it again and again!

  • An No Nymous

    Do you have to use the Jalapeño peppers. I’m worried it will be too spicy…

    If you don’t like things spicy, I would just leave them out. Either that or use just a very small amount. ~Elise

  • Briony

    I made this dish the other night for some friends and everyone loved it! I normally find that I have to tweek recipes that I find to make them tastier, but this one was perfect! The only change I made was to use a chile paste that I keep on hand instead of going out to buy fresh chiles every time I need them! Thanks for this awesome recipe! Definitely going to be making it often!

  • Esther

    I made this recipe last Saturday. It was fantastic!! Very easy to make.

    I love the rub! The flavor and aroma is wonderful.

    I used Thai Basil for this recipe. I also added lemon grass along with jalapenos and onions. Next time, I will try it with lighter version of the coconut milk.

    This one is going to be a family favorite.

    Thanks for posting this recipe.

  • Rhonda

    After reading the many rave reviews about this recipe I just HAD to try it. Wow! It was impressive. The spices create a wonderful flavor and the coconut milk is very unique and scrumptious. I used thighs as called for in the recipe but will probably use breasts the next time I make it. The thighs were very moist and flavorful but I just prefer the white meat. I made your Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame as the side dish (along with rice) and it all went together beautifully. My husband and I both agreed this was a top-of-the-line meal and of the quality you would expect from a fine restaurant. Thank you!

  • Jazz

    I tried this recipe last night for dinner. this is Professional stuff. my husband raved about it. he loved how it tasted & said he felt as if he’s ordered a meal from an excellent Thai restaurant. I made Jasmine rice & it went perfectly well with it.
    Thanks alot for sharing your delicious recipes with us. BTW this is my second recipe to try from your site & I’ll keep trying more of them.

  • David

    This recipe is very nice, we made it, here in Bangalore, India… The cooker is Barti. We enjoyed a lot.
    Cheers, David

  • Lex

    My husband and I loved this dish! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Shakirat

    We love this recipe. I made it for my husband and i and i will definitely cook it again. We love it so much we almost finished the whole pot. I agree with everyones suggestion, if you want it a bit spicy leave the seeds in jalapeño pepper.

  • Sheila

    “Long list of spices” substitution: it sounds like you could use garam masala, because the spices from coriander to cardamon are what make up this indian blend of spices. I’ll try it out and post a review.

  • Stephanie

    I am definitely going to make this tonight, thanks for the recipe! I have a question though: can I use dried basil instead of fresh? Thats all I have on hand today.

    If you try this with dry basil, use a third as much basil, so 1 Tbsp not 3 Tbsp. ~Elise

  • patra May

    I made this tonight for my husband and I. Wow, was it great! You won’t regret it! Thank you so very much.

  • Jess

    Holy smokes, this was fabulous!!! You’ve convinced me to keep a can of coconut milk in the pantry at all times! I’m going to try this with eggplant next.

  • Joyti

    I’ve been a long-time reader of your site, but this is my first time commenting. I just made this recipe, and its wonderful! I also did the onions first and then the chicken – this is the traditional way to make a curry (heat oil, add onions, add chili, garlic, add the meat to so that it absorbs the maximum amount of the flavors of the onion-garlic mix).

  • Suz

    Made this last night and added all the “spicy” suggestions, (i.e. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, a few red pepper flakes, and left the seeds and veins of the jalapenos in) and WHOA, was it a spicy one – even my boyfriend who needs hot sauce on everything was reaching for the iced tea every other minute (hehe). I had the same trouble with the lite coconut milk being too thin, but overall it was very flavorful and relatively quick.

  • mike

    Could one substitute the long list of spices for a store-bought curry powder or paste? Looking to get into making curries but don’t want to build a spice cabinet to do so (student budget).

    Love the site!

    • Jenny

      I use the Thai curry pastes a lot, the kind you get at an Asian foods store. I think it would be delicious! Red if you like it spicy, green is generally a bit milder. :)

  • Harmony

    Well… it smelled great and tasted fine. But it was more like curry soup than I would have liked. Maybe it was because I used lite coconut milk? Anyway, next time I would use the full fat kind regardless; it’s worth a few more calories to get that rich taste!

  • caitlyn

    This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, Elise! It is delicious.

  • TBD

    Great recipe..tried it tonight and it was wonderful.

    One thing to remember…since I am fairly new to the cooking scene…wear gloves when handling jalapeño peppers. My hands have been burning the whole night…and worse of all…I tried to take out my contact lenses after cooking…BAD IDEA. It burned my eyes.

    However, I must say, this is a darn good recipe!!!!

  • laura

    I made this recently…holy cow, it was great!!! The coconut milk, the heat from the peppers…this one is a real winner. Thank you!

  • RR

    I made this for lunch and it was YUMMY!! Thanks heaps Elise for the delicious recipe

  • candy

    I made this again tonight and added more jalepeno since I had extra around. It has a nice pique to it now. But, it just dawned on me that Thai basil is maybe what it is calling for. Elise, what say you? As Thai basil is heavenly, I have a feeling this would be even BETTER with that.

  • Nina

    I made this 1st for myself to test it out and as soon as I finished eating a plate of it immediately called my boyfriend and told him to prepare for a real treat the next night. His 1st words after eating a plate of it were, ” I Love you!” Thanks a million for this terrific recipe!!!!

  • Denise

    For all you folk who like the dish a bit spicier. Don’t de-seed the jalapeno. A lot of the ‘hot’ in hot peppers is in the seeds.

  • jeeves

    I made this. It tasted good! But being a novice cook I did not realize the hazards of jalapenos.. I got the jalapeno juice on my hands and now they are burning up!!!! ugh!!!

    • Amy Smith

      I completely sympathize with you. I tried making jalepeno sticks once. I forgot to use gloves and it had burning sensation in my hands and near my nose because I absentmindedly wiped my cheek. It took really long while before the burning sensation went off despite the usual remedies of washing it with milk and etc.

      • Nathan

        vinegar would work better because it is a stronger base, but then you smell like vinegar so it’s a trade off.

  • Sudesna

    I think I’ll try this out for a weekend special – it might be a popular one! I had made shrimp with coconut curry earlier but never tried chicken….from all the reviews it might be worth it. The shrimp one is done exactly the same way – its called Malai curry and is a famous dish in India. Thanks.

    • Roland Etcheverry

      The fat in coconut milk is composed mostly of medium chain fatty acids and as such extremely good nutritionally. Beside the good flavor it is the best part.

  • Gloriana

    Excellent, just lovely…my boyfriend was very impressed (thanks, Elise). This was my first attempt at curry from scratch and I can’t wait to do it again. Not overly complicated or time consuming but memorable enough to make a splash at a dinner party. I added a bit of red curry powder at the last minute to turn the heat up a notch and next time I will try it with light coconut milk instead of full fat. Wonderful dish!