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chicken curry with coconut

Creamy Chicken Curry Recipe

Try this South Indian-style creamy chicken curry with coconut and cashew nuts. It has a SPICY kick to it that a spice lover like you will enjoy. Not a spice lover? No problem. It is easily customizable to make it less spicy to suit your spice level.
This recipe is pretty simple - chicken, most of the other ingredients are easily available in an Indian pantry or can be sourced from your local Indian grocer.
This recipe is pretty straightforward and can be prepared by a novice cook too.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4


  • Dutch Oven/Skillet/Any Cooking Pot
  • Chopping Boards + Knife ( use two different chopping boards to avoid cross-contamination)
  • cooking spoons
  • Blender/Mixer-Grinder
  • measuring cups & spoons
  • Pepper Mill/mortar and Pestle
  • Serving Dish


  • 1 lb (450-500 grams) Chicken skinless; cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • 5 grams (½ tablespoon) Minced Ginger
  • 5 grams (½ tablespoon) Minced Garlic
  • 150 grams (approx. 1½ cups) Onion sliced thin (sweet onions/red onions)
  • ½ tablespoon Ground Coriander/Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder/Haldi
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala adjust to taste
  • 1 number Serrano Pepper/Thai Pepper/Indian Green Chillies adjust to taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper adjust to taste
  • 150 grams (approx.1¼ cup) Tomato chopped
  • 1-2 Sprigs of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Grind to a Paste

  • 45 grams (approx. ½ cup) Grated Coconut fresh/frozen & thawed
  • 8-10 numbers Raw Cashew Nuts


prep work

  • Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.
  • Thinly slice onion and chop tomoatos.
  • Slit green chillies lengthwise. Remove the seeds if you prefer a milder version)
  • Mince ginger & garlic.
  • Get all ingredients ready


  • Heat oil in the dutch oven/skillet/cooking pot. Add ginger and garlic. [Note: We add this first so that they get enough time to fry in oil to turn aromatic. Turn the heat to medium low if you notice browning. ]
  • Now add the sliced onion and cook until they turn translucent. Add the green chillies. [Note: Turn the heat back up to medium if you had reduced it in the previous step]
  • Add the spice powders and fry until aromatic. [Note: This is the key to a best-tasting chicken curry. The spice powders should be roasted well without burning. Reduce the heat if you think the spices are burning.]
  • Add tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and oil leaves the sides.[Note: Turn the heat back up to medium if you had reduced it in the previous step]
  • Add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat the pieces with onion, tomatoes & spice mixture. Cook uncovered for 1 minute or two. Add salt. Mix well. [Note: Start with approx.¾ teaspoon of salt. Then once the chicken is cooked, taste and add more if needed]
    Cover & cook until the chicken pieces are cooked through and are tender. Stir occasionally. Chicken takes about 25-30 minutes to cook.
  • While the chicken is cooking, grind the coconut and cashew nuts with about ¼ -½ cup of water to a smooth paste.
  • Once the chicken pieces are cooked well, add coconut paste and curry leaves. Bring to boil & remove from heat.
  • Serve hot.



  1. 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish)
  2. Grams to cups measurements – we strive to provide these conversions as accurately as possible. There might be some slight variations depending on the brand, weighing scale, etc.
  3. Serving size – This serves 4  people. Adjust the serving size to fit your dietary needs. 
  4. Curry thickens slightly on cooling.
  5. Use warm water to grind especially if you are using frozen & thawed coconut.
  6. Tips for a best tasting chicken curry
    Start by heating oil.
    Cook the ginger & garlic first. This gives them sufficient time to turn aromatic.
    Roast the spice powders well without burning them. Reduce the heat if you notice spice powders are burning.
    Add tomatoes only after roasting the spices.
    Use freshly grated or frozen & thawed coconut. Use raw cashew nuts to grind along with coconut. Grind coconut & cashew nuts to a very fine paste.
    Cook on medium heat.
    Do not add water while cooking.
  7. How to reduce the spice level? Green Chillies - To make a milder version of the curry, reduce the number of green chilies used. Remove the seeds to make a milder version.
    Red Chilli Powder - This is the finely ground red chilli peppers. The heat level of the powder depends on the type of red pepper used. Some are mild and some are super spicy. Know which one you are using. I recommend using Kashmiri red chilli Powder (source from your local Indian grocer or Online) or Sweet PaprikaReduce the quantity used in your dish if you prefer a milder taste.
    Garam Masala - This is a spice mix we use in the recipe that adds a lot of warmth and flavor to the dish. This a spice mix consisting of warm spiced roasted and then ground to make a fine powder. This adds flavor as well as a little bit of heat. Reduce the quantity used to suit your taste.
    Black Pepper - We also use freshly ground pepper. Again, to control the heat, reduce the quantity.
    We also use coconut ground with a few cashew nuts to finish off the curry. This reduces the heat level in the curry. Before adding the coconut paste, taste the curry (do not taste raw meat :)). If you find it spicy, then increase the quantity of coconut and cashew nuts. The curry might be slightly runny initially but will thicken on cooling down.