This Indian spiced coconut curry is PACKED with flavor and spice, without being too much for kids to enjoy. Warm, creamy and comforting, it’s the perfect at-home version Indian takeout….and quick and easy to boot!
I LOVE Indian (most) Indian food! The deep, rich flavors and spices are all so unique and comforting. Having made authentic Indian dishes before (my all time FAVE is Chicken Tikka Masala!), I appreciate SO MUCH the time and effort it takes to create these dishes.
While it’s fun to “get authentic” with it, my busy lifestyle leaves very little time to do this! So I went on a mission to figure out a version of an Indian curry that I could whip up on a weeknight…and Indian Spiced Coconut Curry was born!
This dish has the “spices” of an Indian dish, without having too much heat. Cool creamy coconut milk balances out the intensity of the spices perfectly.
I love this dish for three reasons:
- The flavors are amazing!
- It’s quick and doesn’t have a huge list of ingredients to buy…or chop!
- It’s mild enough that the whole family can enjoy it (and you can easily add more spice if you like!)
Here are some common questions and tips for making this Indian Spiced Coconut Curry:
What coconut milk is best? Can I use coconut cream?
I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend full-fat coconut milk from the can (not from the carton). I have used reduced fat and it just isn’t nearly as delish! This recipe only calls for a half of a cup total, so you’re aren’t breaking the bank in the calorie department.
Coconut cream CAN be used, but keep in mind it will give the dish a sweeter flavor, which in my opinion is a little overpowering.
What is garam masala?
“Masala” literally just means “spice.” Garam masala is just an Indian spice blend that is used in so many types of Indian dishes from curries to lentils to the filling in the yummy samosas!
Some people get it confused with traditional Indian curry powder, but the flavor profile is a lot different! For those of you who don’t like “regular” curry powder, you may really enjoy the flavors of garam masala.
Traditional curry powder includes fairly mild flavors such as turmeric, cumin and coriander. On the other hand, garam masala includes deeper, richer flavors such as cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Every Indian kitchen has their own “blend” of spices that make up their “masala” blend–similar to a BBQ rub blend or creole seasoning blend here in the U.S.! 🙂
Where can I buy garam masala?
Yummy variations to try
This dish is easily adaptable to pretty much any meat or veggie! You can easily make this dish vegetarian by adding tofu, or just a medley of any of your favorite veggies.
Chicken breast can also be used although I REALLY like the juiciness and tenderness of chicken thighs. They just melt in your mouth!
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Indian Spiced Coconut Curry
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced or grated
- 1 tbsp garam masala* See Note 1
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional, to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 can full fat coconut milk (about 6 ounces)
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- cilantro and lime for serving optional
- Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season chicken with garam masala, smoked paprika, salt and cayenne pepper (if using)
- Add chicken to pan in an even layer and sear for 2 minutes (try to avoid moving the chicken around too much!). After 2 minutes, flip and seer chicken on the other side for 2 minutes more.
- Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomato paste and chicken stock to deglaze pan. Scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, simmer a few minutes more.
- Garnish with cilantro and lime and serve over hot rice.