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Chicken Curry with Toasted Coconut

August 3, 2011

Chicken curry with toasted coconut

Chicken curry with toasted coconut

If you have been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I am quite keen on Indian cuisine, click here for another wonderful Spicy Indian Chicken dish.  In fact, it is safe to say, I love it.  The aroma of all the spices really gets my salivary glands going.  A lot of people may be a little intimidated by Indian cooking because of the extensive use of herbs and spices but there is really nothing to be afraid of.  I have recently taken on a new interest to incorporate more herbs and spices in my diet.  I am trying to learn how to use them properly in everyday cooking.  There are so many benefits to using fresh ingredients in your cooking it really is a tremendous help to your overall health.

This chicken curry with toasted coconut is simply amazing.  The flavors will have you mmmmming and oooooohing with every bite.  It is an fragrant curry dish that is from the Indian state of Goa, whose food was influenced by the Hindu origins and by Portuguese traders and colonists who arrived four centuries ago.  This spices in this dish give it a slightly nutty flavor to the braised chicken.  Use extra attention when toasting the coconut, as its high fat content makes it easy to burn.

Ingredients and directions for chicken curry with toasted coconut

Ingredients and directions for chicken curry with toasted coconut


1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


For the spice paste

1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

4 cardamon pods

4 dried red chiles, stemmed and seeded

2 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

1 star anise

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon tamarind paste


1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

To Prepare the Chicken Curry with Toasted Coconut

In a nonreactive bowl, combine the chicken cubes, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to mix well.  Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

To make the spice paste, put the coconut in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat and heat, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.   Pour onto a plate to cool.  Carefully split open the cardamon pods and remove the seeds.

  Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chiles; cardamon, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds; peppercorns; and star anise to the pan.  Toast, stirring often, until the spices are fragrant and turn a shade darker, 3-4 minutes.  Transfer to a spice grinder or a coffee mill reserved for spices and grind to a fine powder.  Transfer the spice powder to a blender and add the coconut, turmeric, and cinnamon.  Add 1/2 cup water and process to a smooth paste.  Set aside.

  In a blender or food processor, combine the onion, ginger, and garlic and process to a smooth paste.  In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion paste and sauté until it begins to brown, 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the coconut-spice paste and sauté for 1 minute.  Add 1 cup of water, the sugar, the tamarind paste, and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well.  Bring to a boil reduce the heat to low, and add the chicken.  Return to a simmer and cook until the sauce has tickened and the chicken is opaque throughout, 20-25 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Transfer to a warmed bowl, garnish with the cilantro, and serve at once.

Serves 4-6

From Essentials of Asian Cooking ~ Williams-Sonoma

chicken curry with toasted coconut

Chicken curry with toasted coconut

Serve this dish with steamed basmati rice or Indian flatbread.

From our kitchen to yours,

Sydney Jones

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2011 3:19 am

    Delicious recipes! It’s make me hungry! I can’t wait to eat this 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing.

  2. August 4, 2011 2:49 pm

    Wow…love it!

  3. August 8, 2011 3:59 am

    I love chicken and that looks so delicious, great pics


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