Chicken-coconut curry — the 30-minute Indian dish your recipe box needs

Sep 18, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. ET
Image: Brandy O'Neill/SheKnows

I never had Indian food until I was 21 years old. Let that sink in. I lived 21 years without the total deliciousness that is Indian food.

This dish is a coconut milk version of classic chicken tikka masala. A little spicy, but also a little sweet from the addition of coconut milk. The best part about this dish is that it's ready in just 30 minutes. That means you can get home and cook dinner in the time it would take to get takeout. The hardest part about making this dish is stopping yourself from eating it all in one sitting.

chicken coconut milk curry
Image: Brandy O'Neill/SheKnows

Spicy chicken-coconut curry recipe

This recipe calls for cooked white rice. Be sure it's prepared by the time the chicken is done, or use leftover rice.

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 cups cooked white rice
  • Chopped cilantro


    1. To a small bowl, add the chicken, yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, cumin and coriander. Mix to coat, and set aside.
    2. To a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions just start to soften.
    3. Add in the chicken, and cook until browned on the outside. Add in the ground ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, curry powder and paprika. Stir to combine, and sauté for just about 30 seconds, until the mixture becomes fragrant.
    4. Add in the tomatoes and coconut milk, and simmer over medium-high heat until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
    5. Stir in the prepared rice, or serve scooped on top of rice.
    6. Top with a sprinkling of cilantro.

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