Cheap Creamy Chicken Curry

By • May 15, 2011 • 58 Comments

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Author Notes: This is such a wonderful theme! I had so many ideas, but I really wanted to be different and stray from pasta or soup so I chose curry. This is a very mild curry, that is actually more a rich stew. The chicken and onions are braised in coconut milk which make this dish creamy and delicious. The total cost for this creamy chicken curry is roughly $ 10.00 to serve 4. Using my math team skills, this comes out to $ 2.50 a person, you just cannot beat it! Enjoy this flavorful, healthy and dirt cheap dinner. - Table9Table9

Food52 Review: Table9's Cheap Creamy Chicken Curry is a lovely, subtle curry that tastes anything but cheap! The spice blend is flawless and packs just the right amount of punch, and the use of coconut milk is canny indeed, lending the dish a wonderful richness and complexity. The only thing I would change is to hold back on half the water, adding more as needed. - wssmomwssmom

Serves 3

  • 2 tablespoons Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Fresh Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Curry Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Tumeric
  • 1 pound Boneless Chicken Breasts, Cut into 1"Bite Size Pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Hot Water (optional)
  1. In a wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook for 6-8 minutes or until transparent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Stir in cumin, tumeric, 1 teaspoon curry powder, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt- cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste. Mix to combine.
  3. In ziploc bag, toss chicken pieces in remaining curry powder, season with salt and pepper. Add to wok, and cook for about 5-6 minutes until outside is golden brown.
  4. Pour coconut milk into the wok-if coconut milk has separated from the fat, pour the liquid in and add a tablespoon or so of fat until you have the creamy consistency that you desire. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add hot water if there is not enough liquid, because it has cooked down.
  5. Serve hot with white rice if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and a squeeze of lime if desired.
Jump to Comments (58)

Tags: can be made ahead, cheap, doubed easily, Entrees, family, indian, leftovers, lunch, serves a crowd, simple

Comments (58) Questions (1)

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4 days ago Viney

Made this tonight and the reviewers were spot on: fantastic recipe! (Modifications - thanks to all who suggested below - used whole can of light coconut milk; used 2/3 chicken and added 1/2 c peas, 1.5 c small cauliflower florets, doubled spices, doubled onions. Added cauliflower at chicken stage) Was helpful to prep everything except the chicken the night before so that it could be an easy weekday dinner. Also, did not use wok and that worked just fine.

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4 days ago Viney

Oh, and to make it my kid-friendly, cut down the pepper flakes to 1/8 tsp. Still needed to serve with yogurt though....

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2 months ago GregoryBPortland

I did try it using the light coconut milk I get at Trader Joe's. The results were still outstanding. I'm going to make this again. I'll use chicken thighs which have more flavor. This is an all-round winner and a great weeknight supper choice.

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2 months ago lynx60489

I agree. I made it with chicken breasts and chicken thighs and I preferred the latter.

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2 months ago lynx60489

I have had this recipe saved for so long and finally made it. I started off making a double batch and am making another double batch tonight. This is a great recipe! I stirred in some 2% greek yogurt with some leftovers today for lunch and it was also delicious. I used light coconut milk in place of full fat.

The best part was the checkout at Whole Foods. My wallet thanks you for the savings!

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4 months ago GregoryBPortland

Can you substitute light coconut milk for regular? I have both, but I wonder if the lighter version will make for a weaker sauce? Thanks.

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2 months ago lynx60489

A little late, but I made this with light coconut milk and it was delicious. I am sure the coconut taste would be more pronounced if you used full fat, but I can't justify the calories of the full fat milk for this.

The end result was completely satisfying and I enjoyed how light it was.

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4 months ago Velvet

I make a lot of Indian dishes and enjoy Indian food. I think this curry is fantastic, and using fresh spices ensures that it is spicy and flavorful. It is everything you could want in a quick chicken curry. This recipe is a keeper.

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4 months ago Caroline

I have my favorite curry recipe but I'm always on the search for one that tops it, THIS ISN'T IT. The flavor was lacking and there was NO spice. I added some cayenne and more curry. Sorry but didn't make the cut.

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4 months ago Alice Pett

would love to have your favorite curry recipe.......

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5 months ago Louise Wetterström

This is delicious!! And it glows in the dark. I don't eat chicken so replaced with hoki (NZ fish) and instead of tomato paste, I used Thai red curry paste. Served it with bulgar wheat. Yum. I'm definitely checking out all table9 recipes.

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5 months ago Loren Elliott

This recipe is delicious and quick. I love to cut the chicken in half and add cauliflower, peas, cashews, and golden raisins!

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5 months ago Schnibbywhips

Thanks for this. I'm always craving a good curry and thus was better than I expected. I did add in extra pepper (black, cayenne and reds) to kick it up a notch. Paul like his Kung Pao spicy

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6 months ago robin lewis

Yum. Yum. My whole family ate this. Yum. Until now, I thought that curries and other Indian savory saucy delectable dishes were just not going to be my thing. Thank you so much! (My son did garnish his with a little yogurt, but still. He loved the meal, and he is my challenge...11-years old and pretty picky.)

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6 months ago Katie Todd Wright

This is my new go-to, home alone dinner. Husband's too picky for this type of yum. I sub the coconut milk with vanilla soy milk and the rice with stir fried broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic and kale.... yum!

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6 months ago robin lewis

this sounds really good and i am going to try it this week. if it's a bit(?) spicy (1/4 t crushed red pepper?)for kids i'll have them try a dollup of yogurt on top...unless anyone has any other suggestions. (since i've never made it i'd welcome some...!)

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6 months ago Sherry Jun

I've always been intimidated by cooking curry from scratch, but this recipe was extremely accessible and the results were fantastic. I didn't have turmeric and just used cumin, curry powder and the red pepper flakes and it still tasted fine. I also made a vegan version and swapped out chicken for tofu, and it held up very well (although the chicken one ultimately absorbed the flavors a bit better).

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6 months ago erinmalone

This dish was really excellent and very easy. I've made it twice and the second time I made it, I doubled everything but the chicken - this uses up the entire can of coconut milk (instead of only using 1 cup and then it languishing in the fridge) and gives more sauce since the first time I made it, there wasn't enough sauce and the flavor was so spot on I didn't want to dilute it with water.

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7 months ago Tanya Laing

This was really great. I kept out the spice for the kids but realize it would be even better with. I used too much coconut milk but just upped the paste, curry powder and cumin and it was all good. I also added minced fresh ginger.

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7 months ago Heather

This is great! I add a can of chickpeas and a couple of handfuls of spinach.

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7 months ago HRH

I made this a few weeks ago, and while pondering what's for dinner decided I just had to have it again- so easy and quick, and uses stuff I always have on hand... Thanks for the simple, delicious recipe!

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8 months ago Gmkathy2

Excellent, delicious and easy. Doubled the recipe, used turkey tenderloin, added baby carrots and butternut squash, a little extra tomato paste. Cooked everything in a cast iron pot. Slow cooked (275) in the oven for several hours, first cooking it at 350 for 30 min to be sure the turkey was cooked through adding 1 1/2 c. chicken broth to thin it out as necessary. Served with rice. Everyone loved it!

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10 months ago LisaAnn

Great recipe to expound upon: I add sweet potato chunks and sometime cauliflower. L

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10 months ago michelle_brown

Made this exactly as written and loved ever bite. So flavorful, so easy to prep and cook. I did not have cilantro but did add a squeeze of lime. I will make this many more times!