Cheap Creamy Chicken Curry

By • May 15, 2011 • 45 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.

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

Comments (45) Questions (1)


12 days 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.)


17 days 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!


19 days 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...!)


about 1 month 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).


about 1 month 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.


about 1 month 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.


about 1 month ago Heather

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


2 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!


2 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!


4 months ago LisaAnn

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


4 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!


5 months ago lorelu

Love this recipe! And so easy! The lemon and the cilantro are a MUST!


12 months ago Tina f

I've always wanted to make a curry from scratch, but was intimidated. Can I just tell you, this was one of the best currys I've ever eaten. Had to make minor modifications to the spice list, added a package of peas to the rice and toasted garlic nan bread.... Omg..... Best meal ever! So easy, so quick. Family loved loved loved it. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you :)


12 months ago Alice Pett

used leftover rotisserie chicken....worked great !


12 months ago wingirls

Great - a home run - all three kids and parents loved it. I added frozen peas and served it with homemade tzatziki on the side since we always have that on hand (sort of like raita, right?). Thanks for a new family favorite.


12 months ago Corey Reidsworthy

Made this for dinner tonight, very tasty! I added an extra onion sauteed and sliced thick.


about 1 year ago sticksnscones

Wow! So easy & delicious. I didn't have coconut milk so substituted homemade cashew cream & added some frozen peas. I will make this again & again!


about 1 year ago rochelle123

This was excellent!! Very easy, quick and tasty. As suggested by others, I did leave out the hot water and found the sauce to be the right consistency. This is a keeper.


over 1 year ago lindarhima

wow. great recipe. i could not believe how simple it was, and fast. ive cooked curry before and this recipe is definitely the closest ive gotten to what i think of as curry, creamy, flavorful. i think it would be super easy to add veggies to it also. i didnt have tumeric so i skipped that. cant wait to experiment with this one. thanks.


over 1 year ago Ham

Absolutely delicious! I made this for a potluck (I know, very strange item to bring in retrospect) and everyone raved. Two things I highly recommend if you like a thicker sauce consistency: use half a can of tomato paste and add an extra tbl of the coconut milk fat. Instead of adding the vegetables into the same pot I cooked chickpeas, zucchini, stewed tomatoes and spinach seasoned with cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, cumin and a bit of cayenne pepper. I was told that the original reason that Indian food uses so many spices was to make up for lower quality cuts of meat -- whether this is true or not, who cares? Just make this dish.


8 months ago Ham

I also wanted to add that I just made this dish again with halibut instead of chicken and it was superb! I threw in a tbl of ginger just after the garlic, and cooked the fish just as I would the chicken (but with a shorter cooking time, of course).