Cheap Creamy Chicken Curry

By • May 15, 2011 71 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 teaspoons 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.

More Great Recipes: Curries|Chicken Breasts|Coconut|Chicken|Entrees

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Comments (71) Questions (2)


about 1 month ago Sarah Mené

I made this last night and my mum basically forced me to double spice which from what I've just read was a good idea and it turned out great! (Mums know best) I also added chicken stock instead of water :)


about 1 month ago ctgal

Made this tonight and it was easy and delicious. I added a diced red bell pepper that I had hanging around. I didn't double the spice quantities, but next time I will add a chopped up jalapeño. Easy dinner, ingredients are all in my kitchen, and husband loved it. Can't ask for anything else! Thank you!


5 months ago lyve life

Fantastic! After reading most of the comments, I doubled the spice quantities which turned out a super flavorful, delicious curry that I served on basmati rice with all the condiments (mango chutney, raisins and roasted peanuts). This is a recipe that I will make again.


5 months ago LindsayC77

This was fantastic! I wish I'd seen the note about vinegar -- I'm eating it now leftover for lunch, and it needs a bit of acidity to finish it off.

My modifications were inspired by the comments: I added half a bag each of frozen peas and cauliflower, subbed boneless thighs for breasts, and upped the spices by a half. I also forgot to pick up tomato paste, so I threw in a half cup of canned tomatoes.

Served it over jasmine rice made with a smidge of the leftover coconut cream.


6 months ago Tara

Great recipe! I added more spice to the dish and a touch of vinegar for a better consistency in the sauce.


6 months ago tkoz

I didn't have white meat so I used skinless, boneless thighs. It was AMAZING! This was my first curry and I plan on keeping it in the regular rotation! My husband went back for thirds and said that the spice was perfect! The lime and cilantro were the perfect accent to the dish. Thank you for the recipe!!!


6 months ago SweetTooth

Great recipe!!! I increased the spices (maybe about 1.5 times?) and added peas and cauliflower, per the recommendation of previous reviews. I also put in more red pepper flakes (just shook a decent amount on) and added more salt. It was very, very delicious. I have already been asked to make this again!


6 months ago Angela Grace Milburn

This is the perfect dish to make when you're craving a curry dish but don't have time to slave away at the stove for an hour. 30 mins tops and there's lots of leftovers. I added a small bag of frozen mixed veggies and it was grand! (would've done just peas but that's all I had) I'm definitely making this again!


8 months ago kasia S.

I just finished eating this for lunch and it was sublime. I used most of the can of my coconut milk and it kept my chicken very moist. This curry is very lush and creamy, I added a few frozen peas, little more salt and bit more spice ( sprinkle of cayenne)... delicious! One of the best, easiest and definitely best value meals I can think of.

I am adding this to my rotation, thank you!


9 months ago Yeari

I usually don't like coconut milk, but this dish was amazing! thanks for sharing!


10 months ago Maddie Mayjack

So good! I made this tonight to exact specifications, except with chicken thighs as a sub. My husband and I both loved it, and are stoked that I made enough for leftovers. It's like having quality take-out in the fridge! Cilantro was a must- the lift it gave to the hearty flavor of the dish was perfect.


10 months ago There'sAlwaysPie

I made this last night and used some of the suggestions (increasing the amount of spices, light coconut milk, cauliflower and peas) and I have to say that this dish still had very little flavor and was very bland. Not sure what the missing ingredient is...


10 months ago plainhomecook

This will go immediately into the rotation. Mild, flavorful, and a snap to whip up. Thank you.


12 months 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.


12 months 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....


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year ago lynx60489

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


about 1 year 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!


over 1 year 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.


about 1 year 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.


over 1 year 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.


over 1 year 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.


over 1 year ago Alice Pett

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


over 1 year 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.