Kuku Paka (Coconut Chicken Curry) by Aysha Bora from the Hubb Community Kitchen

October 20, 2018
2 Ratings
Photo by Jenny Zarins
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

From Together: Our Community Cookbook: "When I was growing up I hated cooking. My family is from India and preparing big meals for the extended family was part of our culture, but I used to beg for any job other than cooking. Then I got married and moved to Africa and suddenly everything changed—I began calling my mother and asking her for recipes. She told me: 'Cooking for someone you love is what makes you a good cook.' This curry is a particular favorite of my family in Tanzania." -Aysha Bora

Reprinted with permission from Together: Our Community Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, $16.99 U.S/$22.99 Can). Photography by Jenny Zarins. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 large chicken, cut into 8 pieces, excess skin trimmed away
  • 1 large ripe tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 2-centimeter (3/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 serrano chiles, stemmed and seeded (use less if you prefer milder curries)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 (400-millileter/14.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 10 grams cilantro, chopped, to garnish (1/2 cup)
  • Rice, chapati or flatbread, to serve
  1. Score each piece of chicken in two or three places, slicing about 1-centimeter/1/2-inch into the meat.
  2. Put the tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, chiles, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and some salt and pepper into a food processor and blend to a rough paste. Rub one third of the paste all over the chicken, into the cuts and under the skin; reserve the rest of the paste. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 hours.
  3. Preheat the broiler to the highest setting, and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  4. In a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat; add the reserved paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until all of the moisture evaporates. Increase the heat slightly and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the paste is thick and dark. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the sauce is thick.
  5. Meanwhile, put the marinated chicken, skin side up, on the prepared baking sheet and broil for 15 minutes, until well colored and charred, then turn the chicken over and broil for another 5 minutes to make sure it is cooked through.
  6. Stir the chicken and any juices into the curry pan, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes until the flavors have combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the boiled eggs and a squeeze of lemon juice, or more to taste. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with rice, chapati or flatbread.

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1 Review

Jenny F. June 3, 2020
I used this recipe combined with another one and some tweaks, it was fantastic. Made the marinade as described here but omitted the garam. Grilled the chicken (drumsticks and on-bone breast) on charcoal. Made Curry sauce from another Kuku paka recipe that uses coconut powder, coconut milk, turmeric. Served with sauce and homemade flatbread and coconut rice. This marinade is a keeper - very spicy and the family all loved it.