Coconut Veggie Chicken Curry

This coconut milk curry is made with yellow curry paste sautéed in coconut oil. You can vary the hard vegetables and add hard squash such as kabocha or butternut. You can make it vegetarian by using only garbanzo beans for protein instead of chicken. I used Mae Ploy brand of curry paste, which is fairly spicy. You can vary the amount of curry paste to suit your taste. I also added curry powder and turmeric for color. The optional spices enhance the flavor, but can be skipped if you can’t find them. I get mine at Halal or South Asian markets, and got the fenugreek from Berkeley Bowl, but you can find them online or at a spice store.

Ingredients:

2 Tb coconut oil

1 Tb yellow curry paste

1 large yellow onion, chopped finely

3-4 cloves garlic, minced to make 1 TB

2 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced to make 1 Tb

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp whole fennel seeds (optional)

1 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)

2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (optional)

1 tsp masala (optional)

Two 13 1/2 oz cans full fat coconut milk

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 medium or 3 large carrots

2 white potatoes

2 medium yams

1 medium eggplant

1 cup chopped frozen or fresh spinach

1 cup frozen peas

1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt to taste

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (optional)

1 handful of cilantro to garnish

Directions:

Chop onion finely, mince garlic and grate ginger.

Chop hard vegetables into 1/2 inch to one inch dice (bite sized) pieces and set aside in a bowl.

Chop cilantro and set aside. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces.

Heat coconut oil in a large heavy skillet (I use cast iron). Stir in curry paste until it is smooth.

Add onions and let simmer for about 6 minutes until the onion softens. Stir in the garlic, ginger and cumin seeds and simmer for 2 more minutes.

Add 2 cans of coconut milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in the rest of the spices.

Stir the chicken into the curry mix until it is coated. Transfer to a large pot and add the chopped hard vegetables. Stir well and cook covered for 20 minutes, stirring at least every 5 minutes.

Add the chopped spinach and peas and stir well. Add the basil leaves and stir well. Add salt to taste, one teaspoon at a time.

You can serve after cooking, but flavors will meld if you have a few hours to set aside to cool in the refrigerator. Reheat, serve over brown Basmati rice, and garnish with cilantro.