How to make Chetna Makan’s coconut chicken curry

“So different to the heavily spiced chicken curries you may have tried, this dish has a delicate and refreshing flavour that’s best enjoyed with rice rather than bread,” says Chetna Makan, food writer and former Bake Off contestant.

“The light spicing works beautifully with the coconut milk, and using chicken on the bone adds extra flavour. Don’t save this luxurious-tasting curry for the weekend – being quick to make, it’s a great choice for midweek meals.”


(Serves 4)

1 1/2tbsp sunflower oil

1tsp mustard seeds

10 curry leaves

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 green chillies, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1cm (1/2-inch) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1tsp salt

1tsp ground turmeric

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

8 skinless chicken pieces on the bone (I use 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks)

400ml can coconut milk

Coconut chicken curry from Chetna’s Healthy Indian (Nassima Rothacker/PA)


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium–low heat. Stir in the mustard seeds and cook for one to two minutes, until they start to sizzle. Now mix in the curry leaves and, after one minute, add the onions and green chillies.

2. Reduce the heat to low and cook for five to six minutes, until the onions have softened. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another two minutes.

3. Add the salt and spices to the saucepan and mix well. Cook for one minute, then stir in the chicken, increase the heat to high and cook for five minutes, until the chicken is sealed.

4. Stir in the coconut milk, then cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 35–40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve immediately.

Chetna’s Healthy Indian by Chetna Makan, photography by Nassima Rothacker, is published by Mitchell Beazley priced £20 ( Available now.

- Press Association

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