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Coconut Curry

Coconut curry is a spicy dish with a creamy gravy base that includes coconut cream or coconut milk as a key ingredient. This curry may or may not incorporate coconut flesh. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of this dish are common with the use of assorted vegetables or tofu and chicken, fish or seafood, respectively. These curries are commonly eaten in Thailand, Indonesia and coastal India. This curry is characterized by its spiciness, yellowish-cream colored smooth texture with a harmonious blend of strong coconut flavor.

Popular Methods of Preparing Coconut Curries

Beef coconut curry – Onions, garlic, ginger and a spice mix of coriander, cloves, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, chili powder and paprika are sautéed in butter and then, the beef is browned in the oil. Next, coconut milk, salt, pepper and curry leaves are stirring in and the mixture is simmered to a creamy curry.

Coconut Curry Tofu – This Thai curry of coconut includes creamy coconut milk, ginger and assorted spices. A thick and spicy gravy base is made by simmering ginger, curry powder, chili paste and brown sugar in a mixture of soy sauce or coconut milk. To this, tomatoes, tofu, mushrooms, yellow pepper, green onions, basil, bok choy and salt are added and cooked further.

Spicy Chicken Coconut Curry – This coconut curry recipe from the Indian cuisine, calls for stir-frying together the curry powder, tomato paste, chilies, salt, pepper and cinnamon stalk along with the sautéed onions, garlic and ginger. The chicken stock and coconut milk, are simmered in the next step, and finally, the preparation of the dish is completed by cooking cilantro, chicken, lemon juice and tomatoes in the curry. The curry powder used in this coconut curry includes hot spice mix along with powdered coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, turmeric, mustard, peppercorns and dried red chilies.

Indian Fish Coconut Curry – This recipe recommends catfish, red snapper, sword fish, salmon, grouper or a similar fish for the curry. Seafood like mussels and shrimps can also be used for this curry. Onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, chili powder, hot spice mix are sautéed one by one and then, seasoned with salt and pepper. Water and coconut milk is poured over this mixture along with the fish pieces and cooked.

Serving Suggestions

In Thailand, cauliflower rice is a popular accompaniment to this dish. In India, it is a common scene to see these curries being served with a garnish of mint and cilantro leaves. In South India, coconut curry is served with steaming hot Basmati rice and pappadums.

Other Culinary Use of Coconut Curry

Often the coconut curry paste is used as sauce to be eaten with snacks. One popular recipe for the sauce calls for cooking soy sauce, sugar, coconut milk, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, zest and curry powder together. The sauce is then finished off with a garnish of basil.


Ken Bergeron of has come up with a unique recipe of coconut curry biscuits, baked by combining flour, coconut milk, curry powder, margarine, baking powder and salt.