This coconut chicken and sweet potato curry is a heavenly combination of coconut milk, chicken, and sweet potato, flavored with both curry paste and powder. This delicious takes only 30 minutes to hit the table. Enjoy it over steamed rice (mix), quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
How to Make Coconut Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry
This coconut chicken curry is a great recipe because it is so easy. In fact, you will just need a single pan to get started. (I used this Mealthy stainless steel pan). The dish begins by cooking chopped onion until soft and sweet. Next, you add the garlic and cook until fragrant. You can use a store-bought jar of minced garlic or cloves you have minced yourself. After that, the curry paste goes in to cook out a little. This simultaneously gets rid of any bitterness while also releasing its natural fragrance.
The entire mixture simmers with coconut milk, chicken broth, and sweet potatoes until the sweet potatoes are almost tender. Coconut milk is wonderful because it adds so much body to this tasty sweet potato curry. It also incorporates a slightly sweet undertone that makes this coconut chicken curry completely addictive.
The chicken goes in towards the end so that it doesn’t dry out. I use chicken breast here, which is high protein meat. It cooks quickly and has little fat, so it really only requires 10 minutes or so to cook through. Just keep a close eye on it and you should get perfectly cooked chicken every time. You will know it is cooked when there is no longer any pink inside, but some juiciness is fine.
You could substitute the boneless skinless chicken breasts with boneless skinless chicken thighs if desired, which would hold up better to longer cooking (especially if you intend to reheat it in the future), but they should cook in 10 minutes, too.
Why Use Both Curry Paste and Curry Powder?
This sweet potato and chicken curry utilize both curry paste and curry powder. They may seem similar, but they have different characteristics. The paste is a blend of fresh and dry ingredients like lemongrass, chilies, and galangal. It comes in several varieties at the grocery store like Thai red curry paste, green, and massaman. This curry recipe uses a yellow paste for colour and flavour.
Curry pastes have differences in their heat levels and how they taste. The yellow version tends to have a little more sweetness and warmth than green or red, which is why I use it here. The green curry kind is more earthy and hot, whereas red curry paste is a little more fruity and spicy.
Curry powder is a blend of dry spices. Curry powders can vary across the board, but they commonly contain coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, mustard seeds, ginger, and garlic among others. You can buy a blend of yellow curry powder as either mild or hot, so choose a blend that your family will be able to enjoy easily.
If desired, you could make your own paste or curry powder, although this coconut chicken and sweet potato curry is impossibly easy with store-bought versions. To blend a paste, simply choose your desired ingredients like turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, and chilies. Then you can pulse them together in a food processor until fine or even use a mortar and pestle. A homemade blend will definitely be fresher than store-bought and you should be able to keep it in the fridge for about a week. After a week the taste of the ingredients won’t be as fragrant.
To make your own curry powder blend, gather the common spices like dried turmeric, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, and more. These can simply get tossed together and stored in an airtight jar until you are ready to use it. You can taste the blend as you go to determine if you would like to have more of any particular spice. Ground spices are best kept for only 6 months to 1 year as they start to lose their fragrance over time. If you do happen to keep anything longer than that, though, they are still perfectly safe. You just might want to give them a wake up by toasting in a skillet before using.
Can I Use Regular Potatoes Rather than Sweet Potatoes?
While sweet potatoes are an excellent, nutrient-dense food filled with vitamin A, not everyone loves them. For this reason, you can absolutely substitute the sweet potatoes with regular potatoes if desired. These can sometimes take a little longer to cook than sweet potatoes, though, so just keep a watchful eye on them so you can time when to add the chicken correctly.
Waxy potatoes are ideal to add to curries because they hold their shape the best. They also have a slightly thinner skin which can make them a little more pleasant to eat if you are not peeling them. These include new potatoes and fingerlings, among others. You can definitely use starchy potatoes like russets, but they might end up breaking up into your curry a little and thickening up the broth.
How to Freeze Coconut Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry
While this coconut curry is incredibly fast to make, sometimes there just even isn’t enough time to make even a 30-minute recipe. Luckily, you can freeze it easily to have on hand for later.
To do this, you should allow your chicken curry to cool completely. Then, you can divide it between airtight containers or sealable bags and place them in the freezer. It will be best to use the curry within 3 months, as flavours and textures can deteriorate over time. Containers or jars are usually the best as they won’t leak if accidentally punctured, like in the case of plastic bags. If you like to store your freezer food in jars, just make sure there is at least a 1/2-inch to 1-inch worth of headspace. This will ensure that the jar won’t break in the freezer when the food freezes and expands.
When ready to use, remove from the freezer to thaw; preferably overnight in the fridge. Then, you can just add it to a pot to reheat. It’s always a good idea to taste and re-season your coconut curry if necessary, as flavours can mellow out a little in the freezer.
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Coconut Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry
This coconut chicken and sweet potato curry is a heavenly combination of coconut milk, chicken, and sweet potato, flavored with both curry paste and powder. This delicious takes only 30 minutes to hit the table. Enjoy with steamed (brown) rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
- 2 tablespoons oil olive or coconut oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 15- ounce can coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 lb chicken breast in bite-sized cubes
- 1 large sweet potato (or 2 medium-small ones) cubed
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- juice of 1 lime or to taste
Heat a large pan or skillet. Add the oil and sauté the chopped onion until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
Now, add the yellow curry paste. Spread it around the pan as best as you can, so it gets fragrant throughout.
Then, stir in curry powder and add coconut milk and chicken broth.
Stir in coconut sugar. Add the cubed sweet potatoes. Close with a lid and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Then stir in the chicken pieces and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potato dices are softened (aprox. another 10 minutes).
Remove the lid and taste the curry. Adjust flavors with fish sauce for saltiness and lime juice for acidity.
Serve this Sweet Potato Chicken Curry alongside steamed rice or quinoa. Serve with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.