Can you imagine an Indian recipe without chili powder? An Italian recipe without butter, or a Chinese recipe without soy? It won’t seem plausible to many, even though it is very much possible to create the most exotic dishes in these cuisines without the support of these popular ingredients. I for one, naively used to believe that cooking a Thai dish meant I will need to purchase galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves – things which I may never use otherwise in my regular cooking. This worry of expense and subsequent wastage discouraged me from trying Thai in my kitchen. Until I realized the magic of curry pastes. Thai red curry paste for instance, packs a punch with shallots, lemongrass, lime, galangal and a load of other beautiful, fragrant ingredients finely ground together. So for a lot of wonderful Thai curries, all you need to purchase is good quality Thai curry pastes – store them in your fridge and you are pretty much sorted to check out a large portion of your ingredient list! 

After my first purchase of the Thai Red Curry paste from Kibsons, I scoured around for an easy recipe for the Thai chicken curry. I found what I was looking for at www. where the pictures showed the perfect consistency I preferred for my curry. 

Apart from the paste, another important ingredient that adds richness and soul to this dish is coconut milk. Find a good quality coconut milk tin – do not get stingy on this as it makes a difference. 

I have made this recipe enough times to different people, and have always earned an appreciation that is especially heartwarming for a novice cook of the Thai cuisine. Do not be alarmed by the ingredient list – it looks long, but there is so very little effort involved and chances are that you will make this again, so invest in the ingredients I’d say!  

Easy Thai Red Curry Chicken

The Ingredients:

Coconut oil – 2 tbsp

Chicken breast cut to thin strips or skinless chicken thighs cut to two pieces – 500 grams

Red bell pepper – 1 

Yellow bell pepper – ½

Orange bell pepper – ½ , all 3 thinly sliced

Ginger – 2 tsp (freshly grated)

Garlic – 4 cloves, minced

Onion – 1 small, chopped

Thai red curry paste – 2 tbsp

Coconut milk – 1 can (good quality – I’ve tried Earth’s Finest and Eastern brands, both have worked well.)

Cornstarch – 1 tbsp

Thai sweet chilli sauce – 1 tbsp

Soy sauce – 2 tbsp

Fish sauce – 2 tbsp

Lime juice – 2 tbsp

Dried basil – 1 tsp

Brown sugar – 1 tbsp

Bay leaf – 1

Salt – ¼ tsp

Pepper – ¼ tsp

Garnish – fresh lime juice, fresh coriander leaves/ cilantro.

The Process:

Step 1- In a large iron skillet or non-stick pan, heat oil. Add the sliced chicken with chopped onion and red curry paste, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. To this, add the sliced bell peppers, ginger and garlic and sauté well. 

Step 2 – Mix the cornstarch in the coconut milk and add it to the skillet along with all the remaining ingredients (except the garnishes). Bring to a boil. 

Step 3 – Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce is simmering nice and thick, remove the bay leaf and switch off the heat. Garnish the curry to serve. The bell peppers can be cooked tender or crisp as you desire, and you can add water to thin the sauce if you prefer. 

That’s it. A ridiculously simple 3-step process recipe, that is wonderfully fragrant and deliciously rich, thanks to the presence of coconut milk and Thai red curry paste which forms the foundation of this dish. Combined with the aromatic goodness of fish sauce, ginger – garlic, lime and basil, this dish transforms into a luscious, comfort curry that becomes the perfect creation to go alongside some sticky jasmine rice on a still, lock-down night. 

Easy Thai Red Curry Chicken