Curry powder simmers with fresh ginger and garlic for an easy, one-skillet chicken dinner that’s bursting with flavor! This healthy coconut chicken curry is naturally keto, low-carb, and gluten-free, but tastes like true comfort food! You are going to love my keto chicken curry.
Hey there, it’s Sarah from Green and Keto. My family loves Indian Food, and it has always been our go-to takeout choice. For many years, I couldn’t imagine cooking those seemingly complicated dishes at home. But once I gave it a shot, I realized that Indian curry can be easy to make, as long as you have the right ingredients.
This particular dish, Coconut Curry Chicken, is an all-star recipe. It’s definitely a family favorite. I love how easy it is to whip up on a weeknight. And I really love how any keto chicken curry leftovers you may have taste even better the next day.
This keto curry is healthy, too. It’s naturally gluten-free, paleo, and low-carb. What more could you ask for?
The curry is savory, a little salty, and there’s a hint of natural sweetness from the onions and tomato paste. Coconut milk makes it super creamy and delicious. Lime juice gives it a burst of freshness, and there’s a gentle heat from the aromatic curry paste.
How to Make Coconut Chicken Curry
This dish starts with 2 pounds of chicken. I like to use chicken thighs in this recipe, but chicken breasts will work as well.
Then we build flavor with aromatic vegetables and spices. We cook onions in coconut oil, ghee, or butter over medium heat until they are golden and delicious - about 10 minutes. It’s tempting to rush this step, but cooking the onions until they are truly golden is key to developing the flavor of this dish.
Once the onions are fried, we add fresh ginger, garlic, and curry spices. The aromatics and spices are cooked in oil for several more minutes to allow their flavors to “bloom”. Cooking the spices in oil first helps to maximize their flavor -- and then encourages that flavor to distribute throughout the entire dish. This is what makes keto chicken curry so flavorful.
One thing to note about this technique: ground spices can burn quickly, so be sure to stir constantly and be ready to add the coconut milk (the next step of the recipe) to prevent scorching if necessary.
How to Make Curry Powder
Run out of curry powder? That's okay, you can make your own! Here are the spices you’ll need to make a basic, mild curry powder that you can use in this recipe.
Now, just to be clear, the term "curry" is very general. The spice mixtures used to make a “standard” curry powder will be different depending on who you ask and where they are from. But in an effort to make things as simple as possible, I’ve reduced it down to just 4-5 essential spices in this recipe.
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
What to Serve with Keto Chicken Curry
Traditionally, coconut chicken curry would be served with rice or naan bread. If you are looking for a low-carb alternative to rice, try cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice is a nice way to substitute a low-carb vegetable for starchy grains.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
Stores often sell “riced” cauliflower in bags, but it's easy enough to make yourself. There are two basic ways to make cauliflower rice.
- You can either use medium size holes on a traditional box grater to grate chunks of cauliflower into rice-size pieces.
- Or, you can use the grater blade of your food processor to grind large chunks of cauliflower into small, rice-sized pieces.
Whichever way you choose, you can cook your raw cauliflower rice by sauteeing it for 8-10 minutes in a large skillet over medium heat in a tablespoon or two of oil.
Keto-Friendly Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a great, keto-friendly alternative for those who follow a paleo or low-carb diet. It's high in fat, low in carbs, and dairy-free. When shopping for this keto chicken curry recipe, look for full-fat coconut milk. If you are following a low-carb or keto diet, you may want to double-check the ingredients list to make sure there are no added sugars.
Love coconut? Try my Keto Coconut Shrimp next!
Looking for other dairy-free recipes? Check out my archive with all the dairy-free recipes here at Joy Filled Eats. There are over 100!
Coconut Chicken Curry
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 pounds chicken thighs cut into 1 in cubes
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 inch piece of ginger minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can coconut milk 14 oz
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- In a large dutch oven over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add chopped onions and saute 8-10 minutes, until golden.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger. Continue to saute for 1 minute. Add garam masala, curry powder and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste, coconut milk, and chicken to the pan. Stir over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing on top.