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This one pot coconut chicken curry recipe highlights the deliciousness of East African cuisine. Chicken thighs are simmered coconut curry sauce with ginger, garlic, crushed tomatoes and fragrant spices, and topped with crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro for a tasty final layer of flavor.

COCONUT CHICKEN with East African Flavors

  • Author: by Lisa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 5-6 1x


Tender chicken thighs in a spicy coconut curry sauce


  • ¼ cup oil (sunflower, olive or canola)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 tablespoons very finely chopped or grated fresh ginger (2 inch piece)
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (from a can)
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (about 12 thighs), skin removed & trimmed of fat
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (seeds and membranes discarded), finely chopped
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (shake well before opening)
  • Lemon wedges (to serve on the side)
  • Toppings (choose your favorites)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Sliced bananas browned in a little butter


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions and cook 5-7 minutes until softened and starting to brown. Add garlic and ginger and stir for 20 seconds. Add dry spices and stir for 20 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and chicken thighs. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to cook spices and flavor the chicken. Add coconut milk and chopped jalapeños. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Let chicken sit for a few minutes. Excess fat will rise to the surface and you can skim some of it off with a spoon.
  2. Serve in deep bowls with basmati rice, lemon wedges and an assortment of toppings. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Main Dish, Curry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tanzanian

Keywords: Braised chicken in coconut curry sauce, Curried chicken thighs