The heat in this creamy coconut chicken curry is subtle and gentle; from the mustard seeds, ginger, cayenne pepper and smidgen of chilli. It absolutely will not knock your socks off. If you’re looking for something hotter, may I recommend serving with fresh chillis on the side? says Holly Bell, a food blogger, writer and finalist in The Great British Bake-Off.

Traditional homemade chicken curry with coconut milk


  • 3tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions peeled and finely chopped
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 50g creamed coconut grated
  • 400ml cold water
  • 600g chicken breast/thigh chopped into 3cm pieces


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, along with the salt, for 20 minutes, over a low heat, until really soft. Add the cumin, mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, cayenne and chilli, stir and fry for a further minute.

  • STEP 2

    Add the coconut cream (this comes in a block) and the water, turn up the heat and stir well.

    Add the chicken and simmer on a medium heat for 15 - 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced a little.

  • STEP 3

    Serve with fluffy basmati rice or chapatis.