Here’s a really terrific Coconut Curry Sauce with beautiful depth of flavour yet is made with everyday spices. It’s outrageously addictive, and pairs beautifully with chicken, vegetables and legumes.
I’ve used made a Coconut Curry with pumpkin, lentils and cashews here, but see the recipe for the “formula” to use it for what you please! On the table in 30 minutes.
Easy Coconut Curry Sauce that’s highly versatile
If you’ve ever dumped curry powder into liquid then stomped your foot in a huff when you found the sauce to be meh, then this easy Coconut Curry Sauce is for you!
You’re going to absolutely love that you can find all the spices at supermarkets.
You’re going to adore the beautiful coconut flavour that mingles with the spices.
You’ll go bonkers over how it tastes like a full flavoured coconut Indian curry – except you made it in 30 minutes from scratch.
And you’re going to really enjoy lapping up all the compliments from your family and friends. (“OMG that’s the best curry I’ve ever had!!” <– True story, text from a friend)
Coconut curry sauce spices
The spices in the coconut curry sauce are:
- curry powder
- garam masala*
Curry powder is the base for this Easy Coconut Curry, but it’s too bland if you don’t add other spices. I experimented with various combinations and tried to cut down on the number of spices but it just wasn’t the same. So they’re all staying in!
What is garam masala?
Garam masala is a crucial spice mix in Indian cooking and smells like a potent curry powder. It really makes a difference in simple curry sauces, so be sure not to skip it! Here in Australia, you’ll find it at all the major supermarkets nowadays, and it costs no more than other spices.
Making the coconut curry sauce
There’s nothing tricky about the coconut curry sauce:
- Sauté onion, garlic and ginger (fresh please!);
- Add Spices and cook – this brings out the flavour of the spices, making them bloom;
- Add coconut milk, tomato passata (tomato puree in the States, or even Tomato Sauce) plus chicken or vegetable broth/stock;
- Simmer to bring the flavours together
And there you have your curry sauce. And this is where you can unleash your wild side and let the creative juices flow. Or, as the case may be, rummage in your pantry and squabble around in the fridge and use whatever you can find. 🙂
What to put in Coconut Curry
This is where things get fun. You can literally put anything in this Easy Coconut Curry Sauce and it’s going to taste great. Here are some ideas:
- Lentils, pumpkin, spinach and cashews (pictured). Terrific combination my friends go bonkers over;
- Chicken, fish or prawns – sear before starting recipe, then add them back in later;
- Sweet potato, normal potato, zucchini, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, squash;
- Other legumes – chickpeas are sensational, and any other type of beans.
I’ve included a guide in the recipe notes for when to add different ingredients. For proteins, it’s well worth searing them before starting the recipe, then just add them back in later once the sauce is done.
30 minutes. That’s how far away you are from a homemade-from-scratch Coconut Curry.
The flavour is not quite as in-your-face punchy like with Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala. But then again, you haven’t had to marinate overnight and you’ve used half the spices. In fact, I intentionally dialled back the spices in this recipe to let the coconut flavour come through.
But no one could ever say this is lacking in taste. No one has ever accused me of making bland food – and I intend to keep it that way!! – Nagi x
If you love coconut milk sauces, you’ll love these!
- An amazing easy Thai Coconut Noodle Soup
- Salmon in Coconut Lime Sauce
- Coconut Pot Roasted Chicken
- Coconut Marinated Chicken
- Thai Coconut Chicken
- Thai Green Curry and Red Curry
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Easy Coconut Curry Sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger , finely grated
- 1/2 onion , finely chopped (brown or yellow)
- 400g/14oz can coconut milk (full fat)
- 1 cup/ 250 ml chicken broth
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml tomato passata (tomato puree) (Note 1)
- 400 g/14 oz can brown lentils , drained
- 250 g / 8 oz pumpkin (~3 cups) , cut into 2cm / 4/5" cubes
- 80 g / 2 cups (packed) baby spinach
- 1/2 cup cashews , unsalted (roasted or raw) (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp each salt + pepper
- 1 tbsp garam masala (Note 3)
- 2 tbsp curry powder (mild or spicy, your choice) (Note 4)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp paprika (sweet, or hot for spice!)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Coriander/cilantro leaves, whole or chopped
- Chopped cashews (optional)
- Heat oil in a deep skillet or pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger, cook for 2 minutes until onion is a bit tinged with gold.
- Add Spices and stir for 1 minute - don't worry if it looks a bit dried out.
- Add coconut milk, passata and broth. Stir until incorporated.
- Add lentils and pumpkin. Bring to simmer then adjust heat so it's simmering energetically.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until pumpkin is tender but not mushy, and sauce has thickened.
- Stir through baby spinach until wilted, then cashew nuts.
- Add salt and pepper last, adjusting to taste.
- Serve over rice, sprinkled with coriander and extra cashews, if using.
LIFE OF DOZER
Yes, he even eats shampoo bubbles….