Fresh turmeric, lemongrass, lime juice, and kaffir lime leaves make this creamy Yellow Chicken Curry very aromatic and delicious. Perfect with naan or rice.
Yellow chili peppers are not a common sight any where I have been too. As such they immediately caught my attention when I saw them in early May at my local grocery store. These slender and long chili peppers have the most brilliant yellow color I have seen in any fruit or vegetable. They look so striking and pretty I could not resist bringing some home. There were not many yellow chili peppers left in the box at the store and so I picked all the good ones I could find. I remember thinking at that time that I could certainly make a Yellow Chicken Curry out of it.
Spicing it Up
Since the bright red chilies beside them were equally slender and pretty, I decided to buy some for comparison. I am glad I did. It turned out that both were only mildly spice, at least according to my taste buds. For a curry to be a curry, it needed some heat and so I added some spicy green bird’s eye chilies (a.k.a. Thai chilies) to the spice paste. Another option would be to add half an orange habanero pepper or to leave it out altogether to keep the curry mild if preferred.
My Version of Yellow Chicken Curry
When people think of Yellow Chicken Curry, they think of the Thai version which comes with a lot more spices in their spice paste. My version is based on this Chicken Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves, swapping out the galangal with fresh turmeric root instead. I did not add any ground Indian spices to the spice paste just so that it will remain a beautiful yellow color. It almost looked like a fruit juice or puree. Very pretty indeed! Hopefully it will remain this pretty color or close to it after cooking. Glad to say that it did not disappoint. The curry was also very good taste wise. The lime juice gave it a really nice and bright flavor.
Tools Used in Making This Yellow Chicken Curry
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- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (cubed) (675g)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 cup water (240ml)
- ¾ cup coconut milk (180ml)
- 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and cut into bite size pieces)
- Salt to taste
- 1 lime (juiced to get 2 tbsp of lime juice)
- 8 yellow chili peppers (or red chili peppers)
- 3 bird’s eye chili (optional)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2 inch turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemongrass (divided - use bottom 4 inches for spice paste)
- Puree spice paste ingredients in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons water if necessary to get the blender going. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium pot. Add spice paste, upper portion of lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry spice paste for 7 to 8 minutes until fragrant.
- Add chicken and stir fry to coat chicken pieces with spices, about 3 minutes.
- Pour in water and stir to mix. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add potatoes and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Pour in coconut milk and season with salt. Stir to mix. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off stove. Stir in lime juice. Allow curry to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
I served this with basmati rice. I forgot to buy some naan which I know will taste very good with this Yellow Chicken Curry. I hope you will give it a try soon.
Note: If you cannot find yellow chili peppers, please use red chili peppers. The color will be redder but I assure you it will still taste superb.