This great dish is one of my favourites. It can be easily tweaked, depending on one’s tastes and preferences (see notes below). It is largely based on Martin Yan’s ‘Chicken and Potato Yellow Curry’ recipe in his Quick & Easy cookbook.
N.B.: The recipe as set down below is the original treyf (not kosher) version. Check the Kosher Korner notes below on how to make this dish kosher!
- 3 or 4 new white potatoes, unpeeled and cut into bitesized chunks
- 14 ounce (400 mL) can unsweetened coconut milk (the thicker kind for cooking, not drinking)
- 3 tablespoons curry paste (yellow or green, if you can get it)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh meat
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nampla) [see kosher notes below!]
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
- Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- In a saucepan, cook potatoes in boiling water until tender (about 15 minutes), then drain.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the coconut milk into a saucepan and place over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Stir in curry paste and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until curry paste blends with coconut milk. Add remaining coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.
- Add chicken to boiling curry milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in the centre (about 4 minutes).
- Add sugar, fish sauce and potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add chopped cilantro and cornstarch solution.
- Cook, stirring, until sauce boils (about a minute or so).
- Transfer to serving plate, garnish with cilantro leaves.
- This dish can be served in a bowl, or with/on rice.
- When I make this recipe, I use a 19 oz (560 mL) can of coconut milk.
- Add 2 or 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves to the curry-coconut milk mix before adding the chicken and potatoes.
- To make the dish even quicker and easier, use canned white potato slices.
- Some feel the recipe produces a soup or broth that is not thick enough. To thicken, try adding finely crumbled matzah in order to thicken dish into a stew, or cook extra potatoes and mash some of the cooked potato chunks to thicken the dish.
- Try adding additional vegetables like carrots or onions.
- Instead of cilantro for a garnish, try chives or thinly sliced green onion.
- As indicated above, the recipe as set out above is not kosher as it contains nampla, a Thai fish sauce which is basically anchovy-flavoured salt water, in violation of the rabbinic prohibition of cooking meat and fish together. In order to get around this, you can leave out the fish sauce or, if you want a nice vegetarian dish, leave out the chicken and add cooked carrot slices/chunks. Some even add finely chopped cooked sweet onions.
- If you want to go pareve or vegetarian, you can use the fish sauce and a pareve (non-meat) chicken since the flavour in this dish comes mostly from the curry, not the chicken. Try adding chunks of matzah as well, instead of chicken.
- If you are going to use matzah, use the machine-made ‘square’ matzah. I like to use Manischewitz Egg Matzah. Hand-made shmurah matzah doesn’t soften/blend as well as machine-made matzah but this can be an advantage if you want the matzah pieces to retain their shape and consistency.
- Warning: Be aware that some very observant people will not want to eat this dish, even if it is 100% kosher, because it LOOKS like it is violating the prohibition against cooking meat with milk. Obviously, coconut milk is not true milk (as from an animal) but many observant people do not want to eat anything that even appears to be treyf (not kosher). It is best to check with your guests in advance.