Thai green chicken curry

22 May

Thai green chicken curry (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I grew up in a house that only knew one type of curry: mild. “Cartwrights Medium”, to be exact. My Mom used to cook fragrant chicken curries, beef curries, lamb curries, mince curries – all using that same simple spice mixture. I loved it, because it was sweet (she always added chutney to it) and very flavoursome, but I only discovered much later in life that “curry powder” is not a spice. It is actually a Western term given to a prepared mixture of spices. Dishes called “curry” usually refer to meat, fish or vegetables cooked in a gravy that are made from these spice mixtures.

The first time I ate at a proper Indian restaurant, I was literally blown away. I couldn’t believe that there were such a vast array of flavour combinations available in Indian cuisine, and that I’ve been missing out on it for most of my life! “Curry” quickly became one of my favourite foods, and I became more and more adventurous as my taste buds adjusted to the magnificent heat that sometimes came along with it. Not only did I enjoy Indian and Cape Malay curries, but also discovered the Thai version – a lighter, fresher take on what I was used to, using a paste made from fresh green chillies, fresh ginger and lots of fresh coriander. Blended with coconut milk or cream, it became one of my absolute favourite comfort-food dishes, and I now make it very regularly for my family.

You can use any kind of meat for this recipe: chicken works very well, but also try prawns, fish, or vegetables. It is excellent served on fragrant sticky Thai rice, and keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days. To entertain a large crowd, feel free to make the curry a day in advance, as the flavours tend to become even better the day after.


  • 2-3 fresh green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 T chopped fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 1 t (5 ml) dried fine coriander
  • 1/2 t (2.5 ml) dried fine cumin
  • handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 T (30-45 ml) water
  • 2 T (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 t (5 ml) sugar
  • a few drops fish sauce
  • 1 t (5 ml) lemon/lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander for garnish
  • Thai rice to serve with


  1. In a food processor (or using a mortar & pestle), add chillies, ginger, garlic, dried coriander, cumin, fresh coriander and process to a paste. Add a few tablespoons of water to created a more workable consistency.
  2. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add paste all at once, frying quickly for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add coconut milk, turn heat down to medium, and bring to a simmer. Now add sliced chicken and cook in liquid for 5 minutes, covered.
  3. Add sugar, fish sauce, lemon/lime juice, and season well with salt. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. Serve on Thai rice, and top with fresh coriander leaves.

Tip: The sauce will remain quite runny – that is how it is supposed to be. For a thicker, creamier consistency, use coconut cream.


This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Food: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Pictures: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Nicola Pretorius, Tasha Seccombe & Ilse van der Merwe.

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27 Responses to “Thai green chicken curry”

  1. AvocadoPesto May 23, 2012 at 17:18 #

    Sounds delicious! I’ve never tried making green curry from scratch but it’s about time I finally get around to it!

    • The Food Fox May 24, 2012 at 09:22 #

      You’ll see – it is so easy and the frangrances are just intoxicating! Add some green chilli seeds if you feel adventurous in the heat department… 🙂

  2. dinnersforwinners May 23, 2012 at 21:25 #

    Your photo of this is really beautiful! Green curry is my favorite — I have been working from store-bought green curry paste forever. This actually sounds like I could make my own! Thanks!

    • The Food Fox May 24, 2012 at 09:19 #

      Tasha Seccombe is a magician when it comes to photography, and I was lucky enough to have her take pictures of my green curry. I’ll pass on your compliment!

      Green curry paste is so easy to make, you’ll never look back! Enjoy!

  3. marthi May 25, 2012 at 12:39 #

    goeiemore…ek het dit gisteraand gemaak – wel, dis defenitief nou op my spyskaart. dit was ongelooflik absoluut fantasties HEERLIK…!!!!!! baie dankie en ek love jou blog!

    • The Food Fox May 25, 2012 at 14:37 #

      Baie dankie vir jou lieflike boodskap – dis so lekker om te hoor dat jy die thai kerrie geniet het! xx

  4. Lance June 5, 2012 at 10:28 #

    Delicious! Highly recommended. There is a hint of Biryani here, one of my favourites. Thank you.

    • The Food Fox June 5, 2012 at 11:03 #

      Thanks Lance! I love Biryani too, but have never made it. Any recipes you can recommend?

  5. Kirsten June 12, 2012 at 12:55 #

    Thank you for this delicious recipe. I made it last night and I am eating the left overs for lunch right now! So tasty and so easy to make. Keep up the great work on the blog!!

    • The Food Fox June 12, 2012 at 14:17 #

      Thanks so much Kirsten! Curry make for great leftovers, I agree… 🙂

  6. Lisa January 16, 2013 at 10:31 #

    I have only recently started following your blog and LOVE it! Made this dish last night for my family and we were licking our bowls! i’m a great lover of food, cooking and baking and find its my outlet on the weekends or at the end of a busy day of work…keep the recipes coming, please!

    • thefoodfox January 16, 2013 at 10:33 #

      Thanks so much Lisa! That is one of my all-time favourite dishes. 🙂

  7. shannon February 6, 2013 at 23:16 #

    Can’t wait to try make this! I adore green curry and always order it when we go for Thai food. Just wondering how many people does this serve? Thanks!

    • thefoodfox February 11, 2013 at 10:54 #

      Hi Shannon, it serves about 4 people! Hope you like it!

  8. sanjay sebastian March 12, 2013 at 17:03 #

    hey i love thai curry i am from india and i think i will definitely try this with some hot rice

    • thefoodfox March 18, 2013 at 18:16 #

      Thanks Sanjay! Hope you like it!

  9. Passion meets Creativity April 7, 2013 at 18:46 #

    Wow, this curry looks extremely delicious. Is there a special pot needed to prepare the recipe???

    • thefoodfox April 15, 2013 at 13:45 #

      Hi Sheyla, nope, you can prepare it in any large pot or wok or pan. Enjoy!

  10. Sarah October 23, 2013 at 00:29 #

    Made this recipe for the second time in two weeks. I followed it to a “T”. My three young children all ate it and my husband loves it. It is easy to make and actually it doesn’t take too long to put together. The only thing I would do differently is decrease the amt of coconut milk, I found it had too much liquid. What is the size can of coconut milk you use, perhaps my can was too big. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • thefoodfox October 23, 2013 at 08:48 #

      Hi Sarah, you’re right – the sauce is more than enough to actually make a double batch of the rest of the ingredients. I love my green curry very saucy, with the rice soaking up the liquid. But you’re very to use less coconut milk! I think our standard cans are 400g. Have a great day!

  11. Melissa February 19, 2014 at 17:23 #

    What type of green chile do you use exactly? I live in Texas and our chile/pepper section in the grocery store is HUGE. I don’t want to use the wrong kind!

    • thefoodfox February 19, 2014 at 19:29 #

      Hi Melissa! Sounds like your grocery store has a lot more to offer than what I’m used to in South Africa! Haha! Ask your grocer to give you a medium-hot small green chilli, but be guided by what you love in terms of heat. So maybe it would be wise to use what you know? Let me know what the results are! x

  12. Ami@naivecookcooks May 8, 2014 at 06:31 #

    First time on your blog and it is just so beautiful! So many good looking recipes!

    • thefoodfox May 12, 2014 at 18:25 #

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback. xx

  13. Sara October 7, 2014 at 18:46 #

    This looks delicious! Do you know about how many this serves?

  14. Heidi May 11, 2015 at 10:02 #

    Nog ‘n lipleklekker resep van die food fox, so bly ek follow jou! Dit was nou heerlik!

    • thefoodfox June 29, 2015 at 14:00 #

      So bly om dit te hoor Heidi!

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