Lemongrass and Basil Chicken Curry

This is a quick and easy curry to whip together when you have that craving anytime during the week; yes, you even have time to make if after you get back from work! A lot of people get scared out of making curries and opt to use pre-made curry mixes in a jar, but this is very easy, and you can control how spicy you would like it to be. As I have made it below, it was not too spicy at all, which really allowed the lemongrass and ginger to come forward and support that fresh basil flavour.

For this dish, serving 2-3 people, you will need:
  • Half an onion, chopped.
  • Roughly 1/3 cup of chopped ginger*, or ginger powder.
  • 4 stems of lemongrass.
  • One clove of garlic, chopped.
  • Half a cup of basil leaves.
  • One tablespoon of curry powder.
  • 500 milliliters of chicken stock.
  • 3-4 pieces of chicken, as desired.
  • One can of coconut milk.
  • 1/3 cup of chopped green chilies (optional).
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

I made my own curry powder for this, using some cayenne pepper, yellow curry powder, paprika, turmeric, and some other pantry staples, but you can pretty much use any store-bought brand. Naturally, the taste of this curry will change depending on the powder you use, and that will also allow you to control the spiciness. You will note that I did not add any chillies! Feel free to chop up about 1/3 cup of green chilies for an awesome flavour kick ... I cannot find good green chilies where I am at the moment, so I had to do without.

Okay, first we need to tackle that lemongrass. If you are using lemongrass powder, just add it with the rest of the curry powder below.

Remove the outer husk of the lemongrass, we aren't going to eat this bit.

Next, chop that lemongrass up into little pieces.

Get your chicken stock to a boil and add the lemongrass directly into it. This will serve two purposes; it will infuse your stock with the lemongrass flavour, and it will soften the lemongrass.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in your skillet or wok.

Add the onions, garlic, and ginger, and fry them until the garlic starts becoming golden brown.

Then add the curry powder to the ginger, garlic, onion mixture and mix it in well.

Once the curry powder is well mixed with the onion, garlic, and ginger, add your chicken to the pan. I had drumsticks left over, so that is what I am using. Normally, I prefer chicken thighs for a curry.

Turn your chicken around to get it nicely coated with the curry and spices and brown the chicken.

Once the chicken is browned, add your chicken stock and lemongrass to the pan.

Throw in your basil leaves, cover the dish, and leave it for 10-15 minutes to let the chicken finish cooking.

Once the chicken is cooked, add your coconut milk and mix it in well.

Let it stew for a couple of minutes, and then serve with some warm rice!

*Tip: Don't throw away your ginger! Refer to our "Let's not waste anything!" page, and check out few ideas on how to use your leftover ginger.

As with all the other recipes we put on this site, this is meant to be easy to follow. We are hobby chefs who love to cook, and we are always up for learning new techniques. If you know of anything in this recipe which can be done a different way, whether for increased ease of preparation or better taste, please add a comment below!

Whipped up by Shyamal Addanki

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