Curries are a staple in my home because they are quick, easy, and versatile. Curry is my go-to recipe when I have random vegetables to use up, and I can throw in any type of meat I have on hand. The warm, spicy flavor and creamy sauce dresses up even cheap cuts of meat. Cheap cuts of meat are our way of life right now.
I lived in Japan with my family as a young child. My dad was teaching English there. He had lived there for a couple years when he was single, which is how he knew Japanese. My mom had lived in Thailand. The results of having had both parents live in Asia were that I ate a lot of good Japanese- and Thai-inspired food growing up. We had Japanese and Thai curries on a regular basis.
Now, I make no claims to authenticity with this recipe. I only claim that it tastes really, really good. And that it’s easy to make. I once had a mango curry at a local Thai restaurant. It tasted like the red curry I’d grown up eating, but with the addition of mangoes. So, I figured I might as well try it at home. It was a smart move–the mangoes are really the star in this curry that makes me want to eat more and more. If fresh mangoes aren’t affordable (or desirable, as is generally the case in my neck of the woods) some stores carry bags of frozen diced mango that are less expensive and convenient to use.
In this recipe, I chose to use bell peppers and zucchini, but keep in mind that you can sub in whatever vegetables (and meat) you prefer. You may have to adjust the cooking time to suit the type of vegetables you use, but that’s about it. Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk or your curry will be very watery. A note on the coconut milk: the only difference between a can of “Lite” coconut milk and full fat is that the “Lite” has been watered down. Since it typically costs the same, it is more cost-efficient to simply buy full-fat coconut milk and water it down yourself. Then you have a lot more “light” coconut milk for your dollar.
You might consider this rich and creamy dish for a Halloween dinner–after all, it’s orange and green!
- 2 TBS canola oil
- 3/4 lb chicken breast, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS minced or grated ginger
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 TBS red curry paste
- 1 1/2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 cup diced mango
- Hot cooked rice
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add oil to hot pan. Add the chicken, onions, bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, curry paste, and brown sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add mango, stirring till heated through. Serve with hot cooked rice. Serves 4
*Note: This recipe was formulated using a hot-style curry paste from an Asian market and yields a mild-medium heat curry. If you are using a mild brand of curry paste such as Thai Kitchen, you may wish to add more curry paste.