Chicken in coconut sauce

Madhur Jaffrey is a huge fan of Bimal Parmars East African kukupaka - chicken marinated in a chilli, garlic and ginger and served in a creamy coconut paka sauce
Chicken in coconut sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus marinading
  • Effort: easy


For the marinade

  • 1 tsp finely chopped hot green chillies
  • 1 tsp peeled, finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp finely grated or crushed garlic

For the chicken

  • 2 whole chicken legs, scored 3-4 times across thigh and drumstick
  • 3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil, plus extra for the chicken
  • 6 tbsp very finely chopped red onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed or finely grated garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp peeled, finely grated root ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped hot green chillies
  • 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 250 ml coconut milk, from a well-shaken can
  • 1 lime, cut into 4, to serve
  • a few coriander leaves, to serve


1. For the marinade: mix all the ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon of salt together and rub well into and over the chicken legs in a non-reactive container, not made from copper or aluminium, making sure to go into the slits. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

2. For the chicken: when youre ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Lightly brush the
chicken with oil, then place on a baking tray.

3. Slide the tray into the middle of the oven and cook for 3040 minutes, or until done. (Pierce the thickest thigh to check: the juices should run clear with no trace of pink. Cook for a little longer if needed.) Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, put the 3 tablespoons of oil into a medium-sized frying pan, about 20 centimetres in diameter, and set it over a medium heat. When its hot, add the onion, frying for about 5 minutes or until the pieces brown at the edges.

5. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Stir for 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ground cumin and coriander, the turmeric, chilli powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, stirring all the while.

6. Mix in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook rapidly over a medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens a bit.

7. Place the chicken in the sauce to heat through, spooning the sauce over it. Remove from the heat. Take the chicken pieces out, put them on a warmed serving plate and pour the sauce over the top.

8. Serve with the lime wedges and garnish with the coriander.

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