Chiang Mai chicken curry

This northern Thai-style curry is flavoured with ginger as well as turmeric. It's slightly sour and deliciously light.

You'll need

1 tbsp coconut oil 700 gm skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into 6cm-8cm pieces 1 star anise 60 gm ginger, peeled and cut into julienne, plus extra to serve 1½ tbsp tamarind extract, or to taste (see note) 1 tbsp crushed light palm sugar, or to taste 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste 65 gm roasted peanuts, plus extra to serve Steamed jasmine rice and Thai basil, to serve   Chiang Mai curry paste 12 dried red chillies (10 gm), seeds removed, soaked in cold water for 2-3 hours, drained 40 gm ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 golden shallot, coarsely chopped 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only) 1 garlic clove, chopped 1 tsp shrimp paste 10 gm (about 1cm) fresh turmeric, peeled and coarsely chopped ½ tsp cumin seeds


  • 01
  • For curry paste, chop chillies, then pound with remaining ingredients and 1 tsp salt to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle (or process in a small food processor).
  • 02
  • Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add curry paste and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Add chicken and star anise, stir to coat, then add 400ml water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook until chicken is almost cooked (15-20 minutes). Add ginger, tamarind and palm sugar, season to taste with fish sauce and extra tamarind if necessary; sauce should taste salty and sour. Simmer until chicken is tender and curry is well flavoured, adding peanuts during the last few minutes of cooking (20-25 minutes). Adjust seasoning with fish sauce and tamarind if necessary, then serve on rice and scatter with basil, extra ginger and extra peanuts.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

To make tamarind extract, soak 1 tbsp tamarind pulp in 60 ml boiling water in a bowl for 5 minutes, then mix to form a paste and strain.

Drink Suggestion

Perfumed, bitter IPA.

Featured in

Feb 2017

You might also like...

New ways to roast chicken


Yama Kitchen & Bar's Taiwanese fried chicken

Italian poultry recipes


Roast chicken with bread sauce

The ultimate burger collection


Chicken katsu sando with egg salad

Poached chicken and millet salad with peas and mint


Warming broth recipes

Roast chicken thighs with green polenta


Healthy winter recipes

Chipotle-spiced chicken with Mexican green rice


Smoky recipes

Leek, chorizo, cauliflower and chicken bake


conversion tool