Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk

chicken curry without coconut served on a plate with naan and a samosa

An Easy Chicken Curry Recipe with no Coconut Milk

I think everyone should try Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk.  If you’re a big fan of coconut milk, that’s ok too.  However, while curry is pretty popular around the world, it feels underutilized in the US.   It’s a shame because chicken curry is creamy, flavorful, goes great with rice, and can be a pretty healthy dinner.

As an added bonus, my Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk is pretty easy to prepare.  Assuming you have curry powder, you probably have all of the ingredients on hand to make it.  The relatively short cook time means this meal can be quickly prepared after work, and still count as being “from scratch.

chicken curry without coconut simmering in pan

Substitute Coconut Milk with Greek Yogurt

Some members of my family absolutely hate coconut in any of their Asian meals.   I personally don’t mind coconut curry, but find this recipe to be even better than any store bought coconut curry.

I like to use greek yogurt as my coconut substitute.  You can also use sour cream, but greek yogurt has more protein by volume, and I always look for easy ways to boost protein in meals.  Greek yogurt is obviously very creamy and will create a rich curry sauce.  It’s also much thicker than coconut milk and helps to thicken the sauce.   I still added a bit of tomato paste to help thicken it.

Scale the heat as needed

Many curries are served quite spicy, but almost every restaurant would scale the heat to your preferences.  When serving this meal, you can add pepper powder or hot sauce to the curry to increase its heat level.  If you want to adjust the heat for the whole meal, add the pepper at the start of cooking so that the flavor has time to permeate the dish.  However, it’s perfectly fine to add some pepper to just one portion before serving if someone in your family wants theirs extra spicy. 

I used a small amount of hot pepper powder (my smoked gochugaru) to add a mild amount of spice to the curry.   Depending on how hot your pepper powder or hot sauce is, you could probably double or triple the amount added.   Just remember to add pepper in small amounts, mix it, and taste it before adding more.  Also, don’t forget to check how hot your curry powder is, mine came already relatively spicy.

Curry spiced chicken with mushrooms and onions in a pan

Serve your Chicken Curry with Naan and Samosas

Curry is fundamentally a meal from India, and so it’s probably obvious that an Indian flatbread like Naan would go well with curry.   In case it’s not obvious, I encourage you to check out my no-yogurt naan recipe and try it out!

If you order curry from an Indian restaurant, there’s a high probability that you ordered samosas as either an appetizer or as a side for the meal.  Samosas are a real delight, and you should try dipping them into the curry sauce.   Check out my samosa recipe to make your own. 

samosa and naan to go with chicken curry

What’s the deal with curry powder?

Curry powder comes from India, and is actually an amalgamation of different spices.  There is no official definition of what spices have to go in curry powder, but the common ones are: turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, ginger, and cardamom.

Substitute salt for fish sauce

This Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk recipe is written using fish sauce in place of salt.   I also include a note to substitute salt back in case you don’t have any fish sauce.  However, I encourage you to pick some up from the Asian aisle of your grocery store.   In general, I’d love to see fish sauce make a comeback in western cooking.  During Roman times, fish sauce was used as a condiment and ingredient to flavor most meals in Western Europe.  It has a long history and at one point was as popular or more popular than ketchup is today.  

I use fish sauce in this curry for a few reasons:

  1. Its an authentic way to make many kinds of Thai cooking.
  2. It lowers the overall sodium content of the meal while keeping all of the umami flavor (as per a study done Taylor’s University) 
  3. It tastes great!

Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk Recipe

chicken curry without coconut served on a plate with naan and a samosa

Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk

An Easy Chicken Curry Recipe with no Coconut Milk
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 400 kcal


  • 1 pan


  • 2 lb Chicken Breast
  • 2.5 tbsp Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Curry Powder (to coat chicken)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms or any kind of mushroom
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1.5 tsp Chicken Bullion
  • 1.5 cup Water
  • 3 tsp Garlic Ginger Paste (1 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp miced garlic)
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste


  • Prepare your vegetables by thin slicing an onion and slicing up your mushrooms.
  • Set the vegetables aside and cube your thawed chicken. Coat the cubes in 2 tsp of curry powder.
  • Heat a pan to medium high heat and put down a tablespoon of cooking oil. Add your chicken and fry them until the outsides have browned. They don’t need to be completely cooked through yet, the chicken will simmer in the sauce later.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate, and add the onions. Cook them until they start turning translucent, then add the ginger garlic paste and the mushrooms. Cook both for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the curry powder, chicken bullion, and spicy pepper powder. Mix it all together and then add the water and fish sauce. Mix again, then add the yogurt and mix it in well. Lastly, add the tomato paste and mix that in well.
  • Let the pan simmer for at least 10 minutes. Before serving, pull out a chicken piece and check it for doneness. Serve over rice, with naan and samosas. Enjoy 🙂


Calories are just for 1/4 of the chicken curry sauce, does not include rice or sides. 


Serving: 0.25gCalories: 400kcal
Keyword curry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Curry without Coconut Milk
Serving Size
0.25 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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