East African Chicken & Coconut Curry (Kuku Paka)

East African Chicken & Coconut Curry (Kuku Paka)

East African marinated chicken in a lightly spiced coconut sauce. This is a rich and creamy curry from the coastal region of Kenya that combines the wonderful flavour of coconut milk with aromatic ground spices and marinated chicken.

 

My first memory of tasting kuku paka was as a child on a family holiday to Zanzibar. We had taken a rickety little boat to a small hut restaurant on the beach and the kuku paka was cooked on a fire pit especially for us. My family and I all sat around the fire whilst this local lady made the kuku paka from scratch right there in front of us on a remote section of the beach. I still remember the delicious smells and smoke filling the air whilst my brothers and I built sand castles and collected shells that washed up by the sea. I also remember it taking hours to cook and by the end we were absolutely starving.

 

This is my mum’s recipe which is fairly quick to make and is simply delicious. This is my African comfort food. The chicken is marinated in cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala and grilled or oven baked. It is then added to a creamy coconut sauce which is lightly spiced with turmeric and green chillies. This Swahili dish truly captures the diverse cultures that influence East African cuisine and is a delicious harmony of how African, Arab and Indian influences come together. Absolutely delicious served with rice. A must try for anyone who likes creamy coconut flavours combined with fragrant spices.

 

East African Chicken & Coconut Curry (Kuku Paka)

March 18, 2019
: 4
: 10 min
: 30 min

East African marinated chicken in a lightly spiced coconut sauce. This is a rich and creamy curry from the coastal region of Kenya that combines the wonderful flavour of coconut milk with aromatic ground spices and marinated chicken.

By:

Ingredients
  • Chicken:
  • 4 chicken legs (or any other cut with skin or skinless, choose as preferred)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tin full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups (200g) coconut milk powder mixed into 1 ½ (375ml) cups lukewarm water
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ - 1 tsp salt (adjust according to taste)
  • 4 – 6 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • To Serve: (optional)
  • Finely chopped coriander
  • Lemon wedges
  • Sliced boiled eggs
Directions
  • Step 1 Lightly score the chicken pieces. Mix all the chicken ingredients thoroughly together and rub on the chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour. The longer you leave the marinade the more flavourful the chicken.
  • Step 2 Once chicken has marinated bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (355°F), for 20 – 30 minutes, until skin is crisp (if using chicken with skin) and chicken cooked through. (You can also grill the chicken on a BBQ).
  • Step 3 Meanwhile, in a pan thoroughly combine the coconut milk and coconut powder mixed with water and bring to boil.
  • Step 4 Reduce the heat to medium low and add the turmeric powder, salt and green chillies. Cook until the sauce has thickened (approximately 10 minutes).
  • Step 5 Take off the heat and mix in the lemon juice.
  • Step 6 To serve add the chicken pieces to the sauce and drizzle any leftover baked chicken marinade. Serve with finely chopped coriander, lemon wedges and sliced boiled eggs.
  • Step 7 Enjoy x


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