This is my favorite curry of all time, and I promise I’m not exaggerating. I love all curries from all types of cuisines, but this one has always had my heart. The inspiration for this one is based on #54 at our local Thai restaurant. They make a yellow curry enriched with just a hint of peanuts that will keep you coming back again and again for more years than anyone would want to count.
Over the years I’ve tried to come up with a yellow curry that is even close, but I’ve mostly been disappointed. It wasn’t until I started using a specific curry paste which we’ll talk about below that I finally started getting some good results. From there it was just a matter of getting just the right amount of peanut flavor in there without it being overwhelming. And finally after so many years of trying to get it right, I have a recipe that rivals #54!
And as a quick note, you definitely don’t have to make this with peanut butter. You can easily sub in cashew butter to keep it paleo, or if you have a peanut allergy. If you can’t have nuts at all, just leave it out, and the curry will still be good. Nut butter just gives it a little something extra that keeps everyone coming back for more.
I should also mention that the veggies I used here are based on what our local restaurant uses, and what I had in the fridge. You can use any mix of veggies you’d like, but this is the particular combination I come back to again and again.
To begin, prep the veggies and set them aside.
And now on to the curry paste. This isn’t sponsored or anything, this is simply the best curry paste I’ve ever purchased. Not only does the flavor take your curries to the ‘next level’, there’s no additives, dyes, or sugar added.
It’s a lot of curry paste, so if you don’t make curry very often, split it with someone else. Or you can freeze it in ice cube trays, before placing the curry paste cubes into a sealed container to freeze.
The final thing to prep is to roughly chop the spinach. I like to add the spinach when the curry is done, and just let it wilt in the residual heat.
You can serve this with steamed rice/noodles or cauliflower rice. I’ve even served this curry over sweet potato, butternut, and zucchini noodles – and each one is good in it’s own way.
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil, or other oil suitable for high heat
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed into ½" pieces
- 1 large onion, 12 ounces
- 3 cups thinly sliced peeled carrots, about 1 pound
- 2 Tablespoons yellow curry paste
- 1 Teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 1 Tablespoon lime zest
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, or cashew butter for paleo
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 4 cups chopped baby spinach, 4-6 ounces
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- roughly chopped peanuts, or cashew for paleo
- lime wedges
- To prepare the onion, slice off both ends, then cut the onion in half from the top to the bottom. Peel away the tough outer layer, and place both halves flat side down on the cutting board. Then cut across the rounded top into ¼" thick half moon slices. Set the onion aside along with the thinly sliced carrots, and assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- When all the ingredients have been prepped, place a 10-12" skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the avocado oil and cubed chicken thighs. Sauté the chicken until it's just done and browned, (use a metal spatula if you're using a cast iron skillet to make it easier to scrape the browned bits off the bottom). Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the onion and carrots to the pan, and cook just until crisp tender, about 6-8 minutes. Then add the curry paste and turmeric. Stir to combine, breaking up the curry paste, about 1 minute. Finally add the coconut milk and lime zest. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the curry has thickened and the veggies are done, about 8-10 minutes.
- To finish the curry add the chicken back to the pan along with the lime juice and nut butter of choice if you're using it. Stir to combine, then add sea salt to your taste.
- Turn the heat off and add the chopped baby spinach. Stir to combine and let the curry sit just long enough for the spinach to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.
- Serve the curry with your choice of toppings, and your choice of veggie noodles/rice/cauliflower rice.
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