Thai Panang Curry Recipe

Thai Penang Curry Chicken
Thai Penang Curry Chicken.
    90 mins
Ratings (30)

Panang Curry (also spelled 'Penang' like the northern Malaysian state) features a warm, rich flavor, carrying the tastes and aromas of distant places - you'll find reference notes to Malaysia, Burma and even India.  It's a beautiful red curry usually made with chicken, as it is here, and some vegetables added for additional flavor and nutrients. Don't be put off by the longer list of ingredients in the sauce: all of these are simply tossed in your food processor or chopper and easily blitzed.  All of those ingredients amounts to a richer, more complex flavor you will appreciate.  Enjoy this sumptuous and authentic homemade Thai recipe, direct from my kitchen to yours!

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound chicken pieces, breast, thigh or drumsticks
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper or sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, or substitute bay leaves
  • 1/2 loose cup fresh basil leaves, left whole or roughly chopped if leaves are large
  • Curry Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 1-2 red chili, minced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper or chili flakes to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 can good-quality coconut milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

How to Make It

  1. To make the curry sauce, place all sauce ingredients - except the whole cumin seeds - in a food processor. Process well.
  2. Pour sauce into a casserole dish. If you'd like more sauce, add up to 1/2 cup good-tasting chicken stock and stir together. Now add the chicken pieces along with the cumin seed plus lime leaves or bay leaves. Mix well.
  3. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Note: this curry would traditionally be simmered over a stove-top or wood fire. I've taken the liberty of adjusting it to an oven recipe for ease of preparation, but feel free to simmer it on your stove-top if desired, being sure to cover it and stir occasionally until cooked.
  1. Remove from oven and add the tomatoes and peppers. Stir well, then return to oven to bake another 15-20 minutes, or until both chicken and vegetables are cooked.
  2. Do a taste test: add more fish sauce if not salty enough; if too spicy, add more coconut milk or a little yogurt. If too salty, add more lime juice.
  3. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice (white or whole-grain).