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Thai Yellow Chicken Curry (Gaeng Gari)

Thai yellow chicken curry with potatoes combines tender chicken thighs simmered in a creamy coconut milk curry flavored with prik gaeng karee. Serve the meal with piping-hot jasmine rice or stir-fried vegetables like pad pak.

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry in a bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Thai food is delicious, and this yellow chicken curry is a quick meal that’s ready in 30 minutes.
  • Curry lovers will enjoy a simple, homemade version of the restaurant-style classic. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Coconut Oil: Saute the fresh garlic, ginger, and yellow Thai curry paste in coconut oil.
  • Garlic: I suggest using three garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Ginger: Use fresh pieces of ginger for an extra depth of flavor. 
  • Curry Paste: Yellow curry paste, or nam prik gaeng karee, is the main ingredient that sweetens the curry while adding the perfect amount of heat. Maesri Curry Paste is the best one out there! Mae Ploy Brand curry paste is a solid alternative, and if you have the time, you can also make your own curry paste from scratch.
  • Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into thin slices for optimal results. You can use chicken breast, but remember to adjust the cooking time. The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F (73°C).
  • Coconut Milk: Coconut milk is a staple in Thai cuisine. Use canned coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk for the perfect creamy consistency.
  • Vegetables: Potatoes and carrots provide sweetness to balance the heat. I typically use Yukon gold potatoes or smaller russet potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces. 
  • Fish Sauce: Tasty and fermented, the fish sauce adds the best flavor.
  • Thai Basil: Bites of curry with fresh basil are the best ones! If you can’t find Thai basil, then use what you have.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Replace the carrots and potatoes with other vegetables like zucchini, spinach, red bell pepper, baby corn, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and bamboo shoots.
  • If you want your coconut curry sauce to have more liquid, add some chicken broth until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Include cashews or peanut butter in the curry mixture for a nutty flavor.
  • Sweet the Thai chicken curry with palm or brown sugar.

How to Make Thai Yellow Chicken Curry

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Warm the coconut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Cook for 1 minute.

Thai curry paste in a wok.

Step 2: Stir in the chicken and cook until the color changes, then add ⅓ of a can of coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Chicken thighs searing in curry paste.

Step 3: Add the rest of the coconut milk from the can and the Thai basil leaves. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.

All the ingredients for Thai Yellow Chicken Curry in a wok.

Step 4: Remove the pan from heat and stir in the second can of coconut milk and the fish sauce. Garnish with more Thai basil, Thai chili peppers, and serve with jasmine rice.

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry in a bowl.
Thai Yellow Chicken Curry in a bowl.

Expert Tips

  • Cut the vegetables, especially the potatoes, the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Bloom the yellow curry paste to draw out the flavors by sautéing it in the wok before adding the other ingredients for the curry.

If you enjoy this recipe, try one of these quick dinner ideas!  

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate  The curry is even better the next day. Store leftover chicken curry in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze – Let the dish cool. Then, transfer the curry to a freezer-safe container or bag. Thai yellow chicken curry freezes for up to 4-6 months.
  • Thaw – Defrost the leftover curry in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat Warm leftovers on the stovetop over low-medium heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is yellow Thai curry spicy?

Yellow Thai curry is mild compared to red, green, and panang Thai curries. You can adjust the spice level by using less Thai yellow curry paste. If you can’t find the paste in mainstream grocery stores, check your local Asian market or buy it online. 

Can I use yellow curry powder instead of yellow curry paste?

The outcome will be completely different since the two have distinct flavors and origins. Most Thai yellow curry pastes contain Thai chiles soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes, toasted spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, paprika, and salt combined with chopped lemongrass, garlic, shallot, galangal, and shrimp paste. Combine the ingredients in a mortar and pestle rather than a food processor– for the best results.

Oppositely, the Indian-inspired spices that makeup what is known as yellow curry powder– the most common of which include turmeric, ground cumin, coriander powder, and fenugreek.

More Chicken Recipes:

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Thai Yellow Chicken Curry in a bowl.

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry

Tressa Jamil
Mouthwatering Thai yellow chicken curry combines tender chicken thighs and fresh vegetables for a quick meal that's ready in under 30 minutes!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 492 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 – inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 can sour yellow curry paste, 4-ounces
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 small red or yukon potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans coconut milk, full-fat, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup Thai basi leavesl, to taste, plus more for garnish
Instructions
 
  • Warm the coconut oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the chicken and cook until the color changes, then add ⅓ of a can of coconut milk, carrots, and potatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk from the can and the Thai basil leaves. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the second can of coconut milk and the fish sauce. Garnish with more Thai basil, Thai chili peppers, and serve with jasmine rice.
Notes
Expert Tips: 
  • Cut the vegetables, especially the potatoes, the same size to ensure they cook at the same rate.
  • Bloom the yellow curry paste to draw out the flavors by sautéing it in the wok before adding the other ingredients for the curry.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 492 kcal | Carbohydrates: 22 g | Protein: 15 g | Fat: 40 g | Saturated Fat: 29 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 63 mg | Sodium: 171 mg | Potassium: 881 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 5226 IU | Vitamin C: 21 mg | Calcium: 54 mg | Iron: 5 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Chelsea

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

This recipe is so tasty and super quick and easy!! Definitely don’t skip on the Maesri curry paste, it’s the best!

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

Agreed, the Maesri curry paste is a game-changer.