{recipe} Creamy Coconut Cumin Chicken

Whenever I need to throw dinner together using things I have around, it often comes out as something like this: a comforting, creamy, spiced-up, coconut milk-based sauce with something in it. Often, it’s chicken–and usually some chickpeas or lentils. I also tend to add finely chopped nuts for flavor, texture, and health.

At any rate, I finally realized it was high time I codified this dish so others can enjoy it too.

I like to serve it over rice, quinoa, or couscous. And feel free to mix more vegetables in!

RECIPE: Creamy Coconut Cumin Chicken
serves 3-4


  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (or thigh meat), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tblsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup drained, rinsed chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 green onions, white and light green part finely chopped


  • Heat olive oil in a heavy sauce pan over high heat. Add chicken and season with salt to taste. Cook to brown on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add cumin seeds, ground cumin and garlic and cook, stirring, about 15-30 seconds, until mixture is fragrant.
  • Add coconut milk, chili flakes, lemon zest and juice, and sugar. Stir, scraping the chicken from the sides of the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low so mixture is simmering. Cook uncovered about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Coconut milk should thicken and reduce a bit during cooking.
  • Taste and add salt if needed. Raise heat to medium high. Add chickpeas and pecans and cook about 2-3 minutes to warm through. Stir in heavy cream and cook a few more minutes.
  • Garnish with green onions. Serve with rice, quinoa, or couscous.

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1 Response

  1. ZZinDC says:

    This sounds great – it might get a try out with leftover Thanksgiving turkey this weekend.