This chicken sweet potato curry is warming, healthy and scrumptiously creamy. A colorful dish loaded with juicy chicken and tender sweet vegetables simmered in a coconut milk based curry full of exotic and aromatic flavors. Served with rice, noodles or naan, this fragrant vegetable chicken curry is a bowl of goodness anyone will love.

long view of chicken sweet potato curry with rice in a bowl

Homemade curry paste

You might wonder, why not just use a store-bought curry paste out of a jar? And indeed, you can easily use your favorite curry paste for this chicken curry recipe. So why go through all the effort in making a curry paste from scratch? Here’s why:

  • You have full control of the spiciness and heat.
  • The homemade version contains only your favorite spices and herbs.
  • It is easier to adjust the ingredients and quantities and make it completely according to your own taste.
  • It will be way more aromatic and packed with flavor containing only healthy ingredients, no synthetic additives.

So making your own homemade curry paste might seem overwhelming, but keeping in mind the above reasons it is so worthwhile. Once you’ve made it you will realise just how easy and much more flavorful it is.

How to make the curry paste

Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Making your own curry paste calls for a lot of spices, but that is what provides the intense flavor of a great curry paste. The good news is that you can substitute the dry spices with your favorite curry powder. However, once you have bought a few key spices (cumin, coriander and turmeric) you can keep them in your pantry and use these for future curry paste recipes. Here’s what I use to make curry paste:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger: Adds a warming, pungent but mildly spicy touch to any curry.
  • Chilli: Both dried and fresh chillis are fine to use. Use more or less spicy ones depending on the level of heat you want in your curry paste.
  • Oil: Use a regular cooking oil like sunflower, canola or peanut oil.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Basil leaves: Thai basil has a more pungent taste than Italian basil. As it isn’t always easy to find Thai basil you can just substitute it with the more common Italian basil which still provides a lovely fresh, sweet and mildly pungent flavor.

Dry spices:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Turmeric

Add all the above ingredients to a food processor and blend until a paste forms. Remember to check the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

long view of ingredients curry paste to blend
blended curry paste ready to cook

Chicken sweet potato curry ingredients

  • Chicken breast: This recipe calls for chicken breast. If you use chicken thighs the cooking time will be different. Cut the chicken breast into small bite-size cubes. There is however no need to brown the chicken in advance as it will be cooked in the coconut curry. This allows the chicken to infuse all the lovely flavors keeping it tender and juicy.

  • Sweet potato: The sweet and mild taste does really well in a creamy curry sauce. Use either the orange-fleshed or yellow sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-size cubes.

  • Carrots: Add some carrots for color and additional sweet, earthy notes.

  • Red bell peppers: Any color will work, however the red bell pepper is sweeter in taste which suits this recipe better.

  • Coconut milk: Use full-fat coconut milk to make the curry rich, creamy, non-dairy and full of flavor. If you prefer the light version, the sauce will be less rich and slightly thinner.

  • Curry paste: Make your own homemade curry paste as per the instructions above and on the recipe card.

  • Sugar: A teaspoon of white or brown sugar helps to balance the flavors.

  • Cooking oil: Use a neutral cooking oil for sweating the vegetables, like peanut, canola or coconut oil.

How to make Sweet potato chicken curry

Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

diced sweet potato and red bell pepper
cooking chicken with vegetables in a wok
  • Prepare the vegetables: Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Peel the carrots and finely slice them. Wash and seed the red bell pepper and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

  • Prepare the chicken: Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch or 2.5 cm pieces. Set aside for later.

  • Cook the curry paste: Heat cooking oil in a skillet or wok on medium heat, add the curry paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Frying the curry paste first will intensify the flavor. It will also ensure that the raw ingredients used to make the curry paste (garlic, onion and ginger) are cooked.

  • Cook the vegetables: Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Add the sweet potatoes, red pepper and carrots, stir to combine and cover with a lid. Simmer on medium to low heat until the vegetables are slightly soft.

  • Finish the curry: Add the diced chicken breast and the sugar to the curry and mix well until all ingredients are covered in the sauce. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes, covered, on medium to low heat until all the vegetables and the chicken are cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Leave to rest: Take the skillet off the heat and set aside, covered, to let all the flavors intensify. Do this for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving.
wide view of chicken and sweet potato curry with rice and chopsticks in a blue bowl

Useful tips & tricks

Do I need to brown the chicken before cooking?


No, this is not necessary. I find that when cooking the chicken directly in the coconut curry it absorbs the flavors much better which keeps it juicy and tender.

Why do I need to fry the curry paste?


The curry paste is made with raw ingredients, like onion, garlic and ginger. Frying it all will make said ingredients release their flavors, intensifying their overall taste. You will notice the wonderful aromas when cooking.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?


Yes you can. However, keep in mind that chicken thighs have a different cooking time than chicken breasts. So check the chicken regularly while cooking so it doesn’t over- or undercook.

Can I add other vegetables?


Of course you can. You can substitute the sweet potatoes or carrots with butternut or add green beans or peas. You can also make this curry completely vegetarian by leaving out the chicken.

Can I make this dish in advance?


Yes, and it is even better to make it in advance. When a curry ‘rests’ for a whil, the flavors become more intense. So you can easily prepare this dish a day in advance and store it in the fridge overnight. Just reheat before serving.

Can this curry be stored in the freezer?


When making a larger batch you can store the leftover curry in the freezer for up to 3 months. Leave to cool then store in a sealed container. To reheat, remove from the freezer and leave to thaw in the fridge overnight. Before serving, reheat in a saucepan on low heat.

Can I use ready made curry paste?


If you decide not to make your own curry paste for this recipe you can use store-bought curry paste. In order not to divert too much from the intended flavor combinations do check for a curry paste with similar ingredients.

close up of sweet potato chicken curry with rice and chopsticks

Serving suggestions

This sweet potato chicken curry goes best with rice to soak up all the lovely sauce. Serve with either Basmati, Jasmine, plain white or brown, or make a low carb cauliflower rice.

You can also consider serving this curry with flatbread, naan, or some extra side dishes like; tomato and onion salad, sautéed green beans, or crispy roasted chickpeas.

More curry dishes to try

wide view of chicken and sweet potato curry with rice and chopsticks in a blue bowl
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Sweet potato chicken curry

This chicken sweet potato curry is warming, healthy and scrumptiously creamy. It's a colorful dish loaded with juicy chicken and tender, sweet vegetables which is all simmered in a coconut milk based curry sauce full of exotic and aromatic flavors. Served with rice, noodles or naan, this fragrant vegetable chicken curry is a bowl of goodness anyone will love.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Resting time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 2
Author: Sabine

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces (or 300 grams) chicken breasts
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and cubed
  • 13.5 ounces (or 400 ml) can of coconut milk full-fat
  • 1 teaspoon sugar white or brown
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

For the Curry Paste

  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger 5cm
  • 2 chillis
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon oil sunflower, peanut or coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

Instructions

For the Curry Paste

  • Add all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

For the Curry

  • Peel the sweet potato and cut in cubes of 1.5 cm (or 1 inch). Peel the carrots and cut in slices of 1.5 cm. Seed the red bell pepper and cut in cubes of 1.5 cm.
  • Cut the chicken breast in 1 inch or 2.5 cm cubes. Set aside for later.
  • Add the cooking oil to a wok or skillet and fry the curry paste on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Pour the coconut milk over the curry paste and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer on medium to low heat for 3-5 minutes to concentrate the flavors. Add the sweet potato, carrots and red pepper, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for a further 10 minutes.
  • Add the diced chicken and the sugar and mix well until all the ingredients are covered by the coconut curry. Cook on medium to low heat, covered, for 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Set aside covered with a lid for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Use either a food processor or hand mixer to make the curry paste.
  • Coconut milk: Not all coconut milk is the same. Some are more fatty than others. If you use very thick coconut milk consider adding a bit of water to make the sauce slightly thinner.
  • Curry paste: As a substitute you can use ready-made curry paste from the store. Just check the ingredients in the paste to match this homemade recipe as close as possible.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment with rating below and share a picture with the hashtag #thetastychilli and tag me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

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