Lemongrass and turmeric chicken curry with roasted sweet potato


The flavour profile here is more fragrant and spiced than any real hit of heat. If you love a curry that brings out a flush in the cheeks, feel free to add a few more chillies to the paste. Given the more delicate nature of this curry sauce, it also works with fish.


  • 500g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 heaped tsp fresh galangal (or 1 tsp ground galangal)
  • Curry paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5cm-piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stems, pale part only, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil


  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 800g free-range chicken thigh fillets, halved
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • small pinch salt
  • juice and zest of 1 lime

To serve

    • freshly sliced red chilli (optional)
    • coriander leaves or additional finely sliced kaffir lime leaves
    • lime wedges (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 160C (180C conventional) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the sweet potato, coconut oil and galangal to coat. Spread out onto prepared tray and bake until the sweet potato is soft. Remove and set aside.

3. While the sweet potato is roasting, prepare the curry. Add the paste ingredients to a food processor and blitz to a fine paste.

4. In a heavy-based large saucepan add half a tablespoon of coconut oil and place over high heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for five minutes or until the oil has split from the paste and it is very fragrant.

5. Reduce the heat to medium, add the coconut cream and cook for an additional five or so minutes. Add the chicken, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes – the sauce shouldn’t be bubbling, it should simmer over a gentle heat to ensure the chicken is poached evenly. Just before serving add the fish sauce, sugar, salt and lime juice and zest then check for seasoning. Add the roasted sweet potato pieces and cook until warmed through (about five minutes).

6. Serve with steamed rice and top with fried shallots, chilli and kaffir lime or coriander, with lime wedges on the side, if using.

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