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Coconut Curry Fried Chicken


Marinated chicken is fried with a coconut crust, and then served with a mango coconut salsa with onion, cilantro and lime juice. A delicious mix of tropical and savory flavors!

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  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 small chicken drumsticks, about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying, about 5 to 6 cups
  • Vegetable shortening, for frying, about 5 to 6 cups
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mango, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lime


Servings 4
Preparation time 25mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Combine the curry powder, cayenne, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Combine the chicken, half of the spice mixture, the yogurt, 1 cup milk and the garlic in a large resealable bag; shake to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread 1/2 cup coconut on a baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 12 minutes; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup coconut, the flour and the remaining spice mixture in a large bowl; work in the remaining 1/3 cup milk with your fingers until small lumps form.

Set a wire rack on a baking sheet. Heat about 4 inches of equal parts peanut oil and shortening in a large pot over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F.

Remove the drumsticks from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Using your hands, coat the chicken with the flour mixture, pressing it so it sticks to the meat. Place on a plate.

Working in 2 batches, carefully add the chicken to the hot oil mixture. (The temperature will drop to between 300°F and 325°F; adjust the heat to maintain this lower temperature.) Fry, undisturbed, 2 to 3 minutes to set the crust. Continue frying, turning as needed, until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove to the rack; sprinkle with salt, transfer to the oven and bake until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the red onion, mango, cilantro, lime juice and a pinch of salt to the toasted coconut. Sprinkle the mixture on the chicken.

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