Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (2024)

Thai chicken panang curry is a rich curry with complex flavors. You’ll need under 30 minutes to make this bright and hearty Thai Panang Curry.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (1)

Calling all curry lovers! If Thai curry is your favorite curry, you’ll find yourself loving this creamy less spicy Panang curry. The creaminess of Panang curry and it’s distinct strong flavors is so addictive.

Lush spices – galangal, lemongrass, fresh kaffir lime leaves bring out a strong aromatics and coconut milk makes it rich and creamy.

Panang curry has peanuts in it, in either crushed form or peanut butter is added. And the curry itself is bit sweeter than normal Thai red curry.

Ground peanut is the additional ingredient that gets added to Panang curry, which you will not find in Thai red curry. Panang curry should and is much milder and much thicker than Thai red curry.

Other than that, you won’t really find much difference between Thai Curry and Panang Curry. Infact to most, Chicken Panang curry is indistinguishable from Red curry. That’s true! Except for peanut and being less spicy (and more sweeter) I could not make out much difference in Panang Curry.

Ingredient-wise I also used store bough Thai Panang Curry Paste which looked close to Thai Red curry paste. The curry paste are sold separately. You could use Thai Red curry.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (2)

Beef or chicken is the great protein option for this curry. If you are vegetarian, use Tofu to make this delicious Panang Curry.

Thai Chicken Panang Curry is one of thosecurries which you try it once and get hooked for ever! If you like Thai curry , you definitely have to give this panang curry a try.

It’s almost same as a Thai chicken curry, but only packs more rich flavours and completely delicious! It’s a thick Thai curry with a sweet, salty and nutty peanut flavour.

How To Pronounce Panang

Panang is pronounced “Pa-Naing”.

What is Panang Curry

Panang is spelled in various ways – phanaeng, phanang, panaeng or panang, or as penang, orPulau Pinangin Malay. This red curry originates from an island located off the west coast of Malaysia.

Panang curry is usually less spicy as the paste is made with lesser red chilies compared to Thai curries. Peanuts (in ground form mostly) and coconut milk makes the curry sweeter than other Thai curries.

Panang curry is richer, sweeter and creamier than the more herbaceous Thai curry.

What’s The Difference Between Red Curry And Thai Panang Curry

A lot of people including me had trouble differentiating the from one other – Thai red curry and Panang curry. When both the curries have almost the same ingredients list and are both red in color.

Let’s mark the small differences that both curries have.

Thai curry is mostly spicier. Between Thai red curry and Thai green curry, green curry is more spicier as green curry paste is made from whole green chilies. Green chilies are naturally more spicier than red chilies.

Thai curry has strong vibrant flavors from fish sauce, shrimp paste along with galangal, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves.

Thai curry paste is comparatively spicier as lots of red chilies are used in making the curry paste.

Panang curry has an extra ingredient in it which is not present in Thai green or red curry. Crushed or ground peanuts makes is that extra ingredient you don’t use in Thai curries. It’s less spicy compared to the famous Thai curry.

Panang curry paste looks just like Thai curry paste, bright red in color. But it’s made using lesser chilies, hence makes it less spicy. The curry is sweeter than other Thai curries. And much thicker as well.

Coconut milk and cashews(yes some add cashew paste) makes it richer, creamier and thicker. A pinch of nutmeg goes in the curry, which is not added to Thai curries.

Panang curry is a thick Thai curry with a sweet, salty and nutty peanut flavour.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (3)

Homemade Panang Curry Paste

Traditionally Panang curry paste is made from scratch using a huge pestle and mortar. Nothing comes closer to fresh homemade curry paste from scratch.

Yes, it takes time to prepare the curry paste (get ready for sore arms). Or conveniently add everything into food processor and blend into coarse paste. Choice is yours.

Panang curry paste is traditionally made from chili peppers (bits eye chilies), galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander root, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste, salt and peanuts. Grind everything in mortar pestle and your curry paste is ready.

And if finding all the ingredients is a challenge, use store bought panang curry paste( we did that).

Is Panang Curry Spicy

Yes, it is. But to my palate it’s mildy spicy. Though not as spicy as traditional Thai Red and Green Curries. In comparison, panang curry is sweeter.

Panang Curry Ingredients

The main ingredients you’ll need to make a good panang curry are:

Panang Curry Paste – Use store bought or homemade curry paste. Panang curry paste is sold separately, so I prefer to use that for more authentic taste. You could use Red curry paste as well.

Vegetables –Onion and garlic is needed to start off the base of the curry. To that you can add any vegetables. I used red and green bell peppers and to me it works beautifully with Thai curries.

You can switch it up and use different veggies like zucchini, broccoli, egg plant, sweet potato, celery or even mushrooms.

Protein – Chicken or beef is what I would recommend to use for non vegetarian protein option. Fish and shrimp are good seafood proteins. Use plain firm tofu is you want to make it vegetarian or vegan. Chickpeas would be good choice too.

Coconut Milk – use a mix of both full-fat (thick) and light (thin) coconut milk. Full-fat coconut milk will give you richer, thicker curry. If you like it that way, do use full fat coconut milk.

Natural Peanut Butter – Panang curry recipe has peanut as one of the ingredient. Use good quality, natural peanut butter that is unsweetened. I used peanut from the jar that has ‘just peanuts’. Not the ones with peanut and salt, or peanuts and sweeteners.

Coconut Oil – Curry tastes best with coconut oil. Use virgin coconut oil.

Other Thai Curry Ingredients – What makes Thai curry stand out are some ingredients like galangal, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. These ingredients have strong flavors. Use it as much as you could take the strong flavors.

If your not a big fan of these strong Thai flavors, use all three ingredients in minimal quantity.

Fish Sauce – Though Panang curry does not usually call for fish and shrimp sauce like Thai curries, I added a dash of fish sauce. It makes curry, salty with strong flavor.

Nutmeg – another ingredients that is specific to Thai Panang curry is nutmeg. Use a dash of nutmeg powder. I skipped nutmeg as I didn’t have stock of nutmeg in my pantry.

Palm Sugar – use brown sugar if palm sugar is not available to you.

Thai Basil – Add basil leaves just before you serve the curry. Simmer and heat the curry and add basil leaves before serving. Basil leaves can turn dark from prolonged heating.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (4)

Tips and Secrets

Essential step to make a good curry with great taste is frying curry paste in oil. Fry curry until you see oil separates from the curry paste.

Prior to adding fish sauce, taste your curry. There is a great amount of salt in store bought curry paste. Skip fish sauce if curry tastes enough salty. If using fish sauce use it as needed. (Note – use the amounts in the recipe as a guide. Curry recipes are greatly flexible).

Kaffir Lime Leaves have bold flavors. Crush leaves before adding to curry. Crushing kaffir lime leaves with release all it’s aromatic oil to the curry. Lime leaves can be eaten from the curry, but I prefer to take it out. It turns a big tough after cooking, plus it’s has very strong flavor.

Use Panang curry paste depending on your spice preference. Start with 2 tablespoon of curry paste first, then gradually add as per your spice tolerance level. I like it spicy so I used up the entire jar which was about 4-5 tablespoon.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (5)

How To Make Panang Curry

  1. Heat skillet or deep bottom pan. Add coconut oil and wait until oil melts.
  2. Sauté finely chopped onions in hot coconut oil until onion is translucent.
  3. Add minced garlic, red and green bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes constantly stirring.
  4. Add roughly chopped galangal, lemon grass.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (6)5.Push veggies to one side of the pan. Add washed and cleaned chicken things. Cook until chicken browns a bit and changes colour.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (7)

6. Mix chicken and veggies together. Continue cooking it for a minute more.

7. Again gather chicken veggie mix to one side of the pan. Scoop out Thai Panang curry paste ( or Thai red curry paste) to empty side of pan. Stir the paste and fry it in oil. Wait until oil separates from the paste.

Pro-Tip : Do not skip frying curry paste in oil. Flavors cone out and curry turns delicious with this step.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (8)8. Stir in unsweetened peanut butter, fish sauce and palm sugar. Take Kaffir lime leaves on your palm and crush it. Add crushed kaffir lime leaves to the pan.

Note – If you can’t get palm sugar , substitute with brown sugar or jaggery. Crushing kaffir lime leaves helps release its wonderful aromatic oil, making Panang curry flavorsome.

9. Cook stirring regularly for 2 minutes.

10. Simmer flame. Pour in thick coconut milk. Give it a good stir.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (9)11. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (10)

12. Add few Thai basil leaves. Stir.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (11)13. Turn off flame. Thai Chicken Panang Curry is ready. It’s great when served with steamed jasmine rice. You can also serve Thai Panang curry with rice noodles.

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (12)

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5 from 57 votes

Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken

Jyothi Rajesh

Thai chicken panang curry is a rich curry with complex flavors. You’ll need under 30 minutes to make this bright and hearty Thai Panang Curry.

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Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Course Dinner

Cuisine Asian, Thai

Servings 6 servings

Calories 460

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs chicken thigh boneless, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell peppers chopped
  • 1 red bell peppers chopped
  • ½ inch galangal roughly sliced
  • 1 inch lemongrass roughly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small jar Thai Panang curry paste measured to about 4 ½ tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder optional
  • Salt to taste if required
  • 2 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 6-8 kaffir lime leave crushed
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • ¼ cup Thai basil leaves

Instructions

  • Heat skillet or deep bottom pan. Add coconut oil and wait until oil melts.

  • Sauté finely chopped onions in hot coconut oil until onion is translucent.

  • Add roughly chopped galangal, lemon grass.

  • Add minced garlic, red and green bell peppers. Cook for 2 minutes constantly stirring.

  • Push veggies to one side of the pan. Add washed and cleaned chicken things. Cook until chicken browns a bit and changes colour.

  • Mix chicken and veggies together. Continue cooking it for a minute more.

  • Again gather chicken veggie mix to one side of the pan. Scoop out Thai Panang curry paste ( or Thai red curry paste) to empty side of pan. Stir the paste and fry it in oil. Wait until oil separates from the paste.Pro-Tip : Do not skip frying curry paste in oil. Flavors cone out and curry turns delicious with this step.

  • Stir in unsweetened peanut butter, fish sauce and palm sugar. Nutmeg powder to be added now if using.

    Take Kaffir lime leaves on your palm and crush it. Add crushed kaffir lime leaves to the pan.

    Note - If you can’t get palm sugar , substitute with brown sugar or jaggery. Crushing kaffir lime leaves helps release its wonderful aromatic oil, making Panang curry flavorsome.

  • Cook stirring regularly for 2 minutes.

  • Simmer flame. Pour in thick coconut milk. Give it a good stir.

  • Let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

  • Add few Thai basil leaves. Stir.

  • Turn off flame. Thai Chicken Panang Curry is ready.

  • It’s great when served with steamed jasmine rice.

  • You can also serve Thai Panang curry with rice noodles.

Video

Notes

  1. Fry Curry Paste - Essential step to make a good curry with great taste is frying curry paste in oil. Fry curry until you see oil separates from the curry paste.
  2. Kaffir Lime - Crushing kaffir lime leaves will release all it’s aromatic oil to the curry. Crush leaves before adding to curry.
  3. Peanut Allergy? Panang curry has peanuts in it. If you allergic to peanuts, you may want to avoid this curry or leave out adding peanut butter in the recipe.
  4. Fish Sauce - Add it as per taste. Before adding fish sauce taste curry and if it's too salty, adjust the amount of fish sauce to be added to the curry.
  5. Coconut Oil - I prefer to use coconut oil.
  6. Spicier Curry - The recipe makes medium spicy curry. Spice tolerance levels varies greatly for every palate. If you want to make it more spicier, use curry paste that is spicy enough or use 1 or 2 birds eye chili in the recipe.
  7. Palm Sugar Substitute - If you can’t get palm sugar , substitute with brown sugar or jaggery.

Nutritional Info– Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 21gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 271mgPotassium: 534mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 860IUVitamin C: 44.4mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 3.6mg

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Best Thai Panang Curry Recipe With Chicken (2024)

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