Chicken Coconut Chilli

This recipe came about in stages — I’d bought minced chicken one day, wondering what to do with it, and made a version of this. I knew I wanted to recipe test it a few more times before sharing, so I worked on that. I had also wanted to find a leaner protein to use in mince form, as I try to limit my beef intake (environmental and health reasons). I don’t have easy access to turkey mince in Bahrain, but if you do, that would be an excellent choice, too.

This version, for me, was perfect. I love this meal prep and it’s one I can have day after day without getting sick of it.


You will need:
GF, serves 4

  • 500g minced chicken
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 inch grated ginger
  • 2 diced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper*
  • 2 1/2 tbsp coconut milk powder**
  • 1 heaped tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste, about 1 tsp

* – you can use whatever hot pepper you prefer
** – you can substitute this with half a can of coconut milk


Brown off your diced onion with a little olive oil, then add in the spices, followed by the garlic and ginger.


When the onion spice mixture has softened, add your carrots and sautée for about five minutes. You mostly want them to absorb the flavours and spices, while cooking off the crunch.


At this point, add your chicken mince. I usually push my carrot to the side so that the chicken can have a chance to brown separately before I mix it all.


Wait till it picks up some colour, but you know it’s not cooked through. It’s at this point that I add the coconut milk powder and water. In terms of how much water, I usually just make sure it’s got enough liquid.


Give it a mix, and taste it. At this point, add more salt if you think it’s necessary — or sometimes I find I want the coconut to be stronger, and I’d add another half a tablespoon. See how you feel, then let it simmer for about 20 minutes.


Then serve it up! The first night I made it, I served it with brown rice and some roasted vegetables, but I also had it plain, with rice cakes, and with a side salad.


It’s become one of my favourite recipes, because it’s just so simple, takes about 40 minutes beginning to end including prep, and is so flavourful. The combination of chilli and coconut is not revolutionary (hello, Thai and Indian food) but somehow it’s still a surprise when mixed in with the chicken mince like this.

As always, bilafiya
(well wishes and wellbeing)

6 thoughts on “Chicken Coconut Chilli

  1. Laurine M. Byrne says:

    I like chicken chili better than traditional American beef chili, probably because I really like turmeric. I make chicken chili using turmeric, white beans, and lots of tomatoes, usually stewed tomatoes from the garden. I’d really like to try your recipe but I don’t know what a Scotch bonnet pepper is. How hot is it? Can I substitute jalapeno’s?

    • Sand Kitchen says:

      You can absolutely swap it for jalapeños! I’m sure it would be delicious. Scotch bonnets are a sweet, spicy pepper – they’re quite spicy, a little spicer than jalapeños. If you like things spicy, add half to a full jalapeño 🙂 please do share how it comes out if you make it x

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