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  • Writer's pictureDeana Thai

Cà Ri Gà - Vietnamese Coconut Chicken Curry - Southeast Asian Style

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

Bold spiced flavors, tender vegetables and chewy chicken all in one delicious bowl!
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Vietnamese chicken curry, "Cà Ri Gà", is a hearty bowl of flavorful spices, tender root vegetables and chewy chicken! Enjoyable with fresh baguettes to that soak up the rich beautiful broth. This dish is composed of a rich broth derived from curry powder, turmeric powder, lemongrass, garlic, sweet paprika and a hint of coconut cream.

One might ask how did curry end up in Vietnam. Isn't it a spice from India? Why yes, curry is a spice from India. As history is written, when the French settled in Vietnam, they also brought with them Asian Indians who saw an opportunity to trade and find employment. The French were introduced to curry spices through the British whom ask Asian Indian cooks to add more flavor to their bland proteins. That's how Asian Indian spices were introduced to French cuisine. This is just the short version!

Cà Ri Gà is a hearty but healthy dish to consume. Curry and turmeric powders have healing properties. It is said to boosts one's immune system, relieve arthritis pain, prevent Alzheimer, good for heart health, fight cancer and help with digestion.

This dish will take ten minutes to prepare fresh ingredients and a total time of 30-minutes to complete cooking. The process goes really fast and before you know it, it is ready to be served with some fresh hot baguettes! (Baguette recipe here:


  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil

  • ¼ cup minced lemongrass

  • ¼ cup garlic slices

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ cup fish sauce

  • 2-3 dried bay leaves

  • 1 tsp sweet paprika

  • 1 to 2 tablespoon chili sauce depending on spiciness

  • 2 tablespoon curry powder

  • 2 tablespoon turmeric powder

  • 1.5 quart water (6 cups) or 3 quarts (12 cups) if serving with noodles and increase fish sauce to 1 cup and a whole 14oz can of coconut milk

  • 1 cup can coconut milk 14oz

  • 3 to 4 pounds of chicken cut up

  • 2 cups chopped carrots

  • 2 cups chopped potatoes

  • 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes

  • 2 cups yellow onion chopped

  • Sweet basil for garnishing

  • French Baguettes (enough for everyone)

Note: If serving with noodles increase water to 3 quarts (12 cups) if serving with noodles. Then increase fish sauce to 1 cup, and a whole 14oz can of coconut milk.


  1. In a large stock pot about 6-8 quarts large. Add 3-4 tablespoons olive oil/cooking oil. Let oil warm up medium heat, then add garlic slices to begin aromatics. Sauté for 2-4 minutes.

  2. Add a quarter cup of finely minced lemongrass. Sauté for 2-4 minutes to enhance the lemongrass flavor.

  3. Now add the fish sauce, sugar, bay leaves, curry powder, turmeric powder, and sweet paprika. Allow sauce to come to simmer on medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add chopped chicken pieces and toss chicken till all sides are coated in sauce. Cook on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. Let it simmer.

  5. Add chopped yellow onions and stir well. Continue to simmer.

  6. Add carrots and stir well. Allow heat to warm up to a simmer again.

  7. Add 1.5 quarts/6 cups of water to the pot. Stir to incorporate all the flavor. Allow pot to come back to a simmer. Note: If serving with noodles increase water to 3 quarts (12 cups) if serving with noodles. Increase fish sauce to 1 cup and a whole 14oz can of coconut milk (last ingredient added to pot).

  8. Add sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. (I prefer red or Yukon gold.) Simmer for 10-minutes on medium or medium-high.

  9. Now it's time add finishing touches to this pot of deliciousness!

  10. Now add coconut milk and stir well to incorporate all ingredients. Remember to increase amount if making extra broth for noodles.

  11. Add crush chili for a bit of heat if you like it spicy. Add anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons. Give it a good stir and turn off heat.

  12. The curry is ready to be served! Garnish with sweet or Thai basil and serve with warm French bread or baguettes!


Turmeric Powder:

Wilton Small Rolling Pin

Multiple Spray Bottles:

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Apr 22, 2022

I just made recipe and followed to the T ! I have made and tried many curries ! One of my most fave things in the whole world are curries ! Deana this recipe of your is delicious and a keeper . My girls are lovers of curry as well ! I can’t wait until tonight when they try it ! I printed your recipe ! It’s going in my fave recipe binder ! Ty for sharing your recipe ❤️

Deana Thai
Deana Thai
Apr 22, 2022
Replying to

Thank you so much for giving my recipe a try! It means so much to me! I hope your girls enjoy it tonight! Have a wonderful weekend!


Vincent Nguyen
Vincent Nguyen
Mar 13, 2021

Step 7 uses 1 can of coconut milk. Step 10 also add a can of coconut milk. Are we using a total of 2 cans of coconut milk? Thanks!

Deana Thai
Deana Thai
Mar 13, 2021
Replying to

No just one can. I repeated for those who are making for noodle. It's the increase for broth. I'll reword to make it clearer.

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