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An Asian delicacy originating in Thailand, chicken Panang curry is deliciously sweet and nutty.


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The star ingredient, peanuts, is roasted and ground directly into the curry paste to give the dish its signature texture and robust flavor.

Chicken Panang Curry

What Is Panang Curry?

Panang curry is a delicious gravy featuring a mildly spicy flavor that tastes both sweet and salty. It has zesty undertones of kaffir lime leaves that brighten up the dish.

It is a type of red Thai curry, a concoction of ingredients like dried chili peppers, galangal, shrimp paste, and roasted peanuts.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Flavorsome – Chicken Panang curry is made using various ingredients that season the gravy, giving you an explosion of flavors, including garlic, kaffir lime leaves, and shrimp paste.
  • Make Ahead – Once you make your curry paste, you can store it in the fridge or freezer or make it ahead of time. Once the paste is ready, curry can be made any time of the day.
  • Quick and Easy – You only need 40 minutes to prepare and make this delicious dish. What Does Panang Curry Taste Like? Panang curry features rich coconut-based gravy with bold flavors. It is both sweet and salty to taste and has a hint of zesty and nutty flavor that dominates the flavor profile. Thick and creamy, a spoonful of the delicious Panang curry will leave your taste buds tingling.
thai panang chicken curry

Is Chicken Panang Curry Healthy?

Thai Panang curry is not only delicious but packed with a flavorful punch. This recipe uses homemade curry paste instead of store-bought, making it a healthier choice.

Chicken Panang Thai curry contains 510 calories per serving and 36 grams of protein, per Carb Manager.

However, eating a bowl or two of Panang curry won’t help if you’re watching your weight. This recipe calls for coconut milk which is rich, creamy, and full of fat.

What Are The Benefits Of Chicken Panang Curry?

Panang curry is a hearty meal full of protein and more. The curry uses a spice blend full of cancer-fighting properties and great for heart health.

Moreover, it can also help relieve oxidative stress. The kaffir leaves are known for improving oral and digestive health and making your skin and hair healthy and beautiful (via Organic Facts).

authentic chicken panang curry recipe

Is Panang Curry Thai or Malaysian?

Panang curry originated in Thailand and took after the name of an Island called Penang. This creamy curry is made with either beef or chicken and topped with Thai Basil and chopped lime leaves.

Chicken Panang Curry  Ingredients

Panang Paste

  • Dried Red Chillies – Dried red chilies have an earthy and mild flavor and add beautiful color to the curry paste.
  • Roasted peanuts – Roasted Peanuts add texture and a nutty yet sweet flavor to the curry.
  • Coriander seeds – Coriander Seeds add a lovely floral aroma.
  • Cumin seeds – Cumin seeds add depth and richness to curries.
  • Black peppercorns – Black Peppercorns are an excellent flavor addition to the curry.
  • Cardamoms – Cardamom are used in curries for their fragrance and citrusy, minty flavor.
  • Mace –  Reminiscent of cinnamon and black pepper, mace is less intense in flavor than nutmeg.
  • Kaffir lime leaves – Kaffir Lime Leaves are irreplaceable and have a strong citrusy flavor.  
  • Cilantro – Cilantro brings a new element to the plate.
  • Shrimp paste – Shrimp Paste is added to curries to give a savory and salty flavor and nutty aroma.
  • Galangal – Galangal is spicy with a strong bite to it.
  • Garlic – Garlic is an essential ingredient for curries to add a pungent earthy taste and a mouth-watering aroma.
  • Onion – Onions are essential to delivering the traditional curry flavor.
  • Lemongrass – Lemongrass stalks impart a lovely citrusy and lemony flavor and aroma to the curry.
authentic panang curry recipe


  • Vegetable oil – Vegetable oil is neutral in flavor and perfect for use in curries and stir-fry.
  • Onion – Curries are incomplete without onions.
  • Garlic – Garlic imparts a lovely aroma and earthy taste.
  • Panang Curry Paste – You can use a store-bought Panang curry paste too.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – Boneless skinless chicken thighs are the perfect protein addition to your curry.
  • Red bell peppers – Red bell pepper is gorgeous to look at and have a sweeter flavor.
  • Yellow bell peppers – Yellow bell pepper has a fruity taste.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut milk is essential in most Thai dishes and serves as the base.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – The star of the dish, kaffir lime leaves, is important to impart the signature Panang curry flavor.
  • Salt – Salt is a great flavor enhancer.
  • Sugar – A little sugar to adjust the flavor profile and make the curry characteristically sweet.
  • Thai fish sauce – Thai fish sauce adds a fishy and salty taste to the curry.
  • Thai basil leaves – Thai basil leaves add a beautiful garnish to the curry.

 Tools Needed To Prepare Chicken Panang Curry

To make this delicious Thai curry, all you need are the following tools:

chicken panang curry recipe

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Chicken Panang Curry

You can swap some ingredients with the following as per your choice and availability.

Roasted Peanuts

You can use peanut butter instead of roasted peanuts.


Chicken can be easily switched with beef and seafood like shrimp or fish, or if you want to go vegan, you can add tofu instead.

Panang Curry paste

You can use a store-bought curry paste or red curry paste in its stead.

Palm Sugar

You can add palm sugar instead of sugar to add a sweet caramelized flavor to the sauce.

You can add additional ingredients to your chicken Panang curry, including:


Cashews can be added to make the curry richer and thicker in consistency. You can also add cashew paste.


Grind some shallots with the rest of the curry paste ingredients to add sweetness and sharpness.

Additional Vegetables

Apart from bell peppers, you can spruce up your curry with additional veggies like zucchini, broccoli, or eggplant.

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How to Make Chicken Penang Curry



Panang Paste Ingredients - Authentic panang curry


Chicken Panang Curry ingredients


STEP 1: Mix all the ingredients given under Panang paste and put them in a food processor, and blitz them until you get a paste-like consistency. Set aside.

Step 1 - authentic panang curry recipe

STEP 2: Heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium flame; add chopped onions and garlic, and sauté until garlic is fragrant.

Step 2 - authentic panang curry recipe

STEP 3: Add 2 tablespoons of the prepared Panang paste and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the oil starts to separate.

Step 3 - authentic panang curry recipe
Step 3b - authentic panang curry recipe

Add the chicken thighs and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken changes color from pink to white.

Step 3c - authentic panang curry recipe
Step 3d - authentic panang curry recipe

STEP 4: Add red and yellow bell peppers and coconut milk. Bring it to a boil. Add chopped kaffir lime leaves. Cover and cook for around 7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Step 4 - authentic panang curry recipe

STEP 5: Add salt, sugar, Thai fish sauce, and Thai basil leaves and mix. Adjust the seasoning as per your taste. Turn off the heat.

Step 5 - authentic panang curry recipe

STEP 6: Serve hot with rice.

What Should I Serve With Panang Curry

The delicious Panang curry is typically served over rice. You can pair the curry with jasmine rice, brown rice, and even cauliflower rice to make it a hearty meal.

Tips About Making Chicken Panang Curry

To make a mouth-watering Thai curry every time, make sure to follow the following tips:

  • Do not substitute kaffir lime leaves or leave them out of the recipe, as they add a unique flavor to the dish.
  • Add basil leaves just before serving as they turn dark when exposed to heat over an extended period.
  • Crushing kaffir lime leaves helps release their oil.
  • To get the most flavor, fry the curry paste in oil until you see the oil separate.
  • Before adding fish sauce, make sure to taste your curry beforehand. If it is too salty, skip the sauce entirely.
curry panang chicken

How To Store Chicken Panang Curry

To retain freshness, you should store leftover chicken Panang curry in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To store it for a longer period, you can freeze it. Divide the curry into portions and keep them in airtight, freezer-safe storage bags/containers. Your curry will last for 3 months in the freezer.

Is Panang Curry Spicy?

Panang curry is typically more sweet than spicy. It is the least spicy of all Thai curries and only contains mild hints of spiciness or hotness.

Is Panang Curry Gluten Free?

This delicious recipe of chicken Panang curry is gluten-free.

If using store-bought, make sure to buy gluten-free curry paste and fish sauce to make this recipe the ultimate gluten-free curry. Moreover, it has no dairy products either.

Is Panang Curry Keto Friendly?

Panang curry is keto friendly. The ingredients used to make this delicious curry are all keto and perfect for those looking to cut down on carbs.

You can swap coconut milk with coconut cream in the recipe to reduce your carb intake.

panang chicken curry

FAQ About Chicken Panang Curry

What vegetables go in chicken Panang curry?

You can add bell peppers, broccoli, eggplants, zucchini, onions, carrots, and peas to the curry.

Does Panang curry have peanuts?

Panang curry typically contains peanuts. They are added to the curry, either ground or crushed, or in the form of peanut butter.

What is Panang curry paste?

Panang curry paste is a blend of delicious ingredients which typically contains peanuts, dried chili peppers, galangal, kaffir lime zest, and lemongrass.

Can you use red curry paste for Panang curry?

Panang curry paste is a milder type of red curry paste with the addition of peanuts. Red curry paste is hotter and spicier, so make sure you can handle the heat if you’re going for a swap.

Is Panang curry dairy free?

Yes, Panang curry is dairy free since it contains coconut milk.

Chicken Panang Curry

Chicken Panang Curry

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Rich and creamy chicken Panang curry is one of the most popular chicken curries in Thailand. Loaded with chicken and veggies this curry is spicy, nutty, and with a touch of Umami flavors. Pair it with rice and enjoy a hearty meal with your loved ones.



  • 8 dried red chilies soaked in hot water
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 pods of cardamom
  • 2-piece mace
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1-inch piece galangal
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium size onion chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of lemongrass (white part only)


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons prepared Panang curry paste
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into cubes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped into cubes
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 ounces)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • ¼ cup Thai basil leaves


  1. Mix all the ingredients given under Panang paste and put them in a food processor and blitz them until you get a paste-like consistency. Set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium flame; add chopped onions and garlic, and sauté until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the prepared Panang paste and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the oil starts to separate. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken changes color from pink to white.
  4. Add red and yellow bell peppers and coconut milk. Bring it to a boil. Add chopped kaffir lime leaves. Cover and cook for around 7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Add salt, sugar, Thai fish sauce, and Thai basil leaves and mix. Adjust the seasoning as per your taste. Turn off the heat.
  6. Serve hot with rice.


  • You can store leftover CHICKEN PANANG CURRY in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze CHICKEN PANANG CURRY for around 2 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw and heat the curry over a medium flame until heated (You can add some water if it’s too thick).
  • You can also freeze the Panang paste for later use.
  • You can use packaged Panang paste if you’re short on time.
  • Leave out adding peanuts into the Panang paste if you’re allergic to peanuts.
  • You can substitute Thai basil with other types of basil leaves however kaffir lime leaves cannot be replaced. The flavor of kaffir lime leaves is really unique so it is not recommended to swap them or leave them.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 328mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Thai food at its finest, the delicious chicken Panang curry, is a must-try. With a rich flavor profile, this recipe is nutritious, healthy, and above all, absolutely delicious.

I hope this recipe left you with a few new ideas on how to enjoy the delicious and remarkable flavors of a chicken Panang curry.

But if you’re looking for another delicious way to incorporate vegetables into your dinner, roasted cauliflower carbonara is another great recipe to try.

It is also full of unique and nutritious ingredients you and your family will love.

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