Popular also as Phanaeng Curry, Panang Curry is a Thai or Malaysian Red Curry that is easy to make and tastes as authentic as the one made in Thai restaurants. It is smothered with the earthy flavors of Thailand, Malaysia, and Burma. So, vouch by my words for it to be lip-smacking!
Want to try more Thai Curries, then give these ones also a try for your delicious weekend meal – Thai Green Curry, Thai Pumpkin Curry, Thai Basil Chicken, and Thai Red Curry.
About This Recipe
Panang Curry (pronounced as Pa-Naing) is an Asian Style Curry that is spicy and rich and has a distinct flavor of kaffir lime, coconut milk, and red chilies.
It is also called phanaeng, phanang, panaeng or panang, in Thailand or as penang, or Pulau Pinang in Malay. Panang Curry is named after the city island called ‘Penang’ of Malaysia. Compared to Thai Red Curry, this curry is sweeter, creamy, and luscious.
Panang Curry is mildly spicy. It is less spicy as compared to Thai Red and Green Curry and is mildly sweet due to the use of palm sugar.
Traditionally, it is a popular Thai accompaniment that is eaten with rice and you can make umpteen variations of this curry.
To make a non-vegetarian version of this curry recipe, you may use chicken (Panang Gai), beef, meat, shrimp, pork et al, or keep it vegetarian by skipping the meat. You may prepare a vegan version of this dish by using tofu.
This Panang Chicken Curry is,
- Keto, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Dairy Free
- Full of Flavour
- Easy & Quick
- Loaded with veggies
- Perfect for lazy meals
Chicken – Opt for boneless chicken thighs and cut it into bite sized pieces.
Vegetables – This curry is loaded with vegetables along with Chicken. I have added red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and broccoli, but you can go ahead in add more veggies such as mushrooms, eggplant, baby corn, bamboo shoots, beans, carrots, etc.
Panang Curry Paste – To make this curry, you will need Panang Curry Paste. It is readily available in the market these days but you can also make it at home from scratch as well.
Coconut Milk – Coconut Milk adds a distinct flavor and also minimizes the spice level of the curry making it nice and mild.
It also makes this curry rich and creamy, which tastes delicious when eaten with rice. Some even add cashew paste to make the curry richer.
Fish Sauce – This sauce adds an earthy savory flavor in the curry which adds to its taste.
Palm Sugar – Palm sugar adds in a little sweetness in the curry, which makes it even more delicious. It dissolves in the curry well, without being sticky. If you cannot find palm sugar, you can also use brown sugar instead.
Red Chillies – For that much-needed spiciness, add in fresh red chilies. It is great if you can find Thai red chilies, if not you can use normal red chilies too.
You can increase or decrease the amount of chillies as per your taste and preference.
Thai Basil and Kaffir Lime – These two ingredients give this curry a very authentic taste and you can source these from your local Asian market.
You can also order the ingredients online as well as they are readily available on a lot of online stores.
Oil – You can use any vegetable oil to make this curry.
Step By Step Recipe
Heat vegetable oil in a pan.
Add chicken pieces and fry until they turn slightly browned.
Add bell peppers and broccoli and fry for 2 minutes.
Move the chicken and vegetables on the side of the pan.
Add the Panang Curry paste in the pan.
Fry for 2 minutes and then mix everything up.
Add palm sugar and cook for another minute.
Add kaffir lime leaves, red chilies, and coconut milk and let the curry simmer for 10-12 minutes. Now add water and mix well.
Now add fish sauce and Thai basil and mix well.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make Panang Curry in the slow cooker, add all the ingredients except coconut milk in the crockpot and cover, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Once it is done, add coconut milk and cook on low for another hour. Serve hot.
Finding Panag Curry Paste is a bit difficult as compared to Thai Red and Green Curry Paste. You can find it in the International section or Asian section of the store. If you cannot find it, you can also search it online. Many grocery online portals will have the same and will deliver it to your doorsteps.
To make it vegan, skip adding chicken and make the curry with just vegetables or also add in Tofu. Also instead of fish sauce, you can use soy sauce or tamari.
To be safe, just use vegan Panang Curry Paste, because sometimes it may contain shrimp.
Homemade Penang Curry Paste
Panang Curry Paste is easily available in the market these days but you can definitely make it at home for more traditional flavors. For a vegan or vegetarian version, skip adding shrimp paste to it and add 1 tbsp soy sauce instead.
- 2 tbsp Chopped Garlic
- ¼ cup Chopped Shallots
- 1 tbsp Chopped Galangal
- 2 tsp Cilantro Root
- 1 tsp Kaffir Lime Zest
- 3 tbsp Chopped Lemon Grass
- 1 tsp Salt
- 10-15 Dry Red chilies
- 1 tsp Shrimp Paste
- ¼ tsp white peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Roasted Cumin Seeds
- 1 tbsp Roasted Coriander Seeds
- 2 tbsp Roasted peanuts
- Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- If you have a peanut allergy, you can skip using them.
This Penang Curry will last in the fridge for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat it in a pan or in the microwave before serving.
Since it contains coconut milk, it might get spoiled while reheating. The milk can split when reheated and the taste can alter, so I don’t recommend freezing the curry.
This curry goes best with Jasmine Rice. You can also serve it with Steamed White Rice, Sticky Rice, Brown Rice, Quinoa or Couscous.
It also tastes great with Rice Noodles or Asian Cauliflower Rice.
Try it with Garlic Noodles for a filling meal.
Instead of chicken, you can also use beef, shrimp (Prawns), pork, and fish like salmon or any white fish in this curry.
You can make a vegan version by adding tofu or vegetables to the curry.
If palm sugar is not available, use brown sugar in its place.
You can also add pieces of pineapple to this curry to give it a sweet and tart taste. Raw Mangoes also goes very well.
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Panang Curry Recipe
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 400 g Boneless Chicken Thighs (Cut into small pieces)
- ½ cup Red Bell Pepper (Sliced)
- ½ cup Yellow Bell Pepper (Sloced)
- 1 cup Broccoli (Cut into small florets)
- 4 tbsp Panang Curry Paste
- 1 tbsp Palm Sugar
- 5-6 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Chopped)
- 2 Red Chillies (Chopped)
- 2 cups Coconut Milk
- 1 cup Water
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 handful Thai Basil
- Heat vegetable oil in a pan.
- Add chicken pieces and fry until they turn slightly browned.
- Add bell peppers and broccoli and fry for 2 minutes.
- Move the chicken and vegetables on the side of the pan and add the Panang curry paste in the pan.
- Fry for 2 minutes and then mix everything up.
- Add palm sugar and cook for another minute.
- Add kaffir lime leaves, red chillies and coconut milk and let the curry simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Now add water and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add salt, fish sauce and thai basil and mix well.
- Garnish with more thai basil and red chillies.