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Thai Turmeric Chicken Rice – Khao Mok Gai


  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 8 bone-in chicken pieces
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • ¼ cup crispy fried shallots, plus extra to serve
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • roughly chopped coriander, to serve
  • sweet chilli sauce to serve
  • sea salt

Mint sauce:

  • 1 bunch mint, leaves picked
  • ¼ cup coriander (cilantro) stems and leaves
  • 1 green birds’ eye chilli
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar


Preparing the spices


For the mint sauce, place all the ingredients in the bowl of food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.


Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, coriander roots, ginger and a pinch of salt to a paste. Transfer the paste to a large bowl and stir through the yoghurt, turmeric, curry powder and fish sauce. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to marinate. Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan. Use your hands to remove most of the marinade from each chicken piece before placing the chicken into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer the chicken to plate. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the chicken fat from the bottom of the pan. Clean the pan.


Add the chicken fat back into the clean pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is soft. Then add the tomato and cook for another 3 minutes or until the tomato is soft and pulpy. Add the rice and the fried shallots and stir to coat. Add the reserved marinade, stock, cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer stirring. Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid evaporated.


Move the chicken to one side of the pan. Pluck out and discard any of the whole spices and bay leaves you can find. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. To serve, place the rice and chicken on a plate. Sprinkle with coriander and extra fried shallots. Serve with the mint sauce and the sweet chilli sauce on the side.

Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

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