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Geng Gari Gai (Aromatic Chicken Curry), by David Thompson. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
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5 from 1 vote

Geng Gari Gai Aromatic Chicken Curry Recipe from Southern Thailand

This recipe courtesy of Chef David Thompson of Nahm restaurant Bangkok was shared with the class during his workshop held as part of the 2014 Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards events in Singapore.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 259kcal
Author: Terence Carter via David Thompson


Geng Gari Curry Paste

  • 5 large dried red chillis grilled
  • 3 small dried red chillis grilled
  • 5 unpeeled red shallots grilled, then peeled
  • 2 stalks lemongrass sliced
  • 4 coriander roots cleaned and chopped
  • 1 pinch whole white pepper
  • ½ tablespoon toasted coriander seed finely ground
  • ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seed

Chicken and Marinade

  • 2 Chicken legs thigh & drumstick
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons geng gari curry paste

The Curry

  • 1 cup fresh coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon toasted ground coriander seed
  • ¾ tablespoon toasted ground cumin seed
  • pinch of toasted cloves
  • 6 red shallots
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 2 –3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • additional coconut cream for presentation
  • 1 –2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium/large ratte potatoes simmered (optionally in chicken stock), peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 pandanus leaf knotted
  • 1 3 cm piece cassia bark toasted
  • 1 squeeze mandarin juice

To Finish

  • Deep fried shallots
  • Deep fried garlic

To Serve


  • Cut the chicken leg into two through the thigh joint. If the pieces are large, cut each one in half again.
  • Marinate the chicken in the fish sauce for an hour and then mix in the curry paste and leave for a few hours.
  • Heat fresh coconut cream and then add marinated chicken and simmer gently along with most of the dried spices and turmeric.
  • When almost cooked (ours took around 40 minutes) add the shallots and simmer, seasoning with palm sugar and fish sauce. Simmer until it becomes quite oily and add extra coconut cream as required.
  • Add the chicken stock and simmer until the chicken is cooked. When the chicken is cooked add the potatoes, the pandanus and toasted cassia bark.
  • Check the seasoning. It should be rich, salty and lightly spiced.
  • With the seasoning correct, leave for 20 minutes in a warm place to let the spices ‘ripen’.
  • Reheat and check the seasoning. Adjust as necessary to taste.
  • Finish with a squeeze of mandarin, if using.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4.4mg