Get Baked: Coconut Mango Chicken

This chicken is the best thing ever and you should make it tonight. I tend to say that every recipe is the best thing ever because I like trying new things, but in this case, it really is (though admittedly, it is not very photogenic). It also probably works with tofu, and definitely doesn’t work with only vegetables.

Coconut Mango Chicken


Half a large red onion, diced
1 can (about 400 ml) coconut milk
1 ripe mango
1 handful or more of cilantro (if you don’t like cilantro you can use fresh basil and it will be just as good)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
Two boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
vegetable oil
pappadums (about two per person)


1. Sautée the diced onions until they start to soften.

2. Turn up heat and pour in the coconut milk. Add the cumin, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. Add the chicken. If you’re paranoid, you can precook the chicken, but the coconut mixture needs to reduce by half and boil, and the chicken will cook while the milk is reducing. Stir occasionally.

3. While the chicken cooks, chop the mango into smallish chunks. When the mixture has reduced by half, add the mango and turn the heat down just a little.

4. In a different small saucepan, heat half an inch or so of vegetable oil (enough that it more than covers the bottom of the pan) until hot (but not smoking). You will know when the oil is the correct temperature because if you dip a corner of a pappadum in it, it will puff up. Using tongs or two forks and dexterity, quickly submerge individual pappadums in the oil until they get puffy, and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel. Make sure to angle the handle of the pan away from you as you do this. (And maybe watch this safety video about oil.)

5. Turn off the heat under the chicken, coconut milk, and mango. Add the cilantro or basil. Squeeze a half a fresh lime over the chicken and stir. You will know when it is done because it will be delicious. Serve.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Thank you Carolyn, I was all panicky about what to make friends for dinner tonight and you have saved me with this :)

      • It was excellent! I subbed a couple of ingredients (garam masala and chilli powder for cumin, rosemary for basil) and put in some fresh ginger and garlic with the onion. Then served with leftover biryani rice and roti. Very well received by my friends, I even got a nice email today describing it as ‘tremedous’ – hurray! :)

  2. I made the squash and quinoa recipe last night, so I have faith that this will also be delicious.

    Carolyn, you are giving my roommates unrealistic expectations of my domesticity.

  3. Sounds good.
    Side note: You can microwave poppadums. Just place one in the microwave for between 45 secs to a minute. Probably safer than frying them.

    • are you sure about the pappadums …idk I just think fat/oil is really fucking important for taste and other shit,y’know.

      also ‘The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!’ nietzsche was totes talking about food when he said that…probs some deep fried schnitzel…. so, fry away.

      • Give microwaving them a shot, it’s not that different. They still puff up and they’re still delicious, and you have to wash one less pan!

  4. Would this be bad without cumin? It looks simple and tasty, which I like, but I am not a huge fan of cumin so I wonder if I could safely leave that out…

    • I’m not a huge cumin fan either, I don’t mind the ground stuff so much but the actual seeds, bleurgh…

      Anyway I didn’t have any cumin – so I used a bit of garam masala and chilli powder which worked nicely.

    • I haven’t tried the dish in question, but I do live in the tropics! What about plantains? I’d pan fry them first to get them caramelized and delicious. I use pan fried plantains (well, cooking bananas, we don’t have plantains per se in the Philippines) in coconut milk/mango dishes pretty often.

      • Thanks for the suggestion! I can get them here in Rotterdam.
        Had to google plantain though (was too lazy to call my Philippino sister in law….).

  5. This sounds super delicious. I can’t wait to try it.

    I had to google pappadums because I had never heard of them.

  6. Can someone please edit the ingredient list to include the lime mentioned at the end? I’ve made this twice now (delicious) but that part always catches me by surprise, and both times I’ve thankfully already had a lime around.

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