An easy weeknight curry done in the air fryer. We just add in the ingredients at different stages and it all comes together beautifully. Plus it's all ready in 30 minutes!
I like to serve this in a big bowl sprinkled with fresh coriander and chillies, alongside some naan bread or rice.
Chicken, peppers and onions cooked in a creamy coconut curry sauce. This is my easy recipe - using curry paste to speed up the process.
Yep, the air fryer doesn't have to be used only for dry foods. You can make saucy foods too. You just need one additional piece of equipment - a cake barrel insert (more on this later).
The peppers and onions get slightly charred when cooking in the air fryer, which adds a lovely extra flavour dimension.
📋 What do we need?
- Curry Paste - I use a balti paste - which is medium heat. You can replace with your favourite Indian curry paste.
- Tomato puree - this is the same as tomato paste if you're in the US
- Coconut milk - use full fat, as this will prevent the sauce from splitting.
📺 Watch how to make it
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
👩🍳PRO TIP I like to air fry a few green Thai chillies for a few minutes (just until they start to blister) to serve as a topping.
Air Fryer Cake Barrel
- The key to making saucy recipes in the air fryer is to use a cake barrel with a handle that is suitable for your air fryer.
- You'll need to measure the inside diameter of your air fryer basket to figure out which size cake barrel will fit your air fryer.
- I use the following (these are affiliate links):
- This size tin is large enough to make a medium-sized curry that serves 4 people (about a cup and a half per person).
- Don't forget, when you're lifting the cake barrel out of the air fryer, the handle will be hot! So be sure to use a tea towel to protect your hands.
🍽️ What to serve it with
🍲 More fantastic curry recipes
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Air Fryer Chicken Curry
- 5-6 green or red birds-eye chillies
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee
- 2 chicken breasts - approx 350g/12.3 oz chopped into bite-size chunks
- 1 large onion - peeled and chopped into chunky wedges
- 1 red bell pepper - chopped into chunky pieces
- pinch salt and pepper
- 2 heaped tbsp of your favourite curry paste - I’m using balti.*see note 1
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1 crumbled chicken stock cube
- 2 tbsp tomato puree - paste for US
- 300 ml (10.5 oz) passata
- 300 ml (10.5 oz) tin full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water to make a slurry - *optional*
- fresh coriander
- air fried chillies - or use sliced fresh chillies
- You'll need a cake barrel insert for your air fryer for this recipe. See post for details on this.
- If you'd like to serve the curry topped with the blistered birds-eye chillies, place the chillies in the air fryer basket and air fry for 3-4 minutes at 200C/400F, until starting to blister (shake halfway through the cooking time). Then remove and put to one side for later.5-6 green or red birds-eye chillies
- Add the oil to the air fryer cake-barrel, along with the chopped chicken, onion and red pepper. Sprinkle on a pinch of salt and pepper, then mix together to coat the chicken and onion in the oil and seasoning.1 tbsp sunflower oil or ghee, 2 chicken breasts, 1 large onion, 1 red bell pepper, pinch salt and pepper
- Place the cake barrel in the airfryer basket and air fry for 10 minutes at 190c/375f, shaking the basket once, halfway through cooking.
- Add in the curry paste, garlic, and ginger. Stir together and place back in the airfryer for 2 minutes.2 heaped tbsp of your favourite curry paste, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger
- Add the crumbled stock cube, tomato puree, passata, and coconut milk. Stir together so everything is combined.1 crumbled chicken stock cube, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 300 ml (10.5 oz) passata, 300 ml (10.5 oz) tin full-fat coconut milk
- Place back in the air fryer for 10 minutes, stirring once, halfway through cooking.
- Remove from the air fryer, stir again. Check that the sauce is piping hot and the chicken is cooked though (slice open a piece of chicken and ensure it's no longer pink in the middle).
- If you want to thicken the sauce, stir in the cornflour slurry.1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp cold water to make a slurry
- Serve on top of rice, topped with fresh coriander and chilliesrice, fresh coriander, air fried chillies
Alternatively, reheat in the air fryer using the cake barrel, at 190c/375f for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until piping hot throughout. Can I freeze it? Yes, make the recipe, then cool, cover and freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat, as per the make-ahead instructions above. Ingredient swaps
- Swap the balti curry paste for your favourite. Korma and Tikka Masala sauce are great if you like it mild. Use Madras for a hotter curry.
- Add mushrooms, green beans and/or chunks of chopped tomato (add in at the same time as the chicken).
- Don't want to use coconut milk? replace the 300ml (10.5 floz) coconut milk with 160ml (⅔ cup) chicken stock plus 120ml (½ cup) double (heavy) cream.
However, if you did want to make an easy curry that serves more people, this easy chicken curry recipe (made in a pan, NOT the air fryer) is more scaleable. Nutritional information is per portion (serves 4)
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.