Kuku Paka (Chicken in coconut sauce)

This dish is synonymous with Mombasa – Kenya, it is cooked in many homes by many women and sometimes men, but as with all popular dishes the recipe changes to accommodate differing palates, this is an authentic recipe from my friend who lives in Mombasa and makes my favourite form of kuku paka.

Serve with coconut chutney (search website for recipe).


  • 1lb chicken cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1 tin coconut milk (or 4oz cream of coconut made up with 1 mug of warm water)
  • 2oz grated tomato
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly ground garlic
  • 2 finely crushed fresh green chillies
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 dsp freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice or bottled lemon juice
  • 2 dsp freshly chopped green coriander


  1. Wash the chicken pieces and place in a pan, add half of the salt, half the green chillies, and half the grated fresh tomato and all of the ginger, garlic, turmeric and pepper.
  2. Bring to the boil and cook covered on low heat until chicken is cooked, usually 10 – 15 mins. Add half a cup of water if chicken is sticking to the pan.
  3. Dry off any excess liquids, half a cup of liquid should remain in the pan with the chicken.
  4. Add the coconut milk into a separate pan, and add the rest of the green chillies, grated tomato, and salt. Keep on a rolling boil for 7 mins or until the coconut mixture (tui) has thickened. Take off heat and cool for a couple of minutes.
  5. Then pour the coconut mixture over the cooked chicken, mix well with a wooden spoon, bring to the boil and cook the mixture together on a low heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice and garnish with fresh green dhania before serving with French bread, plain boiled rice or Mandazi/Mahambri.kuku paka and rice


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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