Project Description

Khmer Chicken Curry with Pumpkin & Snake Beans

Khmer chicken curry with pumpkin & snake beans is a traditional Cambodian curry so does not contain chilli. Heat is added via the floral and fruity Kampot pepper. I’ve substituted white peppercorns as Kampot pepper can be difficult to buy. Another time, I’m going to substitute Australian native pepper, which I believe marries the fruitiness of Kampot pepper.

Serves: 4-6 as a main course
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes


2 tablespoons (40 ml) extra virgin olive oil
750g chicken thighs fillets, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
400ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamarind puree
400g firm pumpkin, cut into 3cm pieces
150g snake or green beans, sliced into 5cm
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste
1 lime, juiced
Handful basil leaves, to serve
Handful coriander leaves, to serve
¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Steamed rice, to serve

Khmer paste
4cm galangal, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and sliced
1 eschallot, peeled
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon palm sugar


  1. For Khmer paste, process all ingredients with ¼ cup (60 ml) water to a very smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan, add Khmer paste and cook for five minutes or until fragrant. Add chicken and onion and cook for five minutes or until the onion softens. Add coconut milk, tamarind and pumpkin and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the pumpkin is nearly tender. Add beans and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from heat and add fish sauce and lime juice to taste.
  3. Top with torn basil and coriander leaves and roasted peanuts and serve with steamed rice.

Related Recipe: If you like this you might like to try Quick Fish Curry