Banana and Coconut Curry

There are two words that probably don’t come to mind when you think of curry: “bananas” and “coconut”.  Well in my world they absolutely go together!

I grew up putting coconut and banana on curry in South Africa.  It reminds me of church bazaars in the winter.  And.It.Is.Delicious.  I think this combination comes from Malaysian or Indonesian influences?  A third addition, which I do not have, is usually a nice fruit chutney like Mrs. Ball’s. Remind me to pick up some Mrs. Ball’s chutney, okay?

The banana and coconut not only adds to the flavour of the dish, but serves as a neutralizer for the spices.  I accidentally added too many red pepper flakes and found that the banana was wonderful for balancing out or eliminating the excess spiciness.


You know how adding a pinch of salt to cookies brings out the sweetness?  Or how adding a little bit of sugar to a nice stew or bolognese sauce brings out the saltiness – this is the exact same thing. It’s almost like a science experiment with delicious results.

I had the pleasure of meeting Preena at a blogger brunch last fall and she was so generous to give all of us some of her curry and other Indian spice samples.  For those who don’t know, Preena sells her own brand of Indian spices, Arvinda’s, and also offers Indian cooking classes.

I’ve been waiting to make something special with her curry powder and knew that this recipe would do the trick!  And oh my, I was very impressed by this curry. It has a great depth to it.  Preena, thanks so much for the samples!  I still have some madras masala and garam masala to try out, so I will have to check out your website for recipe ideas!


So exactly what is in this curry, other than bananas and coconut?

  • 1/2 tbs of EVOO
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs salted butter
  • 1 heaping tbs of yellow curry (I used Arvinda’s curry powder)
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 1/2 cup of milk (or more if you need more sauce)
  • 2 tbs of flour
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • rice (I prefer basmati rice)
  • shredded, unsweetened coconut to taste
  • sliced banana to taste

How to:

  • Fry the onion and red pepper in a small pan with a splash of EVOO and set aside once the onions are golden.
  • In a large saucepan, add the butter, curry powder, cumin, and turmeric, red pepper flakes, and mix together while frying.
  • Add the flour and milk bit by bit, whisking continuously to prevent clumps from forming. This should form a nice thin paste.
  • Add the previously fried onion and red pepper, as well as the chickpeas and more milk until you have sauce. Add more milk if you want more sauce.
  • Keep the pot on low to medium heat to simmer the sauce and to cook the chickpeas.
  • While the sauce and chickpeas are cooking, prepare your rice (let’s assume you know how to do that!).
  • Serve with shredded coconut and banana to taste.


* You may choose to add chicken to this recipe.  Fry the chicken with the onion and red pepper and add to the sauce.


So there you have it: another great winter dish!  And as a bonus it is really healthy too.

Don’t be scared off by the bananas and coconut!

Let’s hear it! I know some people feel very strongly about fruit not belonging in their dinner.  Where do you stand on this very important matter?

Leave a Comment

  • skinny latte
    May 21, 2018

    I love your photos!! Such a creative idea!
    On my honeymoon in Madeira, we ate fish with banana – it is a traditional dish there. Hubby loved it, but I found the combination very strange! Lovely, but strange!
    Coconut, on the other hand, I have no problem with 🙂

  • Preena
    May 22, 2018

    What a great recipe for February weather. Even if we can’t make it to the islands for a getaway this brings the tropics to us! Banana, coconut, chick pea, curry…this is a delicious sounding combo.
    I like how you made a roux with the olive oil, flour and milk to make this curry, which I’ve never done before. I’m excited to try your recipe!
    Thank you also for the Arvinda’s mention! 🙂

  • Nic
    May 23, 2018

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!
    I just made it yesterday and even though I overdid it a little with the spices (only getting used to spicy things) I LOVE IT!! I eat it today with a little cottage cheese on top! Delicious!!
    Oh and I had a big bag of spinach in the fridge and decided to add it too! Glad I did!
    Instead of rice I made quinoa! Love quinoa! 🙂
    So thanks again! You got me a few yummie lunches this week! 🙂

  • Dani
    May 24, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks delicous! I love Arvinda’s spices the curry is amazing 🙂

  • brandi
    May 24, 2018

    those pictures are gorgeous! I would never think to eat banana with curry, but it looks delicious 🙂

  • Ashley
    May 26, 2018

    Honestly…this post has left me speechless. Your photos are marvelous and the recipe is SUPER creative. I know for a fact that I would love it. The creaminess from the bananas was probably amazing…mmmmm

  • Therese
    May 26, 2018

    Ohhh!!! That looks amazing! I’ve been waiting to use those samples as well and I methinks that would be a great dish to use them for!