Thai Turmeric Chicken Rice (Khao Mok Gai)

My version of the Thai classic khao mok gai is like Thailand’s answer to a biryani: perfectly marinated meat perched atop flavour-packed savoury rice… delightful! Of course, the condiments really do make this dish shine, so skip them at your peril!


Thai Turmeric Chicken Rice (Khao Mok Gai)

15 minutes
1 hour 20 minutes

4 garlic cloves

3 coriander (cilantro) roots, roughly chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1/2 cup Greek-style yoghurt

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp mild curry powder

2 tbsp fish sauce

8 bone-in chicken pieces

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 cups jasmine rice

¼ cup crispy fried shallots, plus extra to serve

2½ cups chicken stock

5 green cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

roughly chopped coriander, to serve

sweet chilli sauce to serve

sea salt


Mint sauce:

1 bunch mint, leaves picked

¼ cup coriander (cilantro) stems and leaves

1 green birds’ eye chilli

3 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp finely grated ginger

1 tsp sugar

  • Step 1

    For the mint sauce, place all the ingredients in the bowl of food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.

  • Step 2

    Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic, coriander roots, ginger and a pinch of salt to a paste. Transfer the paste to a large bowl and stir through the yoghurt, turmeric, curry powder and fish sauce. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to marinate.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan. Use your hands to remove most of the marinade from each chicken piece before placing the chicken into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until golden. Transfer the chicken to plate. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of the chicken fat from the bottom of the pan. Clean the pan.

  • Step 4

    Add the chicken fat back into the clean pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is soft. Then add the tomato and cook for another 3 minutes or until the tomato is soft and pulpy. Add the rice and the fried shallots and stir to coat. Add the reserved marinade, stock, cardamom, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer stirring. Place the chicken pieces on top of the rice. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the rice is tender and liquid evaporated.

  • Step 5

    Move the chicken to one side of the pan. Pluck out and discard any of the whole spices and bay leaves you can find. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. To serve, place the rice and chicken on a plate. Sprinkle with coriander and extra fried shallots. Serve with the mint sauce and the sweet chilli sauce on the side.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

4.6 out of 5 stars (based on 5 reviews)
Very good40%

Great dish

July 11, 2023

It’s an easy yummy recipe to follow. Chicken is full of flavours. Rice needs a bit more salt added to enhance the flavours

Avatar for Upa


June 30, 2023

This recipe was amazing! I did have to add a bit more stock and salt than what the recipe called for and I omitted the chili’s (so the kiddies could enjoy) but definitely a recipe to keep on the dinner rotation.

Avatar for RJ

Easy to follow recipe

January 30, 2023

This recipe is easy to follow. It takes time but it is not difficult to follow. I did have to add more water, about 1/4 cup, towards the end of cooking the rice because I noticed a few hard grains. I wish that I added more salt as I was cooking because the end result was a bit bland. I could taste all of the herbs and spices but a few dashes of salt would have really made those flavors pop. I would also be a bit more generous with the turmeric and curry powder instead of following the written instructions to the T.

Avatar for Cali

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