Spicy Chicken with Jumbo Cilantro Pasta shells.

Is Coriander and Cilantro the same thing? – technically YES! I didn’t know that I googled it!

Cilantro is the spanish word for coriander leaves also sometimes called chinese or Mexican parsley (now whose idea that was I wouldn’t know!).

Cilantro refers to the leaves of the plant, as soon as the Coriander plant developes flowers and seeds we refer to the seeds as Coriander. In South Africa we commonly refered to Cilantro as Dhania (Asian). And you ask me why I’m confused?

I’ve tried a bit of the a Asian flavour with pasta since I’ve had these beautiful giant pasta shells and I didn’t have any mince meat in the fridge. It turned out beautifully and my husband had severe heartburn….sorry honey!


500 g Chicken fillets, cubed

1 medium onion finely diced

1 glove of garlic (press with my new garlic press!)

5 ml fresh ginger

2.5 ml Garam masala

2.5 ml chilli powder

2.5 ml turmeric

2.5 ml ground dhania and jeera mix

50 g tomato paste

1 green chilli – deseeded

2 fresh tomatoes

10 ml olive oil

50 ml coconut milk

5 ml brown sugar

10 ml Cilantro pesto / or chopped fresh Cilantro with 5 ml Olive oil.

Cook pasta shells. Strain and add 10 ml cilantro pesto or fresh cilantro to the pasta. In the meantime prepare the Chicken.

Fry onions in olive oil until succulent, add chicken and fry until done. add garlic, ginger and all the spices, fry for a minute.  

Chop the tomatoes finely in a food processor also adding the chillies. Add tomatoes to the chicken and add enough water to form a little sauce. Continue stirring until all tomatoes have broken down. Add sugar, tomato paste and coconut milk, simmer for 5 minutes.

 Mix and serve on top of Spicy Chicken.



Coconut milk should be refrigerated once the can is opened. It keeps for a couple of days to a week. They do not recommend freezing coconut milk as this increases the likelihood of curdling when it is next used in cooking – unless you are just warming it through without boiling, which I normally use it for anyway. I have successfully frozen left over coconut milk and found the easiest way by using an ice cube tray.

If you don’t have any coconut milk but coconut at hand try this: To make coconut milk, finely grated coconut meat is steeped in hot water until it is cool enough to handle. It is then squeezed until dry; the white fluid is strained to remove all the pulp voila! coconut milk!




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