Cut the onion in half and finely chop. Remove the cores from the red peppers and roughly chop the flesh of one and finely slice the other. Peel the carrot and zucchini and finely slice. Set aside to add to the curry sauce later.
Trim and peel the garlic and ginger and finely grate. Cut the chili in half (if using) and remove the seeds, then finely chop. Trim the lemon grass and peel off the outer layer, then roughly bash with the back of a knife to help release the aromas. Strip the leaves from the cilantro and roughly chop.
On a clean chopping board, cut the chicken into dice.
Rinse the rice in a sieve and put in a pan with 300ml of water and the turmeric. Bring to the boil, then give it a good stir. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 25 minutes and then leave to sit for another 10 minutes for perfectly cooked rice.
Heat one teaspoon of the rapeseed oil in a large pan and sauté the onion for a few minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger, paprika and chili, if using, and cook for another minute. Add the lemon grass and then pour in the coconut milk with the water. Stir in the roughly chopped red pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
Remove the lemongrass from the pan and discard, then blend the coconut mixture to a puree with a hand-held blender (if you don’t have one just dice the red pepper and it will still taste delicious!). Pass through a fine sieve into jug if you like a really smooth finish – you’ll end up with about 400ml in total.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the remaining rapeseed, swirling it up the sides. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until sealed and lightly golden.
Add the reserved red pepper, carrot and zucchini and stir-fry for another 2 minutes, then pour in the red pepper coconut sauce and simmer very gently for another 5 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and the coconut sauce has reduced slightly. Stir in the cilantro.
Fluff up the rice and divide between bowls. Spoon the coconut chicken and red pepper curry into the bowls, then scatter over a bit of cilantro to serve.