Sri Lankan Chicken Curry
A chicken curry with coconut milk and Sri Lankan curry powder which has a robust aroma and layers of flavour from the raw curry powder used.
Servings Prep Time
6people 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6people 15 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the onion and in a kadhai or wok, heat the oil. Add chopped onions, ginger paste and garlic paste. Stir and cook on high flame for half a minute and then reduce the flame and continue stirring till the onions have softened.
  2. Add the curry powder, red chilli powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, curry leaves, cinnamon and continue stirring. Sprinkle some water so that the spices don’t stick to the bottom. Cook the spices till they start releasing oil from the sides. It takes about 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken, chopped tomatoes, salt and 1 tsp sugar and mix everything thoroughly. Keep the heat high for a minute so that the chicken somewhat gets caramelised. Then reduce the flame to medium and continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring and sprinkling water if necessary.
  4. Add the coconut milk, half a cup of water and vinegar. Stir and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then reduce the flame, cover the pan with a lid and let the chicken cook.
  5. Occasionally, remove the cover to check the chicken if its cooked or anything is sticking to the bottom. Give it a stir and cover and continue cooking till the chicken has become tender
  6. Check the seasoning and add more salt if required. Add the extra sugar if you feel you need to balance out the spices more. Finally add a split green chilli and some more extra curry leaves for garnish.
  7. Depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy, adjust the liquid. Let it continue to boil for a few minutes if you want a thick gravy.
  8. Let the chicken sit for half hour, if you have the patience and then serve with steamed rice.
Recipe Notes

I As per the packet, the curry powder is a blend of coriander seeds (60%), cumin seeds (20 %), fennel seeds (6 %), turmeric powder (5%), curry leaves, fenugreek, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, pandan leaves and lemongrass. If you do not have access to Sri Lankan curry powder, you can also use Madras curry powder, which is not the same but quite similar or create the spice blend on your own. In that case, add the lemon grass and curry leaves to the gravy directly. Pandan leaf is quite difficult to source in most parts of the country, at least the places where I have stayed.

  1. I have used regular vegetable oil. You can cook it in coconut oil, which is the traditional way.
  2. Adjust the heat as per your taste bud and add or reduce green chillies and red chilli powder as per your taste.
  3. You can make this curry without the coconut milk as well.