Monday, February 28, 2011

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry (My Version) Spicy

I love Chicken curry! It's a spicy meat dish you can eat with rice, roti, bread, string hoppers, etc...

3lbs of bone in, skinless chicken

4-6 cloves
4-6 cardamom pods
1 tsp fennugreek seeds
pieces of cinnamon bark
10-15 curry leaves
pandan leaves (rampe)
chili powder to taste
1tbs curry powder,  to taste
salt to taste
1 -2 cups diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup of coconut milk or cow's milk
2-4 cups of water (depending on how much gravy you want in the dish.)  

1Tbs grated garlic
1Tbs ginger
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1Tbs chili powder
1Tbs curry powder
salt generously
black pepper
1Tbs of vinegar

Note: Let's talk about curry powder. Curry powder is mostly a blend of aromatics that are roasted and ground to season your food. All curry powders vary. There are as many curry powders as there are cooks. Some people make their own. I used a brand of Sri Lankan curry that I like. You may buy a ready made powder from your local Indian grocers. Unfortunately, curry powder is a variable I will not be able to guarantee on the taste of your final dish. I suggest you try a variety and find a curry powder you really like.

** Note the chili powder mentioned above is from dried red chilies (you can buy this at any Indian grocers). Do not use the chili powder that you would use for chili con carne


Cut up bone-in skinless chicken. I used an entire chicken that was about 3lbs.  Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours in the marinade ingredients.

You will need one chopped onion, 2 diced serrano chilies, a handful of curry leaves, and lemongrass. Lemongrass is optional. I just like the flavor it gives to the dish.

Heat oil in a large pan and add cloves, cardamom pods, fennugreek seeds, of cinnamon bark, curry leaves, lemongrass, onion and green chilies at this time.

Once the onions soften add your marinated chicken. Saute and brown everything up.

Now add some more spices. I added 2tbs of chili powder, 2 tbs of curry powder and 1/2tsp of turmeric. You can salt and pepper your dish again here. **if you do not eat very spicy food you can adjust the chili powder here accordingly to your taste.

I added one small can of diced tomatoes. My tomatoes also had some green chilies in it. Stir all ingredients together and add water. Allow curry to boil until chicken is fully cooked and tender. Add 1 cup of coconut or cow's milk. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and your curry is done.

**Remember to taste, taste, taste. Make sure that the gravy is spicy enough and salted enough.

This Chicken curry makes me happy. I hope you enjoy it. It will serve 8-10 people.
Note: Leftovers are even more delicious! 

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  1. I like the way each step of the recipe is photographed, very helpful for those who can't cook like me. Thanks!

  2. Cooked this recipe, the brocooli mellun, cashew curry and pineapple curry for my family this weekend (8 growns up and 4 kids) and it was all a huge sucess! Served it with rice, papadums and Seeeni Sambol also :)

    Was in Sri Lanka a month a few years ago and wanted to show them what I had been eating there :)

    Anyways, I did have an issue with this recipe. I used only 2 cups of water and still thought it was way to much gravy. Had a similar issue when I did a Sri Lankan apple curry from another page. Am I wrong or is a cup about 250ml?

    I also noted that in some recipe there was ingredients that was either missing in the cooking text or the recipe summary, sadly I dont remember which one right now

  3. This Chicken Curry Recipe seems easy to prepare & perfect to serve for lunch & dinner. It can also be paired up with Authentic Chicken Tandoori Recipe for extravagant weekend dinner with family & kids.


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