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Sri Lankan Chicken Curry by Sharmonth Jayasinghe

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

My SLn Chicken Curry


1kg Chicken thighs* ( or any cut that also has a few bones)

3 tsp cumin powder

3 tsp corriander powder

1-2 tsp chilli powder* (your preference)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp Sri Lankan roasted curry powder* ( optional- don't worry if you can't find it- if you use it reduce cumin/ corriander to 2 tsp each)

1 tsp salt

Curry leaves

Small pandan leaf piece

1 large onion or 2 medium

3 cloves garlic

2 inch ginger piece

2 green chillies

1 large tomato chopped

Cinnamon stick

3-4 cloves

3-4 green cardamoms

Soy sauce *( optional)

Ketchup/tomato sauce *( optional)

300ml coconut milk * ( optional)


1) Remove any skin from the chicken and cut it up to sizes of your choice.( I prefer leaving thigh pieces as they are or alternatively halve them). Wash and drain out water and add cumin powder, corriander powder, turmeric, salt, chilli powder, SLn curry powder,* dash of light soy sauce and Ketchup ( if using) and mix well by hand. Set aside, for a few minutes.

2) Chop up the onions, garlic, ginger and tomato during this time.

3) Heat 2 tblspns of coconut oil in a deep saucepan and sauté the garlic and ginger first for 30 seconds. Now add the curry leaves, pandan leaves and the 3 C's- cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms. Stir. When you can smell the aroma from these add the onions and let it cook till it gets soft and golden.

4) Now, add the chicken and stir and help the meat get coated in the ingredients in the pan. Let it cook as it is for 2- 3 minutes with lid open.

5) Now put some hot water in the bowl that had the chicken marinating first,( so you don't waste any residue marinade) , and add it to the saucepan with just enough water to cover the chicken. Close lid. And cook on medium flame for 40 mins. Also add the green chillies and tomato before closing lid.

6) After 40 minutes your chicken is cooked and you will have a nice thick, flavoursome gravy. However if you're having stringhoppers as your mains you will need more gravy. In that case add the coconut milk, stir and let it cook with lid open for further 5 minutes and turn off heat. Check seasoning.



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