Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sri Lanka Style Curry Chicken

The weather has not been kind to us recently, with the heat, daze and the haze. It may not be the perfect conditions to whip up a heaty dish, but nothing is stopping me when my taste buds demand for something, and today, it is a pot of spicy, thick curry gravy.

This recipe is not my usual using A1 brand instant curry paste which is easy to prepare. This one requires much effort in  frying the dried chilli till crispy and dry, before blending them into powder form. Dried chilli + haze is a deadly concoction, I'm sure I must have coughed my lungs out while frying. 

There are many types of curry, such as Nonya , thai green curry... just to name a few. Sri Lanka style will suit those who prefer strong flavour with a thicker, spicy gravy. You would be surprised with the explosion of flavour once you sip some of it - the spices, the distinctive flavour of green chilli, and a tinge of sourness. Yes, it is slightly sour! Ah-hah, you wouldn't have expected that white vinegar is one of the culprits that will stimulate your saliva gland and yearn for more.

Recipe (source : 1978 ’女友‘ 杂志,韩蒂夫人食谱)

A)~  1 kg chicken, cut into big pieces (I suggest using Kampong chicken, Sakura brand chicken or Royale brand chicken because the meat is firmer, good for cooking this type of curry).

B)~ Ingredients need to be fried and be grounded into powder form.
  * 10 dried chilies
  * 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  * 1 tbsp cumin seeds (小茴香子)

C) ~  4 cm length of fresh kunyit (turmeric) or 2.5 tsp. turmeric  powder
     ~  2 tsp lime juice or white vinegar
    ~  1 tsp salt

D) ~ 1 tsp fennel seeds (大茴香)
     ~  1.5 tsp mustard seeds
    ~  4 curry leaves
     ~  3 tbsp or more cooking oil
      ~ 2 big  onions, chopped
      ~ 4 slices fresh ginger, chopped
     ~  4 pips  garlic, chopped
     ~  4 green fresh chillies, cut into half  along its length
     ~  1 cup thick coconut milk (santan)  squeezed from one coconut . Then add some water to the coconut to get  1 to 1.5 cup of diluted coconut milk.
1)  Marinade chicken with ingredients in C.

2)  Use a damp cloth to wipe the dried chillis to get rid of  dirt and dust (you can wash but it must be dry before frying) .  In a hot and dry wok over low heat,  fry dried chilies until crispy but not burn. Dish out. Fry coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant. Dish out. Ready to be grounded into powder for later use.

3)  In a dry and hot wok saute curry leaves, fennel seeds and mustard seeds till fragrant. Then add oil and   add  the chopped ingredients (onion, ginger, garlic) , fry till brown.   Put in  chicken and stir fry for a minute.  Cover with lid, simmer for 1/2 hour at low heat  (the water content naturally contained within the chicken will escape for the simmering) and stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom.

4)  Combine grounded ingredients and green chilies with diluted coconut milk. Pour the mixture into step (3) and cook till the chicken is cooked. Now add in the thick coconut milk , continue to simmer (stir occasionally) until a layer of oil is formed on the surface. Add salt and  sugar to taste. Serve.


I am submitting my Sri Lanka style chicken curry for a little event at

 It is for Little Thumbs Up event hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders at this linkorganized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of my little favourite D.I.Y


  1. Hi Veronica, lovely curry which I'll like to try. This curry base is also good with fish or pork belly, too.

  2. Veronica, this curry is definitely worth the effort!

  3. Hi Kimmy, the curry is very fragrant. I am sure you will like it.

  4. Hi Phong Hong, thanks for dropping by my blog and for your comments. I really appreciate very much. I am the type who is very lazy to reply and leave comments after visiting the posts of other bloggers. Hope you all can pardon me. :)

  5. Hi Veronica, I love the colour and texture of your ccurry hicken gravy. Love a tinge of sourness. I'd often add chopped tomatoes in my curries. I can imagine the aroma from your kitchen making this curry. Dry roasting the spices and then blending them creates that delectable flavour and aromas in curries, a far cry from instant pastes :-D

  6. a-spicy-summer-in-saint-remy-de-provence, thank you for dropping by my blog. Yes, when I dry roasting the the spices, there's a wave of aroma in my house. It was really awesome.

  7. Hi Veronica,

    After cooking curry from scratch, I can see the beauty of each individual spices. Your Sir Lankan curry looks wonderful.


  8. Hi Veronica
    Your Sri Lankan curry chicken looked fiery hot! I love hot fiery curries but I often have to make very mild versions for my 2 small kids. And you got the recipe from 1978 version of "女友" 杂志, OMG! :)

  9. Hi Miss B, good dishes are from ages ago, believe it or not. lol. Have a nice week ahead.

  10. Hi Veronica, have tried this curry. Tasted good and best part about it, everything can be prepared earlier and keeps well. Thanks.

  11. Kimmy, thank you for trying out this recipe and glad that you like it.