Apr 4, 2013

Srilankan Chicken Curry

I once came across this recipe through a cooking show, immediately i wanted to try it. Within a couple of days i bought all the stuff and got into action. I should tell you  the end result was amazing and it tasted so yummy. We enjoyed this curry with idiappam and it was so good.I was waiting to post this recipe for so long. It was sitting in my drafts for months. Finally the day has arrived.

This is so simple to make, it involves lots of spice powders and masalas. If you can find lemon grass add that too, it gives a nice flavour to it. But i could't find it so i didn't add it. I hope you will try it and let me know what you think.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 1 hour
Serves : 7 to 8


Ghee / Clarified Butter - 3 tblspn
Cardamom pods -4
Fenugreek Seeds / Vendayam - 1 tsp
Cinnamon Stick - 1 small one
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Onion - 5 medium size chopped finely
Ginger - 2 tblspn minced
Garlic - 2 tblspn minced
Salt to taste
Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder / Malli podi - 1 tblspn
Turmeric powder / Manjal podi - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Fennel Powder / Saunf Powder / Sombu Powder - 1 tsp
Tomato - 4 medium size chopped finely
Chicken - 1 kg cut into pieces
Pandan leaf - 1 
Vinegar - 2 tblspn
Thick Coconut Milk - 1 cup / 250 ml


Heat ghee in a deep pot. Add in cardamom, cinnamon, fenugreek and fry for a min.

Add in curry leaves and let them splutter.

Add in onions and saute them for few minutes till they turn translucent.

Add in ginger, garlic, salt and give a good stir.

Now add in all the spice powders starting from chilli to fennel and give a good mix.

Add in crushed tomatoes and cook for 5 mins till oil separates from it.

Add in chicken and let it get coated in all the masala.

Add in pandan leaf, vinegar and mix well.

Cover with a lid and simmer the flame. let it cook for 40 to 45 mins till it is cooked completely.

Now add in coconut milk and mix well. Simmer for a couple of mins.

Serve with rice or anything of your choice.

Take all your ingredients

Heat ghee

Add in tempering items

Add in curry leaves

Add in onions and mix well

Add in ginger



Saute till golden

Add in spice powders

And some more spice powder

Mix well

Add in tomatoes

Mix well

Add in chicken pieces

And coat well with the masala

Add in pandan leaf

Add in vinegar..

Mix well

Cover and Simmer

Till chicken is cooked

Add in coconut milk

Mix well



  1. Yeah ! Even i saw this dish in a cookery show... Perfectly done...

  2. Beautiful and super flavourful chicken curry.

  3. This looks fantastic, will make it over the weekend, think I have most of the ingredients for a change. Thanks. Have a good day, Diane

  4. tried this for dinner tonight... it smells and tastes awsome... :) thanks a lottt.. love your recipes.. :)

  5. hi aarthi,

    pls can you tell me the name of the vessel you are using

  6. Love Sri Lankan dishes, you are so amazing to guide newbie like me, step by step with photo and all, you take great effect, love all recipes by you

    Have a blessed day=)

    A Singaporean fan=))

  7. @suji That is a prestige casserole..http://www.prestigesmartkitchen.com/default/omega-die-cast-casserole-200-mm-with-lid/p-33442-29514729003-cat.html#variant_id=33442-29514729003

  8. what iş pandan leaf ? pl.help .

  9. am a sri lankan myself and love this curry when my mother used to make it for our birthdays- of course then its more richer with yoghurt etc.! wonderful website aarthi!!i have already tried sooo many recipes from your site- was never a flop!!keep up the good work!! (btw when you say 1 cup in recipes how many grams does this amount to?- wld be great if you could help me out here...!! Thank you)

  10. @Anonymous Pandan leaf is also called as screw pine leaf, which we use in briyanis to give nice aroma..

  11. @AnonymousCup to gram measurements vary for each ingredients. In this recipe, 1 cup of coconut milk refers to 250 ml or grams of milk.

  12. Hi Aarthi, I am Shirley and i am from Melaka, Malaysia, really love your blog. And i hv tried a few of your recipes and like what some hv said,,they never fail.Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful recipes,I especially love the step by step, which you have taken so much time to do..By the way one of the recipes which i hv tried and succeded was the Thaigai Paal Apam,,my mum is a good cook herself but has somehow lost the touch,and when i follow her recipe it does not turn our to be crisp and the sides and there are no honeycomb formation in the middle, but when i tried your recipe,, Wow it was fabulous...Thanks Aarthi,,,will not stop peeping as to what new recipes you have..

  13. Hi it looks yummy but can u tell me where can i buy this pundan leaf in india?? M in USA now so if u know then let me know if i can buy it here?? If i dont get is there any substitute??
    I tried ur tandoori chicken recipe with soya sauce and it came out really yummy. I tried chicken first time and i loved it!! Thank you. I will be trying all your recipes now..
    Mukta Amit

  14. @muktaYou can buy that it any indian market in us.In india you can buy it in every supermarket.

  15. What chilli powder you are using. .the colour is good.

  16. may I use fresh cream instead of coconut milk

  17. @AnonymousYou can use, but coconut milk gives the real flavour.

  18. Hi, can v use gg paste instead of using chopped ones.

  19. I have lemongrass. Can u tell at which step can I add it?

  20. I have lemongrass, can you say when I add it to the curry?

  21. Hai Arthi,

    Tried it today for lunch. And it tasted sooo Good.

  22. Thank you for sharing this Sri Lankan dish...I was in Sri Lanka last year and love the food there. I shall cook this chicken dish soon , it looks super yummy !

  23. Hi Aarthi! I have been following your very interesting posts. I prepared the Sri Lankan chicken curry as per your recipe. It turned out very tasty .

  24. I dont get pandan leaves..wer do u get them? Is there any substitute

  25. Dear Ma'am,
    I'm a once a year cook, and my wife requested for chicken and roti, she being an awesome cook, I did not want comparisons, so I took the cowards way out and made this. Ma'am it turned out amazing, we had it with onion/chilli coconut rotis, and my family went carzy over it. (I'm sure some of it was just to see me happy), but I too loved it. Since I did not know what pandan leaves were I replaced it with lemongrass, and i added some lemon to it as well.
    Thank you ma'am,


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