Sri Lankan Chicken Curry Recipe

Published on Friday, December 27, 2019 | Category: Recipes


Sri Lankan food recipes have always had a special place in the world and it’s no wonder with its abundance of flavours, rich textures and mouth-watering tastes. The typical Sri Lankan chicken curry recipe is like no other and its incredible flavours greet the tongue with familiarity so that you instantly feel at home.

With the heady whiff of spices and a rich mishmash of aromas, you will find the chicken meat soft and succulent, smothered in a silky, fragrant curry and the creamy coconut milk mellows out the rich spices and the fiery chilli. This Sri Lankan chicken curry recipe is luxurious and is the ultimate comfort food that only Sri Lankan cuisine can bring.

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4- 6


  • 1kg chicken, cut to desired sizes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • Start by heating oil in a large saucepan. Once the oil is hot enough, add some mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard starts popping, add in the curry powder and the chili powder. Sautee for about two to three minutes, being careful as it is prone to burn.
  • Next, add in the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Let it fry slightly until fragrant.
  • Then add the ginger and garlic and mix well. Once it turns golden, add in the sliced onions.
  • When the onions are softened and are beautifully translucent, add in the chicken and the salt according to taste.
  • Toss well so that the chicken is well coated in the spices, and the onion mixture.
  • Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Then add in the coconut milk and allow to simmer until the gravy becomes thick and creamy. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice or bread of your choice and a fiery Sri Lankan coconut sambol.


  • When frying the curry powder and chili powder, make sure they don’t burn as they tend to blacken easily.
  • It’s best if you use chicken thighs and legs for this chicken curry as they impart the most flavour. However, you can also use whatever part of the chicken you want for this dish.