Sri Lankan Cashew Chicken Curry Recipe

Published on Saturday, August 3, 2019 | Category: Chicken Recipes in Sri Lanka


Generously spiced with a homemade Sri Lankan curry powder and combined with rich, coconut milk and cashew nuts, this Sri Lankan chicken curry recipe, paired up with warm roti or rice is the perfect comforting meal.

Total cook time:

1 hour 20 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 200g cashews
  • 500g skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 400g tin of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 200g tomatoes, chopped
  • 250g green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

For the Sri Lankan curry powder

  • 1 tsp basmati rice
  • 4 pods of cardamom, seeds extracted and shells discarded
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 cloves


  • To make the Sri Lankan curry powder, add all the ingredients for the curry powder into a large, deep frying pan and dry roast over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes or until the spices turn light brown and they start releasing their aromas.
  • Let the spices cool. Then put it into a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to grind to a powder.
  • Next, in a pan, add the cashews and toast for about 2-3 minutes or until they start turning golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the coconut oil and cook the chicken thighs for about five minutes on each side or until the chicken is done and golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor, add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and chillies with half of the toasted cashew and about 50 ml of water and grind to a paste.
  • Next, heat some oil in a pan and add the spice mix and cook gently for about a minute. Then add in the cashew paste and saute gently for about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • To this, add in the coconut milk along with about 250 ml of water, the cinnamon stick, the cooked chicken thighs and the rest of the toasted cashews and allow to simmer for about half an hour until the chicken thighs go really tender.
  • Then add the green beans and let it cook for another five minutes or so. Now, add the tomatoes and cook for a final five minutes, until the beans and tomatoes are cooked.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice and chopped coriander leaves. Serve this classic Sri Lankan food recipes with warm rice or roti of choice.