Bursting with flavours and textures, chicken recipes in Sri Lanka are incredibly versatile and exceptionally delectable. There are a number of popular Sri Lankan chicken curry recipes but the devilled chicken is, perhaps, the star of all Sri Lankan food recipes. Sweet, sour and devilishly spicy, this dish is chock full of complex flavours that are simply mouthwatering.
400g skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground black pepper
Juice of one lime
Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
2 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of fresh ginger
½ large red chilli (or to taste) chopped
1 onion cut into thick rings
2 tbsp tomato sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp chilli and garlic sauce
1 tbsp hot chilli sauce
1 bell pepper chopped
1 large tomato chopped
Salt to taste
Long grain white rice for serving (optional)
1- Marinade the chicken about three hours prior to cooking. Cut the chicken into equal sizes and coat generously with the marinade spices, salt and lime juice well. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge to chill. The longer it sits, the stronger and better the spices will absorb into the chicken.
2- Grind the cloves of garlic and fresh ginger into a fine paste.
3- Remove the marinated chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking so that it fries evenly on all sides.
1- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat vegetable or sunflower oil and fry the marinated chicken pieces until cooked through. Move to a plate to drain off excess oil and set aside.
2- Next, in a large wok or frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add in the ginger and garlic paste. Stir constantly for minute so that it doesn’t burn and cook until it starts to release its amroa.
3- Add the chopped chopped chilli, onion and bell pepper and stir well until cooked.
4- Next, add in the vinegar, sauces and sugar and keep stirring.
5- As all the ingredients comes together into a thick red sauce, add in the chicken pieces and chopped tomatoes. Stir for a minute until the chicken is well coated in the sauce and the chunks of tomatoes are just softened.
6- The curry should taste sweet, sour and hot and not acidic. Taste for balance and add extra sugar, salt or lime to balance it out. If you think the sauce needs more heat, add in more chilli sauce.
7- Remove from heat and let it rest for a minute. Sprinkle with dices green chilli.
8- Serve hot with fluffy, long grain white rice
*If you don’t want to deep fry the chicken pieces, you can stir-fry it too. Marinate as in the method above and add the pieces into hot oil to stir-fry. Make sure to turn the pieces regularly and check that they’re cooked through. Remove from the pan and add in the pieces after the onion is cooked. The end result will still be very good but it won’t have the layers of contrast.
Tip: This Devilled Chicken recipe goes excellently well with long-grain fried rice.