Ceylon Chicken Curry

As the name implies it is a very simple chicken curry from Sri Lanka. And the base of this recipe is coconut milk with some regular spices. This recipe is inspired from the recipe of the famous Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. I have gone through this recipe in one of his cook book and found it would be a very easy and tasty recipe which goes best with steamed rice. I have cooked several time and each time it turned out very good. I have cooked this chicken curry, both with fresh coconut milk and coconut powder. Both turned equally good. If you are in hurry you can use store bought coconut powder or coconut milk as well. Here goes the recipe …


  • Chicken – 1 kg (Curry cut)
  • Lemon Juice – 2 tsp
  • Garlic Paste – 1 ½ tsp
  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
  • Green Chilli Paste – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Other Ingredients:

  • Scraped Coconut – 1 Cup or of one coconut
  • Onion – 1 cup (Finely chopped)
  • Coriander Powder – ¾ tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1”
  • Green Cardamom – 3-4 nos
  • Cloves – 3-4 nos
  • Star Anise – 1
  • Bay Leaf – 2
  • Salt – To taste
  • Oil – 6 Tbsp

For Tempering:

  • Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Mustard Seeds –  ½ tsp
  • Whole Dry Red Chilli – 2


  1. Marinate chicken with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli paste, lemon juice and salt. Leave aside to marinate for about half an hour, preferably in the refrigerator.
  2. Grind scraped coconut with one-cup warm water, extract thick milk and repeat with two cups of water to get a second extract and keep aside.
  3. Heat four tablespoons oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add cinnamon, green cardamoms, cloves, star anise and sauté till they exudes aroma.
  4. Add chopped onion and sauté till it starts to turn light brown.
  5. Add red chilli powder and coriander powder and mix.
  6. Add marinated chicken pieces, sauté for a few minutes on medium low heat. Adjust salt.
  7. Add in the second coconut extract, cover and cook on medium heat for ten to fifteen minutes or till the chicken is cooked.
  8. Lower down heat and add first extract of coconut milk and cook on medium heat for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Heat remaining oil in a separate pan and temper the oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves and whole red chillis. Pour the tempering into the prepared chicken curry and immediately cover to trap the flavour and aroma.
  10. Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice only.

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