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Ceylonese Curry    HT  MC    Sri Lankan    80mins plus marinating

Serves 4        Hot   Poultry    Main Course  Curries  Dairy free   Ceylon  Sri Lanka 

Asia  Asian



4 Large Chicken Portions

1 teasp Curry Powder

1 teasp Ground Coriander

½ teasp Chilli Powder

¼ teasp Ground Ginger

Pinch Saffron Powder

1 Onion, chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

2 Bay Leaves, crumbled

2 inch Cinnamon Stick

1 teasp Salt

3 tbsp Peanut Oil

100g/4oz Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

¼ teasp Sugar

1 teasp Lime Juice

For the Special Spice Blend

½ teasp Ground Cardamom seeds

¼ teasp Ground Cinnamon

¼ teasp Ground Cloves

¼ teasp Ground Coriander




1. Combine the curry powder, ground coriander, chili powder to taste, ground ginger, saffron, chopped onion and garlic, bay leaves, pieces of cinnamon and salt and blend in the peanut oil. 


2. Rub the mixture well into the chicken pieces with your fingers. Place the chicken pieces in a large, shallow dish, cover with foil and leave in a cool place to marinate for 8 hours or overnight.


3. Place the desiccated coconut in a bowl, add 450ml/15 fl.oz. water and knead with your hands for 3 minutes. Press through a fine sieve to extract the coconut milk; measure out 300ml/10 fl oz. and set aside.


4. Place the chicken pieces with the marinade mixture in a large flameproof casserole. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the chicken and onions are golden brown, adding extra oil if needed.


5. Stir in the coconut milk, at the same time scraping the sides and base of the casserole to incorporate any caramelized bits. Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is tender. 


6. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients of the special spice blend. Set aside.


7. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked chicken portions to a heated serving plate and keep warm.


8. Add the sugar to the juices in the casserole, increase the heat to high and boil until the juices are reduced by half. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lime or lemon juice and strain over the chicken.


7.  To serve - Sprinkle the special spice blend over the chicken. Serve immediately.


More Chicken Recipes  |  General Prep & Cooking Times   |  More Sri Lankan Recipes



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Key techniques

Chop to – To cut into pieces of approximately the same size.
Brown  to  -  To fry in very shallow  fat  over a high heat in order to colour the food and seal in the juices.

Sauté  - The cooking of food in a small amount of fat, preferably in a single layer, until it browns and softens. It is important not to overfill the pan.


Tips, Options and Substitutions


Main equipment

Chopping Knife

Chopping Board


Wooden or Plastic Spoon


Freezing/Make ahead

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