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Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

This curry is flavor packed and aromatic. It's recipe that you will want to cook over and over again
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken curry, chicken with coconut milk, sri lankan chicken
Servings: 4


Sri Lankan Curry Powder

  • 1&1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tspn fennel/soomph seeds
  • 1 tspn mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tspn black peppercorns
  • 4 cardamom/elachie pods
  • 1 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves


  • 700 gram chicken on the bone
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp gnger/garlic paste
  • 2 sprigs curry leaf
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2&1/2 tbsp Sri Lankan Curry powder
  • 2 tomatoes cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water


Sri Lankan Curry Powder

  • Place all the ingredients in a pan and roast on a medium to low heat until spices start to brown and becomes aromatic, about 3-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it as it can burn easily
  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool down
  • You can use a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind the spices
  • Store in an airtight container


  • Place the onion, chilli and ginger/garlic paste in a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Add a few drops of water if required
  • Heat the oil in a large pot and add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and curry leaf. Once it becomes fragrant add the onion paste
  • Cook until the onion is slightly brown
  • Add the curry powder and chilli powder, cook for a minute
  • Add the tomatoes and chicken and cook with the lid off, for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are cooked. Stir frequently so the curry doesn't burn
  • Season with salt. Add the coconut milk and water and bring to the boil
  • Lower the heat and allow the curry to simmer with the lid on. Allow it to cook until the gravy thickens, about 20 to 30 minutes.


  1. You can store the extra Sri Lankan curry powder in an airtight bottle for later use
  2.  Although I have used coconut milk you don't have to use it, the curry can be cooked without it
  3. I wanted a spicy curry so I used more Kashmiri Chilli Powder, you can reduce the amount. If you don't have Kashmiri Chilli Powder you can use Cayenne Pepper and Paprika