Sri Lankan Chicken Curry – gorgeous!!

Going with that Sri Lankan theme again, this is to go with the Pol Roti from my previous post. I am doing 4 dishes, and maybe some rice as it helps tone down the heat a bit.  Lots of spice in this one – NOT for those who don’t like chilli!

Speaking of chilli, these recipes call for green chillis as they are apparently hotter than red.  I bought a ton of them, and a couple of reds – the green doesn’t seem that hot to me – either they’re NOT – or.. I’m getting so used to it that I can’t tell.  The grocery shopping over the last few days has been very interesting and fun! Please note I have made double the quantity.

I chose to use my scanpan for this one – amazing kitchen piece I cannot live without!

Link is below, and a list of the ingredients required to make this yummy dish!


chicken spices sm
Add all the spices to the pan and cook over medium heat about 2 – 3 minutes to ‘roast’ them.  Stir continuously so they don’t burn.  The aroma is amazing!
chicken oniontomato sm
Add the onion and tomato.  Toss to combine with the spices.
chicken oniontomatomix sm
Add a little oil (not too much as the chicken also will add oil to the dish) Cook for about 2 mins – stirring to prevent burning. Add a little salt.
chicken broth sm
Add the chicken and toss to coat in the spice mixture, add a litttle more salt. Add water. Stir to combine, and submerge the chicken the best you can.  Cover and cook for  20 mins on high heat. Stir halfway through.
chicken yoghurt sm
Add the sugar and yoghurt and stir in.  Cook a little longer to allow it to combine well. Cook another 5 minutes.
chicken milk sm
Add the milk (I chose to use coconut milk), stir, turn off the heat and cover, let it sit on the hotplate for another 15-20 minutes.
chicken delish sm
The finished product.  Please see notes below.  

The final product is quite ‘wet’, and also there is a lot of oil that will float to the top.  Some choose to remove a bit of the oil, which can be easily done after it has cooled, before reheating.  I have cooked this ahead so it has time to rest in the fridge and infuse all the flavours.  The sauce will thicken after cooling also.

I have only used chicken legs and did not remove the skin.  It’s the skin that produces a lot of the oil.  In the video the chef has removed the skin on some parts of his chicken.

He also says to take it easy on the salt 😉

This is a VERY strong, hot curry – it’s going to be even stronger ‘on the day’ no doubt, but it’s creamy and delicious! Definitely thinking some coconut rice is going to be needed 😉

Here is the link to watch how it’s done: Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

The instructions I have written on the images are taken from that video (by Aasai Rasai)

Ingredients list for HALF the size of my dish:

  • 3 legs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • curry leaves
  • 4tb oil (I used evoo)
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 c yoghurt

1tsp each of:

  • powdered coriander
  • paprika
  • curry powder (I used double – and two types – roasted and normal curry powders
  • cummin
  • garlic
  • cracked pepper
  • salt

1/2 tsp each of:

  • ginger
  • fennel seeds
  • dry red chilli flakes

Results of the tasting at work will be revealed in due course.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. rasakama says:

    This recipe looks lovely, but I have never seen yogurt in Sri Lankan chicken curry. We either make this chicken curry with water(with all the spices of cause) or we add coconut milk to it.

    Anyways, your curry looks very tasty too. 🙂


    1. Webbed Food says:

      I did wonder about the yoghurt! Seemed strange since I’ve never seen it used in other dishes. Thinking I’ll be adding the coconut milk next time 🙂 Thanks for your feedback ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there! I stumbled upon your very interesting blog and thought I will clarify some information about the aasai rasai chicken curry. Thank you for taking time to watch and try out the recipe. The yogurt (or curd) in this recipe, can be attributed to cooking ‘secrets’ safely guarded by family and passed down. It is an influence of Sri lankan-Tamil cuisine and as you may already know, Sri Lankan food is a fusion of many different regional and international culinary influences. Some recipes do not necessarily imply Sinhalese food or Tamil food etc. You can always ‘mix & match’ which is what I love about Sri Lankan food!
    Hope this helps to understand why curd/yogurt is used 🙂
    Happy Cooking!
    ~Aasai Rasai.


    1. Webbed Food says:

      Oh thank you! My colleagues are Sinhalese, so it’s nice to see Tamil/Sinhalese has some differences.. MORE to explore! Appreciate your information!


    2. Ranjani N says:

      After seeing this, I really felt that I should make a comment on this kind of a misleading information about Sri Lankan cuisine. First of all, I like to thank the marvelous work of webbedfood. To begin, Sri Lankan cuisine has it own identity as all other countries have a one in their own food. When you say “Sri Lankan food is a fusion of many different regional and international culinary influences” it is basically saying Sri Lankan cooking has no own identity. For example, Pizzas are Italian and you always preserve the unique attributes of the dish no matter how we alter the combination of toppings, right? If we will boil the pizza, I assume it will no longer be an Italian pizza. So, to get back to this comment. You are absolutely correct that depending on regions recipes slightly change. And, yes, in Sri Lanka there are few ethnic groups and there are a diversity of food and beverages that are influenced by several cultures. I am a Tamil-Sri Lankan, 58y-old mother who has a restaurant in US and surely had been cooking for more that 40 years and I have never seen a Sri Lankan curry made like this. Now, my point is, the way you have cooked this is neither with Sinhalese’ influence or Tamils’ influence. Surely, this is a tasty dish. But if you are calling this a “Sri Lankan curry”, it is a responsibility to maintain the fundamental elements of Sri Lankan cooking. As I see, today, all the young generation are learning about everything over the internet. So it is our responsibility to not to mislead the world. Before I go further, I also like to remind that I am aware that there are several types of traditional meat curries; we make stews, hot curry, pepper-curry and light-meat-curry, etc. However, I assume that the cook here is trying to make the most commonly made hot-chicken curry. Simply, we do not add yogurt to any meat curry. Well yes, in Indian dishes they do. Now, one can say Tamils originally came from India and that they use yogurt. Well, that is wrong. In Jaffna we use a curry powder with a different combination of spices and in north-western area we use a milder combination. Also, in some regions to give the savor taste they use either tamarind or lime leaves or as such ingredients that are readily available in the area. I guarantee that yogurt is not in any of the traditional recipes. Also, if you to add milk, coconut milk is the primary choice and it is very rarely that cows’ milk is added to make this common chicken curry. My point here is to beg you to stop misleading the young generation. You just can change the name of your recipe from “Sri Lankan” to ” Sri Lankan Style” may be. Thank you.


      1. Webbed Food says:

        I do agree Ranjani, I work with a lot of Sinhalese Sri Lankans who are guiding me in their food. They do not use yoghurt, they have very particular taste, in fact. I also work with Indians, and THEY use the yoghurt, it’s a completely different cuisine entirely. However, this food was given to my colleagues and they either give it the flick or accept and give me feedback, and I adjust accordingly. This blog is merely to try and test recipes and give feedback and I am grateful for ALL feedback I receive, and take everything into account. Thank you for your explanation, it is very helpful in my personal learning 🙂 As you have highlighted, Coconut milk is the go, and is all I use in my cooking while doing Sri Lankan as cows milk and yoghurt just do not create the authentic taste 🙂 Still, we also have people from all over the world adapting their own recipes to suit their personal tastes, as an Australian, I adapt a lot of my recipes that then make the authenticity disappear, however, I’m an aussie, therefore my food is somewhat Australian cuisine ;-). I value your input, thank you.


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