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Srilankan chicken curry in a bowl

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Authentic and flavorful Sri Lankan Chicken Curry made with home made roasted curry powder.
4.45 from 9 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Keyword: chicken, curry
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Author: Farwin


  • Dutch Oven


  • 2 lbs chicken whole chicken cut into pieces or any bone-in chicken thigh/leg pieces
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Sri Lankan roasted curry powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, medium chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies sliced
  • 1 large roma tomato chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato passata/sauce/puree OR 1 tbsp tomato paste with 2 tbsp water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk


  • Marinate the chicken with roasted curry powder, red chili powder, turmeric,salt and vinegar for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and saute the onions until they become translucent. Add minced ginger and garlic. Fry for 2 minutes.
  • Add the marinated chicken, green chili and curry leaves and give it a good stir. Let it fry for 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomato and let it cook down.
  • Add tomato passata/puree and a cup of water. Let the curry come to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and cook uncovered for further 10 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt.
  • Serve over rice or with naan or roti.


  • Boneless chicken- reduce initial simmering time to 15 minutes
  • Curry powder- generic store bought curry powder can be used but it will be of different taste.
  • Tomato passata- this is uncooked strained pureed tomatoes. You can find it in most supermarkets. If you don't have any add one more chopped large tomato or 1/4 cup pureed tomato. Or substitute 1 tbsp tomato paste mixed in 2 tbsp water.
  • Red chili powder- use kashmiri red chili powder for mild heat but more color.
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