Sri Lankan chicken curry

I know this is my first post in a while but that’s because I have been on hols in Sri Lanka!  I am not going to bang on too much about how much I loved it… but it really does get 10 out of 10! It is the most beautiful country with the nicest, kindest people, the yummiest food, so many amazing places to explore and more often than not, glorious weather.

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View from the train from Kandy to Ella
View from the train from Kandy to Ella

While we were in Ella, which is in the hill country surrounded by tea plantations, we climbed up ‘Little Adam’s peak’ for the sunrise!

View from the top of Little Adam's peak
View from the top of Little Adam’s peak

Following our morning exertion we were pretty hungry and embarked on a cooking lesson at our hotel with head chef Pradeep. He taught us how to make the classic Sri Lankan curries: chicken,  dhal, green beans and spiced potatoes, all of which we enjoyed for lunch!

Action shot with Pradeep keeping an eye on me!
Action shot with Pradeep keeping an eye on me!

Ingredients for Sri Lankan chicken curry:

  • 1 or 2 chicken breasts diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic (virtually half a bulb!)
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 2 small ladles of coconut milk (obviously its fresh there but back over here the tinned stuff will do nicely)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt and pepper

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Firstly we chopped up everything very finely, including the onion, garlic and green chillies.

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In a frying pan we then heated a small amount of vegetable oil until it was very hot. This took at least 2 or 3 minutes. Then we added the onion and garlic and constantly stirred, cooking this for about 3 or 4 minutes. Next we chucked in the chicken pieces, curry leaves and all of the spices. If you are a talented chef like Pradeep you don’t need a wooden spoon to stir it all, you just toss the chicken in the spices in the pan, coating the meat and keeping it constantly on the move.

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Once the chicken was looking nicely browned, we added in the coconut milk and continued to stir before putting a lid on it and leaving it for about 5 minutes to simmer.

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Sri Lankan curry is different to Indian curries largely because of the use of coconut milk. But they are generally pretty SPICY… so if that’s not your bag then cut back on the chillies if you try to recreate this recipe.

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Served alongside all our other creations, this really was a numma lunch time feast to remember.

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