Ceylon Chicken Curry

Ceylon Chicken Curry

What is ceylon chicken curry?

Ceylon curry originated in Sri Lanka. The name ceylon typically refers to a family of curries that contain coconut milk, lime and a specific ceylon curry powder that is very hot!

‘This has been in my family for years and was probably named in this way because of the strong notes of cinnamon,' she says. 'It is very light and easy to prepare and is always a hit at parties.' - Priya, Deccan Tiffin

Icon_cookingtime_grey Created with Sketch. 1 hour
Icon_apron_grey Created with Sketch. Easy
Icon_cloche_grey Created with Sketch. Serves 4-6
Ceylon Chicken Curry


Ceylon Curry Ingredients

  • 1 kg of chicken breasts on the bone or a combination of breasts, thighs and drumsticks (the bones add flavour and richness)
  • 1 medium to large red onion
  • 5 fat cloves of garlic
  • 2 inch piece of root ginger
  • 2-4 hot green chillies, depending on the level of heat you want
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 inch stick of cinnamon or cassia
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes, chopped or a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped

How to make

  1. Remove chicken skin and cut each breast into four to five pieces. Scrape the ginger to remove the skin and the peel the garlic cloves. Cut the chillies into two to three pieces. Grind the garlic, chillies and ginger together in an electric grinder with the salt and a bit of water.

  2. Put the mixture in a mixing bowl with the chicken pieces, add the yoghurt and turmeric and mix to coat the chicken pieces evenly. Let the chicken marinate in this mixture for as long as possible. Overnight is best, but if you are in a hurry, you can cook it immediately.

  3. Grind the onion in a food processor and set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole dish. Add the cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods and let sizzle for two minutes until they release a strong aroma. Regulate the heat to ensure that they do not burn.

  4. Now add the ground onion and fry this for a few minutes until it turns golden and the strong smell of raw onion has gone down. If the smell continues to be strong after five minutes, add some water and continue cooking. Once the smell has become less noticeable, add the marinated chicken, the tomatoes and a cup of water.

  5. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat for a further 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Check by cutting through a thigh piece and ensuring that there is no pink near the bone or by using a food thermometer. The deepest part of the meat should stay at a temperature of 75 degrees C for at least 10 seconds.

  6. Taste to check for salt levels and adjust according to your taste. Add a little hot water if you would like more gravy and thicken with some corn flour dissolved in cold water if you want a thicker gravy.

  7. Add the chopped coriander and simmer for a minute before serving with rice or Indian bread.

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