Main Dishes

Sri Lankan Coconut Chicken Curry

A few years ago, I had an exchange student from Sir Lanka who could cook really well. This is a lovely, warming dish that we cooked and ate together. Her version was extremely hot but I have reduced the chillie content to how we like it – medium but still enjoyable.

Sri Lankan Coconut Chicken Curry

Print Recipe
Cuisine: Sri Lankan Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 3oz grated onion
  • 1 tbs garlic
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs ginger
  • 2lb chicken cut into 2inch pieces (washed and drained)
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp red chillies (increase for more heat!)
  • half tsp tumeric
  • half tsp ground dry coriander
  • 2 whole small green cardamom
  • 1.5 or 2 cups coconut milk (or to taste) - you can use tins or reconstituted
  • 2 tbs lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 4 tbs freshly sliced green coriander (save some for serving)
  • Quartered red tomato or sliced red chillie (optional for decoration)



Place oil, onion and garlic in saucepan, brown slightly, add black pepper, fry together add ginger and keep stirring. Add half a cup of water, turn the heat to low and cook for 10 mins, stirring once or twice.


Add chicken pieces, salt, turmeric and red chillies, mix together.


Cook covered on low heat for 5mins, remove cover, stir well and cook without covering until the juices dry off.


Add coconut milk, cardamoms, dry coriander and half cup water, simmor uncovered on low heat for 10mins or until chicken is cooked through.


Add lime/lemon juice and some of the coriander, mix once, remove into a long deep serving dish.


Decorate with sliced tomato or red chillie, some fresh green coriander and serve piping hot


with plain rice or plain pilao rice or with naan or French bread or thickly sliced bloomer.

Meal: Main Dishes