Sri Lankan Devilled Chicken

My son went on a holiday to Sri Lanka and couldn’t stop raving about this very frequently served dish in hotels and small establishments.  I remember it from my visit to Sri Lanka where it was cooked by the chef at Sigiri Rock Villa an eco friendly hotel which was a lovely place to stop at.  I spoke to some chefs during my trip and one of them wrote out the recipe for me, I tried/changed/tested it fully and now have this Devilled Chicken recipe to die for! – aptly named due to the amount of chillies in it! Please adjust amount of chillies according to your taste and tolerance.


Stage 1

  • 2lb chicken pieces on the bone cut into 3inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tsp dry red chillie flakes (omit for mild)
  • 4 tsp good quality chillie sauce (Encona, Sambal – reduce for milder)
  • 4 tsp plain white flour
  • 4 tbs oil

Stage 2

  • 3 dstspoons cooking oil
  • 2 dstspoons fresh crushed ginger
  • 2 oz chopped onions
  • 4 oz tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 finely sliced fresh green chillies (omit for milder)
  • 1 dstspoons soya sauce
  • 2 dstspoons good quality sweet chillie sauce (or 2 tsp sugar)
  • 4 dstspoons ketchup
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 dstp good quality chillie sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly crushed ground pepper
  • 1 green and 1 yellow/red pepper cut into small pieces
  • 10 curry leaves
  • fistful of sliced green coriander
  • 1 cup sliced spring onions
  • 1 cup water (optional)


Stage 1

  1. Wash the chicken in cold water, drain in a colander for 10 mins and place in a deep bowl.
  2. Add salt, pepper, chillie flakes, chillie sauce and flour, mix well and keep aside to marinate for 30 mins.
  3. Add the oil into a wok and heat, add half the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 5-7 mins or until almost cooked, remove chicken into a plate, add the rest of the chicken, stir-fry for 5-7 mins and remove into the plate.Stir-frying chicken

Stage 2

  1. Place the oil in a wok, add the fresh ginger, stir-fry for 2 mins or until brown, add the onions stir-fry for a further 2 minutes, add the tomatoes, cook covered on low heat for a few minutes until mixture dries up, add the green chillies if using, soya sauce, sweet chillie sauce, ketchup, fish sauce, salt, pepper and chillie sauce. Mix well andlet simmer for 2 mins.
  2. Add the stir-fried chicken, mix in, cook on a high heat for 3 – 4 minutes, stirring gently with a wooden spoon, turn down the heat and cook covered for 5 – 7 minutes or longer if required, ensuring chicken is cooked through. (cooking time will vary depending on country you are in and on the type of chickens available).
  3. Add the peppers, curry leaves and mix in, sprinkle the green coriander and spring onions.Ready
  4. This is how the chicken is served in Sri Lanka and is quite dry in consistency, as always my family likes a bit of ‘gravy’, so if that is your choice too, add a cup of boiling hot water to the chicken and simmer for 2 mins.
  5. Serve with plain boiled rice.


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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