Sri Lankan Chicken Curry
Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Curry makes great camping food but can involve lots of individual preparation and cooking stages.

To minimise preparation time the basic masala paste can be prepared ahead of time and placed into a jar.

This recipe can be cooked ahead of time simply by omitting the chicken and coconut milk.

Simply reheat the paste and add the chicken, followed by the coconut milk as per the regular cooking method.

Home made curry pastes have far more individual flavour than the commercial brands from the supermarket shelf.


1.5kg chicken or chicken pieces

2 tablespoons of ghee

¼ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, whole

15 Curry Leaves

2 large Onions, finely chopped

2½ teaspoons of finely minced garlic

2 teaspoons of finely grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2-6 dried red chillies, soaked in boiling water and ground to a paste

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground fennel

1 tablespoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 whole, peeled, chopped tomatoes

6 cardamon pods, bruised

1 stick of cinnamon

1 stem fresh lemon grass

1 cup coconut milk


Joint and separate chicken into pieces. Halve the thighs and breasts.

In a dry pan, on a medium heat, separately roast the coriander, cumin and fennel powders until fragrant. This takes about a minute each. Do not burn the spices.

Heat the ghee in a heavy pan and add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Sauté for 30 seconds and add the cinnamon stick.

Add the onions and stir fry until the onions are a rich brown colour.

Add the garlic and ginger and fry a further 5 minutes.

Blend in the all the ground ingredients and then add the chilli paste, salt and vinegar. Stir well and cook for another minute.

Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat with the spice mixture.

Continue stirring and when the chicken has changed colour add the tomatoes, cardamon pods and lemon grass.

Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and cook, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes

Serve with rice and accompaniments.

Indian Naan Bread although not traditionally a Sri Lankan dish goes well with this wet curry. Absorbtion Cooked Rice is an easy way to prepare rice when camping.

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