Guest Post: Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

A Healthilinguist creation…

I recently have been drooling over the flavor creations that my friend Christina at Healthilinguist has been coming up with. I asked her if she would be willing to write a guest post for the site and well, here you go. If you like Paleo eats from different cultures, definitely giver her FaceBook page a like. I hope you look forward to cooking this as much as I do…

Sri Lankan cuisine has some similarities to foods of southern India, highly spiced and hot peppers are featured in many dishes. But there have been many other culinary influences throughout the island’s long history. Though the English were responsible for establishing the tea plantations in Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon, it appears that the British colonization had less of an impact on the food than the early Dutch and Portuguese whose occupation that left a bit of an imprint, particularly on the rice dishes. The Portuguese also introduced the cashew from their colonization of Brazil.

This dish is quite similar to an Indian curry, but it does use apple cider vinegar, coconut milk and added heat. The chilies in this recipe have been modified so please use more if your palate likes the sting!

And please don’t let the long ingredient list intimidate or discourage you! It’s mostly spices and they blend well together for a deliciously fragrant meal.


3 lbs chicken, cut into pieces

Spices to pan roast & crush:
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Additional marinade ingredients:
5-6 cloves garlic, crushed & minced
1 inch ginger root, crushed & minced
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised, white parts chopped
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp salt
5 dried chilies whole
2 bay leaves
8 curry leaves
6 cardamon pods
2 cinnamon sticks
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup coconut milk

1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 cup pure tomatoes crushed (no citric acid or other preservatives)
½ cup chicken stock or water
Additional ½ cup coconut milk or cream

Optional Garnish:
Cilantro, washed & chopped

How you make it:

1. Place all whole spices in a shallow pan and heat through for 5 minutes on a medium-low temp
2. Crush/grind the spices with a mortar and pestle or food processor
3. Combine lemon juice, turmeric, garlic, ginger, salt, black pepper,
4. Combine these with the marinade ingredients in a large bowl
5. Add the chicken and mix well to coat the chicken
6. Refrigerate for an hour, overnight or until ready to use

OPTIONAL STEP – before placing in crock pot

7. Heat the coconut oil in a pot and fry onions on a low heat until soft and caramelised
8. Add the onions and chicken pieces with all the spices and marinade to the crockpot
9. Add the tomato stock or water & stir to blend well
10. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 6 hours
11. Add the coconut milk and stir well before serving, turning the heat up for another 15 minutes
12. Salt to taste

Serve over cauliflower rice or with basmati. Garnish with cilantro

*If you are planning to do the stovetop method, just complete the steps exactly as noted above.  Simmer on low temp for 4 hours, adding a little stock or water if needed.




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Comments 1

  1. When you say “chilli powder” what kind of seasoning do you mean? It seems like a Sri Lankan dish would have something different from American “chili powder” … Thoughts?

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Guest Post: Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

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