Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

6 servings


15 minutes

active time

55 minutes

total time


2 - 3 tbsp coconut oil

½ onion (yellow or red, diced or sliced.)

4 garlic cloves (minced)

1 inch ginger (minced)

6 - 7 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves

2 ½ tbsp roasted Sri Lankan curry powder

1 cinnamon stick (or 1 small regular cinnamon stick)

½ tsp salt (plus more to taste)

1 tsp cayenne pepper (or chili powder, less if you like it less spicy. PLEASE SEE NOTES)

1 tbsp paprika (not smoked or sweet paprika)

2 lbs chicken, (whole chicken cut into sections OR any bone-in chicken thigh or leg pieces, large thigh pieces should be cut in half)

2 serrano peppers (or regular green chili) (cut length-wise, with or without seeds)

3 roma tomatoes (cut into cubes, or 2 medium-sized regular tomatoes)

2 tsp brown sugar (see notes)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar (PLEASE SEE NOTES)

½ cup coconut milk (PLEASE SEE NOTES)

½ cup water


Add the coconut oil in to a large saucepan and heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger to the heated oil and cook until softened.

Add curry powder, chili powder/cayenne pepper, paprika, cinnamon, curry leaves and mix to combine. Cook for a few minutes until you start to smell the spices.

Add the chicken, serrano peppers/green chili peppers, salt, 3 roma tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar, and mix to coat. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid off, on medium high heat. Stir frequently to make sure the chicken or the spices don’t burn.

Add coconut milk, water, vinegar, and bring the curry to a boil. If you want less gravy, add less liquid.

Lower the heat, and let it simmer with the lid closed, for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste. The chicken should be completely cooked by this point. Taste the curry and season to taste if needed. You can add the rest of the sugar or more salt, or vinegar to your taste. Remember that curries can be adjusted to your taste!

If the chicken curry gravy is too thin, or there's too much of it, uncover and simmer the curry for a further 10 minutes or longer. This step is optional, but it will allow the water to evaporate and the gravy to thicken.

Turn off the heat and let the chicken cool down slightly. Serve with rice or roti.


Serving Size



187 kcal

Total Fat

9 g

Saturated Fat

4 g

Unsaturated Fat

2 g

Trans Fat





258 mg

Total Carbohydrate

5 g

Dietary Fiber

1 g

Total Sugars

2 g


20 g

6 servings


15 minutes

active time

55 minutes

total time
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