A couple of days ago I cooked proper Sri Lankan food in Sri Lanka for the very first time. Having inherited a very large double chicken breast (long story) I decided to delve in to my “Sri Lankan Home Cooking” recipe book and bite the bullet. So glad I did, this one is a gem.
The secret to this recipe is waiting. Wait for the chicken to marinade for as long as you can – 24 hours if you can – and then wait to eat the curry itself. Whilst it was completely delicious straight out of the pot it was even better reheated the next day. And don’t just take my word for its deliciousness. I offered a taste to our House Manager who views my insistence on cooking for myself every now and presently as the actions of a crazy lady. I watched his expression turn to what I can only describe as astonished disbelief followed by a massive smile. He then gave me a high five. Result!
- about 500g chicken cut in to pieces – I used breast but thigh on the bone would be great too
For the marinade
- 3 tablespoons roasted curry powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
For the curry
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 inches fresh ginger, chopped
- 6 or 7 dried curry leaves
- 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass
- 3 cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 2 inch stick of cinnamon
- 250ml coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken, ensure it is well coated and leave for 2-24 hours. The longer the better.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, lemon grass, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
- When the onion is golden add the chicken pieces and seal all over.
- Swill out the marinade bowl with a little water and add to the pan. Cover and cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Finally stir in the tomato puree and simmer for a further 2 minutes