Recipes Across the World: Sri Lankan Curry

Jen Hlad of Marshmallows & Margaritas is bringing a scrumptious Sri Lankan dish to the ‘Recipes Across the World‘ sequence!

I’ve cherished Indian meals because the second I used to be first tasted it, once I was learning overseas in London. However I had by no means had Sri Lankan Curry — and didn’t know a lot about Sri Lanka in any respect — till I lived in Bahrain.

Like in lots of different Center Jap international locations, a lot of the home, hospitality, and development work in Bahrain is completed by individuals from different international locations. Our housekeeper, Lata, was one among many Sri Lankan ladies who work as maids or nannies in Bahrain — and he or she had been there for greater than 25 years. She taught herself Hindi and English, and supported her dad and mom, daughters, and siblings with the cash she earned working overseas.

We cherished Lata as quickly as we met her, and he or she shortly grew to become our Bahrain mother. Along with cleansing the home, she additionally at all times provided to assist me within the kitchen.

Finally, I requested her to show me methods to make Sri Lankan meals, and he or she agreed, so long as I wouldn’t inform any of the opposite households she labored for about it. She didn’t need anybody else realizing that she was such prepare dinner!

This rooster curry is without doubt one of the dishes she taught me to make, and now that neither Lata nor I reside in Bahrain anymore, I feel it’s secure to share it.

Right here’s the recipe for methods to make Sri Lankan Curry at dwelling!

Cultural Context

Sri Lanka has been recognized for its spices for a whole bunch of years, and this recipe incorporates a lot of these spices into the wealthy sauce.

The island additionally is roofed in coconut bushes, so its delicacies is filled with coconut milk. Whereas many individuals there make their very own coconut milk from freshly grated coconut, it’s not essential to make your individual for this rooster curry.

This recipe was personalised for our American palettes, so it’s decrease on the spice scale than you’ll sometimes discover in Sri Lanka, however you may go heavy on the cayenne pepper when you like extra of a kick. It’s finest served with white rice or flatbread, and possibly some tabbouleh on the aspect.


Makes about 6 servings

  • Two 2.5-inch items of ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 crimson onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • Boneless rooster breasts (1 package deal – about 2 kilos)
  • 2-Three tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
  • About 25 curry leaves (see suggestions + tips)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • Black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt to style
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 bunch cilantro (non-obligatory)

Recipe + Preparation

  1. Peel and slice the ginger, and smash and chop the garlic cloves. Slice the crimson onion into skinny slices. Chop the tomatoes and rooster into roughly 2-inch items.
  2. Put the coconut oil or ghee into a big heavy pot and soften over medium warmth. Add the curry leaves and prepare dinner for a minute, then add onion, garlic, ginger, and slightly salt, and prepare dinner till beginning to brown, stirring sometimes.
  3. As soon as the onions have began to brown, add the curry powder and ½ teaspoon of black pepper, then stir within the rooster and tomatoes. Cowl the pot and prepare dinner for 10 minutes, then stir the combination and prepare dinner a further 10 minutes uncovered. Whereas it’s cooking, rinse and finely chop the cilantro.
  4. Style and add cayenne, black pepper, and salt as wanted (err on the aspect of hotter/spicier, as a result of the coconut milk will cool it down a bit). Add half to three-quarters of the can of coconut milk and the entire chopped cilantro and stir. Prepare dinner uncovered for a further 10-15 minutes.

sri lankan curry

Ideas and Methods

Curry leaves are simple to seek out in Bahrain, and so they could also be out there at an Indian grocer the place you reside. For those who can’t discover any, omit them and grate slightly little bit of lime zest over the curry simply earlier than you serve it.

I used rooster breast as a result of that’s what I like, however rooster thighs would additionally work effectively. And whereas cilantro is utilized in many Sri Lankan recipes, I do know there are lots of people who find themselves allergic or who simply don’t prefer it. For those who’re a type of individuals, depart it out!

Ultimate Ideas

Along with its spices, Sri Lanka can also be recognized for its teas. Think about brewing a cup of sturdy Ceylon black tea to take pleasure in along with your curry.

Need to discover different scrumptious meals from world wide to make? Take a look at these recipes!