Sri Lankan Chicken Curry Straight from the Source

I’m wondering: do all columnists fall in love with some stories they write more than others? Over the years that has certainly been the case with me, and never more so than with my In the Kitchen column in the 4/27 issue of the Princeton Packet.

The source of the chicken curry recipe – a family cook in Colombo, Sri Lanka – also demonstrates how having children can reap unexpected bonuses, like when they grow up and have interesting friends and lead interesting lives that take them to interesting places you have only dreamed about.

Created by me Licensing sv:Bild:SupremeColombo.jpg

Created by me Licensing sv:Bild:SupremeColombo.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recipe, by the way, is not only authentic, it’s easy, delicious, flexible, and foolproof. You can’t ask for much more than that. One more thing: if anyone knows a source for fresh pandan leaves in Central Jersey, please tell me! They were the only ingredient I couldn’t get hold of that could possibly make the dish even better. Although it’s hard to imagine it being better.

4 responses to “Sri Lankan Chicken Curry Straight from the Source

  1. Oh yum – I love Sri Lankan cuisine, this looks delicious.

  2. how can you get this recipe without paying for it?

    • Sumi: Here it is! Thanks for asking.


      1-1/2 pound chicken thighs or drumsticks, or a mix of both 1 heaping teaspoon spicy chile powder, or less to taste 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or canola or safflower oil) 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds 2 bay leaves 1 large white onion, chopped fine 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced Salt and black pepper to taste 1 stalk lemongrass, green part only 1 cinnamon stick 1 pandan leaf (if not available, a few curry leaves may be substituted, or it can be eliminated altogether) 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk (unsweetened) Serving suggestion: jasmine or basmati rice

      Combine chile powder and turmeric in a bowl large enough to hold chicken. Add chicken, and turn to coat evenly with the spice mixture. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

      In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the fenugreek seeds and the bay leaves until they start to brown, about 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and salt, then adjust heat to medium-low and sauté gently until the onion is soft and transparent, about 5 minutes.

      To the skillet add the lemongrass, cinnamon stick, and pandan (if using). Add the chicken pieces, pour in the coconut milk, and mix to coat the chicken evenly. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer, turning chicken occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat and stir until sauce thickens, up to 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and black pepper if needed. Remove bay leaves, cinnamon stick, pandan, and lemongrass before serving. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, if desired. Serves 4.

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