Sri Lankan Chicken Curry Recipe by Jetwing

Next up on my top Sri Lankan recipes is a real favourite of mine; Jetwing’s mouth-watering chicken curry. It’s surprisingly easy and works alongside any array of vegetable dishes, perfectly lapped up with Pol Roti or rice.

I taste the dish along the way (once the chicken is cooked of course) and if I feel a little extra spice or flavour would enhance the taste on the day, will add a little more which is probably why my version of this tastes different every time. Although Sri Lankan curry is most authentically cooked on the bone, I understand that chicken breast tends to be more internationally appealing.


3 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon tamarind juice (optional)
1/4 cup curry powder
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons coconut oil (sunflower oil is fine)
1 red onion, sliced
4 green chilli peppers
8 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed
1 (2 inch) cinnamon sticks, broken in half
3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup water
1 large tomato
3 tablespoons (dark) roasted curry powder
1/2 (14 ounce) can coconut milk


  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces.
  2. Combine the vinegar, tamarind juice, 1/4 cup curry powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Cook the sliced onion, green chillies, cardamom pods, cloves, curry leaves, ginger, and cinnamon stick until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Add the chicken mixture, water, and tomato.
  7. Stir and simmer until the chicken is cooked well, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted curry powder and stir until evenly dispersed.
  8. Gradually stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. (Do not overheat, coconut milk may curdle).

Handy Hints:

1. Slice your onions in strips (not chopped square) and if you can find long thin green chilies, slice these into thin circles. This nicely infuses the flavour and spice.
2. For a healthier alternative use light coconut milk or slightly water it down and serve with wholemeal rice.

3. Although used more widely in Indian cuisine, a sprinkle of freshly chopped coriander on top can be nice for additional fragrance/flavour.

P.S If you live near London and love authentic Sri Lankan/ Indian cuisine, take a trip to Hounslow which is bursting with specialist Asian food stores and one specialist Sri Lankan. You can also buy fresh kottu rotti and short eats at a small Sri Lankan takeaway on the adjacent corner to Iceland where the small path leads to the car park. 

Published by

Alice Luker

Alice is a UK based travel blogger & professional travel photographer who has been venturing across Sri Lanka since 2004.

4 thoughts on “Sri Lankan Chicken Curry Recipe by Jetwing”

  1. Alice u are a true inspiration to young people ..I would like to state you are a lovely lychee..brown inside and white outside..hope you get what I mean. You truly embark on new ventures.

    As for the curry one can substitute with pork or lamb…yummy.

  2. This dish is delicious! Full of flavour and looks very impressive! Also smells amazing. I will definitely be making this again soon. Thank you! X

  3. This dish is amazingly tasty – good recommendation! The spices are not only a pleasure to taste, but also great fun to put together.

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