Delicious Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice

Welcome to the flavorful world of delicious Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice! A harmonious blend of aromatic spices, tender chicken, and fragrant coconut milk, this traditional dish takes your taste buds on a tantalizing journey. Whether you are a fan of spicy cuisine or simply crave a comforting meal, this mouthwatering combination is sure to satisfy your cravings. ✨ In this article, we will delve into the rich history and cultural significance of Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice, explore its delectable flavors, and even provide a recipe for you to try at home. So, get ready to embark on a culinary adventure that will transport you to the picturesque landscapes of Sri Lanka!

Delicious Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice | 101 Simple Recipe
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Introduction to Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice

Discover the rich and flavorful Sri Lankan dish, chicken curry and rice, that is a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine. Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice is a delectable combination of tender chicken cooked in aromatic spices and served with fluffy rice. This dish is loved by locals and tourists alike, and it is a must-try for anyone visiting Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique spices, and chicken curry and rice is a perfect example of this. The dish is a harmonious blend of spices, herbs, and coconut milk, resulting in a mouth-watering curry that will tantalize your taste buds.

Whether you are a fan of spicy food or prefer milder flavors, Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice can be customized to suit your taste. The dish can be made with bone-in or boneless chicken, and the level of spiciness can be adjusted according to your preference. It can be served with plain white rice or fragrant basmati rice.

Origins of Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

The origins of Sri Lankan chicken curry can be traced back to the traditional cooking methods of the Sri Lankan people. The dish has been influenced by various cultures throughout history, including Indian, Arab, Malay, and Dutch influences.

Sri Lankan cuisine has a rich culinary heritage, and each region in the country has its own unique twist on chicken curry and rice. The use of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and curry leaves gives the dish its distinct flavor profile.

Chicken curry and rice has become a beloved dish in Sri Lanka, and it is often served during special occasions and festivals. It is a dish that brings people together and symbolizes the warmth and hospitality of the Sri Lankan people.

Ingredients for Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

To prepare a delicious Sri Lankan chicken curry, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken: Use bone-in or boneless chicken pieces, such as thighs or breast.
  • Spices: A combination of spices, including turmeric, chili powder, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon, adds depth of flavor to the curry.
  • Onion, Garlic, and Ginger: These aromatic ingredients form the base of the curry and enhance its taste.
  • Tomato: Fresh tomatoes or tomato paste can be used to add a tangy element to the curry.
  • Coconut Milk: This creamy ingredient gives the curry a rich and silky texture.
  • Curry Leaves: These fragrant leaves are a key component of Sri Lankan cuisine and add a unique flavor to the curry.

These ingredients, combined with the traditional cooking techniques, create a tantalizing Sri Lankan chicken curry that will transport you to the tropical island.

Preparing the Perfect Rice

While chicken curry is the star of the dish, the rice plays an equally important role in complementing and balancing the flavors. To prepare the perfect rice for your Sri Lankan chicken curry, follow these steps:

  1. Wash the rice: Rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear to remove any excess starch.
  2. Soak the rice: Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes to an hour. This helps to achieve fluffy and separate grains of rice.
  3. Drain the rice: Drain the soaked rice using a colander.
  4. Cook the rice: Add the drained rice to a pot along with the appropriate amount of water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the rice to cook undisturbed for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
  5. Fluff the rice: Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit, covered, for a few minutes. Then, fluff the rice gently with a fork to separate the grains.

With these simple steps, you can prepare the perfect rice to accompany your flavorful Sri Lankan chicken curry. The combination of the aromatic curry and fluffy rice is a match made in culinary heaven.

Traditional Sri Lankan Chicken Curry Recipe

Are you ready to discover the authentic flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine? Look no further than the delectable Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice. This mouthwatering dish is a staple in Sri Lankan households and will transport your taste buds to the vibrant streets of Colombo. Follow our step-by-step instructions and handy tips to create a truly authentic and flavorful Sri Lankan chicken curry.

Marinating the Chicken

To ensure tender and flavorful chicken, marinating is key. Begin by cleaning and cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Now it’s time to infuse it with a medley of aromatic spices. In a bowl, combine turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, ginger-garlic paste, and salt. Coat the chicken pieces evenly with this marinade and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate, the more intensified the flavors will be.

Making the Spice Blend

In Sri Lankan cuisine, a well-balanced and aromatic spice blend is the heart of any curry. In a hot pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. Allow the spices to release their fragrance and then transfer them to a blender. Blend until you achieve a fine powder. This homemade spice blend will add a burst of flavor to your Sri Lankan chicken curry. ️

Remember, you can always adjust the spice levels to your preference. If you like it hot, add more chilies, and if you prefer a milder curry, reduce the amount of chili powder accordingly.

Cooking the Chicken Curry

Now that you have marinated the chicken and prepared the spice blend, it’s time to cook the tantalizing Sri Lankan chicken curry. Heat some oil in a deep pan and sauté finely chopped onions until they turn golden brown. Add in crushed garlic and curry leaves, allowing them to release their flavors. Next, add the marinated chicken and cook until it gets a beautiful golden-brown color. This will infuse rich flavors into the curry.

Once the chicken is nicely cooked, sprinkle the homemade spice blend over the chicken and mix well. Feel free to add more spices to suit your taste buds. Pour in coconut milk and let the curry simmer on low heat for around 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the flavors have melded together. The aroma will fill your kitchen, tempting everyone who catches a whiff.

Serve your Sri Lankan chicken curry alongside fluffy white rice for a complete dining experience. The creamy and aromatic flavors of the curry combined with the simplicity of rice will surely impress your family and friends. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh coriander leaves for an extra touch of freshness and color. Enjoy the explosion of flavors in every spoonful!

Now that you know the secrets to preparing a mouthwatering Sri Lankan chicken curry, it’s time to unleash your inner chef and indulge in this flavorful delicacy. Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust the ingredients according to your taste preferences. Happy cooking!

Variations of Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

If you’re a fan of rich and flavorful curries, then Sri Lankan chicken curry is a dish you must try. This traditional recipe has been passed down through generations in Sri Lanka and is known for its aromatic spices and tender chicken. But did you know that there are different regional variations and creative twists on the classic recipe? Let’s explore some of these variations and learn how they add a unique twist to the beloved Sri Lankan chicken curry.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

For those who prefer a plant-based diet or simply want to try something different, Sri Lankan cuisine offers vegetarian and vegan options for chicken curry. Instead of using chicken, these variations use vegetables like potatoes, carrots, or even tofu as the main ingredient. The spices and flavors remain the same, ensuring a delightful burst of taste in every bite. This vegetarian or vegan version still captures the essence of Sri Lankan chicken curry, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions or simply wanting to explore new flavors.

Seafood and Meat Additions

While chicken is traditionally used in Sri Lankan chicken curry, there are variations that incorporate seafood or other types of meat. Adding prawns, fish, or beef to the curry creates a different flavor profile and adds a unique twist to the dish. The seafood or meat is cooked in the same aromatic spices, resulting in a mouthwatering and savory curry that will satisfy any craving. Whether you’re a seafood lover or prefer a heartier meat option, these variations offer an exciting and delicious take on the traditional Sri Lankan chicken curry.

Fusion Flavors and Ingredients

To keep up with the ever-evolving culinary world, Sri Lankan chicken curry has also embraced fusion flavors and ingredients. Chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with different spices, herbs, and sauces to create a fusion of flavors that complement the traditional curry base. From adding Thai chili paste for an extra kick to incorporating coconut milk for a creamier texture, these creative twists introduce new dimensions to the already delicious Sri Lankan chicken curry. The fusion versions are a testament to the versatility of this classic dish and show how it can be adapted to suit different taste preferences and international palates.

As you can see, Sri Lankan chicken curry offers a world of variations and possibilities. Whether you’re a vegetarian, a seafood enthusiast, or someone who loves exploring unique flavor combinations, there is a version of this beloved dish that will satisfy your taste buds. So go ahead, try out these different variations and add a touch of Sri Lankan culinary excellence to your dining experience.

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Serving Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice

When it comes to enjoying a flavorful and satisfying meal, Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice is a classic choice. This beloved dish combines tender chicken pieces cooked in aromatic spices, served with fluffy rice. In this article, we will explore the best ways to serve and enjoy this delicious Sri Lankan specialty as a complete meal.

Accompaniments and Side Dishes

To enhance the flavors and textures of Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice, consider pairing it with a variety of accompaniments and side dishes. These additions not only add depth to the overall meal but also provide a balance of flavors. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Sambols: Sri Lankan sambols are a must-have accompaniment for any curry and rice meal. The spicy and tangy flavors of coconut sambol or tomato sambol complement the richness of the curry and add a refreshing element to the dish.
  • Papadums: Crispy and thin papadums are a popular choice to serve alongside a curry and rice meal. These lentil-based crisps provide a satisfying crunch and can be enjoyed as a snack or dipped in the curry for added texture.
  • Achcharu: Pickles or achcharu are commonly served in Sri Lankan cuisine and make a great addition to chicken curry and rice. The tangy and spicy flavors of pickled fruits or vegetables perfectly complement the richness of the curry.

Pairing with Sri Lankan Condiments

Sri Lankan condiments play a crucial role in elevating the flavors of any curry and rice dish. These condiments are often served as a side accompaniment and add a burst of flavor to each bite. Here are a few Sri Lankan condiments that pair perfectly with chicken curry and rice:

  • Lunu Miris: Made with fiery red chilies and onions, lunu miris is a spicy condiment that adds a kick to the mild flavors of the curry. A small spoonful of this condiment can take the dish to a whole new level of spiciness.
  • Coconut Sambol: As mentioned earlier, coconut sambol is a versatile condiment that can be enjoyed with any curry and rice combination. Its combination of grated coconut, chili, and lime juice adds a refreshing and tangy element to the meal.
  • Mango Chutney: For those who enjoy a hint of sweetness with their curry, mango chutney is a perfect choice. The tropical flavors of mango combined with spices create a delicious and flavorful accompaniment.

Traditional Serving Techniques

In Sri Lankan culture, there are traditional serving techniques that add a touch of authenticity to the chicken curry and rice experience. These techniques not only enhance the visual appeal of the dish but also contribute to the overall dining experience. Here are a couple of traditional serving techniques to consider:

  • Lotus Leaf: In some Sri Lankan households, a clean and fresh lotus leaf is used as a natural serving vessel for the curry and rice. This not only adds a unique presentation but also imparts a subtle fragrance to the dish.
  • Plantain Leaf: Similar to the lotus leaf, the plantain leaf is also used as a serving base. Known for its large size, the leaf provides ample space to plate the chicken curry and rice while adding a touch of tradition to the meal.

By exploring the various accompaniments, condiments, and serving techniques, you can transform a simple meal of Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice into a culinary experience that delights all your senses. Whether you prefer the spicy kick of lunu miris or the refreshing tang of coconut sambol, these additions will surely enhance your enjoyment of this traditional dish.

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Health Benefits and Nutritional Value

Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice is not only a delicious and flavorful dish, but it also offers a wide range of health benefits and nutritional value. This traditional Sri Lankan dish combines the tender and juicy chicken with aromatic spices and fiber-rich rice, creating a wholesome and satisfying meal. Let’s explore the various aspects that make this dish a fantastic choice for both taste and health.

Protein-Packed Main Course

One of the significant advantages of Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice is its high protein content. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall development. By including this dish in your diet, you are providing your body with the necessary amino acids that promote healthy functioning and cellular regeneration. Protein is also known to keep you feeling full for longer, reducing the temptation to overeat or indulge in unhealthy snacks.

In addition to chicken, this dish usually contains other protein-rich ingredients such as lentils or chickpeas, adding an extra nutritional punch. These legumes are loaded with plant-based protein and offer a range of health benefits, including improved digestion, blood sugar regulation, and heart health.

Aromatic Spices with Healing Properties

Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice gets its distinct and delicious flavor from a blend of aromatic spices. These spices not only add depth and complexity to the dish but also come with various healing properties. Turmeric, a widely used spice in Sri Lankan cuisine, contains a powerful compound called curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Including turmeric in your diet may help reduce inflammation, boost immune function, and improve overall well-being.

Another common spice used in the curry is cinnamon, which is known to have several health benefits. It can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve brain function. The combination of these aromatic spices not only adds incredible flavor but also contributes to the overall healthfulness of the dish.

Fiber-rich Rice for Sustained Energy

The final component of Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice is the fiber-rich rice. Unlike refined white rice, which has been stripped of its beneficial nutrients, Sri Lankan cuisine often incorporates whole grain rice varieties, such as red or brown rice. These varieties retain their bran and germ layers, which are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

The high fiber content in the rice aids in digestion, promotes bowel regularity, and helps to keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods. This sustained energy release prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes, making it an excellent choice for individuals looking to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.

In addition to fiber, whole grain rice varieties offer a range of essential nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorous, and B vitamins. These nutrients play crucial roles in supporting overall health, including nerve function, bone health, and energy production.

In conclusion, Sri Lankan chicken curry and rice not only tantalizes the taste buds but also provides a host of health benefits and nutritional value. With its protein-packed chicken, healing spices, and fiber-rich rice, this dish is an excellent addition to a balanced diet. So, next time you’re looking to savor a flavorful meal with a range of health benefits, consider treating yourself to this delectable Sri Lankan classic.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking the time to read this article about Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice! We hope you found it informative and inspiring. If you have any further questions, please refer to the FAQs below:

No. Questions Answers
1. What is the main ingredient in Sri Lankan Chicken Curry? The main ingredient in Sri Lankan Chicken Curry is bone-in chicken pieces cooked in a fragrant blend of spices and coconut milk.
2. How spicy is Sri Lankan Chicken Curry? Sri Lankan Chicken Curry can be adjusted to your preferred spice level. It is typically moderately spicy, but you can increase or decrease the amount of chili powder according to your taste.
3. What are the traditional accompaniments for Sri Lankan Chicken Curry? Sri Lankan Chicken Curry is traditionally served with rice, roti (flatbread), and an assortment of side dishes such as sambols, pickles, and salads.
4. Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe? Yes, you can use boneless chicken for Sri Lankan Chicken Curry. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly as boneless chicken will cook faster.
5. How long does it take to cook Sri Lankan Chicken Curry? The cooking time for Sri Lankan Chicken Curry is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the chicken pieces and the desired tenderness.
6. Can I make Sri Lankan Chicken Curry ahead of time? Yes, you can make Sri Lankan Chicken Curry ahead of time. In fact, the flavors tend to meld and intensify when the curry is allowed to sit for a few hours or overnight.

Thank You for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the flavors and traditions behind Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice. Whether you’re an adventurous cook or simply someone who appreciates a deliciously spicy dish, we encourage you to try making this recipe at home. Remember to share your culinary journey with us by leaving a comment below. Don’t forget to visit our website again for more mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration. Happy cooking and may your tastebuds always be delighted!

Jump to Recipe

Delicious Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice | 101 Simple Recipe

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry and Rice

Discover the flavors of Sri Lanka with this aromatic and spicy Chicken Curry served with fragrant rice. Perfect for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4
Calories 320 kcal


  • 1 kg bone-in chicken pieces
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger grated
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Heat vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute until golden brown and fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and mushy.
  • Add the Sri Lankan curry powder, chili powder, and turmeric powder. Stir well to coat the ingredients.
  • Add the chicken pieces and season with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is browned.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • Serve the Sri Lankan Chicken Curry with steamed rice and enjoy!
Keyword Sri Lankan, chicken curry, rice, spicy, flavorful