Weeknight Creamy Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Weeknight Creamy Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

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It tastes like it’s been simmered for hours, but this mild curry is done in a fraction of the time. Fuss-free, minimal faffing around and full-on flavours make it perfect for a weeknight dinner.


Weeknight Creamy Sri Lankan Chicken Curry


20 minutes


30 minutes




2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4cm-piece (1.5”) ginger, peeled, julienned

2 long green chillies, deseeded and cut into fine strips (or feel free to leave the seeds in and roughly chop them)

1 large sprig fresh curry leaves

1/2 cinnamon stick

5 cardamom pods, bruised

1 tbsp mild curry powder, garam masala or roasted Sri Lankan curry powder

1 large tomato, chopped

800g (1 lb 12 oz) chicken thigh fillets, excess fat trimmed, cut into 4cm (1.5”) pieces

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar

¼ tsp ground black pepper

½ cup coconut milk

coriander (cilantro), to serve (optional)

lime wedges, to serve

steamed basmati rice, to serve


Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over high heat. Add the onion and salt. Reduce heat to low, cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Stir in the curry leaves, cinnamon, cardamom and curry powder.

Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the chicken, vinegar, black pepper and ¼ cup of water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the curry is fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and top with coriander (if using).

Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.

Note Icon


– Don’t worry if you can’t get hold of fresh curry leaves – simply leave them out entirely, or try and search out dried ones online, which might be easier to find. (Tip: I buy them fresh then store them in the freezer.)


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Weeknight Creamy Sri Lankan Chicken Curry