Sirruppiddy chicken curry

Here’s a tried and tested recipe for an amazing Sri Lankan chicken curry (” Sirruppiddy” is a remote village in the Jafna region of Sri Lanka) .   I came across this recipe on the internet more than ten years ago and lost a copy of it during one of my moves between the UK and Hungary.  I eventually tracked down the magazine it was published in and requested them to email me a copy of it.  To be honest I wasn’t expecting a response but the administrator who handled my request did one better and mailed me a photocopy which I still have with me to date.

The curry tastes great if you make the masala powder fresh but can easily be substituted with store bought Sri Lankan curry powder.   I’ve stuck to the original recipe for the masala powder but added a few ingredients to enhance the dish.


What do I need to make it?

Paste ingredients

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ” piece of ginger
  • 1 small onion

Grind to a fine paste – use a little water if needed.

Meat masala powder

  • 3  tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 clove
  • Small piece of cinnamon
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (don’t need to roast)

Dry roast each ingredient separately and grind to a fine powder and then add the turmeric powder.   You should get around three tablespoons of masala powder.

  • 1 kg chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato cut in cubes
  • 1 red pepper cubed
  • 5 baby corn cut into bite sized pieced
  • 10-12 baby button mushrooms
  • 1 large potato cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • Handful fresh coriander chopped for garnish
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Marinade the chicken pieces with the paste and season with salt – set aside for a couple of hours.   Heat the coconut oil in a large pan, saute the cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon,  fennel seeds and curry leaves for a  minute.   Then add the chopped garlic and onions – saute over medium heat till the onions start to turn golden brown.   Add the ground masala powder and stir for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining vegetables and the chicken with the marinade.   Add 1/2 a cup of water, cover and simmer till chicken is cooked.   When the chicken is cooked, adjust the seasoning, stir in the coconut milk and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.   Serve with boiled rice or string hoppers.

Coconut chicken curry for kids

If you’ve got fussy eaters as we do here’s a simple recipe for a coconut chicken curry which so far has worked wonders in getting both our little ones to eat without complaining.   We both love our spices and want our kids to start experimenting and appreciating food that’s cooked with flavourful ingredients and developing a varied palate (we are tired of the pasta,  fish fingers and chicken burger routine!).


What do I need to make it?

  • 250gm mini chicken fillets chopped into bite size pieces (this tends to cook quicker than breast chunks)
  • 2 baby onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Small piece of ginger
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves and coriander
  • 1 tomato pureed
  • Pinch of cinnamon powder, clove powder, cardamom powder, fennel powder, nutmeg and mace powder
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 3-4

How do I make it?

First make a paste of the onions, garlic, ginger, mint and coriander.   Heat a small wok/kadai and add the coconut oil.   Add the cinnamon, clove, cardamom, fennel, nutmeg and mace powders – stir for 30 seconds before adding the paste.   Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes till the masala loses it’s raw smell.   Sprinkle the turmeric, cumin and coriander powder and stir for 30 seconds before adding the pureed tomato.   Continue cooking till the fat oozes out of the masala or it starts to dry out and turn brown.   Add the chicken and half a cup of water – cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or till the chicken is done.   Stir in the coconut milk powder, adjust the seasoning and switch off the heat.   Serve with boiled rice or Indian bread of choice.