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.

Salad therapy – fennel and apple salad

We tried pulling together this salad for the first time having watched many a Masterchef judge and Jamie Oliver extolling its virtues.  We must agree that this combination of core ingredients works – the dressing can be personalized but the net result is a delicious light salad.


What do I need to make it?

  • 1 fennel bulb shaved using a mandolin
  • 1 Granny Smith apple cored and cut into match sticks
  • Handful of walnuts

For the dressing

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4 side salads

How do I make it?

Whisk all the dressing ingredients in a bowl till you get a nice emulsion.  Place shaved fennel, chopped apple and walnuts in a large bowl and pour the dressing over it.   Use your hands to gentle toss the salad and portion into bowls.  Enjoy.