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Weeknight Creamy Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

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

  • Step 1

    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.

  • Step 2

    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).

  • Step 3

    Serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.

  • Notes

    – 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.)

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Very good0%
Anna B
January 19, 2023

If I could go back in time and make this all my life, I would

This is seriously some of the best curry I’ve made. (And I do make a lot of Indian dishes, so I have much room for comparison and I did make a few modifications.) I added the cinnamon and cardamom in the oil before the onions. I couldn’t find fresh curry leaves so used dry and did them at the very end, otherwise if fresh I would have put them in with the cinnamon, etc. I ended up puréing the sauce at the end with an immersion blender b/c I really love a smooth curry and used coconut vinegar b/c I had it and it’s delicious. I did make this all in the Instant Pot too. I did everything except add the coconut milk, vinegar, and black pepper and just put the chicken on top w/o stirring, then cooked on High for 10 minutes, then 4 minutes NPR. Blended sauce. Added other stuff. It was still super fast and still one pot! This is so so good and will make it into the regular rotation for sure. Thank you for this, Marion.

Laura B
September 15, 2022


This is the first recipe I’ve made by Marion, and it blew me away! It was so flavorful – you could taste every spice and it tasted as if it had been cooking for hours. I replaced the chicken with King oyster mushrooms and it still worked really well. I would highly recommend making this dish!!

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