Breakfast, Curry, Indian, Poultry

Dry Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

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One of the best curries we have cooked.

Serves: 6 – 8

When you stumble onto a curry as good as this, it is like hitting a home run.

Because whilst I type of plenty of really good and often fantastic recipes, outstanding recipes are much rarer. And this is one of them.

It didn’t start life as a dry curry – and of course by dry, it simply means without lots of gravy – though that is pretty much the genius of the whole thing.

Whereas the original recipe asked for 40 minutes of slow simmering, we had it on for at least three hours.  Closer to four I think.

And whereas the original asked for coconut cream and two slices of lemon rind right at the end, we skipped this. And thank god we did.

After such a long cooking time, the chicken is literally falling apart. The texture, the flavor is so warm and deep, it is impossible not to grin. You realise you have struck gold.

But the next morning on some soy-linseed toast?

You really will thank me later on this one.

Ingredients

1.5kg skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2cm pieces
10 curry leaves
2 onions
2 tsp garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tomatoes, diced
6 cardamom pods, bruised and cracked open
1 cinnamon stick
2 slices lemon rind
½ c coconut milk

Method

  1. Make a sachet d’épices (a cheesecloth tied with cooking string) holding the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick; you don’t have to do this step of course, though the joy of this dish is only enhanced by the smooth sailing eating it without removing cardamom pieces as you go.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, medium heat and fry the curry leaves until they start to turn colour. Add onions, ginger and garlic and cook until soft. Add all the spices (though not the sachet d’épices (whole spices), salt, and vinegar and stir well.
  3. Add the chicken and stir to coat meat. Add the sachet d’épices (whole spices) and the tomatoes, stir and cover.
  4. Simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Do not be tempted to add any water as the juices will make more than enough. Cook for two to four hours or under the sauce has really reduced and the chicken is falling apart, ensuring that the curry does not become too dry and burn.
  5. Serve with rice and then toast the next morning.
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