This is a new tool for your curry box. It really only gets better the next day so don't hesitate to make it ahead of time. Not an over-the-top-sweat-producing curry but more of a complex, layered, spiced just right one. Plus you get to do some maybe new things to you like toast rice and add it to a marinade. And then you can say stuff like, Oh, I sometimes dabble in Sri Lankan cuisine.
Throw together some raita, make some basmati rice, add some store bought naan, mango chutney and you have a small, comforting feast on your table.
sri lankan chicken curry
adapted from Mangoes and Curry Leaves
2 1/2 lbs chicken breast, trimmed of fat and cut into strips
for the marinade:
1 T coriander seeds
2 t cumin seeds
1/2 t fenugreek seeds
3 T cashews
1 T raw white rice
2 T fresh or frozen grated coconut (or dried)
1 1/2" piece of cassia bark (or cinnamon)
3 green cardamom pods
1 T minced garlic
1 t salt
for the sauce:
2T coconut oil
2 bird chilis (or 1 or 3 depending on the level of heat you want)
1/3 c shallots, sliced
2 T minced ginger
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 c coconut milk
salt to taste
Dry toast all of the ingredients for the marinade until fragrant (except the garlic and salt) I know it is tempting to throw all of the spices, etc in a pan at the same time but the smaller spices with burn and turn bitter. I suggested toasting them separately or at least grouping like-sized items together. Trust me. Put all of the evenly toasted spices, rice and friends in a spice grinder and pulse until fine.
When hot, add the chilis, shallots and ginger. Saute for a few minutes and then add the chicken, stirring often to color all sides.
Turn down the heat to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes longer. The chicken should be tender and the sauce slightly thickened.
1 large cucumber, peeled and grated
1 c plain greek-style yogurt
1/4 c mint, minced
1 t ground cumin
pinch of ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Combine all of the above and refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.
Serve with naan, mango chutney and basmati rice.