Prep Time

30 Mins

Cook Time

60 Mins


  • Ingredients

  • 1.8kg (4 pounds) whole chicken

  • 1/4 cup ghee or vegetable oil

  • 12 dried curry leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1 tablespoons ginger, finely grated

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 large onions, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder

  • 1/4 cup Sri Lankan (Ceylon) curry powder, dark roasted

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar

  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 6 whole cardamom pods, bruised

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


This curry has a beautiful depth of flavour and aroma. You may need to plan ahead and order the curry powder online, or find it in an Asian grocery store, but it is worth the effort.

Pairs well with …..

Tomato and onion sambal, basmati rice and poppadoms.

Hints and tips:

Buy a few extra chicken pieces to throw in the curry if you have a few more to feed.

Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. Cut the chicken breasts in half. Cut the wings into three pieces each at the joint.

Heat the ghee in a large saucepan to medium heat and fry the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves for around 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, turn the heat to low and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the turmeric, chilli powder and curry powder. Stir for a minute or two and add the salt and vinegar. Turn the heat back to medium to high and add the chicken. Turn the chicken in the curry paste until well coated.

Add the cardamom, cinnamon stick, tomatoes and lemongrass. Cover and cook on low heat for around 1 hour, until chicken is cooked. Stir in the coconut milk, lemon juice and more salt if required. Serve with basmati rice, tomato and onion sambal and poppadoms.

Note: To make tomato and onion sambal finely slice 1 tomato, 1/4 white onion and 1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro), mix together and serve.