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Kerelan Chicken Curry - an inspired recipe

I have been recently inspired to cook Kerelan style curries as they resonate with the way curries were cooked in Bangladesh in the villages. Spending my early years in our village gave me the opportunity to watch and learn cooking pure authentic food. I have to admit over the years I had nearly forgotten those authentic cooking methods until I stumble across some Sri Lankan cooking videos. It took me back to the time I was about 5 years old and remember vividly how my mum made fresh curry pastes from freshly picked herbs and spices.

I tried this method recently using a clay pot and a granite slab as a substitute for thr village style pestle and mortar. And OMG the flavours are out of this world!!!! I even shared the curry with my Indian neighbour who couldn't compliment the curry enough. So here's the recipe below and do give it it try. Feeds 6 people Prep time : 15 minutes Cooking time: approx 45 - 60 minutes

Kerelan Chicken Curry Ingredients 1 whole medium sized chicken (skinned and cut into curry pieces) 3 medium onions, sliced 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp coriander powder 2 tsp curry powder 1/2 garam masala 3 tbsp oil 1 stalk lemongrass, cut in half 4 lime leaves 100g green beans 1/2 red pepper, cut in cubes Salt to taste 1 tin coconut milk To garnish, chopped coriander, 2 green chillies and juice of half lime.

For the paste 4 clove garlic 1 piece ginger (thumb size) 3 red chillies 2 green chillies 1 tsp whole coriander seeds 1/2 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds 2 tbs fresh coconut flesh

Method 1.First make the paste. Soak the whole coriander, cumin and ajwan seeds for at least 30 minutes. Then drain the water and place in a small food processor with the remaining paste ingredients and blitz into a fine or course paste. 2. Heat oil in a medium sized pan, add the onions, salt, lemon grass, lime leaves and cinnamon stick and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until the onions are soft. 3. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken has sealed all over. 4. Add the masala paste to the chicken and mix well. Cook for another 10 minutes uncovered. 5. Now add all the ground spices and coat the chicken well. Cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked. 6. Finally add the vegetables and coconut milk, stir and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. 7. Garnish with, fresh green chillies, coriander and lime juice. Serve with warm basmati rice. Enjoy this juicy curry bursting with lots of flavours.