Kukul Mas Maluwa (Sri Lankan Chicken Curry)

Kukul Mas Maluwa (Sri Lankan Chicken Curry)

The hallmarks of this tasty Sri Lankan chicken curry include creamy coconut milk and homemade curry powder, which is made by toasting and grinding whole spices. Don’t let the long ingredient list deter you; once you have everything together, this dish is very easy to make. Tiny bird chiles are small but potent. In Sri Lanka, the curries are spicy, but you can use as few or as many chiles as you’d like. Prepare it in advance and you’ll find that it’s even more delicious the next day. Serve with some long-grain rice and a few different vegetable curries.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a small skillet, combine the coriander, cumin, fennel, cardamom, peppercorns and 15 curry leaves. Heat the spice mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until the spices are toasted and fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind into powder. (You should have about 3 1/2 tablespoons.) Set aside the toasted curry powder.
  2. Step 2

    In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-high. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened, about 8 minutes. Add the toasted curry powder, paprika, turmeric and salt, and cook, stirring, another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, chiles and remaining 5 curry leaves.
  3. Step 3

    Add the chicken and toss to cover it in the onion mixture. Add the pandan, cinnamon and lemongrass, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Step 4

    Add the coconut milk and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes more. (The light meat will be cooked before the dark meat; you can simply remove it when it’s done and add it back in when the dark meat is cooked.)
  5. Step 5

    Add the vinegar and season to taste with salt.