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Sri Lankan Fried Chicken-ශ්‍රී ලංකා ෆ්‍රයිඩ් චිකන්

Sri Lankan Fried Chicken

Sri Lankan Fried Chicken

This recipe came from my recent trip to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is known for it's heavy use of spices creating some of the most flavourful dishes on the planet! It's cuisine is also incredibly healthy, utilizing many vegetables and legumes.

On the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city I tried this incredible fried chicken. It is bathed in Sri Lankan spices before fried to perfection. Using cornstarch and rice flower allows the crust to puff well and the spices to really shine!

The chicken is finished off with an addictive, spicy coconut crunch. Typically it is eaten with a chapati or coconut rice.


Sri Lankan Fried Chicken Recipe


8 boneless chicken thighs

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced ginger

2 tbsp oil

15 tsp coconut vinegar

5cm (2in) piece pandan leaf, chopped

20 Curry Leaves, finely chopped

4 tsp ground Alleppey Turmeric

1 tsp ground Gujarat Coriander 

2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

2 tsp rice flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

Coconut Crisp

2 tbsp ghee or oil

30g red onion (approx. ½ small onion), roughly chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

¼ tsp salt

60g Fresh or Frozen (shredded) coconut

Cooking Directions

Combine the chicken, garlic, ginger oil and vinegar in a bowl. Add the chopped pandan and curry leaves with the spices then add to the chicken to mix well. Finally, toss through the cornflour (cornstarch) and rice flour. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Meanwhile, make the coconut crumb garnish. 

Place a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat and add the ghee. Add the fennel and cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook until light brown and slightly softened, about 3 minutes, be careful not to burn, but you do want it to be toasty. Stir in the coconut and curry leaves and continue to cook. stirring often until the coconut turns brown and begins to smell nutty, about 2-3 minutes. Add the Guntur Sanaam chilli powder and Turmeric then remove from the heat and season to taste with more salt if necessary.

When ready to cook, preheat a deep-fryer to 170°C (340°F), Alternatively, fill a heavy-based pan two-thirds full of vegetable oil and set over a high heat. Deep-fry the chicken thighs in batches for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crisp, Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain away excess oil. When all the chicken is cooked, pile into a serving dish and top with the coconut crumb garnish. Serve immediately.

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