Addictive eatery style hot chicken curry

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Hot chicken curry is a profound and iconic dish in Sri Lanka. I have shared a couple of ways we Sri Lankans make homestyle chicken curries so far on my blog.

close up photo of cooked chicken

But this one is special. This chicken curry isn’t a part of the day today Sri Lankan home cooking. This curry is a part of Sri Lanka’s Street style eating. This hot chicken curry served in Sri Lankan roadside eateries or small all-day diners with rice, lunch packets, Dosa, string hoppers or Kottu. This is a salt and cayenne pepper loaded curry you eat to remember and seek out that burn.

Eateries are so abundant in the streets of Colombo. They feed crowds of people who come to city for work, errands and what not. They make an integral part of day today city life. Eateries in Sri Lanka are somewhat different from diners in USA, which usually operate certain number of hours a day.

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Eatery runs all day from breakfast, lunch, dinner, to extremely late dinner. There are such places that runs 24 hours. Kitchen works around the clock in heat, rain or shine cooking and serving meals. Plates, spoons sing, server walks in between tables carrying various dishes, dumping spoonful of curries where it is needed. Everyone seems in hurry for their errands, but you can still sit listen to loud music order your heart out of spicy rice and curry meal. It is a lively place.

You will not get the kind of table waiting and service of a regular restaurant in any of these, you must raise your hand and call the server if you need something. He who has an iron clad memory of menu cooking in kitchen. In fact, nothing is fancy, but you can always count on good hot and spicy curries. Tasty food and cooking are always found on such humble settings. This recipe was one such find. a wealth of experience.

Homestyle hot chicken curry recipes

Why eatery style hot chicken curry is different than homestyle curry

Any chicken curry is best when its made and served fresh, in my opinion. Amalgamation of flavors, fat from chicken and coconut cream coating pieces of chicken evenly, shining its best in freshly made warm curry. This is true even more for a homestyle curry.

Eatery style curry is made to have evenly balance of flavor that is not going to change throughout the time the service is on. Chicken is marinated and precooked oftentimes seared or fried and kept separated from the sauce until it is about to be served. this ensures chicken stays firm and does not fall apart in the curry.

Key point I have observed from looking at our cook making the curry is, eatery style curry use lot more chilies, black peppers, and acid than a home style curry would. Every cook has his own style of making it, but this at least is true for most. More chilies peppers and acid not only give great flavor but helps to keep the flavor of the curry stable and tasting fresh in hot humid setting for few hours.

Curry sauce concentrated spicy concoction of various curry powders. It is free flowing. Fat is skimmed out as much possible because as we know fat tends to separate on keeping and makes curry change its flavor quickly.

Making of eatery style hot chicken curry

My recipe here is customized to make in home setting easily and does not follow all the steps that an eatery style cook would. However flavor and mouthfeel are going to be the same. An eatery style hot chicken curry at home!

Enjoy the recipe!

image of chicken curry

Eatery style chicken curry

Theperfectcurry
Sri Lankan Street Eatery Style Chicken Curry
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Marinating time 12 hrs
Course Dinner
Cuisine Sri Lankan curry
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 inch ginger crushed
  • ½ tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice

For Curry Sauce

  • 2 tbsp red curry powder
  • 4 to 6 whole red hot dry chili peppers
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 inch lemongrass
  • 5 green chili
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Tamarind juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Black pepper
  • 4 lb. chicken pieces or one whole chicken
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 clove garcinia
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion

Instructions
 

  • If you are using frozen chicken thaw the meat and cut into bigger pieces. Rinse with cold running water, drain well and pat dry. If are using a fresh whole chicken, remove skin rinse well pat dry and cut in to eight pieces.
  • Mix ingredient of marinade. rub it over chicken pieces and marinade overnight in the refrigerator.

Making curry seasoning

  • Dry roast curry leaves and whole red peppers, set aside
  • Pound together garlic, ginger, lemongrass, roasted curry leaves, green chili, roasted whole red chili and curry powders along with tamarind , tomato paste and vinegar to make a ball of curry paste.

Making the curry

  • Heat stainless steel stock pot on high and melt coconut oil.
  • Working in batches seer or fry the pieces of chicken. Pieces do not have to be cooked through, just until firm up and become golden.
  • Remove the chicken and add sliced red onion along with cinnamon stick and garcinia. Fry on medium low until golden on the edges.
  • Return premade curry paste and mix around, followed by seared chicken. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes. there should be enough water released from the chicken to cook the dish at that point, but if you feel you don't add another cup and a half of water to cook the chicken.
  • Cook covered until chicken is cooked through, and oil separates in to curry.

Notes

Pieces of chicken cooked but firm not falling apart tender. It usually is cooked with just water adding coconut milk is optional. curry sauce isn’t going to be thick and creamy in texture, but packs good heat and flowy.  As soon as the curry is done remove the piece of garcinia to keep the curry from becoming too sour. 
 
Keyword chicken curry, Sri Lankan curry
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