Number 1 Chicken fry; Sri Lankan black curry chicken fry

This is not the only chicken fry I have ever cooked. I did however, had an epiphany once I tasted black chicken fry I made today, because it tasted the same as my grandmother’s chicken curry. The same curry I used to drown the rice made from paddy harvested and processed just few weeks back. Kind of chicken curry that makes you hungry just by looking at its picture. Kind of chicken fry which is perfect on its own

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What is so special about black chicken fry seasoning?

had always imagined black curry seasoning as a fantastic addition to cooking pork, beef, and tuna. That was my happy medium. Cooking a chicken curry with a custom spice blend made out majorly from black curry powder was very adventurous for me. with a good reasoning behind it. Grocery store brought chicken sometimes can be bland. It is even more so when you are starting with previously frozen meat. Chicken meat can absorb lot of flavors of the curry spice blend we use.

Black curry powder is so much edgy when it comes to curry spice blends. Roasted curry powders and coconut give out a very earthy almost bitter aroma if you go even a little bit over the roasting process. This made me a very anxious cook when I was making the chicken fry with black-curry based seasoning.

Cooking the chicken fry right is the key

It just ended up surprising me so much with its depth and layers of flavor. because of all the grated coconuts and by cooking it in oil using a cooking method similar to making Balti, previously frozen chicken breast that I used to make the curry turned out so much juicy and moist with layers on layers of spices and herbs coating it.

A filling and satisfying dish of fried chicken that does not dry out the chicken when it cooks.

Collection of chicken curry recipes from ThePerfectCurry

Little bit more about black chicken fry

What would be the perfect curry recipe for cooking frozen chicken breast for everyday meals, that everyone in my family can enjoy, even my little daughters. Can this recipe going to be also easy to make, not very intimidating on the meal prep days when you are working on ten different recipes on the side? These are the questions I am looking for good answers all the time.

Finally, it dawned on me the day my husband was due back home from his business trip, while doing few different tasks concurrently trying to get ready for the coming week myself. It started as pulling out leftover bag of chicken breasts from the freezer with the intention of working my magic on them to make them taste wonderful. As, he was travelling and eating out all the time, he was having serious homecooked curry cravings.

Why you should give this chicken fry recipe a try today.

Even if you are not having any specific spicy curry cravings, this recipe is wonderful way to cook that leftover bag of frozen chicken breast. Batter like consistency of the thick curry spice blend, with plenty of toasted coconuts in it makes chicken retain its moisture while cooking.

Stronger spicy and toasted nutty flavor of the curry sauce helps to counter the blandness of chicken breast without making it dry. spicy crust fried and caked into chicken is oh so desirable.

Adding extra dose of butter or ghee and makes the curry sauce extra rich and helps to carry the flavor of the spices to next level.

The chatti roast cooking method

The word “Chatti” is another name to a deep-set clay or heavy bottomed metal curry pot. The origin of the word eludes me. However, it is the most abundantly used word in Sri Lanka for clay curry pot. These pots being heavy and thick walled, can take a quite a while to heat up but will retain the heat long after the stove burners are off allowing sauces to thicken further during the cooking process.

Chatty roast means allowing meat to cook on high heat in little curry sauce until all the water completely evaporates and meat becomes coated with spices and herbs that is in the sauce. If the curry sauce has lot of fat in it, edges of the meat roasts up in the pot adding extra layers of flavor. Because of the long cooking process and high heat simmering I usually add curry leaves closer to finishing the dish, so they retain flavor and color.

Closest to a clay chatti I have at home is my cast iron Dutch oven, I made this curry in that scraping the bottom often to prevent any burning.

Without any further delay, let us get cooking.

chicken fry

Chicken fry black curry style

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4 servings


  • `1 Cast iron Dutch oven


  • 3 tbsp scraped coconut / grated coconut
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 3 Thai green peppers

Curry base

  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp black curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate optional
  • 1/4 tsp Marmite spread optional

Main ingredients

  • 2 whole chicken breasts skinless boneless
  • 1 tbs diced red onion
  • 1 inch piece of lemongrass
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Wash and slice the chicken breasts evenly. Pat dry with kitchen towel and set aside.
  • Pound together ginger, garlic, and lemongrass together few times and add to chicken pieces along with diced red onions.

Making Curry Seasoning Base

  • Toast cumin and coriander powder in a skillet until well roasted brown, keeping the heat medium, stirring vigorously so that spices do not burn.
  • Toast scraped coconuts until deep brown and fragrant
  • Crush black pepper in a motor and pestle.
  • Add remaining powdered spices and salt in the same motor and pound until mixed
  • Add a teaspoon from toasted coconut, tamarind paste, soy sauce, marmite (optional ingredients) and mix everything and pound together.

Marinating and cooking

  • Add the curry base and coat the chicken pieces well. Allow the marinate to sit for 30 minutes
  • Heat cast iron skillet until hot and add olive oil.
  • Add pieces of chicken and fry scraping the bottom constantly until chicken is cooked through. Keep the heat high to medium high and pan open. We do not want to let chicken steam but roast in the skillet with seasoning.
  • If you feel the sauce is becoming too dry, before chicken is fully cooked, add little more oil and sprinkle in scant little bit of water at a time. This and mixing and scraping the bottom of the pot will prevent the spices from burning.
  • Puree green chilies, remaining toasted coconut with half a cup of water and add at the end. also add sliced curry leaves.
    Cook for additional 10 minutes until flavors are combined.
  • Serve hot with flat bread or rice.
Keyword chicken curry, Sri Lankan curry, Chicken fry, Curry