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Hoppers’ Chicken Curry

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This wonderful, fragrant spicy Chicken Curry is a Sri Lankan classic. Chunks of chicken are marinated in a ginger and garlic paste with turmeric and curry powder. It is then cooked until tender in a richly flavoured curry sauce, enhanced with extra chilli, cardamom, lemongrass, tomatoes and coconut. The chicken is best marinated for 24 hours but, if time is tight, it will still be delicious, if you only have an hour. The sauce then comes together in around 45 minutes. This is a great dish to prepare ahead and, in fact, like most curries, probably tastes better the following day when all the flavours have had a chance to infuse and develop. It can be served simply with steamed rice or as a base for kothu. We also enjoy leftovers served in a roti with some cabbage and yoghurt.

With roti, shredded cabbage, yoghurt and coriander

What is Kothu?

Kothu is a classic Sri Lankan street food which consists of sliced roti (flatbread), your choice of chicken, vegetable or fish curry, eggs, spring onions and some extra vegetables. Food is never wasted in Sri Lanka and this dish has developed as a way to use up leftover roti, curry and vegetables. However, it has become so popular that many street food vendors specialise in kothu.

Kothu with Chicken Curry

Where is the recipe from?

This recipe is from Hoppers, The Cookbook. There are 3 Hoppers restaurants in London, at King’s Cross, in Soho and another in Marylebone. These award winning restaurants celebrate food inspired by the cuisines from Sri Lanka and South India.

How to make Hoppers’ Chicken Curry

Collect all the ingredients together:

Chicken and marinade –
  • boneless chicken breast or thigh, in 2½ cm cubes
  • garlic, peeled and crushed
  • fresh ginger root, finely grated. I don’t peel the ginger for this recipe, but up to you.
  • Sri Lankan curry powder
  • ground turmeric
  • fine salt
Curry sauce –
  • Sri Lankan roasted curry powder, to taste
  • coconut oil
  • cinnamon sticks
  • green cardamom pods, bashed
  • whole cloves
  • onions, peeled and chopped
  • garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • fresh ginger root, finely chopped. I don’t peel the ginger for this recipe, but up to you.
  • ground turmeric
  • chilli powder (I use 1 teaspoon chilli powder but the powder I buy is already very hot)
  • lemongrass sticks, lightly bashed
  • fresh curry leaves
  • ripe tomatoes – pulsed in the food processor
  • chicken stock
  • coconut cream
  • fine salt (if necessary)
  • green chillies, halved length ways (optional)

How to make this amazing and versatile curry:

  1. Marinate the chicken: chop the chicken into roughly 2½ cm cubes and mix thoroughly with the garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric and salt.
  2. Marinate at room temperature for at least an hour or for up to 24 hours, covered and in the fridge.
  3. Make the curry sauce: place a cast iron pan or heavy based saucepan over a moderately high heat. Add the coconut oil to the pan and, when hot, add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves. Cook until sizzling and fragrant, around a minute.
  4. Peel and slice or chop the onion. I like mine finely chopped so pulse in the food processor. Add to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring from time to time.
  5. Finely chop the peeled garlic and ginger. I do not peel the ginger but you can do so, if you prefer. You can finely chop by hand or blitz in the food processor. Add to the pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until the garlic and ginger smell has softened and mellowed.
  6. Toss in the spices, (roasted curry, turmeric, chilli) whole, bashed lemongrass and curry leaves. Fry for another minute, stirring. If it starts to stick, add a splash of water.
  7. Blitz the tomatoes in a food processor and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken and stir well, cooking for 3 – 4 minutes.
  9. Pour in the chicken stock and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken and reduce slightly.
  10. Add 250ml coconut cream, taken from the top of the can. (I use the rest of the can when cooking rice.) Continue to simmer gently for 6 – 8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  11. Finally, if using, add the halved green chillis and cook the curry for an additional minute.

Made this recipe?

If you make this recipe, do please tag me on instagram @daffodil_kitchen. You could also leave a comment in the box directly below the recipe.

Hoppers’ Chicken Curry

This wonderful, fragrant spicy Chicken Curry is a Sri Lankan classic. Chunks of chicken are marinated in a ginger and garlic paste with turmeric and curry powder. It is then cooked until tender in a richly flavoured curry sauce, enhanced with extra chilli, cardamom, lemongrass, tomatoes and coconut.

Serves 4 – 5

Course Main Course
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Keyword chicken, curry

Ingredients

Chicken and marinade:

  • 1kg boneless chicken breast or thigh, in 2½ cm cubes
  • 20g garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 10g fresh ginger root, finely grated (I don't peel)
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lankan curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt

Curry sauce:

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons Sri Lankan roasted curry powder, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons/90g coconut oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 green cardamom pods, bashed
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 300g/2 medium onions, peeled and chopped or sliced
  • 40g garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 40g fresh ginger root, finely chopped (I don't peel)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons chilli powder (I use 1 teaspoon chilli powder but the powder I buy is already very hot)
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, lightly bashed
  • 20 – 24 fresh curry leaves
  • 180g ripe tomatoes – around 4 medium tomatoes, pulsed in the food processor
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 250ml coconut cream taken from the top of the coconut milk can
  • 2 green chillies, halved length ways (optional)
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon fine salt

Serve:

  • steamed rice, roti (flat breads), green salad/vegetables

Instructions

  1. Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.

  2. Marinate the chicken: chop the chicken into roughly 2½ cm cubes and mix thoroughly with the garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric and salt.Marinate at room temperature for at least an hour or for up to 24 hours, covered and in the fridge.

  3. Make the curry sauce: place a cast iron pan or heavy based saucepan over a moderately high heat. Add the coconut oil to the pan and, when hot, add the cinnamon, cardamom pods and cloves. Cook until sizzling and fragrant, around a minute.

  4. Peel and slice or chop the onion. I like mine finely chopped so pulse in the food processor. Add to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring from time to time.

  5. Finely chop the peeled garlic and ginger either by hand or blitz in the food processor. Add to the pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring regularly, until the garlic and ginger smell has softened and mellowed.

  6. Toss in the spices, (roasted curry, turmeric, chilli) whole, bashed lemongrass and curry leaves. Fry for another minute, stirring. If it starts to stick, add a splash of water.

  7. Blitz the tomatoes in a food processor and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

  8. Add the chicken and stir well, cooking for 3 – 4 minutes.

  9. Pour in the chicken stock and cook, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken and reduce slightly.

  10. Add 250ml coconut cream, taken from the top of the can. (I use the rest of the can when cooking rice.) Continue to simmer gently for 6 – 8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

  11. Finally, if using, add the halved green chillis and cook the curry for an additional minute.

  12. Serve with your choice of options.

Recipe Notes

Equipment:

  • kitchen scales and measuring spoons
  • chopping board and knife
  • mixing bowl
  • grater/garlic crusher
  • cast iron/saucepan
  • food processor (if desired)

Where is this recipe from?

This recipe is from Hoppers, The Cookbook. There are 3 Hoppers restaurants in London, at King’s Cross, in Soho and another in Marylebone. These award winning restaurants celebrate food inspired by the cuisines form Sri Lanka and South India. they specialise in and is an award winning Sri Lankan restaurant in London

 

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