Sri Lankan Flavours
Craig Wood

This is the queen of rice dishes, served by people who are going all out to show their wealth. Everyone thinks it is a difficult dish to make, but this recipe is simple.


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Yellow rice
4 eggs, hard-boiled and halved
coriander leaves, for garnish

Chicken curry

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons oil
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves
1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger, crushed
500g chicken maryland, skin and bones removed and cut into 3 cm cubes
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Roasted curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika or chilli powder
1 cup tomatoes, chopped or canned
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Onion mixture

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons butter
2 onions, sliced into rings
1 cinnamon stick
10 curry leaves


  1. To make the chicken curry, heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat. Bruise cardamom with the back of a spoon and add to pan with the bay leaf, onion, cloves, garlic, ginger and chicken. Sauté for 5 minutes until chicken is brown and onions are cooked. Add turmeric, curry powder and paprika or chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and mix thoroughly.
  2. Taste and add pepper and salt as desired and cook until chicken is cooked through – about another 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add yoghurt and coriander leaves and mix thoroughly.
  3. To make the onion mixture, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat and sauté onion rings and cinnamon for about 2 minutes, then add the curry leaves and sauté for a further 30 seconds. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. In the base of a baking dish place 2 tablespoons of water and a sprinkle of oil, to stop the rice sticking. Spread one-third of the rice over the base of the dish, then layer half the curry on top of the rice. Spread another third of the rice across the curry. Sprinkle half the onion and butter mixture over the rice. Cover with the remaining curry and then with a final layer of rice.
  6. Make a few holes in the layers with the handle of a spoon to allow the steam to escape from the bottom. Cover dish with a lid or aluminium foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve on a dish, garnished with the rest of the onion mixture, halved eggs and coriander leaves.


  • You can deep-fry the eggs once you have removed the shell. Deep-fry for 2 minutes then cut the eggs in half. These eggs have a wonderful, festive look.

    You can also add a few drops of rose essence or rose water to the dish before cooking it, if you have any.
Sri Lankan Flavours
South East Asian
Southeast Asian
Sri Lankan
South-East Asian
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