Kukul Mas
60 Min

Kukul Mas

Cultural influence on Sri Lanka ranges from Indians, Arabs, Malays, Moors, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. The new ingredients that they brought in like tomatoes, potatoes and chiles have been adapted to local preparations. The Sri-Lankans roast their spices to a much darker finish than the Indians do, which characterizes their food as different. This traditional spicy chicken curry of Sri Lanka that is most locals crave when they leave the country. It's rustic and best made with chicken legs on the bone.
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Cook Time

60 Minutes



Step 1
Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric, salt, and minced garlic. Set aside until ready to use.
Step 2
In a wide saucepan over high heat, warm the coconut oil and add the crushed cardamom. Fry for just a few seconds then add the minced onions and cook on high until they sweat and start to turn light golden brown. Lower the heat and continue cooking the onions until soft and medium brown in color.
Step 3
Add the chicken, kari leaves, ginger, cumin, coriander, fennel, chile and salt and fry the whole mixture until the chicken starts to brown a little. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan, and continue cooking it for another 5 minutes.
Step 4
Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and about one cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. If the curry appears to be getting too dry, add a little more water.
Step 5
Stir in the cinnamon powder and turn the heat off. Let the curry rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before serving with a squeeze of lime juice.

6 chicken thighs, bone-in

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons sesame oil

12 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed (with a rolling pin)

1 1/2 cups minced red onions

15 to 20 kari leaves, chopped

6 chicken skinless bone-in chicken thighs

1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon ginger puree

1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin

1 teaspoon toasted crushed coriander seeds

2 teaspoon toasted ground fennel seeds

2 teaspoons red chile powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup canned crushed tomato

1 14-oz can coconut milk

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Juice of 2 limes


2 tablespoons grated coconut

Cilantro sprigs

Notes & Variations

  • If using boneless chicken, try to use dark meat. If using white meat, it may be better to roast the chicken separately in an oven and then adding it to the curry, so it remains moist.
  • Add potatoes or other starchy vegetables like carrots, butternut squash or pumpkin to the curry. Cut them into large 1-inch chunks and add them with the chicken.
60 Min

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