Chicken Ceylon Recipe – a Hot Coconut Flavoured Gem of a Curry

chicken ceylon Still on a quest to bring you delicious BIR curry recipes, I offer you a hot and sizzling chicken Ceylon today. I’m burning through a giant batch of curry base gravy that I made using Misty Ricardo’s recipe (linked in Ingredients below).

This spicy number, though, isn’t based on one of his recipes. But it does use his base gravy. I got this one from another Youtuber and curry aficionado called Cory Ander. He runs the largest BIR curry forum on the internet at You should definitely check it out if you want to find all manner of goodies, from starters to tons of curry recipes, to hints and tips on getting the perfect taste.

I hadn’t tried a Ceylon before, so had to have a go at this. It’s funny, I remember an episode with one of my crazy friends many years ago. We were in an Indian restaurant and he asked for a chicken tikka korma vindaloo. I burst out laughing. The waiter looked confused.

Kormas are pretty tame (but delicious) curries. And most people know vindaloos as hot and fiery. So a korma vindaloo was a surprising request.

Turns out that a Ceylon is fiery, but with that coconut flavour. Not as creamy as a korma. But this one would probably have satisfied my friend.

Anyway, let’s do the usual, and watch Cory’s video first. Then I’ll give you the run-down with a text explanation.

Cory Ander’s Chicken Ceylon Recipe Video

Here’s the video for the chicken Ceylon using pre-cooked chicken.

I didn’t make many adjustments to what you can see in the video. The major change was to use raw chicken instead of pre-cooked. Cory mentions this during his talk-through.

Cook raw chicken at the beginning of the recipe to ensure it’s fully cooked through. But you can pre-cook your chicken and follow his recipe to the letter if you prefer.

I commend to you Cory Ander’s channel on Youtube for a nice selection of BIR curries.


Curry Mix Powder Recipes
Curry Base Gravy Recipes

  • cooking oil, 2-3 tsp
  • garlic ginger paste, 1 tbsp
  • methi leaves, 1 tsp
  • Mix Powder, 1 heaped tsp
  • tandoori masala, 0.5 tsp
  • chili powder, 1 tsp
  • salt, 0.3 tsp
  • curry powder, 1 heaped tsp
  • blended tomatoes, 4 tbsp
  • chopped green chilies, 1 tsp (I used rocket chilies). Modify to your own taste.
  • Base Gravy, 200-250 ml
  • chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • coconut powder, 3 tbsp
  • lemon juice, 2 tsp
  • pinch of sugar
  • freshly chopped coriander (cilantro), 2 tbsp
  • pinch of garam masala

How To Make This Curry Recipe

First up, I had some weird problems with my camera during this. No idea why. It seemed to want to focus on the steam generated by the cooking rather than the actual food. Strange.

Here’s an example (any photography experts can laugh and point in the comments!)

weird steam image

Anyway, so I’ve picked out the best images to use as examples for this recipe. Thankfully, Cory did a great job with his video. It’s very clear how to make this one from his work.

Let’s crack on.

First, get your pan or wok hot and add the cooking oil. As Cory says, it’s always best to use too much oil rather than not enough. You can spoon off excess at the end, and it will be great as a spiced oil for future curries!

Then if you’re doing this recipe with raw chicken, you add it to the pan first.

stir frying chicken pieces

Once the chicken has become opaque and begun to brown, add the garlic ginger paste (or equivalent amount of fresh garlic and ginger, like I used).

adding garlic ginger paste to fried chicken

Stir for a minute or two until the sizzle dies down somewhat, but don’t burn it at this point. Next, add the powdered spices (methi leaves, Mix Powder, tandoori masala, chili powder, salt and curry powder).

adding spice mix to chicken ceylon

Stir to coat the chicken pieces in all the spices and begin cooking out the spices. Don’t leave this frying for too long as they will burn. Add the tomato paste to begin to reduce the cooking temperature a little.

If you need to add a touch of Base Gravy at this stage too, go ahead, just to loosen everything and stop it sticking to the pan and burning.

That weird picture with all the white steam is the one from this stage!

Hot, Hot Hotty! A Chili Surprise

So next, depending on how hot you want your chicken Ceylon, add the fresh chopped green chilies. I kind of went overboard accidentally when I made mine.

Normally, I buy big bags of rocket chilies from the store, and they are generally the same heat as Thai birds eye chilies.

So pretty fiery, but I’d use half a dozen or so for a nice little bite. These latest ones I bought though are like lip-burstingly hot. I’ve never had anything quite like them. They got me immediately hiccuping and coughing. Wow! Lesson learnt.

Anyway, I digress. After the chilies – use the amount and chili varieties you are comfy with – add the first batch of Base Gravy.

making chicken ceylon curry sauce

Completing the Recipe

Heat the curry to a hard simmer and cook until the red oil begins to rise to the surface. Stir minimally during this stage, unless you think it is in danger of burning.

Then after you see the oil rise, give it a good stir and scrape any concentrated residue off the insides of the pan and incorporate it.

Next, add the second half of the curry base, stir in and then leave to simmer for a minute or so.

Then it’s time to complete the curry recipe. Add the coconut milk powder.

Do not use desiccated coconut for this stage. It will end up grainy and ruin the whole thing. If you can, get coconut flour from your local Asian store if you have one nearby. Or coconut milk powder is fairly common in regular supermarkets.

coconut powder added to chicken ceylon

Follow that by adding the lemon juice and a pinch of sugar to sweeten the dish and enhance the flavour. And finally turn down the heat slightly and finish off with a good handful of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro). Stir it into the curry and that’s it!

flavouring chicken ceylon with coriander

Garnish and Serve

Garnish the chicken Ceylon with a tiny pinch of garam masala and some extra cilantro to freshen it up. Serve with rice or Indian breads. This one is delicious. Though like I mentioned earlier, it took a few bites for me to acclimatise to the vast amount of chili I ended up putting in mine.

chicken ceylon

Let me know in the comments how you get on with yours.

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