Books by Richard Sayce

Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 1
Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 2 Front Cover
Curry Compendium Cookbook
Chicken Ceylon

BIR Ceylon Curry Recipe: 

This curry is a tip of the hat to South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine with its use of coconut. My spicy version includes both coconut flour/powder and coconut milk. It is also rich in tomato flavour, which contrasts well with the creaminess of coconut, and has a special touch of freshly ground fennel and fenugreek seeds for a distinctive flavour.

Feeds 1-2. If you like it hot, try doubling up the chilli powder. Photos show a Chicken Ceylon, but it can be made with any main ingredient.

This recipe is from my cookbook CURRY COMPENDIUM, and is also in my second book, INDIAN RESTAURANT CURRY AT HOME VOLUME 1. All my books are available in both physical and kindle formats.


  • 3 TBSP (45ml) Oil
  • 10cm Cassia Bark
  • 2 Green Cardamom Pods (split open)
  • 1 TBSP Ginger/Garlic Paste
  • ½ tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1½ tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1½-2 tsp Mix Powder
  • ¼-½ tsp Salt
  • 6 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • ½ tsp Fennel Powder (freshly ground if possible)


  • ¼ tsp Fenugreek Powder (freshly
    ground if possible)
  • 1 TBSP each of fresh Coriander Stalks
    and Leaves, finely chopped
  • 330ml+ Base Gravy
  • Pre-Cooked Chicken/Lamb/Beef, etc.
  • 1½ TBSP Coconut Powder/Flour
  • 50-75ml Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1-2 tsp Mango Chutney (optional)


  1. Add oil to a frying pan on medium high heat.
  2. When hot add the cassia bark and green cardamom pods. Fry for 30-45 seconds while stirring to infuse the oil.
  3. Then add the ginger/garlic paste and stir diligently until starting to brown and the sizzling sound reduces.
  4. Add the kasuri methi, mix powder, chilli powder, salt, and the fennel and fenugreek powders.
  5. Fry for 20-30 seconds, initially adding about 30ml base gravy to help prevent burning. Stir constantly, and use the base of the spoon to ensure flat and even distribution.
  6. Turn up the heat to high, and add the tomato paste. Stir frequently until the oil separates and tiny craters appear around the sides of the pan.
  7. Add the pre-cooked chicken (or other meat or vegetables), coriander stalks, and lemon juice. Mix well into the sauce.
  8. Add 75ml of base gravy and the coconut powder, stir into the sauce, and leave on high heat (not stirring) until the sauce is reduced a little and craters form again.


  1. Now add a second 75ml of base gravy, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan once when first added, allowing the sauce to slightly reduce again.
  2. Add the final 150ml of base gravy, along with the coconut milk, Worcestershire sauce, and the optional 1-2 tsp of mango chutney, stirring and scraping once when first added.
  3. Leave to cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the desired consistency is reached (medium). Add extra base gravy to thin the sauce out as to your preference. Avoid stirring and scraping unless the curry is showing signs of imminently burning.
  4. Add the fresh coriander leaves 30 seconds before the end of cooking.
  5. Remove and discard the cassia bark and green cardamom pods.
  6. Serve, sprinkled with extra fresh coriander.


  • All spoon measurements are level (1 tsp = 5ml, 1 TBSP = 15ml).
  • The mango chutney is optional. I suggest you taste the curry near the end of cooking to determine if it is needed. The sweetness of the caramelised base gravy should be plenty already.
  • Please visit the Misty Ricardo’s Curry Kitchen YouTube Channel for lots of Indian recipes.
Watch the Video
Chicken Ceylon


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